Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Ways To Continually Grow Your Affiliate Checks

The promise of earning profits without really doing much of anything has enticed a lot of people towards affiliate marketing. But does affiliate marketing really work this way?

As an affiliate, all that is required of you is to simply place the merchant’s ad on your website. Then after that, you virtually do nothing but wait for anyone to click on the merchant’s ad and later collect your profits. Easy, right? Well, not quite often. Many affiliates earn almost nothing from their affiliate programs simply because they do nothing. Remember that affiliate marketing is but another form of marketing, and you’ll definitely need to market your merchant’s product for you to earn something.

Successful affiliates in any affiliate program simply don’t sit there and wait for money to come. Why? Because there is no money in simply sitting and waiting. If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing and if you want to continually grow your affiliate checks, you’ve got to do something. Think of ways on how to promote your merchant’s business and products better. Think of ways on how to induce other people to click on the link or ad provided to you by your merchant. Think of ways on how to make your affiliate sales increase!

So if you’re new in affiliate marketing and you try to follow the easy go lucky pit that most unsuccessful affiliate marketers follow, then you’re definitely on the wrong track. But we’re not advising you to stop right there. No. Rather, we want you to take some steps to make your affiliate program work better and gain more commissions for you. How? Here are a few guidelines that may help you to continually grow your affiliate checks:

1) Become an expert on your affiliate product.

You can promote your merchant’s product better if you know a lot of things about it. To become an expert, the best thing you can do is purchase your merchant’s product yourself. This way, you can tell your customers about your first-hand experience using the product. You can even write a testimonial or a personal endorsement ad about it. But if any condition does not permit you to purchase the product, you can at least make a thorough research about it.

2) Host your own website.

Or at least have a domain name that is short and easy to remember. You certainly wouldn’t expect a visitor to remember a very long and incomprehensible URL. And if that’s so, you also wouldn’t expect him to visit your website any time soon. That means less traffic for your page and the less chance for your affiliate ads and links to be clicked.

It is also a good idea to create a private website and offer access to it to anybody who clicks on any of your affiliate ads. Visitors usually get interested with these private websites. Private websites also gives you a venue to promote your back-end affiliate products.

3) Write your own affiliate ads.

Many merchants usually wouldn’t mind if you write and design your own ads for their products, for as long as you ask permission from them and present them your ad before posting it on your site. This gives you a greater advantage over a lot of other affiliates who must be advertising the same affiliate products.

4) Participate in chat rooms, discussion boards, and forums related to your product.

If you use to ignore them before, then it is time for you to start focusing your attention on them. You can start your own chat or join an existing chat related to your product. You don’t have to promote your affiliate product at once, but find the chance to advertise and promote it as you go along. The same would be true for message boards, discussion boards and forums.

5) Create a free ezine or newsletter.

Ezines and newsletters are periodical publications whose aim is to inform a group of people about a certain subject. In your ezines and newsletters, you don’t always have to promote your merchant’s product for this may greatly annoy your subscribers. Rather, find a way to insert your affiliate ads and links on some portions of the letter. Also, don’t forget to promote your ezine or newsletter on your website.

These are but a few guidelines on how you can increase your affiliate sales and continually grow your affiliate checks. Sure there can be a lot of other tips that out there, and if you think they would work, we won’t discourage you from following them. What’s important is that you be able to find a way to: attract more traffic to your site, induce your visitors to click on the ads on your site, and be able to promote your merchant’s products even outside the boundary of your website. If you can do these, there’s no reason for you to fail in affiliate marketing.

Understanding CPanel to Manage Your Website

CPanel is an easy user-interface site that lets you control your host account environment. The main peculiarity of this operating system is that it so simple to use that your below average computer user can’t mess it up. It’s got great features embedded into its panel and some of the features are listed below.

Site Tools

There are such tools available for your use, which are Web Protect (.htaccess editor), Custom error pages, Redirects, Ability to edit MIME types, Ability to edit Apache handlers, Install/Uninstall FrontPage Extensions, Search engine tool submitting and File Manager.

Email

The email program provides you with the possibility to add, remove, and change passwords while managing email accounts. CPanel is also provided by Webmail for the accounts, Auto responders, Forwarders, Mailing Lists, Spam filtering and some more.

Backup

Backup allows you to create copies of account files and databases. The backup menu also allows you to download any automatic backups that were downloaded by your CPanel administrator.

