I was down again with flu for the second time this year. I think my immune system is getting weak – and I only have myself to blame for it. I haven’t been physically active much of this year so I guess that’s why my health is so messed up.
On to this week’s Sunday Stamps. I missed several weeks already – sorry Viridian – and I don’t want to miss some more so here’s my entry for the theme, water.
Looking at the image on the stamp, there is a beautiful serenity about this mythical river.
However, rivers are more than just what they are. Rivers, in Greek mythology, separate the underworld (Hades) and the land of the living in most part by five primary rivers: Styx, Lethe, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Acheron.
The River Acheron (Ἀχέρων) is located in the Epirus (Ήπειρος) region of Northwest Greece. It is a wide, swampy body of water.A large number of poets and writers of the ancient Greek tradition referred to Acheron as the river whose name was inextricably linked with the transition of the society of dead souls.
Acheron is the first river that Dante and Virgil must cross in Dante’s Inferno, and it divides the truly suffering souls from the neutral ones. Acheron translates as the “River of Woe” where, in Greek mythology, Charon, the boatman, ferried the newly dead souls (those that can pay him, anyway) across into Hades. This brought to mind a scene from the movie Troy where the Greek soldiers placed coins on the eyes of their dead. It is a practice by the ancient Greeks with the belief that the coins will be used to pay Charon so they could cross the river.
Mythological references aside, the Acheron river attracts many local and foreign tourists because of its sheer beauty and flowing water. It has now evolved – from the supernatural place where souls travel to their final destination in the underworld to that of the popular natural attraction, with its beautiful springs, hiking trails, and placid waters ideal for many water sports. Which is why in June 2012, the above commemorative stamp was issued (in a series of six; click here to see all stamps) to promote outdoor activities under the theme, Touring Greece.
I want to thank my very good friend, Macel, for sending me the postcard during their holiday in Skiathos. The postcard will be posted soon, promise ;).