صور الصفحة

Acroceraunia would be to como to this harbour in a yacht from Corfu (35 m. distant), and thence to make excursions among tho mountains. The villages from Faldsa to Khimdra (both inclusive) constitute what may be called Acroceraunia Proper, and are the most interesting to visit. S. of the town of Khimura, the scenery Incomes le>s wild, and loses its peculiar character.

From Khimura, the traveller turning inland, can proceed 10 hrs. through fine mountain landscapes to Delvino (Ute. 41). Or, if he should prefer to continue his journey along the coast, he can reach in 2 short days (about 10 hrs. in all), the port of Forty Saint* ("A710! Upavra), or Santi Quaranta. iiy sea, the distance is about 18 m., and tho traveller had better choose this mode of conveyance, as the quickest and easiest. The principal villages on this part of the coast are Kiepero, Bortzi, Sopoto, l'ihfrnet, Luhoto, and Nivitra.

Tho Forty Saints, or Sanli Quaranta, is a littlo open port, with a few houses and magazines round it. A boat may sometimes be prwured hero to cross to Corfu, 17 m. This was the site of the ancient Onchesinus, or Anchiasnuu, a name said to have been given in honour of Anchiscs, the father of ^Enens, and of his traditional visit to these coasts, as celebrated in Virgil. The modern skala, or landing-place, derives its name from the ruined mediroval Church of the Forty Saints on the hill above. On the N.W. sido of the harbour, near the beach, ore the extensive remains of a town of the Lower Empire, walled and flanked with towers, probably of the same date as the ruins of Camipo, on the opposite coast of Corfu. Santi Quaranta is often visited by English shootingparties, for the sake of the good sport to be enjoyed in the. neighbouring place of Delvino. It is still the port of Delvino and of all the neighbouring country; and Onchesmus in ancient times seems to have been a place of importance, and one of the ordinary points of departure from Epirus to

Italy; Cicero, as Leake remarks, calls the wind favourable for that passago an Oncltesmites.

Tho road to Delvino passes through tho hollow between the hills on which stands tho ruined church of the Forty Saints, and another height crowned by a dismantled fortress, built by Ali Pasha. There is a shorter, but steeper path leading directly up the hill behind the skala. All this part of the Epirote coast consists of bare rugged heights, covered with sharp honeycombed rocks.

2 hrs. irom Santi Quaranta in a N.E. direction arc remains of tho ancient Pliamice, a name retained by the modern village of Phiniki. 1 hr. further is Delcino (lite. 41).

From Santi Quaranta to Butrinto is 5 hrs. A rough path leads along the rocky neck of land which separates tho lake of Butrinto, or Lirari, a corruption of the Latin "vivarium," from the sea. There are beautiful views on the one sido into the interior of Albania, and on tho other of the opposite coasts of Corfu. The contrast between barbarism and civilization, barrenness and fertility, is here very strongly marked.

From the Castle of Butrinto the traveller can cross to the towu of Corfu, a distance of 10 m.




Khan of Baldouui 5

Mctzovo ti

Khan of Malakassi 4

Kalabak (Ascent to Mcteora) .. 7

Tricula 4

Zarko 6

Larissa (i


From Jodnuiua to the Khan of Batilouni, 5 lira.—'Die road skirts the S. end of the lake, and winds by a terrace round an insulated hill on which are some ancient remains now called Castritza, but identified by Leake with the tito of Dodona. The hill is tinged with iron, and particularly at the place where part of the water of the lake finds subterranean exits, KaTo/3(iflpo. Tho face of the rock is much fractured. The road then enters a broad valley, and then ascends tho ridge of Metzikeli, here called Dryscos, i.e. Oakley. From tho summit is a magnificent view of tho town and lake of Jodnnina on one side, and tho valley of tho Aracthus and the mountain scenery of Pindus on the other. Below this ridge is the Klian of Kyria, or the Lady's Khan, about 12 m. from Joannina. The paved road from Joanninna to the Khan of Kyria is continued towards Metzovo; but there is a shorter route by a steep path to the Khan of Jtotdouni, a picturesque and beautiful spot, ueur the banks of the river Aria or Aracthus.

