Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Shots of Greek Countryside

Whilst on holiday I decided to take some pictures of the Greek countryside, which might be useful to people modelling terrain.  We were staying in Lefkas, which is an island on the west coast of Greece, near Corfu.  I was extremely surprised by the sheer number of trees; also by the presence of many coniferous trees, which I'd not expected to see this far south. 

Firstly a couple of shorts of olive trees; more than 50% of the trees I saw were olives.  They have a silvery hue to their leaves and were, in general, a paler green than other trees around them.

The above orchard included some low, spongy-looking bushes.  Note how many scrubby trees there are on the very steep slopes of the hill in the background!

This olive orchard was only 200 yards form the other, but had rather greener undergrowth.

This shot shows mixed woodland, with olives in the foreground.  The lovely pencil-thin trees are cypresses, and my first priority will be to source some, as they would be very useful in Italy, too.  They often appeared darker than the other trees.  I want at least 2 dozen.  I saw one solid forest of cypresses, which had no leaves at all on the lower half of their trunks due to lack of sunlight.

Some of the cypresses, above, had multiple trunks.  At least I think this is a cypress.

This shot shows more mixed vegetation; think and thicker cypresses, with a range of other, lower trees.  Note the variation in colours.  One could legitimately mix pine trees in with this, there were quite a few around the coast.

Here are shorter trees; one saw these on poor soil, slopes and high ground.  Maybe scrub oaks?

Lastly, this beautuful tree was very high up; no idea what it is but it goes to show that there was plenty of variety in the vegetation.  BTW Ground colours varied from dusty, to rich red-browns where soil had recently been dug.

I hope these are useful if anyone is thinking of modelling terrain around the coast of the Adriatic.


Doc Phobos said...

Ah, I feel homesick now. Lovely photographs.

BigRedBat said...

Hi Doc, it is a nice place, isn't it! Lefkas town is friendly, with some nice Tavernas, although Nidri is rather tourist-y.

I heard about the Ithica connection when we were there, I suppose that is why the captain in the last post named the boat as he did.

Doc Phobos said...

Yeah, there is a bit of a neighbourly "fight" going on between the islands of Lefkas, Ithaki and Kephalonia. Even some people from the peninsula of Plagia on the mainland claim to be living on this famous location in whispers. :) But there is absolutely no scientific means to reach a conclusion... even if scientists (Greek and foreign) and local "historians" cannot stop discussing it. :)

Did you see some of the Venetian and Ottoman fortifications? Lefkas changed hands a lot of times. :) It was even Russian at some point.

BigRedBat said...

Hi Doc, the Venetian fortress as you drive in to Lefkas is very impressive, they really ought to open it as a tourist attraction. I saw the nearby castle on the hill but only from afar.

Unfortunately I didn't see the Russian forts. One is called fort Alexander, which amused me as when I fist saw it on the map I assumed it referred to the Macedonian Alexander.

I regret not going to Actium, especially as it is right next to the airport!

What did you dig?

Doc Phobos said...

I participated in a large scale surface survey of the entire peninsular. So it wasn't so much a small scale location and there was little digging. We usually gathered material found on the surface and it is really amazing what comes up. Roof tiles from archaic times, stone tools, Byzantine pottery. And if goats pass over your area you can start all over again and your field is full of new material. :D We also had surveys of visible architectural remains like ancient rural villas or the so called castle of Agios Georgios and the ancient town of Plagia.

The Russian occupation of the Ionian Sea is of great interest for me. I covet the coins that were minted in that time, but I they are so rare.

BigRedBat said...

I must say I don't know much about the Russian occupation; Lefkas seems like a really peculiar place for them to have fetched up, et alone fortified!

Archaeology must be fascinating.

DeanM said...

It's how I always imagined it - and from movies & books. Seemingly timeless and unchanged. Thanks, Dean

Doc Phobos said...

Fascinating and boring, ungrateful, elitist... It's a field you can enjoy a love-hate relationship with... if you can find a job. :)

Well, how much the fortified themselves. The occupation was rather short... 7 years all in all. Here's some info about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septinsular_Republic

legatus hedlius said...

Lovely, evocative pictures!

I had a great two week sailing holiday there a few years ago. I recall a very nice white wine called Lac des Roches! Didn't get on with the Retsina, though! The Kefalonian reds are good though.

BigRedBat said...

Hi Legatus; it has to be very hot for very cold Retsina to be palatable, in my experience!

I mostly drank sweet, very cheap Epirot wines.

Doc, interesting stuff; Russians and Turks working together. Surprising...

Doc Phobos said...

I know... Especially considering how the Russians were kinda supporting the Greek Liberation idea. Not wholeheartedly, but still...

The three months or so I was there, it was Ouzo and Tsipouro all the way! :)

Gabriele C. said...

Lovely pics, but the place looks too hot and dry for my taste. I'm more a northern gal. :)