I have written seven books about the history of places I have travelled to.
I travel because my own father always said he would travel after he’d retired, but he never got the chance because he died from cancer when he was 49. I travel for him when I go to places as well as for myself.
If you are interested in history and / or travel then you should check out these books. Please bear in mind the books are travelogues rather than travel guides and so cover the places I visited and the experiences I had.
This book keeps it simple and covers nine Greek Islands: Rhodes, Symi, Patmos, Samos, Syros, Paros, Tinos, Delos, and Mykonos. They are all different and all lovely.
This is an excerpt on Paros.
The early Christian complex of the Ekatondapyliani comprises a large basilica dedicated to the Assumption of our Lady, the elegant chapel of Aghios Nikolaos to the northeast and the ceremonial Baptistery to the south and is all found within a walled compound which also contains The Byzantine Museum, places to eat, and also areas where people attending weddings and funerals can relax before their service.
Entering the church, the marble pillars soaring to the ceiling in the nave immediately catch your eye. Worshippers are busy moving around the various icons within the church, kissing them, hanging votive offerings in front of them, and praying in front of them. The votive offerings depict the subject of what the worshipper was hoping to receive help about, so people with an injured arm or leg left a votive depicting an arm or a leg whereas people seeking a house left a votive depicting a house. Other votives depicted ears, eyes, and attractive men. The votives were coloured bronze, silver, and gold and had obviously been bought somewhere. I wondered whether the person choosing the colour of the metal genuinely felt that buying a gold-coloured votive instead of a bronze-coloured votive would make the slightest difference to the saint shown in the icon?
Without any warning or fanfare, a coffin was brought into the centre of the church and placed on a table. The top was removed and taken outside. The most important icon in the church was positioned to the left of the coffin and four chairs were set up to the right.
The mourners, dressed in dark clothing without being formal, came into the church, five priests, in full Orthodox regalia, appeared from behind the altar, and three casually dressed singers, forming the choir, stood in front of microphones that had magically appeared from behind a column. A man holding an ornamental Greek cross stood at the front of the coffin and four female mourners seated themselves to the right of the coffin – they were the dead man’s immediate family. The male mourners, one wearing a T-shirt that had the word “Affliction” emblazoned on the back, stood behind the coffin
Bio: I am a writer. I love writing creatively especially about subjects such as British traditions, where my made-up traditions are no less ridiculous than the real thing. A list of my books, both fictional and factual (about travel), can be found here.