The 8th International ETOPIM, was held in Crete ~June 7-12, 2009
Convenor: Costas Soukoulis, AMES Lab USA/FORTH, Crete, Greece
Co-convenor: Maria Kafesaki, FORTH, Crete, Greece
CRETE, an island in the eastern Mediterranean is the center of the ancient Minoan civilization, is the meeting point of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - and the cradle of most of what we know as classical civilization.
Crete is the legendary birthplace of Zeus, the king of the gods, and where he took his beloved Europa and where she gave birth to the later King Minoas, the mythical all-powerful king of Crete and creator of the fabulous palace of Knossos and the Minoan civilization. Romans, Arabs, Venetians and Turks all envied Crete but never conquered it. Crete is where the Apostle Paul, began his quest to bring Christianity to Europe.
Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest of the islands forming part of modern Greece. It is relatively long and narrow, stretching for about 150 miles (245 km) east-west and varying in width from 7.5 to 35 miles (12 to 56 km), and has an area of about 3,300 square miles (8,400 square km). There are two administrative centers, Chania, in the west and Iraklion in the east.
The island scenery is spectacular, with harsh mountains rising out of the sea and beautiful natural harbours and coastal plains. The highest point is Mount Idhi at 8,058 feet (2,456 m) high. Major towns - Chania, Rethimnon, and Iraklion - are located on the coast. Crete's climate varies between temperate and tropical, with an annual average rainfall of about 25 inches (640 mm) and hot, dry summers. Winter temperatures are relatively mild. The Cretan landscape is dominated by characteristic Mediterranean scrub; olives, carobs, and orange trees are cultivated.
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