Hcnoj to Metzoco is ti hrs.—The road follows the course of the river till the junction of the Xagori and Mettoxo brnnchcH, which unite, at an acute angle, the lofty intervening ridge terminating in a promontory clothed with wood. The road crosses the Zagori by the Lady's Bridge, and follows tho course of the Metzovo stream, tho bed of which it traverses nearly 30 times in 12 m. This road id impracticable when the stream is

swollen, but is at other times proferrcd by travellers, as being shorter and more picturesque than tho upper road to Mctzovo over the rugged banks. 4 hrs. from Baldouui is Trikhani; so named from 3 khans placed near each other; possibly, as Leake suggests, on the site of three Roman taverns (Tree Taberiuc, a name frequently occurring in the old itineraries). This pass has in all ages been the chief thoroughfare over the central range of Pindus.

From the Three Khans to Metzovo the ascent is difficult and laborious', and occupies 2 hrs.

Metzovo, a town of 1000 houses, hangs on the steep side of a mountuin, separated from Mount Zygos by two deep ravines, whence the river Arta takes its source. Metzovo commands tho most important pass in all Pindus. Surrounded on every side by high mountain-ridges, it stands nearly 3000 feet above the level of the sea, and in winter has a very severe climate. Tho town is divided into two unequal portions by tho chasm of a torrent which forms a branch of the Arta. Tho northern and larger of the two divisions is called l'rosilio {Tlpo<rii\tov) as being exposed to the sun; while the southern, being shaded by the mountain on which it stands, is named Anilio ('Arfi\tov). The road to Thessaly passes through tho latter. The population of Metzovo is chiefly of Walluchian descent.—(genebal InTKom cnox, o.)

The river of Aspropotamos the ancient Achulous, rises near Metzovo. The Peneus, or Salamvria, also rises on tho E. side of Pindus, above Metzovo; again, the Viosa, tho ancient Aims, takes its rise in the mountains to the N. of Metzovo, as also the Haliacmon, or Vistritza, and tho Aracthus. or Arta.

From Metzovo to the Khan of Slalaliassi is 4 hrs. The road ascends the central ridge (Zvy6s, here called of old Mt. Lacmos) of Pindus, immediately opposite to Metzovo. It first follows the course of a mountaintorrent, and thence is very steep, winding along a precipitous promontory of rock to the summit of the pass, which is attained after 2 hrs.' travelling, and is 4500 feet above the sea. Here are presented to the view the wide plains of Thessnly, the Peneus of Tempo issuing from the rocks below, and far beyond appear Olympus, Ossn, and Peliou, bounding the K. horizon. The chain of Piudus is not the least remarkable object in the Hearer landscape.

The forests whicli cover its sides consist chiefly of firs and beeches. There arc also small oaks, and an abundance of box. In the latter end of February and beginning of March, at which time the snow generally collects on the ridgo in the greatest quantity, the pass of Metzovo is often impassable for horses for several days together.

Piudus is the backbone of Northern Greece. Its successive vertebra) have different names. Mt. Zygos was of old, as we have seen, called Lacmoe. From its foot diverged tho 5 chief rivers or liquid roads of Northern Greece, connecting it with the Ionian and JEgean seas. It is what the glacier of the Rhone is to Switzerland. Here was realized the poetical vision of Virgil in the 4th Geurgic, when he introduces Aristtcua into a grotto at the source of the Peneus, one of the streams which issue from thiB mountain reservoir, and shows him "omnia sub magna labentia flumina terra." The Alius is probably so called by a Doric or JEoMc form, because it flows from the East. The modern name Viosa is a corruption of the same word. At its mouth, at Apollonia, Augustus spent some early time in literary ease, as at the mouth of tho Aractbus ho won the battle of Aetium. From Corinth to Apollonia— i. e. to the frontier of Illyria—extended a beacon line of Colonies, bringing the arts and polity of Greece along with the sacred fire exported by the settlers from the altars of their gods.

From tho summit of the pass, the descent on the eastern side is more gradual. A short distance below is the Zi/tjos Khan, sheltered by woods.

A winding descent of 2 hrs. brings the traveller to the Khan of Malakassi, near the confluence of the two streams which form the Peneus. On tho steep side of the mountain above stands the village of Malakassi, interspersed with trees like Metzovo.

