Guided by professional photographer Anton Harfst you’ll learn to capture the Peloponnese in a new and challenging way. Daily sessions on technique and composition are held on special locations, like famous Sparta, Mystras and Monemvasia and places far off the beaten path – locations that feature in Damian Lawrence’ novel The Guardians of Time. We invite you to use the novel and local history to create great and storytelling photos. This photo tour is open for everyone with a digital camera – DSLR or advanced compact. Assignments and instructions will be given according to the level and experience of each participant.
The intriguing landscape of the southern Peloponnese – dominated by the long ranges of the Parnon and Taygetos Mountains – is a paradise for lovers of nature (photography). Throughout history its scenery has inspired ancient Spartans, Byzantine emperors, Greek freedom fighters, poets and modern writers. Among the latter is Damian Lawrence, writer of The Guardians of Time sequel. He combines history and science fiction in enticing novels, with events largely taking place in the south of the Peloponnese during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman enemy.
Day 1: Arrival. Arrival in Tsintzina, a beautiful mountain village in Mt. Parnon. Welcome and introduction. You get to know your tour guides Anton Harfst and Laurien van den Hoven, your fellow participants and the program for this workshop. After the introduction we will have dinner just off the village square. We stay overnight in Polydroso (Tsintzina).
Day 2: Mt. Parnonas - Tsintzina (Polydroso). The attractive mountain village of Tsintzina is nicely tucked away in a pine-forested valley of the Parnon Mountains. It is here that the Trustees undertake their first attempts to tamper with history, and where the Guardians of Time pick up their trail. We’ll take a hike up the mountain to the lookout where it all started.
The constant sound of water gives the place a tranquil atmosphere, but the forest fire that raged through the Parnon Mountains as recent as 2007 has left its clear marks not very far from the village. The marks are similar to those of 1825, when burning Greek villages, fields and forest was a known war tactic by the Ottomans and their Egyptian counterparts. The combination of the new, fresh green undergrowth and the black burnt tree trunks will challenge you to make great photos. We stay overnight in Polydroso (Tsintzina).
Day 3: Byzantine Castle of Mystras and remains of ancient Sparta Ibrahim Pasha – the Greek-Egyptian in charge of invading the Peloponnese of behalf of the Ottomans – and his army camp were based in the valley, amidst the ruins of ancient Sparta and with a view towards the flourishing city of Mystras. The castle town was plundered by the Egyptians in 1825. Today the deserted Byzantine city with its churches, monasteries and crumbled walls provides us with great photo opportunities. After lunch we’ll pay a visit to the ruins of ancient Sparta amidst age-old olive trees. We stay overnight in Polydroso (Tsintzina).
Day 4: Valley of the Evrotas river. Today we travel through the Evrotas Valley in the direction of Monemvasia. Our first stop is the old monastery of Vrontamas, built in a cave above the river plunging his way through the narrow gorge. It is an eerie place, with its well kept frescoes of equestrian saints, silence but the sound of dripping water in the moss covered basin and the knowledge that hundreds of men, women and children were slain here by the Egyptian army on its way to its summer residence in Methoni. Our next stop is Geraki, with its beautiful churches and the byzantine fortress overlooking the modern village. We’ll enjoy our lunch in Geraki before making our way further south to Monemvasia. We stay overnight in Monemvasia.
Day 5: Monemvasia. The medieval fortress town of Monemvasia, built on strategic rock just off the south eastern coast of the Peloponnese, is an inspiring place – and home base of the Guardians of Time. The city has only one entrance, hence its name, and dates back to the 6th century AD. The lower town, with its narrow and winding alleys and stone buildings, is completely restored in natural, pastel colours. The upper town on top of the rock is covered with fascinating ruins and the beautiful restored church of Aghia Sofia.
Monemvasia is not an easy place to photograph, as the use of colours seem to make the city blend with the rock it is built on. You’ll be given plenty of time today to wander through the city, and discover ways to use light to capture the charm of the place. We stay overnight in Monemvasia.
Day 6: Departure. After breakfast you travel back to Athens or continue your journey to another destination in Greece.
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Europe Greece Leisure Pursuit Photography and Videography Archeology/History
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