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Greek Island of Fourni

January 9th, 2011

The Greek Island of  Fourni is one of the most eastern of the group of Greek Islands known as the Cyclades (kick-laad-es), or the “white Islands” as they are often called, due to the classic little white houses that are always associated with Greek Islands.

Fourni is a small greek island in the east Cyclades

The main local transport of Fourni Island

It is also one of the smallest and least visited by tourists, mainly due to its distance from Athens and the limited number of Ferries that visit it.  As a result life in Fourni goes on pretty much as it always would have with very little concern for the outside world.  The locals are friendly and relaxed, always up for a chat, a coffee or something stronger, more people on the island have a boat than have a car, and it’s not unusual to see 4 people perched precariously on the same scooter putting up the main street.

A short scooter ride (with only 2 people on it) from the township of Fourni, the main town on the Island of Fourni, is this amazing beach called Petrokopio.  What makes this beach unique for me is that rather than sand, the beach is covered with rounded worn pieces of marble, from the ancient marble quarry right behind the beach.  If you look carefully on the right hand side of this image (click on the image to enlarge) you can see the discarded half finished pieces from the stone masons, huge square blocks, segments of pillars over a metre across, a stone basin and a huge alter table, complete with scrolled ends, all carved and chipped out of the natural marble dug from the quarry many hundreds of years ago.

Petrokopio beach on the Greek Island of Fourni

Petrokopio beach Quarry, Fourni Island at Twilight

I was unable to find out exactly how long ago this quarry was in use, but i did find out it was the source of stone for a large Athenian temple on a neighbouring island that was built many hundreds of years back, and the discarded half finished pieces were from that project.  In any other place this would be the roped off  site of  an archaeological dig or a museum, but In a country like Greece, where any where you dig you unearth ancient ruins, this is nothing of significance, just another old quarry on a pretty beach… The biggest problem the Greeks had when building the underground in Athens was not the engineering required, it was that they kept running into archaeologically priceless ancient ruins!  in a brilliant solution, each underground station is now an ancient history museum, with the artefacts still half buried in the walls.

For those who are interested, this Image shot on the Canon 5d with the 16-35mm f2.8L lens at 16mm.  Its 13 double exposure pairs aligned in PT Gui Pro, then manually blended.

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