Stats

Here are different tools to survey your site popularity and efficiency. Those are Webalizer web stats, Webalizer FTP stats, Analog stats, AWStats, View latest visitors, View bandwidth usage and View error log modules.

FTP

There is a module that controls FTP accounts (add, remove, change password for its access), Anonymous FTP controls; Ability to change FTP login message and Ability to kill FTP sessions.

Advanced Stuff

You have an ability to add or remove subdomains, Subdomain Redirects and its Stats.

Advanced Tools

You are provided with tools of SSH access tools, Manage GPG keys and Cron jobs.

There are also Pre-Installed CGI Scripts. Those are Interchange Cart, Agora Cart, Bulletin Board, Java Chat, HTML Chat, phpMyChat, CGI Wrapper (for non-suexec installs), Random HTML generator, Advanced Guestbook, Counter Generator, Java Clock Generator, Java Countdown Generator, Secure FormMail clone, CGIEmail, Entropy Search, Entropy Banner. Network Tools are DNS Lookup and Traceroute. Database Management tools includes Managing MySQL databases and phpMyAdmin access.

For beginners, CPanel has a lot of options that are easy to use. CPanel works with most of browsers, such as IE, Opera, Firefox and others.

Athens – What To See And How To See It

[ad_1]

There are so many aspects of current civilization that were birthed in ancient Athens. Among these are theatre, philosophy, democracy, classical art and even the Olympic games. Athens is located on the southern coast of Greece and has existed for over 7,000 years providing a rich culture expressed in a diverse setting. The term diverse fits as you will find ancient relics and sites in some of the same areas where there are trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes all mixed in together. This mixture of the very old and the new create a very unique experience provided nowhere in the world like it is provided in the ancient city of Athens. You will need to be sure your passport is up to day so if you need to add passport pages, be sure to go online and access a passport site to help you with this so you can be on you way.

World travel requires a passport but computers have simplified all passport needs. Even if you have to get an emergency passport, an online passport is available to help you. No one plans to have their travel documents lost or stolen but if this happens, help is as close as the nearest computer.

Athens is a city that contains many sites that make history come alive so this is certainly the ideal place for lovers of history to visit. High on top of the Acropolis you will find the Parthenon. This famous sight has earned the honor of being named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Investigating these ruins takes you back to sights names in Greek Mythology related to gods and goddesses, the titans and many other mythological characters. Admission to this site also opens the Theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the traveler.

Being the birthplace of the performing arts, it is no wonder that the arts and culture are very important to the Athenians. While the National Gallery is certainly large and well known, many smaller art galleries populate the city. Athens is also host to approximately 148 theatres so if you are in the mood for a show, the difficult part will be which performance to see. Among the theatres is the famous Herodes Atticus Theatre.

Using a bike or even walking around this city is a wonderful way to see the sights. Green space is always welcome when you travel to big cities and the National Garden of Athens provides an exceptional treat. Within it can be found a small zoo, ponds with ducks, colorful flowers and beautiful landscape with no shortage of a shady tree to relax under and consider the sights of the day.

For those who would like to shop till your drop, your experience will be a little different in Athens. Rather than large malls and strip centers, you will find street vendors selling custom crafts rather than name brand items. Some of the most visited markets are found on Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Street. You will find endless selections of shoes, purses and jewelry if you visit here and the quality will certainly not disappoint you.

Authentic cuisine is always interesting in a foreign city and Athens is no exception to this rule. Known for their souvlaki, which is comprised of grilled meat, veggies and a special yogurt sauce, this Athenian staple is considered a treat by all who try it.

[ad_2]

Athens – Church of Agioi Theodoroi

[ad_1]

Crossing Odos Dragatsaniou, in the end stands the attractive medieval church of Agioi Theodoroi (St. Theodore), built on the site of a church founded in the ninth century, but in its present form dating from between 1050 and 1075. This small cruciform church with its high narrow dome, multiple roofs that lend it an air of rhythmic grace, narrow mullioned windows and decorated central door surmounted by arches, is a precious gem of eleventh century Byzantine architecture.

The earliest form of Byzantine churches was that of the basilica, a long rectangle divided by two or four ranges of columns into three or five naves. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, the plan changed to that of a Greek cross within a square, dominated by a dome constructed in brick and often combined with one or more subsidiary domes. The exterior walls consist of square-cut stone with thin brick surrounds and are enriched by bands of decoration, carving and the use of color. Few of these churches were large. Apart from St. Theodore, typical examples are the churches of Kapnikarea and St. Eleutherios.

