Amfilochia: the Bride of the SeaAmfilochia, Greece
Perched on a hillside with unobstructed views of the sea, Amfilochia is the gateway to the enchanting world of the Ambracian Gulf, as well as a crossroads indelibly printed with the passage of the Spartans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans.
1. The Caravan SeraiUnder the Ottoman Empire, Amfilochia was known as Karvasaras (from caravanserai), due to the existence of a roadside inn serving the caravans that crisscrossed the old routes between Epirus and the rest of Greece.
2. The groom and the brideA walk along the waterfront of Amfilochia is almost obligatory, to enjoy the scenery and stretch your legs after the long trip to get here. It doesn’t hurt that the Amvrakikos Gulf is full of surprises.
3. Teaching the nationThe Syngros schools are a neoclassical trademark of many small towns across Greece. But is Syngros worthy of the fame and glory of providing for them?
The Caravan SeraiNo trace of the caravanserai survives, but we can reconstitute it based on similar buildings elsewhere. There would have been an imposing gateway leading to a large open rectangular court, whose size depended on the needs of local trade. Some caravans could consist of 20,000 camels but the volume of trade in this part of the world required far fewer animals. Wells supplied water for animals and humans, while a two-story building surrounded the courtyard. There were stables and storage space for the merchandise on the ground floor, while the travellers spent the night in rooms on the first floor. The windowless walls provided the caravanserai with a fortress-like appearance.
Row, row, row the boat
The groom and the brideFrom March till June the Ambracian Gulf welcomes large numbers of euryhaline fish from the nearby Ionian Sea. The European bass, the gilt-head (sea) bream, the flathead grey mullet, and the common sole enter the gulf and proceed to the safety of the lagoons to reproduce. White seabreams, red mullets, shrimps, and dusky groupers are abundant in the gulf’s deep open waters. All these fish are caught with the famous local boats called “priaria”. They are wooden flat-bottomed boats that use oars or a small sail to move in deep water, and are also common in Missolonghi and Lefkas, where there are extensive areas of shallow waters.
Sardines in dirty containers
Teaching the nationAs soon as Greece gained its independence, in the early 1830s, the government spent considerable efforts in organizing a system of public education. They adopted the method of mutual instruction, and all school buildings were selected based on the rudimentary requirements of this pedagogical theory. Soon, though, it became obvious that the conditions in these buildings were deplorable and utterly unsuited to the needs of the teachers and the students. Health standards were low, classrooms were often overcrowded, and no care was taken to ensure that school buildings were adequately lighted and heated.
Nea Odos has undertaken the study, planning, construction, operation, administration and maintenance of the “Ionian Road” project. A breathtaking project covering a total length of 380klm.
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
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