Throughout the year 2015 dragonflies have made me very much aware of their presence. As I hike around the island of Kos they seem to appear unexpectedly, fluttering around in a somewhat carefree manner in the most remote areas of the island. Although they look fragile with their thin little wings and their relatively small delicate bodies, in most cases, they seem to endure in an extremely harsh environment that would put anyone of us to the test. Often enough they seem to be indifferent to the scorching summer heat usually perched on the extremity of some plant or twig awaiting restlessly until they finally decide to fly off to their next destination. I was quite surprised to encounter them in Kefalos where their presence in relatively large numbers is quite common even though there is not much water around. Of course they also abound in what would seem to me to be more like their typical natural habitat, namely around the Tigaki Salt Pan area and of course the Psalidi Lake where I was lucky enough to witness and record their mating ritual. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for the red ones probably because they stand out with their vivid colour that contrasts with the earthy, or the white and blue that we kind of come to expect in a Greek scenery. I hope you enjoy the pictures I have selected and maybe this post will encourage you to seek them out on your next trip to Kos...
The Casa Romana (Roman House/Manor) is situated on Grigoriou Pemptou Street and has been reopened to the public in the spring of 2015 after some extensive restoration which has effectively highlighted the different elements of this unique manor.
The Casa Romana was found and excavated right after the devastating earthquake of 1933. The island was at the time under Italian rule and the local administration decided to proceed to the full restoration of the house, a project that lasted until 1940. The site is comparable to some of the manors that can be found in Pompei, and basically dates back to the 3rd century A.D. although it was definitely built on top of the ruins of a House of the Hellenistic period as attested by some of the statues and a fresco that were found inside. The statues have since been moved to the Archeological Museum of Kos where you can admire them.
The facade of the building will not seem impressive as you approach the site from the road but that should not deter you. One of the most stunning sights of the island awaits you once you pass its door. The building is composed of 36 impressive rooms while the three atriums that invariably include a fountain/pool and plush greenery are soothing sanctuaries that give you an idea of the environment in which a wealthy individual would spend his days during the Roman era. These particular openings also happen to be an essential architectural trait of the structure as they channel the necessary light to expose or reveal the hidden treasures in the more dark, secluded or withdrawn rooms that are situated in their periphery. Frescoes of pristine quality abound and date back to the 3rd century AD for the most part. The most incredible frescoes are to be found in the atriums where the ample light divulges their true essence. The third atrium is by far the biggest, a space of monumental symmetry to which the added extra floor has given an altogether different and definitely interesting perspective.