for most of us, hawaii begins to weave her spell with some little glimmer of awareness. golden beaches and golden people. sun, sand, sea, and surf... and somewhere between the blue skies and the palm trees... we're hooked.
the hawaiian islands are one of the most beautiful places on earth. the weather is friendly. the temperature ranges from 60-90 degrees all year long. it's a little warmer in summer, and a little cooler in winter, but every day is a beach day for somebody.
the environment is friendly. the physical beauty of hawaii is almost unparalleled. majestic mountains were created millions of years ago by volcanic activity that thrust these islands three miles from the ocean floor. wave action across endless eons of time created coral reefs, and then battered and broke them to create miles of white sand beach.
our position at the center of the pacific ensured that almost every plant and animal who would find a home here would come as an invited guest.
there are no strangers in paradise. perhaps the most beautiful part of hawaii is the genuine warmth of our people. we call it the spirit of aloha. it has allowed a melting pot ot cultures from all over the world to find common ground, and a new home, in this most gentle of places.
february 14th is a complicated but interesting holiday. first of all, valentine's day is not a holiday from work. no one gets a day off. on valentine's day people ususlly send romantic cards to someone they love or want to be loved by. the cards are called "valentines". they are very colourful, often decorated with hearts, flowers or birds, and have humorous or sentimental verses printed inside. the basic message of the verse is always "be my valentine", "be my sweet heart" or "lover".
one of the symbols of st.valentine's day is the roman god of love, called cupid. cupid is often printed on the card, who is winged infant without wearing anything, poised to shoot his arrow into a heart. he would shoot an arrow of love into a person's heart to make the person fall in love immediately, maybe with the first person to come along. sometimes one arrow would go through two hearts, holding them together. so on february 14th not only do we have picture of the christian st.valentine but we also have pitures of the non-christian cupid, the roman god of love.
but it is from the christians that we get the stories about valentine's day that most people have come to believe. one story is about a christian man whose name sounded something like "valentine." he lived around 250 a.d. at that time the roman emperor claudius refused to allow any roman soldiers to get married for any reason whatsoever. christian couples came to valentine to be married. so valentine would marry them in a christian way. he was discovered and put in prison by the emperor. one tradition says that he wrote notes to his friends by making on leaves and then throwing them out the window of his prison. and the leaves were shaped like a heart.
greece is the birthplace of the olympic games, and has a long history and cultural background. the history of athens begins more than 3,000 years ago when during the prehistoric times its first inhabitants created their first settlement on the rock of the acropolis.
during thousands of years, athens went through times of glory and times of decline. finally it became the capital of greece in 1834 mostly for its location and historical importance. since then athens grew to the city we know today, an important financial european capital.
the historical centre of athens is the most important area of the city for the thousands of tourists who are visiting the greek capital in order to admire the shrine of democracy, the acropolis, the parthenon, the museums and monuments and theatres from the glorious past of athens.
since the distances to most of the main sights of athens are not long, walking is a good idea and a good way to get to know athens. athens has a lot of attractions that someone will need at least one week or more to explore.
there are many museums in athens like the national archaeological museum of athens, one of the most important museums in the world. and, of course, don't forget the beaches and the famous nightlife of athens equivalent with the nightlife of paris and london.