The glory of the Byzantine church lies not so much in the architecture as to the ethereal beauty of its mosaics or frescoes. From the center of the principal dome Christ looks down upon the faithful and below Him are the Apostles. The Virgin appears in the half dome, while around the sanctuary are symbolic figures and emblems connected with the Eucharist. On the West wall opposite the chancel is the Last Judgement. Colored marble and similar material in the lower walls add to the resplendent beauty of the interior.

The liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church requires separation of the altar from the laity. The altar is placed in a chancel screened from the congregation by the iconostasis, i.e. the screen dividing the sanctuary from the church proper. This is adorned with pictures of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, and generally has three doors, the curtains of which are lowered while Mass is being celebrated. The chancel is flanked by the Prothesis, where the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared, and by the Diakonikon, or vestry.

In St. Theodore one can also notice the influence of the East on Byzantine art, which was prominent in the period from the mid-9th to mid-11th centuries, when Byzantine artists used a variety of Oriental motifs in their designs. It is probable that the design of pseudo-kufic characters (the script perfected during the 7th century by calligraphers in the city of Kafa, in present-day Iraq) that decorate the terracotta panel below the windows of the facade was inspired by the work of Arab craftsmen.

[ad_2]

The Acropolis – Athens, Goddess Athena

[ad_1]

Archaeologists tell us that the original city of Athens was situated on the Acropolis. Even in classical times, the Athenians still referred to this area as “the City.” The city of Athens and its patron goddess emerge into the light of history as inseparably coupled. In Mycenaean times each city was built around a central palace, and each palace was under the protection of its patron goddess. Athena was the goddess of the palace on the Acropolis. The names of the city and its goddess are essentially the same: Athena was Athens, and Athens was Athena. She was “The Athenian.” The ancient Athenians seem to have exhibited, during much of their history, precisely those virtues which they traditionally attributed to her. This may be because, when the Athenians imagined their goddess, they did so in their own image.

According to the myth, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful titaness, Metis (“Cunning Intelligence”). Although she repeatedly changed her shape to avoid his unwelcome attentions, as was his way, he persisted. In the end he caught up with her and raped her.

An oracle then announced that Metis would bear Zeus two children: first a daughter then, a son, and the son would be mightier than his father. Just as Zeus had once overthrown and dispossessed his own father, Chronos, so he was destined in his turn, to be overthrown by his own son. In a desperate attempt to avoid sharing his father’s fate, Zeus gave Metis a potion of drugged ambrosia, and then swallowed her whole.

Some time afterwards a terrible headache came upon him. In great pain, he sought the advice of Hermes, whose only suggestion was that Hephaestos, the smith of the gods, should open his head in order to allow the cause of his pain to escape. Zeus was so desperate that even this drastic remedy was preferable to doing nothing, and Hephaestos was duly summoned to cleave open Zeus’ head with his mighty axe. When he did so, to the astonishment of all the immortals, Athena sprang out with a great war-cry, fully-formed, wearing armour and bearing arms.

Zeus’ daughter not only became the patron of many arts at that time normally considered masculine preserves, such as ceramics, she was also credited with a distinctly unfeminine warlike nature. When the Olympian gods were faced with a titanic struggle against the giants, Athena played a major role in the war, defeating the giant Enkelados in single combat. She came to be depicted not merely as a virgin goddess, but, as an ancient Roman writer put it, as a virago: as a female capable of playing a leading role in a world dominated by men.

It came to be said that the reason for the birth of this goddess lay in a wager between Zeus and his consort, Hera, as to which of them could generate the better progeny entirely alone and unaided. By herself, Hera managed to produce only the crippled god, Hephaestos and a monster; while Zeus was able to bring forth, in Athena, one of the greatest of the Immortals.

This seems to have been a picturesque reference to a widespread belief, which was to appear later in the works of the philosopher Aristotle: that the father alone is responsible for generating his children, and for providing them with their inherited characteristics, and that their mother affords them nothing more than a temporary shelter and sustenance in her womb during her pregnancy.

This is a striking example of the strong climate of male chauvinism which dominated the early classical period in ancient Greece, which is very evident in myth and legend.

