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A Window to Kalymnos

By gingerdelight    
Whilst on holiday in Kos we took a cruise on the Aegean Sea and had a stop at Kalymnos Island. It was such a lovely place and I would like to share a journey of several images with you, starting with this beautiful little window that caught my eye; of course I just HAD to enhance it with a texture! The rest of the images are as captured - please feel free to browse at your leisure. Below follows a narrative about the island which some may find interesting. Thank you for your continued comments on my images, I am pleased you are enjoying them.

Here follows the narrative - it is long, you have been warned!!!! Wink

Kalymnos, is a Greek island and municipality in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It belongs to the Dodecanese and is located to the west of the peninsula of Bodrum, between the islands of Kos (south, at a distance of 12 km) and Leros (north, at a distance of less than 2 km): the latter is linked to it through a series of islets. Kalymnos lies between two to five hours away by sea from Rhodes.
The island is roughly rectangular in shape, with a length of 21 km and a width of 13 km, and covers an area of 109 km². Moreover, on the north side there is a peninsula which stretches in a Northwest direction.
Kalymnos is mainly mountainous, with a complicated pattern. There are three main chains going from W-NW to E-SE, and a fourth one which innervates the peninsula. The coastline is very irregular, with many sheltered coves. The island is mainly barren, except the two fertile valleys of Vathi and Pothia, where olives, oranges and vineyards grow.
Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence around Kalymnos.
The Sponge of Kalymnos: The usage of sponge was first mentioned in the works of Aristotle and Homer. Since the ancient times, the life and culture of Kalymnos Island was linked to this marine animal; this is the reason Kalymnos is also known as the "Sponge-divers' island". Sponge diving has always been a common occupation on Kalymnos and sponges have been the main source of income of the Kalymnians bringing wealth on the island and making it famous in the Mediterranean.
The first Kalymnian sponge divers used no uniform or equipment and relied mostly on their ability to hold their breath in the sea. The traditional way of sponge-fishing before their replacement by modern technology and special equipment was the harpoon. The new technology allowed spongers to dive in greater depths and stay longer under the water. However, this otherwise positive fact caused the appearance of decompression sickness, also known as the divers' disease or the bends.
The Greek sponge trade was centered close to Dodecanese with Kalymnos being the most prominent for centuries and until mid-80’s, when a disease hit the eastern Mediterranean destroying a great number of sponges and the sponge-fishing industry by extension.
Sponge diving with all its traditions and history still forms the very soul of the people of this island. There is a celebration called Sponge Week taking place on the island each year one week after Easter to honour the relationship between the people of Kalymnos and the sponge, which is also known as the Kalymnian “Gold”. As usual in these occasions, the people sing, dance, and eat traditionally
By long tradition, Kalymnians are known for harvesting sponges from the sea-bed as close as Pserimos or as far as North Africa. Much has been written, sung and filmed about this ancient and dangerous occupation and much more concerning the legendary courage and recklessness of the sponge divers. Today, Kalymnos faces a lack of sponges due to the outbreak of a disease which has decimated sponge crops, although research would indicate that this is not permanent. Sponges are fished individually by hand and it is only a matter of time before the species will replenish the sponge beds and again take their rightful place in the island's economy.

Voters: ringyneck, SlowSong, saeidNL and 52 more

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SlowSong Plus
11 8.9k 30 England
12 Jun 2012 10:46AM
Beautiful window to start off your lovely travellogue. Smile

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saeidNL 10 3 Netherlands
12 Jun 2012 10:48AM
Wonderful,excellent and colourful set of images,very well done,
12 Jun 2012 10:50AM
Now I'm ready for my hols after perusing through your images, a super set with an excellent write up.

barbarahirst 11 27 12 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 10:57AM
Wonderful in every way
I visited there in the 70's ...doesnt seem to have changed much
EAS 11 1 13 Scotland
12 Jun 2012 11:10AM
I especially love V1!

Joline Plus
13 30 56 United States
12 Jun 2012 11:19AM
It looks like a wonderful place to spend a holiday.
V1 is so very beautiful, but each one could stand alone.
12 Jun 2012 11:26AM
a fine set of your holiday adventure just reeks of summer

BarbaraR 14 409 1 England
12 Jun 2012 11:31AM
Mmm looks such an inviting a place.
I can feel the warmth and the relaxation.
Very lovely set.

PattiW 14 24 2 United States
12 Jun 2012 12:25PM
Marvelous set of images, each more beautiful than the one before. A place I would love to visit! Patti
Jasper87 Plus
10 2.5k 158 England
12 Jun 2012 12:32PM
Excellent record, Carol, and its so invitingly warm and sunny.... v1 is the cream of the crop.

gingerdelight 13 298 11 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 12:50PM
Thank you everyone! And very special thanks to PattiW for your UA, I am thrilled!
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2210 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 2:56PM
OK, playing for the sympathy vote... Wink
V1 stands out for me, for its simplicity and the blue that sings out Mediterranean.
CaroleS Plus
10 442 3 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 4:16PM
What a lovely set to remember your holiday.
ChiliMan 13 135 17 Singapore
12 Jun 2012 4:24PM
V1 is simply gorgeous, Carol, and thanks so much for taking us on your trip Smile

Fascinating info in your write-up about the sponges. Although I have to say that what's catching my eye in V7 are those tritons below the sponges. And the starfish to the right. Wow...

andylea 11 37 1 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 5:02PM
fantastic set carol brilliant detail wonderful colours belting write up too v1 for me today simply beautiful nice one Wink
11 10 10 England
12 Jun 2012 5:11PM
A lovely set Carol, I just love V1 with the flowers and the blue shuttters. My next fav is V5, the steps and the shadows make this shot so interesting.
Fefe Plus
8 41 31 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 5:40PM
V1 is a beauty! Love it!
moiral 10 12 Scotland
12 Jun 2012 6:43PM
Great set of shots Carol. It is so magical to see dolphins in the wild. Moira
canonfan 9 7 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 6:52PM
Superb set of images Carol and well captured. Im sorry that my comments are not as long as the narrative lol Grin Grin Grin
LynneJoyce Plus
11 22 101 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 7:10PM
Fantastic set!
Brilane 13 5 12 Wales
12 Jun 2012 7:33PM
Lovely colour and good composition.

mikbee 13 3 8 Scotland
12 Jun 2012 8:47PM
I have never read a story as long as this Carole,
since that book I read of Sponge Bob Square Pants.
I think you are being a bit depressing here with your talk of disease and decimated crops.
That Sponge Bob Square Pants just has to be the happiest,cheeriest sponge I know !!
Super set.
Suehh 13 39 6 England
12 Jun 2012 8:58PM
Sigh! Sigh! Such beautiful sights Carol. V1 is my fav for sure - a lovely image
SUE118 Plus
12 8 1 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2012 9:17PM
Lovely images and V1 & V9 are my favourites.
NobbytheNobster 10 33 5 England
12 Jun 2012 10:11PM
Lovely set Carol, and what a way to travel in such a beautiful place Smile
danbrann 15 640 17
13 Jun 2012 2:43PM
A good set Carol and that weather looks positively awful. Why couldn't you have torrential rain and low temperatures like we have had. A good set of images.
Lillian Plus
10 23 17 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2012 7:44PM
Thank you for the memories Carol, my husband and I spent two wonderful weeks there (although no fresh water to drink of shower)
a wonderful set of images
Glostopcat 14 255 2 England
18 Jun 2012 10:30PM
V1 and v5 particularly appeal in this wonderful selection of holiday images, you've soaked up knowledge of the local area just like a spongeSmile

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