Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seven Things To Do In Ancient Iolkos, Greece

Iolkos was an ancient city in central-eastern Greece (near the modern city of Volos). According to ancient Greek mythology, Jason and his Argonauts set sail from the ancient city in search of the Golden Fleece. The Argo, Jason’s ship, set sail for Colchis with a crew of able-bodied demigods and heroes. Along with the Golden Fleece, Jason returned from his journey with a wife, Medea, king Aeetes' daughter, who later became queen of Iolkos.

Many centuries later, the mythical tales of Caenus, Son of Kranos, crown prince of Iolkos, are recounted in the novel Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Book I in the Of Kings And Gods Trilogy. What follows are Seven Things To Do in Caenus’ fictional Iolkos.

Seven Things To Do In Ancient Iolkos.

1. Visit the Golden Fleece: It was on display in a Museum just off the agora. The Fleece was so revered that no citizen even went to cast a gaze at it anymore. Tourists, however, could still gaze at the famed Fleece… for a few of your hard-earned drachmas.

2. Tour the Bell Tower: Three stories tall, the bell tower served as a warning mechanism to alert citizens of incoming enemies by sea. At night, a flame blazed to guide ships in the Gulf of Pagasae. The stone staircase was a little worn, but the view from the top was worth the climb. Simply majestic.

3. Grab some rays on the Beaches: The beaches that extended down the Pelion Peninsula, which was “wet” by two seas, were pristine with white sand and clear waters to either side. On one side of the thin strip of land was the Gulf of Pagasae with calm waters for wading. On the other side, the waters of the Aegean roared.

4. Grab a Gyro in the Agora: THE place to meet and eat, the agora was akin to a food court in your favorite shopping mall. Well, not quite… But, it did have lots of shops and merchants. They were more trade-based merchants than food-based merchants, though. Occasionally, one could find a smokey taverna to grab some food and drink.

5. Tour the Ruins at Sesklo: To the northwest of Iolkos, stood the military outpost at Sesklo. Some ruins from an earlier time still existed. The Sesklo settlement was one of the first Neolithic cultures of Europe, which inhabited Thessaly and parts of Greek Macedonia. The oldest fragments researched at Sesklo place the civilization's development as far back as 6850 BC.

6. Tour the ruins at Dimini: Also to the northwest of Iolkos, and very near to Sesklo, stood the military outpost of Dimini, built upon ruins of another Neolithic settlement. Rumor had it that the Neolithic Dimini people were responsible for a violent conquest of the Sesklo peoples at around 5000 BC. War in this era was always unfortunate, but ever so imminent.

7.Hike Pelion Mountain: Known for it’s lush landscape and foliage, Pelion was, and still is, a beautifully rugged mountain that looked as if there was a crown upon its summit. It was known to be the place where the Gods of the Pantheon held their summer games and festivities. It was also known for being home to Centaurs, the wisest of whom being Kheiron, immortal trainer to heroes and demigods alike. Kheiron, allegedly maintained a cave dwelling high in the hills of Pelion, but I wouldn’t venture that high if I were you.

For more information on Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, visit www.caenusquiverofartemis.com and www.myspace.com/quiverofartemis.

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