[ad_2]

Top 10 Ways to Get Quality Inbound Links

If we look at close quarters, we will find that inbound links to websites have made the task of looking for both quality and quantity data much easier, thus saving on our most valued resource time. Inbound links are actually hyperlinks transiting domains. Primarily, they were devised for being used in net navigation but in recent times they have gained importance in search engine optimization (SEO). Moreover, nowadays the amount of quality inbound links on ones website is an important parameter taken into consideration by search engines to rank web pages, mostly in the form of blogging, content writing and article writing. So in order to increase the traffic on your website, creating quality inbound links is a key ingredient and following is listed the top 10 ways by which you can do it, and get more and more people hooked up to you site!!!

Article Writing.
One of the best ways to create links is to write articles and submit them to article directory sites. You just have to use your skill of innovative ideas, and pen down your thoughts for a number of websites that accept it, and thereby help in getting inbound links. Another advantage is that you can send the same article to a number of sites, thus reeling in more links for the same piece of writing. In addition, in case you consider yourself not that good with your linguistic abilities, you can always hire writers who can do in the work for you. But one thing that should be kept in mind while article writing, is that the topic should be related to the material on your website. So when people come across it they click on your URL to get further information that acts as your inbound link. Even content writing is no different from it. One way flow of written content helps in generating inbound links.

Reciprocal Link Exchanges.
Another method of getting inbound links is by establishing a symbiotic relationship with another party.
Herein, you exchange a link with a websiteas in you add a link to their website and they add a link to yours and it becomes all the more easier if the both the sites are related to the same kind of information, thus proving beneficial to either party.

Provide a Service.
This way is actually a very economical and smart tactic for gaining more traffic. If one provides a useful service, not only will the people who want to avail it will visit but the websites who share similar matter will also try to link to your website, thus giving added benefit. It can include article writing, content writing and blogging.

Web Directories.
One of the simplest and the easiest ways by which you can get inbound links is via web directories. There will be ample directories on the internet which contain similar types of information as on your website. So all that you have to do is get yourself in them, so that each time a user visits the directory they get a chance to look at your website as well.

Email Signature File.
Another smart way of getting inbound links is to set up a signature file in the emails you send. In this way, each time you send an email to someone, that person will be able to click on the link and visit your website. Apart from increasing traffic this technique will also help the ones really interested in getting useful information from it.

Webrings.
Yet another system by which one can have more and more users looking at ones website is to use webrings. It is a kind of give and take relationship. Each member of the webring advertises about another relevant site by displaying a small banner on their site, and in return similarly your site is advertised on the other ones in the webring.

Post in Newsgroups.
There are a number of newsgroups working online. These provide information about anything and everything going around. So, including your websites address in one of these groups is a sure shot method to increase traffic on your site.

Social Bookmarking Site.
Social book marketing sites are the latest buzz in getting more traffic. The principle by which these sites work is that they allow you to save bookmarks online but not in the traditional way of storing them in the list of favorites, but specifically categorizing them with key words.

Blogging.
Blogging, in simple terms, is the most direct way to approach your target users. Blogs are nothing but web pages wherein you can deal with your consumers directly by personally writing in your website and updating changes made from time to time, so that they are continuously in touch with whats happening and they get first hand information about the available content and facilities youre offering.

Word of Mouth.
Pulling customers to your website by word of mouth is a fun way of doing it. Apart from this you can write blogs, add tell a friend applications, or write testimonials. By doing this, other people, in order to reply, will obviously log on to your site, and this helps you achieve your target increasing the traffic to your website!!!

If we look at close quarters, we will find that inward links to websites have made the task of looking for both quality and amount data much easier, thus saving on our most valued resource time. Inbound links are actually hyperlinks transiting domains. Primarily, they were devised for being used in net navigation but in recent times they have gained importance in search engine optimization (SEO). Moreover, now the amount of quality inbound links on ones website is an important parameter taken into consideration by look engines to rank web pages, mostly in the form of blogging, substance writing and article writing. So in order to increase the traffic on your website, creating quality inbound links is a key ingredient and following is listed the top 10 ways by which you can do it, and get more and more people hooked up to you site!!!

Article Writing.
One of the best ways to create links is to write articles and submit them to clause directory sites. You just have to use your skill of innovative ideas, and pen down your thoughts for a number of websites that accept it, and thereby help in getting arriving(a) links. Another advantage is that you can send the same clause to a number of sites, thus reeling in more links for the same piece of writing. In addition, in case you take yourself not that good with your linguistic abilities, you can always hire writers who can do in the work for you. But one thing that should be kept in mind while article writing, is that the topic should be germane to the cloth on your website. So when people come across it they click on your URL to get encourage entropy that acts as your inbound link. Even content written material is no different from it. One way flow of written content helps in generating inbound links.

