Monday, January 28, 2013

History Mystery: The Extraordinary Creatures of Myth and Legend

The Sphinx and the Minotaur, Centaurs and Gorgons, dragons and unicorns- ancient mythology and medieval fables are teeming with strange creatures. Who created the often terrifying and repellent beings that haunt our dreams, and why? Where does the Sphinx come from? How did the Sirens and centaurs come into being, and how was the Hydra created? How are the Gorgons and the Minotaur related? And why did our distant ancestors invent such bizarre creatures?

The origins of many of these mythological creatures lie with the wealth of stories told by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians. We owe their survival largely to the Greeks, who included these fabulous tales in the mythological structure of their world and passed them on to Western civilization. The creatures that feature in these stories all have one thing in common: each is a hybrid, or a creature born out of the union of two different beings. What is unthinkable in nature is made possible through the divine origin of their creators.

Greek mythology is full of such hybrids, who were conceived by the various deities or by their descendants. Thus the old sea god Phorcys and his sister, the sea monster Ceto, produced Echidna, a creature half nymph and half serpent. Echidna herself gave birth to other monsters: the three headed dog Cerberus, who guarded the gats of the underworld; the Hydra, a nine headed water snake with the body of a hound, who lived in the swamps of Lerna; the Chimaera, a fire spitting monster, part lion, part goat and part snake; and the Sphinx, who, unlike the celebrated stone Sphinx of Egypt, was a female creature with the face of a woman, the body of a lion and bird’s wing. Certainly no less horrible were Echidna’s three sisters, the Gorgons the most famous of who was Medusa. The Gorgons had golden wings and hands of bronze; each had a long red tongue handing from her mouth and their canine teeth resembled those of a wild boar. Instead of hair, a repulsive nest of living snakes writhed around their heads and anyone who gazed upon their grotesque faces was instantly turned to stone.

The ancient Greeks regarded the Sirens maidens with the bodies of birds, who are enticing singing lured seamen to their doom, as the three daughters of the river god Achelous and one of the three Muses. The centaurs, which combine the upper body of a man with a horses’ torso and legs, were fathered by Apollo’s son, Centauros, with the obliging co operation of a herd of mares. According to myth, human beings have played an important role in the procreation of hybrid creatures. Thus, the famous and feared Minotaur, a human with the head of a bull, was born out of the union of Pasiphae, the wife of the Cretan King Minos, and a white bull sent by the sea god, Poseidon.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mauritius Holidays

Life is full of hectic schedules and occasionally one need to take a break from these routines of life and the best way is by taking a holiday with family or friends at some peaceful destination. mauritius holidays makes an excellent option and tourist can have a memorable stay at this magnificent destination nestling amidst a tropical paradise setting, a perfectly naturally formed Indian Ocean gem giving the traveler of feeling of being in Paradise. Mauritius has a lot to offer visitors coming to this place with interesting sites to explore memories to cherish and their cuisines to relish. The four remarkable resorts namely Sugar Beach, La Pirague, One & Only Le Saint Geran and Le Touessrok are situated between cool green forest and shimmering horizons. Tourist can discover the beauty of underwater thrills, water ski Para sail etc at all Mauritius Resort either individually or with a team. All their hotels maintain a high standard of accommodation offering friendly service with a smile to one and all their tourists. They have superb beaches which are more than a hundred miles of pure white sand surrounded by reef protected waters. They also have excellent diving centers and golf course and for water sports, the most popular spots is the offshore island of the lle aux Cerfs, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. At Port Louis the capital city of Mauritius, travelers can engage in a shopping expedition from Caudin Waterfront complex, the colorful Central Market right to China Town and can also indulge in health and beauty treatments Tourist can have a glimpse of the oldest sport in Mauritius on their visit to the Champ du Mars horse track which is an amazing experience. Visitors could also try their cosmopolitan cuisines made up of Chinese, Indian, Creole, French and British flavors as well as the Eastern spices which can tickle the taste buds mingled with the exotic atmosphere that surround them. With the cool beaches and lush green atmosphere, one can experience the richness that nature can offer and enjoy a awesome vacation at this remarkable destination.