Finally, I am able to complete my Greece Holiday posts with Part 8. This is my most exciting post, as you may all know, I am writing a Young Adult, Historical Fiction Novel, based on the island of Lesvos during the Classical Period. Lesvos has two spellings, its modern one, and its ancient one with a b, instead of a v, depending on the pronunciation.
When I was on the island, I had all these plans to go see these amazing archaeological sites I had been doing my research on, so that I was able to create my own map of the island, and get a feel of the place and setting I was writing about. I got so many tips and outlooks of being there: from the singing cicadas, the heat from the sun, the cool, windy nights, the fresh springs, the beautiful beaches, and the ancient sites that tore at my heart, as I wanted to know more, wanted to see more of this island my grandparents were from.
The first archaeological site I will talk about is the Messon Sanctuary. The Lesvians have fixed the area, making it a commercialised place for tourists to come and visit, however, sadly, to my dismay, they had stopped selling books and pamphlets about the site – I had been collecting so many of these when I was island hopping, for my research. The place has been well preserved, and is well known throughout Lesvos.
I went to Ancient Pyrrha, and after my visit, I wrote a poem about my experience, which I am hoping to one day publish, when I edit it, and get the theme across. I was amazed that not a lot of the locals understood the beauty of the region, and the fact that there was an ancient city buried under the ocean! When I walked along the beach, craving to go see the acropolis of Pyrrha that was across the beach, on top of a hill, on a different side of the island, that the locals called, Red Rock, it was hard to understand if this was the actual place of the acropolis. At the beach, there was a restaurant set up for visitors that went there, but apart from that, no excavations of the area have been undertaken; Pyrrha lies under the water, her city amongst the sand of time. When my boyfriend and I hiked our way to the acropolis, and mind you, we never made it there because of the putrid waste that was dumped in one section of the beach, every step we took we were walking on artefacts of rocks and pottery. Here are a couple of pottery shards that we collected – I was so excited when we found these!
Next up, is the Klopedi Sanctuary – one of my favourite visits when I was on the island. The only way to get there is by hiking on a dirt road from Agia Pareskevi, trusting that you could read the limited signs along the way, hoping that you were heading in the right direction with little water because you didn’t realise how long the track would take on foot. When we got there, I was amazed that the locals were making it into a commercialised place for tourists to come and visit in the future, when everything was completed. One day, when I return back to Lesbos, I cannot wait to go back to the sanctuary and see how the archaeological site has developed.
Lastly, are Mithymna and Eressos. When I visited Molyvos, in ancient times it was known as Mithymna, one of the daughters of King Makareus, I was astonished that there were patches of archaeological sites in different parts of the city. Here is one that we passed by, but I only went to Molyvos at night, so I was unable to see more of the area. Like I said, when I go back, I cannot wait to explore more of the island and what it has to offer me. And finally, Eressos, or now known as Skala Eressos – I only went to the beach here, but was unable to see the archaeological site, so like the other places, I will need to visit this site. It was hard to do anything on the island unless you drove your own car; but that means driving on the different side of the road – yikes!
Oh, and I have not mentioned Arisvi – she is an unknown ancient city of Lesbos, that many of the locals do not know about because she was destroyed during the 5th century by the Mithymnaeans, and hence forth, this is where my Third Novel comes in. I wanted to visit the archaeological site, or what I have read online, traces of what is left of it, but none of the locals understood where it was, because it was not commercialised or well-known like the Messon and Klopedi Sanctuary. It is hard to understand how much research and digging in books I needed to do to find out about this place, and try and find an archaeological site map of the area; but that is another story to tell in the future. Nevertheless, one day, yes, one dear day, I will visit Arisvi, and see the fallen columns of her city.
Till next time,