• Watch rockets soar in Chios, Greece

    2012-03-12

    If baby boomers want to add a little spark to their Europe travel plans in Greece, they may want to head to the island of Chios for the annual Rouketopolemos, or Rocketwars, that occurs every April. This unusual event has been a tradition in the area for years and can be a thrilling sight to see for visitors to this region on vacation.

    According to the Rocketwars website, there are several theories revolving around the tradition and its origins. Some say it began in the 19th century, while others believe the custom formed under Turkish occupation. Either way, the event nowadays has grown into a massive, unique festival that encourage locals and guests alike to witness more than 60,000 rockets and fireworks being launched into the night sky.

    The two areas, Erethianis and Vrontados, pretend to battle each other with their array of weaponry. Most of the rockets are launched from the churches, including St. Mark's and the Virgin Mary church. Some of the launched rockets actually hit their targets, sticking in the windows and walls.

    In a video posted by the matador network, men with covered faces light a series of firework-type vessels lined up by the dozen and aimed at the opposing village. Both towns shoot glowing orange missiles at each other, but no one gets hurt in this special line of fire that are more firework than gun. The firing of the rockets does begin during the way but then continue well into the evening, accompanied by candle lightings and other things to see and do throughout both villages.

    While on the scenic island of Chios, there is an variety of other attractions to enjoy once all the rockets have fizzled out. According to the official tourism website, some of the beaches are superb for sunbathing and swimming. For instance, Karfas may be among the most popular, as it boasts miles of sandy shorelines and is near many hotels and restaurants{rework, buildings are near the beach, not the other way around}.

    Those interested in history have many galleries to choose from for a visit, including the Justinani Palace. This building once was home to 15th century rulers and now houses several artifacts form that time period.

    Baby boomers on a Grecian adventure will surely take home some amazing memories after witnessing the Rocketwars that take place on the island of Chios.

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