Thursday, 12 July 2018

Why do we call it the rock? ...

A question often asked, and misunderstood ...

Years ago ...

The Royal Navy visited often between the wars, many of the sailors had a love affair with the island. Back in the 60's the nickname came from the first tourist settlers on the island. The British and South Africans who returned in the 1960's and bought up plots of land round Kalamaki, and started building villas.

Its a good way to start an argument - nip down to Kanapitsa and say it was the Brits who rediscovered the island, and the Saffers will challenge you, and vice versa ...

Many of them had visited previously whilst in the Royal Navy, and they and many others who later settled on the island referred to the island as 'The Rock' Just like their counterparts, and that is where the nickname comes from ...

History ...

According to mythology, the island complex of the Northern Sporades, in the Aegean sea, with the islands Skiathos, Skopelos (Ancient Peparithos), Alonnissos (Ancient Ikos) and Skyros, were created by the fight of the Titans Otus and Efialtes.

This is what world monk Alexandros, son of Priest Adamantios wrote in his works “Kokkona thalassa” or “To gramma tis petheras” on the creation of the Northern Sporades, the islands literally planted in the Aegean sea north of the Island of Evia and east of the coasts of Magnissia and Pilio.

The history of these islands is lost in the depths of the centuries. According to mythology, the Sporades were created by a fight that broke out between the Titans Otus and Efialtes. The fight turned into a rock fight. The rocks they threw to each other ended up in the sea, thus creating the Sporades.

Those two giant brothers, Otus and Efialtes, who had attempted, according to uncle Homer, to put Ossa on Olympus and Pilio on Ossa to make a stairway and climb to the heavens when they were still children, were working out down on the beach. They would take pebbles and skim them over the sea as a game.

From these pebbles of the two small giants, which after many skims settled in the sea, grew the Sporades islands to decorate the emerald sea. Skiathos, Peparithos, Alonnisos and many more.”

If you live 'on the rock' you will find many ex-pat people refer to it just as that. If you have explored the island you will know, the middle part is a huge exposed rock. (highest point is at 433 m (1,421 feet) on Mount Karafiltzanaka - Try saying that after a FIX or two) You will not see that from your sunbed on the beach or from the bus.

Whether you like it of not, a pebble is a small rock, if you leave it exposed on the waterline, it will go green with algae and moss. Thats how it finally becomes a 'small green island in the aegean' which if you holiday here, will be all you see or know ...

Previous Blog: Oh England ...

Another one - Locals we call it 'The Village' Holiday folk call it 'Skiathos town' ...

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