Kifissos: a modest river god

Earlier this winter our friend Thanasis-an interpid "hunter" of the most forgotten places on the map of Greece-took us for a trip to locate the springs of Kifisos river,on the slopes of Parnassus mounain.

 Parnassus's most visited site is the imposing and unforgetable Oracle of Delphi, not to mention the ski resort and the night life in Arahova village.
But the tiny spring of the god/river on the shady side of the mountain, lost somewhere between the rocks and a muddy,slipery road, had been dressed in impressive winter colors and for a moment there was real magic in the air!

The river,though modest at the start,has a length of almost 60 Km and has been watering the fertile plains of Thebes for millenia. "Biotikos" Kifisos -to distinguish from his brother of the same name in Athens,which is now a fast tack motorway...sigh*-never reaches the sea. His waters,whatever is left after the farmers take their share,goes into Athens's watering system.
 Near the springs ,up a slipery hill are boulders left from the walls of the ancient city of Lilaia.

Lilaia was a mighty city some 4.000 years ago, strong enough to send ships and warriors to fight in the Troyan war, as mentioned by Homer. Although,judging by the ruins, I' not sure what the ancients meant by mighty...whatever :)

As in most places,the stone blocks from the ancient buildings had been used for the construction of the first Christian churches. Saint Mary the Compassionate-dated around the 7th century a.D- lies in ruins near the springs. The ministery of Culture sign hasn't been popular with the local hunters...

Parnassus had just been sprinkled by the first snows,Thanasis knew a fine taverna down the other side of the mountain and there is nothing I love more than finishing a nice day trip with friends around a table !

1 comment:

  1. WONDERFUL!!!! I loved the story, and I loved the pictures! Really beautiful! I especially loved the maple leaves in the different images, so magical! I love that your friend enjoys hunting for hiddent places that others don't know about. All the more special when you are the only ones there!

    It was interesting to read about Lilaia, now just ruins but once a force to be reckened with! One of the best parts about this post is the fact that I have been very near where you guys were, and I know I already told you, to the Oracle of Delphi. So fun to think about timelines...when I was 21, I stood there looking down that endless valley to the sea...and you have been where I was many times. If our timelines matched, we would have met so long ago! And who knows, Desi...I was in Athens! So we were close to each other all those years ago! (Assuming you were there that summer I was!) Fun to think about, huh?! :)

    Thank you for this great photo essay. I'm so glad that you're adding to your blog again, and I'm happy that I've found these posts I missed! I'm having a lovely time reading your stories!! :)