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Shepherd Entertainment gives you the history of Parnes, the highest peak in Attica and takes you on a tour of its sites and ...
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At 1415m, Parnes is the highest peak in Attica. In the towns of – and --, along the road that winds up the mountain, tourism is the main source of income today. The attractive open air restaurants are frequented by Athenians too. The Agia Trias resort beneath the peak is accessible by road but it’s easier to take the cable car. The cable car system was built in 1971 and then completely rebuilt in 2000. The departure hall is lavish enough with its spiral staircase and state of the art chandelier. But at the peak station, the visitor actually steps right into a luxury casino. The green slopes of the Pyrenees are easy to recognize amidst the other mostly bare and yellowish brown mountains. There’s little water and the rock is mainly limestone. The mountains hold lots of marble and other valuable materials. In ancient times, -- was known for its rich silver mine. In the smaller valleys, olive groves are interspersed with orchards of grapes, oranges, lemons and figs. Cereals produced include wheat, barley, rye, maiz and rice. Scented herbs often grow wild in fields and at the roadside. On the rocks, Mediterranean plants grow among the thistles, agave, aloe vera and frigana. Goats, sheep and donkeys graze in the meadows. Use of the cable car is free of charge. This is the casino’s gift to prospective customers. However, many won't spend money at the tables, bring a tent to enjoy the fantastic view. The Pyrenees is surrounded on three sides by tall mountains and only towards the south do we have an open view of the sea. We can see the island of Salamis, famous for another ancient battle. As at marathon, the Greeks faced the Persian force far superior in numbers, however, this is a maritime battle. The story is told by Aeschylus in his tragedy, the Persians. Athens beach vacation resort begins at some 10km from the Olympian. The section of the Saronic Gulf between Athens and Cape Sounion was called coast of Apollo. There are many important settlements here for example Agios Kosmas. After that, the place fell into deep slumber and it was repopulated only from 1922 when thousands of Greeks left Asia Minor and settled here. However, real growth had to wait until the advent of mass tourism. Since then the area has come to be known as Attica’s Riviera. Tourists swarmed the Palaio Faliron, Kalamaki and Varkiza. New and increasingly sophisticated hotels are cropping up along the jagged coastline with its sandy and rocky beaches and they inevitably promote the development of the area. Hotels are followed by well equipped beach facilities. Restaurants, taverns, gift shops, nightclubs, casinos, golf courses and sports facilities. The Glyfada area is especially rich in hillside villas and holiday homes. Its beach, Astir Beach is the best on the coast. Close to the town, we find the two airports that serve Athens, Hellinikon and the west terminal. The name Vouliagmeni means sunken. The town took its name in ancient time from a small lake wedged between precipitous rocks. Its sulfurous water fed by warm underground currents is used for medicinal purposes. Almost every Greek coastal town has a fish market. Sometimes, it’s found next to the vegetable and meat market but more often in the harbor. The Glyfada market is one of the latter type where the produce of the sea is sold straight from the boat. The catch is so fresh it wiggles. There’re tunas, cods, mullets, halibuts and sharks. Tiny sardines are netted in bulk but the nets also trapped squids and octopi. Both are popular in Greek cuisine just like shrimp and other shellfish. Seafood is prepared as soup or as a starter, warm or cold, and it’s grilled or made into pita filling or as a salad as well. Squid rings are delicious fried in batter and octopus is often served in a fresh tomato sauce. Clams and shrimp tails are often used in salads. The wild romance of the rocky coastline between Kalamaki and Glyfada rivals the beauty of the Greek islands. The hotels lining the beach are cheaper than in downtown Athens and it’s easy to get around either by car or by public transportation.