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宙斯生长的地方:神秘浪漫的克里特岛

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Somewhere deep in Crete's mountains is the cave where Zeus was raised. As you might recall from Greek mythology, Zeus was the supreme god, the one with the unnerving ability to throw thunderbolts. He was born into what today might be called a dysfunctional family. His father wanted him dead. But his mother, Rhea, who knew a trick or two, hid her baby boy to be raised in a cave on Crete's highest mountain.

克里特岛深山中的某个洞穴,就是宙斯生长的地方。你可能记得,在希腊神话中,宙斯是至高无上的天神,拥有击发雷霆的骇人力量。在今天看来,他可说是生于一个不正常的家庭。他的父亲想置他于死地,幸好母亲莉亚懂得略施小计,把小男婴藏到克里特岛最高一座山上的洞穴里。

Crete, Greece's largest island, just may be one of the most perfect vacation spots in Europe because virtually all vacationer's whims can be met on this 130-mile-long chunk of sea-bound rock. And it should get even more attractive once the 2004 Olympics arrive in Greece. Football matches will be held at the 27,000-seat Pankrition Stadium in Iraklion, scheduled for completion this December.

克里特岛是希腊最大的岛屿,它之所以能跻身欧洲最完美的度假胜地之列,可能就是因为在这块四面环海长130英里的巨大盘石上,度假旅客的万千遐想几乎都能实现。而在2004年希腊奥运之后,它势将获得更多注目。奥运足球赛将在伊拉克里翁市的庞克瑞逊体育馆时行,这座可容纳27,000名观众的体育馆预定于今年12月竣工。

Its beaches rival those of the Caribbean but its resorts are cheaper. The price-conscious Brits Discovered it years ago and run daily charters to the island. The island boasts 300 days of sunshine each year. Its mountains are breezily cool and inhabited mostly by goats and their herders. It also has stunning historic sites like the famed 4,000-year-old Minoan palace of Knossos. For more energetic visitors, Crete boasts one of Europe's finest mountain hikes, down the Samaria Gorge. Its seaside towns are so romantically charming, you'll be tempted to hang out at the harbor at sunset, sip cool drinks under a table umbrella and watch the boats bob.

克里特岛的沙滩风情比起加勒比海毫不逊色,但它的度假中心可便宜多了。十分懂得精打细算的英国人许多年前发现了这里,现在经营着每日往返克里特岛的包机。这里每年有300天阳光普照。山上,凉爽微风轻拂着,仅有山羊与牧羊人长居于此。岛上还有着令人叹为观止的历史遗迹,像已有4000年历史、著名的米农文明克诺萨斯宫殿。对精力旺盛的旅客来说,克里特岛更拥有欧洲最棒的山间健行步道之一,就沿着萨马利亚峡谷前进。滨海的小镇又更浪漫迷人了。落日时分,你会禁不住诱惑到港口走走,坐在露天咖啡座下小口小口地啜饮沁凉冷饮,望着点点船只起伏。

Splayed out against an ink-dark sea, the beaches are superb-and plentiful enough to escape from all those German tourists who insist on parading around in the buff.

沙滩向湛蓝的海面展开,不仅美不胜收,而且开阔到让人得以躲避那些坚持光着屁股乱晃的德国观光客。

Athens' Parthenon is old. Built in 447 BC, it was constructed almost 2,000 years before Columbus happened upon America. Now consider this: The Minoan palace at Knossos, just outside the city of Iraklion, was built in 1900 BC, 1,453 years before the Parthenon. Archaeologists have discovered that four palaces were built basically on top of each other on the Knossos hilltop, the first in about 1900 BC.

雅典的帕德嫩神庙称得上古老了。它建于西元前447年,比哥伦布发现美洲早了近2000年。现在想想这个:位于伊拉克里翁市郊的米农文明克诺萨斯宫殿,建造于西元前1900年,比帕德嫩神庙还早1453年。考古学家已经发现,克诺萨斯山丘上那四座一座接着一座建造的宫殿,第一座就是建于西元前1900年。

The ancient Minoans laid terra-cotta pipes to bring water from a nearby hill, creating water pressure in much the same way we use towers. Various pressures were achieved with wide or narrow pipes. With this system, the queen had what might be the world's first flush toilet. Speaking of the queen, she and other ladies of the palace had something that today's women would recognize hair curlers, these made of ivory or clay. But the Minoans sometimes were too clever for their own good. To keep drinking water cool, they lined many of their clay pots with lead. It worked, but it also poisoned the water.

古米农人会利用赤陶管从附近山丘引水,制造水压的方法跟我们使用水塔的原理大致相同。宽窄不一样的管子就会制造出不同的水压。借由这个系统,米农女王可能是拥有了世界上第一座冲水马桶。谈到女王,她与其他宫廷女子还会使用一种现代女性一定认得出来的东西——发卷,有象牙制的,也有粘土制的。不过米农人有时也会聪明反被聪明误。为了让饮水保持冰凉,他们会把铅涂在许多陶罐的内壁。这招的确有效,却也在水中下了毒。

The palace also had a labyrinth, an intricate web of corridors that linked large and small rooms and even separate houses. Corridors are found in the queen's quarters and in the adjacent workers' areas. The labyrinths were supposed to confound any enemies who might get in. The labyrinth also led to the myth of the Minotaur, a fierce half-bull, half-man who ate children and had been banished there.

这座宫殿还有一座迷宫,以错综复杂的回廊连接了大小不同的房间,甚至还连接了外头的屋舍。这些回廊是在皇后的住处与毗邻的劳动区里被发现的。迷宫应该是为了迷惑入侵的敌人而建。这座迷宫也通往了Minotaur神话,Minotaur是只残暴的牛头人身怪物,因为吃了孩童而被放逐到这座迷宫。

But now in the mountains, life is lived much as it has been for ages: Women tend to wash and cook, mustachioed men herd goats. And once in from the hills, the men can loll for hours over a demitasse of fierce black coffee sipped down to the slurry at the cup's bottom. As evening approaches, coffee is replaced by Mythos beer or ouzo, made from pressed grapes and often including star anise, coriander, cloves, angelica root, licorice, mint, wintergreen, fennel, hazelnut, cinnamon and lime blossom. Everywhere people carry the prayer beads of the Greek Orthodox Church.

然而,克里特岛上现在的山林生活,仍和它几个世纪以来的生活没什么两样:女人忙着洗衣煮饭,大胡子男人牧羊。男人们一从山上回来,便会懒洋洋地喝起浓烈的黑咖啡来,一喝就是好几个小时,直到杯底只剩咖啡渣为止。夜晚来临,咖啡就换成了Mythos啤酒或Ouzo酒,Ouzo酒是由葡萄榨汁制成,常会加入八角、胡荽、丁香、当归根、甘草、薄荷、鹿蹄草、茴香、榛果、肉桂以及莱姆花等。人们不管上哪儿都会佩带希腊东正教的念珠。

But as tranquil as it all is now, you can still imagine Rhea spiriting baby Zeus off to a mountain cave where he was raised by three nymphs who gave him milk from a magic goat. It's that magic that survives to this day.

尽管一切如此平静,我们还是可以想象莉亚将小宙斯偷偷藏进山洞中的情景。山洞中,三位仙女喂宙斯喝一只魔力山羊的羊乳,把他抚养长大。至今,这道魔力仍然萦绕着克里特岛。

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