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Photo of the Week: Boats Bob in the Waters of Melissani Lake, Kefalonia, Greece

  • Nestoras Gioulatos (photo and text)
  • 20 June 2010

IN NOVEMBER 2010, THIS IMAGE WAS SELECTED AS SECOND RUNNER UP TO THE WHL GROUP PHOTO OF THE YEAR.

The Greek island of Kefalonia is home to Melissani Lake, a pool of still water captured in a natural cave. It has always been a site for religious ceremonies. The caves are breathtakingly beautiful and, as enclosed spaces, are an ideal venue for rites associated with the divine.

Photo of the Week (20 June 2010) - Boats Bob in the Waters of Melissani Lake, Kefalonia, Greece

In 1951, Melissani Lake was explored for the first time in modern days and an ancient lamp was found on an islet. Twelve years later, the archaeologist Spiros Marinatos found a clay figure of Pan: a disk with a relief of Pan surrounded by dancing nymphs and a shred with a relief of a female figure.

When you experience the magic dance of the sunbeams reflected from crystal-clear water on to the stalactites, then you might understand the argument that Homer’s Ithaca was Kefalonia. Melissani Lake is identified as “the cave of the Nymphs” as described in the Odyssey.

This photo was taken during one of the many visits I have made to this lake. Most of the time I take tour groups there, but this time I went alone, early in the season to capture the lazy days of people working on the lake. As you can see, they are seizing the sunlight. The time was just after 14:00 when the sun is in the centre of the sky and the effect of the sunbeams entering the cave is beyond compare.

No special adjustments had to be made to this photo. I just had to be in the right place the right time and let nature do the trick!

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caves, ecotours, Europe, Greece, holy sites, lakes, personal experience, photo of the week, Southern Europe,

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