Reciprocal Link Exchanges.
Another method of getting inbound links is by establishing a symbiotic family relationship with another party.
Herein, you exchange a link with a websiteas in you add a link to their website and they add a link to yours and it becomes all the more easier if the both the sites are related to to the same kind of information, thus proving beneficial to either party.

Provide a Service.
This way is actually a very stinting and smart tactic for gaining more traffic. If one provides a utilitarian service, not only will the people who want to avail it will visit but the websites who share similar matter will also try to link to your website, thus giving added benefit. It can include article writing, content writing and blogging.

Web Directories.
One of the simplest and the easiest ways by which you can get inbound links is via web directories. There will be ample directories on the internet which contain similar types of info as on your website. So all that you have to do is get yourself in them, so that each time a user visits the directory they get a opportunity to look at your website as well.

Email Signature File.
Another smart way of acquiring inbound links is to set up a signature file in the emails you send. In this way, each time you send an email to someone, that person will be able to click on the link and visit your website. Apart from increasing dealings this technique will also help the ones in truth interested in acquiring utilitarian information from it.

Webrings.
Yet another system by which one can have more and more users looking at ones website is to use webrings. It is a kind of give and take relationship. Each member of the webring advertises about another relevant site by displaying a small banner on their site, and in return similarly your site is advertised on the other ones in the webring.

Post in Newsgroups.
There are a total of newsgroups workings online. These allow for information about anything and everything going around. So, including your websites address in one of these groups is a sure shot method to step-up traffic on your site.

Social Bookmarking Site.
Social book marketing sites are the latest buzz in acquiring more traffic. The principle by which these sites work is that they allow you to save bookmarks online but not in the traditional way of storing them in the list of favorites, but specifically categorizing them with key words.

Blogging.
Blogging, in unproblematic terms, is the most organize way to glide path your target users. Blogs are nothing but web pages wherein you can deal with your consumers like a shot by personally writing in your website and updating changes made from time to time, so that they are continuously in touch with whats happening and they get first hand selective information about the uncommitted subject and facilities youre offering.

Word of Mouth.
Pulling customers to your website by word of mouth is a fun way of doing it. Apart from this you can write blogs, add tell a friend applications, or write testimonials. By doing this, other people, in order to reply, will obviously log on to your site, and this helps you achieve your target increasing the traffic to your website!!!

Ancient History – Athens

[ad_1]

Archaeologists have found evidence that Athens has been inhabited from at least the fifth millennium BC. The site would have been attractive to early settlers for a number of reasons: its location in the midst of productive agricultural terrain; its closeness to the coast and the natural safe harbour of Piraeus; the existence of defensible high ground, the Acropolis (from akron and polis, or ‘city on the high ground’); and the proximity of a natural source of water on the north-west side of the Acropolis.

Traces of Mycenaean fortifications from the thirteenth century AC can still be seen on the Acropolis, including some foundations belonging to what must have been a palatial structure. The fortifications, known as the ‘Pelasgian’ walls (after the indigenous people believed to have built them before the arrival of the Greeks around 2000 BC), remained in use until the Persian Wars of 490-480 BC. One stretch behind the temple of Athena Nike appears to have been deliberately preserved in the Classical period.

There was a decline of Mycenaean society across the Greek world around the end of the twelfth century BC. Whether this was directly connected with the Trojan War (around 1184 BC), or the so-called Dorian Invasion thought to have taken place soon after this conflict, Athens does not appear to have succumbed to an attack. The Mycenaean royal family of Pylos is said to have taken refuge in Athens after their city’s fall to the Dorians. One of its members, Codros, became king of his adoptive city.

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization left Greece in political, economic and social decline, accompanied by loss of artistic skills, literacy and trade networks. The Mycenaean form of writing, known as Linear B, was completely forgotten, and the Greek alphabet did not emerge until the late eighth century BC as the new form of writing. At this time city states began to emerge throughout the Greek world, governed by oligarchies, or aristocratic councils. Thirteen kings ruled in Athens after Codros, until in 753 BC they were replaced by officials with a ten-year term, known as decennial archons, and in 683 BC by annually appointed eponymous archons.

Conflict between the oligarchs and the lower classes, many of whom had been reduced to slavery, led to a series of reforms that paved the way for the emergence of the world’s first true democracy. Around 620 BC the lawmaker Dracon set up wooden tablets on the Acropolis known as axones. These were inscribed with civil laws and punishments so harsh that the death penalty was prescribed even for minor crimes, giving rise to the term `draconian’ which is still used today. Dracon’s intervention did little to ensure order, prompting representatives of the nobles and lower classes in 594 BC to appoint the statesman and poet Solon as archon.