From the Khan of Malakassi to Kalabak is 7 hrs., through a wooded and picturesque country.

3 hrs. from Malakassi is a khan ou the Peneus, and soon after the road crosses the valley of a considerable stream, tho Klinovo. The country hereabouts formed yart of the district called by tho ancients Athamania.

From the Klinovo to Kalabak, 5 nj., the road is intolerable, passing though narrow meadows on the banks of the river, and among planes which skirt it.

The singular rocks of Meteora arc seen from a great distance in descending the valley of the Peneus. They rise about a mile distant from tho river, a group of insulated massive cones and pillars of rock of great height, and for the most part |>erpendicular. The deep recesses between theso pinnacles are thickly clothed with trees. On a nearer approach the outlines of several Greek monasteries are seen on these heights, seeming as if entirely separated from the rest of the world. Tho small town of Kalabak or Slagi is situated below the most lofty of these pinnacles. It is ou the site of jEgmium. Kalabak is tho Turkish, and Stagi (2T0701) the Greek name. Night-quarters can be procured in this village. At Kalabak the Greek insurgents in Thcssuly in 1854 were finally routed by the Turks.

AVe ]>ns8 on till we come beneath the abode "Of the monastic bietucrhood oa rock Aerial."

The Monasteries 0/ Meteora (t4 McTe'wpa, sc. MoyatrrTjpta, i. e. tho Meteor - Monasteries, or "Convents high up in the air ").—A short walk from the village of Stngi leads tho traveller among the 6trango pinnacles crowned by these Convents. They form a cluster of detached rocks, separated by deep chasms, and each has a little level space on its summit, where the buildings are placed, looking like incrustations on the cliff. The deep recesses between the pinnacles are thickly clothed with trees, many of which have entwined their roots among the fissures, and seem us if suspended in air. The traveller had better ascend to the Convent called par excellence Meteora, as being the largest of those still inhabited. The view from the summit over the great plain of Thessaly is very magnificent. The church is also curious. But tiie singularity of the spot—so unlike any other in the world—is its great attraction. A colony of monks settled on these rocks, for tho sake of the security they afford, at a very early period. The six convents ttill tenanted by the Fathers possess wells mid cisterns, some goats and sheep, and a store of meal, but they depend for their support chiefly on charitable contributions; and the traveller is expected to make a small present "for the Church" (Si'o ri/v 'EKK\n<riav). There ore now not more than 100 caloyers in all the 6 monasteries collectively. Besides tho nets, the Convents of Meteora are also accesible by ladders of wood and rope, made in several separate joints, and let down over the face of the cliff, from the mouths of artificial tunnels in tho rock, which communicate with the lower parts of tho buildings. At night, and when not required, these ladders are pulled up, and the monks are entirely isolated from the world below. The ladders are the most hazardous mode of ascent or descent, as they are perfectly perpendicular, and swing backwards and forwards in the air with the least breath of wind. A monk mounting by one of them looks from below like a large black fly crawling on the face of tho precipice. The traveller is recommended to trust himself to the net, as the safest and most singular method of ascent. Here you resign yourself piously to tho core of the holy fathers, whereas on the ladders vou must rely on your own uorvc and steadiness of head. The

rope which hauls you up is worked from above by a pulley and windlass. Of course, as you begin to ascend, your weight draws the net close, 'intil your knees aro forced up to your chin, and you are rolled into a ball like a hedgehog. On arriving at the monastery above, you lie on tho floor a perfectly helpless mass, until the monks unroll you from the net, and help you to your feet. There is no real danger. "A motley draught have these aerial fathers—literally fishers of men—often inclosed, since first they cast down their net into tho world below. Sometimes they draw up in it an inquisitive scholar from tho far West, sometimes a young officer from Corfu, sometimes a brother Coenobite from Mount Athos, sometimes a neophyte yearning for solitude and religious meditation; once tin y received an Emperor of the East (John Cantacuzene), who came to exchange the purple of Constautine for the cowl of St. Basil." Steep paths lead a considerable way up the face of the precipices; so that tho actual ascent in the nets or by the ladders averages only from 200 to 300 feet.

