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 Syros.
Arriving at Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros and of all The Cyclades and known as “The Queen of the Aegean”, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the loveliness of this town that stretched up the hillsides towards the blue sky. Ermoupolis used to be the busiest port in the whole of Greece and a centre for shipbuilding. The wealth generated by all this commerce manifests itself in the stateliness of the mansions all around and in the number of large churches dotted across the town.
My hotel was the former home of the architect Georgios Vitalis and was located about a third of the way up the Vrondadho hill, just behind the Orthodox Cathedral or Mitropolis. In Syros, the orthodox population tends to live in the lower part of Ermoupolis whereas the Catholics live in the upper town and in the villages of the island.
The Plateia Miaouli is the centre of the town, a large open square, surrounded on three sides by palm trees, cafes, and benches for people watching. This is the place where the local population goes to be seen. The square is dominated on the land side by the glorious, neoclassical town hall, designed by Ernst Ziller. The square and accompanying statue are named after the Hydriot naval hero Andreas Vokos, whose nickname was Miaoulis. He commanded Greek naval forces during the Greek War of Independence between 1821 and 1829.
Miaoulis retired in order to leave the former Royal Navy officer, Thomas Cochrane, free to act as commander of the Greek forces, an indication that the struggle had passed to the Great Powers of the day. Miaoulis died on 24 June 1835 in Athens and was buried at Piraeus near the tomb of Themistocles, the founder of the ancient Athenian Navy. Miaoulis’s son, Athanasios, served as Prime Minister of Greece between 1857 and 1862. A large festival, called Miaoulia, takes place in Hydra every year on the weekend closest to 21 June, to honour Admiral Miaoulis, showing the regard this man is still held in for his role in the Greek Revolution of 1821.
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.