Greek Islands at a Glance Page Seven
After dark, and away from towns, the sky is brilliantly lit by many, many stars. You'll see a few familiar ones like the Big Dipper and Orion but no doubt from a different perspective. The clean and dry island air increases ones ability to see great distances and also improves radio reception. Twirling the dial of a small transistor radio from the Greek Islands at night is just one more way to expand your horizons as it will receive from many different countries across the levant. This brings to mind the common Greek explanatory phrase "akou na thees" or "listen to see".
For hikers and nature lovers the mountainous nature of the terrain is something to take into consideration. Many ancient acropolises, temples and island horas were purposely built in hard to access and defensible positions and come replete with steep winding tracks and purposely maze-like flag-stoned roads. Brambles and thorns are common and carrying a good supply of water and small first aid kit is prudent. A white hat is mandatory and preferably one you can fold up and even swim with. The lightest, sturdy hiking boots you can buy will be well worth any extra cost in the comfort and convenience they will provide you.
Older island ports or Limania were designed to purposely confuse marauding pirates and strolling around their back streets will more likely than not be accompanied by disorientation. On most maps Greek Island capitols are usually delineated by 'Hora' or 'Chora' ('Hora' means " the town" and 'Horio' means a village in Greek but Hora implies a major concentration or capital). The older Horas had defense to worry about as well and were designed for donkeys and carts not cars and trucks. Horas are generally not ports and tend to be mountain bastions. Mykonos town which boasted many pirates of its own under the Turks is a good example of this Greek Island form of confusing town planning. Also Common to many Greek islands and their maps is that many have a mountain called Profitis Illias and its usually the highest peak. (Illias was a mountain dwelling prophet conveyed to heaven by chariot and receives this special distinction more often than not).