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!!!!
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 km˛. 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.
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