Solon terminated aristocratic rule, setting up a representational government where participation was determined not by lineage or bloodline, but wealth. He eliminated slavery based on debt, and restituted freedom and land to those who had been enslaved. Solon created a `Council of Four Hundred’ from equal numbers of representatives of the Ionian tribes to which the Athenians claimed to belong, and instituted four classes of citizenry.

Peisistratos, Solon’s younger cousin, became tyrant (tyrannos) of Athens in 545 BC. He ensured the Solonian constitution was respected and governed benevolently. After Peisistratos’ death, however, things took a negative turn and anti-Peisistratid sentiment grew. By 510 BC King Cleomenes of Sparta was asked to assist in deposing Peisistratos’ son Hippias. Hippias sought refuge in Persia at the court of King Darius.

Soon after, the aristocrat Cleisthenes promised to institute further reforms giving a more direct role to citizens in government. His reforms were passed in 508 BC, and democracy was established in Athens. A new `Council of Five Hundred’ (the Boule) replaced the ‘Council of Four Hundred’, with equal representation from the various tribes. Cleisthenes is also credited with instituting the system of ostracism, which ‘voted’ an individual considered dangerous to democracy into exile for ten years.

It is uncertain when the former Mycenaean citadel was transformed into a sacred precinct but by the late eighth century BC a modest temple (or perhaps more than one) stood on the plateau. The oldest and holiest cult image on the Acropolis was the statue of Athena Polias (Protectress of the City), a crude olive-wood figure, so old that Athenians of the Classical period believed it had either fallen from heaven or been made by Cecrops or Erichthonios. This sacred image of Athena was ritually ‘dressed’ every year in a peplos, a sacred robe, as part of the Panathenaic festival.

A temple is thought to have been built around 700 BC to the south of the later, Classical Erechtheion, to house the statue of Athena Polias. The first major building of which there are significant remains on the Acropolis was the so-called ‘Bluebeard Temple’, built in the Archaic period around 560 BC. The ‘Bluebeard Temple’ is thought by some to have stood to the south of the later Erechtheion. Ancient texts mention a mysterious building or precinct contemporary to the ‘Bluebeard Temple’, called the Hecatompedon, or ‘Hundred-footer’. Whatever this structure or place was, it gave its name to the principal room of the Classical Parthenon, perhaps because the later building occupies the same site.

With the expulsion of Hippias a new temple was built on the Acropolis, its foundations still visible to the south of the later Erechtheion. This building, the Archaios Naos, or ‘ancient temple’, is likely to have been deliberately commissioned around 506 BC as a replacement for the ‘Bluebeard Temple’.

The first Persian invasion of 490 BC saw the victory of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon against the forces of King Darius of Persia. The following year the elated Athenians leveled an area on the south side of the Acropolis and began construction of the Old Parthenon. A new gateway to the Acropolis was also commenced, known as the Old Propylaia.

This post-Marathonian building program on the Acropolis came to a violent end in 480 BC when Xerxes, son of King Darius, led a second Persian invasion of Greece. Athens had to be evacuated and Xerxes razed the city and buildings on the Acropolis. Under the command of Themistocles, the Athenians destroyed the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis. Victory over the Persians was ensured after the battle of Plataea (479 BC), to the northwest of Athens, when a combined Greek army annihilated the Persians.

In the aftermath of the battle of Plataea, a vow was made by the victors never to rebuild the shrines that were destroyed in the war, preserving them instead as memorials for later generations.

Pericles, who was a general and statesman, came to power in Athens around 461 BC. He considered the oath of Plataea to have been fulfilled, as thirty years had elapsed from the Persian invasion, and proceeded to reconstruct the temples on the Acropolis. He gathered together the best architects and artists in the city and plans were drawn up to erect new buildings that would outshine those torn down by the Persians. The Periclean building programme enhanced the lower city with new monuments, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, and the Painted Stoa or Poikile situated near the Agora (marketplace).

[ad_2]

Athens – The Destination

[ad_1]

Athens was named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which is certainly fitting for the birthplace itself. Evidence of its ancient heyday is everywhere, in the remnants of monuments, statuary and sacred sites that are still revered as survivors of one of history’s most important eras.