The number of monasteries was once 24, but only 10 of these now remain, of which the following are inhabited: — Meteora, St. Stephen, liarlaam. Trinity, St. Nicholas, and llaghia Mone. Some of the monasteries are situated in caverns formed by nature and art in the face of the rock. On urriving at the foot of a monastery, a summons is shouted forth to tho monks above. They lower a net by a strong rope, and in this slender vehicle the traveller seats himself. The projection of the pulley from a shed above secures him against injury by striking against the ruck. The ascent is accomplished in 3 minutes. The monasteries are irregularly scattered on the summit of tho rocks, and possess neither external nor internal splendour.

Kulubak to Triccala, 4 hrs. Tho road winds round the tallest of tho pinnacles, which may be 1000 feet in height, and opens on the plain of Triccala. To the right is tho feueus; to the left Kalabak, overshadowed by the reverse of the rocks of Meteora, which on this aide assume a hilly character. At a distance in the plain appear the towera of Triceala. On the right is Pindns, and on the left a low chain of naked hills stretches from Kalabak to Triceala. The approach to Triceala is marked by an appearance of activity and prosperity.

Triceala, the aucient Tricca, contains about 7000 inhabitants, of which the majority are Greeks. There are ulso a few Jews. The town is on the left bank of the Peneus, and is situated on a low ridge of hills, which extends into the plain from its northern boundary. Near the extremity of this rid^e nro the ruins of the Cattle, once of somo importance, probably creeled during the period of the Greek emperors. The only existing Hellenic remains are fragments in its walls. Tho Turkish Governor's residence is composed of two large serais, occupying two sides of a quadrangle. The culture of corn and cotton is carried on to a considerable extent in the adjoining plains.

Tricca was a very ancient city, and capital of that part of Thessaly called Histirootis. It is mentioned in Homer as subject to the two sons of Msculupius, who led the Triccaians to the Trojan war; and it contained the most famous and most frequented of all the temples of that god, to which was attached a medical college of great repute. The modern name of Triceala is used by Anna Coinnena.

The great plain of Thessaly enabled the old Thesaalinns to practise horsemanship, and lay the foundation of the glory of the Thessalian cavalry. At the present day the traveller is reminded of the physical properties of this region bv the sight, of the wide and level road near Larissa, on which the arrabahs, or chariots, of the Turkish Leys, the modern Seopadio and Aleuadaj, may be seen to roll. The Centaurs were an ancient ThesKiiliun tribe, in Homer nearly savage warriors, but who in alter times came to be depicted as half men and half

horses, from traditions of their equestrian prowess. There was probably a time when they appeared as formidable monsters to their neighbours, us did the mounted Spaniards to the Mexicans.

The ranges of Pindus to the S.E. of Triceala form the highland district of Agrapha (to 'Ayptupa), a division of the country which existed under the Greek empire, and derived its name from its villages being "not written down" in the publicans' books, but only paying a small tribute collectively. Like Maina, Suli, and other similar districts, Agrapha was long virtually independent, even after the Turkish conquest of Greece, and the population has always been purely Greek. At the beginning of the 19tli century, it contained about 85 villages, with 50,000 inhabitants. Tho southern, or iEtolian part of Agrnpha, is now included in the kingdom of Greece.

From Triceala to Larissa is 12 hrs.; but the traveller may divide the journey by stopping at Zarko, a village half-way between. The road lies across the plain, and is devoid of picturesque interest. Near Zarko an irregular chain of hills runs to Thaumaci, and separates the plain of Triceala from that of Larissa and Phorsalia. The traveller crosses the Peneus near a deserted village. Farther on, a rising ground is covered with Turkish tombstones, and Hellenic remains, from the site of the ancient Larissa; and soon after tho minarets of Larissa are seen glittering above an oasis of trees and verdure in the midst of a plain of sand.

lAirisea, in Turkish Yeiiishuher, is situated on a gently rising ground on the S. side of the Peneus (Salamvria). It was one of the most important and wealthy cities of ancient Thessaly, and is still considered the capital of that province; but in no age has thero been any very striking incident in its history. Larissa is now the residence of a Greek archbishop, and of a Paslin. and contains nearly 30,000 inhabitants, partly Greeks, but chiefly Mahouinie

« السابقةمتابعة »