A Poseidon adventure in art

In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the god of sea, so it is only fitting that the astoundingly wrought bronze statue of him was raised from the bottom of the Aegean Sea, where it lay for centuries after a shipwreck off the Cape of Artemision. The two-meter tall figure stands with arms extended and leaning forward on its left leg. The right hand once held a trident, and the unknown sculptor clearly was a master in accurately duplicating the complicated balancing act that goes into the seemingly simple motion of throwing a spear.

This work of art is one of the many stunning bronzes at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. The museum’s collection – which includes pieces that date all the way back to the prehistoric period – offers the best collection of Greek art in the world. Renovations closed the museum for a year and half, but it was reopened just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

At 260 feet above the city, the Acropolis (“high city”) is not only the highest point in Athens, but for many people it is the high point of any visit to Greece. It is the oldest known settlement in Greece and was a sacred site for ancient Athenians.

During the period of 448 to 420 B.C., the distinguished Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned the construction of four new monuments on the Acropolis at the site of former ruins. The Athenian sculptor Phidias presided over the construction and interior design. The Ionic Erechtheum includes the Porch of Caryatids, with its column in the shape of monumental female figures that identify remains a mystery. The Ionic Temples of Athena Nike, dedicated to the cult of Athena as the goddess of victory, was built during the Peloponnesian War, its frieze depicts the Greek victory over the Persians in the battle of Plataea. The Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis with rows of both Doric and Ionic columns, replaced an earlier version destroyed by the Persians. And of course, the Acropolis remains home to what’s left of the Parthenon.

The Parthenon, designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, took 15 years to complete. It was the closest to Pericles’ heart: Among various friezes depicting life among gods, the large statue of Athena represented his homage to the goddess and to the greatness of Athens.

Even in A.D. 131, savvy developers like the Roman Emperor Hadrian recognized the importance of signage. “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus,” reads the inscription on Hadrian’s arch, situated at the foot of the Acropolis and once the marker between Hadrianopolis and the Athens city limits. The side facing the Acropolis and ancient Athens reads, ” This is Athens, the city of Theseus.”

Like all the surrounding monuments and the Athens infrastructure itself, Hadrian’s Arch has undergone a major facelift. The 60-foot high archway, constructed of Pentelic marble, upheld by columns with Corthinian capitals and topped by a series of Corinthians columns, lost a bit of structural stability in the mid-18th century, when 8 of its columns were removed.

Restorers shored up the arch, cleaned away centuries of pollution and repaired its cracks, just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Evzones

The Evzones were once the elite soldiers of the Greek army. Today they are the presidential guards, a ceremonial unit that maintains watch over The Parliament, The Presidential Mansion and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers wear a traditional and highly photogenic uniform comprising a scarlet cap with a long black tassel, a cotton tunic, black knee tassels above white stockings, red clogs with black pompons and a woolen kilt called a fustanella. The fustanella has 400 pleats, one for each year that the Greeks were on the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. Bearing leather cartridge belts and rifles with a bayonet, the soldiers maintain strict physical discipline as they stand at attention and resist tourists’ attempts to distract them.

A changing of guard is performed daily before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but on Sundays, the complete ceremony – involving an army band and dozens of soldiers – is conducted.

Alice in Wonderland

Imagine Alice in Wonderland’s tumble into a magical world, and you will have an idea what this-off-beaten-path attraction in the Village of Paiania is like. Far larger than a rabbit hole, Koutouki Cave is a natural wonder that will awe you with its colors and formations. In 1926, a goat disappeared from its herd where it was grazing on the slope of Mount Ymittos. A search turned up a small crevice, and a brave soul descended by rope into the abyss below. The goat had not survived the fall, but its intended rescuer returned with a story of a beautiful underground chamber.

The vertical cave consists of a 38.5 meter shaft that opens onto a large cavern with a diameter of about 60 meters. Guided tours take visitors in through a man-made entrance and lead them on a path through stalactites and stalagmites formed by mineral deposits from water seeping through the limestone of the mountain. The tour ends with a light show accompanied by classical music. It’s just a short taxi ride from Athens to nearby Paiania.

[ad_2]

Choosing the Right Online Sports Betting Website

Sports betting can add to the enjoyment of viewing sports games. You can easily place bets on your favorite teams from an online website. Here are some tips on how to choose the right online sports betting website.

Legal.

Never place bets with illegal or dubious online websites. In every country, there are laws in place for sports betting activities. Make sure that the website is completely legitimate and legal before opening an account and placing bets. Websites that are illegal will eventually get shut down when the relevant authorities come down on them. It’s only a matter of time. And if you have any credits left in your account, they will be forfeited when that happens. In a worst case scenario, you may even get into trouble with the authorities. So never ever place a bet if you are unsure.

Cutting edge software.

Established sports betting websites usually use cutting edge software to track all bets. Software should be easy to use, and reliable. In other words, if you place some bets and you happen to win, the winnings must be credited correctly.

Credibility.

To ensure that winnings are credited promptly and correctly, only open accounts with credible websites. You can easily determine the credibility of a website just by reading user reviews. Don’t depend on the testimonials that are posted on the sports betting websites. Take the time to visit online betting forums and ask around. If there is something shady going on, the community will alert you.

Multiple payment options.

Once you have established the credibility of a website, you may start placing bets. A good sports betting website should offer multiple payment options such as echecks, eNets, credit cards, etc. This will provide you with more convenience.

In addition, information about how the winnings will be posted to your bank account is also very important. You may need to setup your account correctly to start withdrawing winnings. If in doubt, you can always send an email from the website.

Minimal risk.

If you are just starting to place bets, it is a good idea to minimize your risk. Many websites offer generous rebates and bonuses for new customers. For instance, they may absorb up to 50% of your first 3 bets. Such rebates and bonuses will help minimize your risks. To keep the risks to a minimum level, you may also wish to compare bonuses before signing up.

Wide selection of games.

As a sports fan, it is very likely that you may be interested in several types of sports. For example, you may like basketball and soccer. For this reason, there should be a wide selection of games so that you can place all your bets in one single location.

Choosing the right online sports betting website will provide you lots of fun and enjoyment. So always take the time to choose one that is reputable and has the right technology.

Seeing the Sights of Athens Through Taxi Tours

[ad_1]

There is no denying how Athens is one of the most important sites in the world for political, economic and aesthetic advancement and enhancement. For many people, it IS the most significant place in the world, period. And this birthplace of western philosophy seems to have fanned its mysticism throughout the ages. Today, Athens is still one of the most visited sites in the world. Many people want to retrace the footsteps of famous philosophers, writers and artists. Not to mention that Athens has a rugged beauty that merits separate praise.

This busy city is made up of twelve hills, seven of which play a historical role in Athens’ rise. Acropolis and Lycavittos are the two most prominent as it is where most of the important historical landmarks such as the Parthenon, Temple of Athena, Theatre of Dionysius and Temple of Olympian Zeus is found. Being made up of seven hills though, Athens is a difficult place to tour if you’re planning to do it via foot. Unless you plan to isolate yourself to a particular section throughout your trip, let’s say in Acropolis, for example, then conquering it via foot would be fine. But if you want an overall tour of the area, trekking it just won’t do especially when there’s a time element involved. You can rely on their Metro train system which is quite effective and cheap to boot. One can take you to the city center for €6. For those traveling in groups, there are packages for three or more which can be purchased in the different stations. Buses and a suburban railway system will also do.

However if comfort and convenience is a priority, then taking an Athens taxi is the best mode of transportation whilst in the area. You can get one in advance prior to arriving so an itinerary can be planned for you. Getting a package in advance will also garner you discounts. Should you decide to get one from the airport though, you will be paying €30-35 for the single ride and you can negotiate for a taxi tour from there. Taxi tours in Athens is one of the easiest ways to go around in the area. Overall price will depend on what you and your driver will agree to. Be careful when flagging taxis. Some of them may take advantage that you’re a tourist and will not flag down their meters in hopes for getting a bulk price. There are also tariffs involved. Make sure that the Tariff is Tariff 1. Tariff 2 doubles the rate and is applicable after midnight. Make sure to read the driver well. If you think the rate is abnormally high, then check with an English-speaking local to confirm the price.

Make sure also that you’re getting taxis from a reliable company. Although canary yellow taxis are very common in Athens, you will have no hold if the driver tries to fraud you whereas a taxi that hails under a company will be more careful. As common practice, taxis follow two rates, one that applies inside the city limits including the airport and one that applies outside of it. The minimum fare of Rate 1 is €1 while the minimum fare of Rate 2 is €2.65. If you’re from the airport, the fare will start at €3.20 and if there’s heavy luggage involved then a minimum rate will be added to that too.

Taxi tours can be quite tricky but many attest that it’s all worth it considering you get to see the sights of Athens at your own time and pace.

[ad_2]