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I have been a fan of Scotland ever since I first discovered it when I was 14 years old.

Scotland, of course, means ghosts… which also live elsewhere, of course… but it also means the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, legends, history, romanticism and poetry.

I have the good fortune to return there often thanks to the generous hospitality of my good friend Angelica, the Countess Cawdor. She lives in a castle which I like to explain was built by Macbeth three hundred years after his death.
The notorious Macbeth bore the title of Thane of Cawdor, equivalent to a count, as the three witches call him in Shakespeare’s play. He was certainly the founder of the castle, which was built upon a yew tree, the legendary, scared tree of the Celts.
The tree is still present in the castle’s cellars, in a round room which effectively serves as the castle’s base.

According to Lady Cawdor, who has succeeded him as the castle’s owner, Macbeth was far from being the monster he is depicted as. He was a popular king who greatly benefitted the Scottish people. His wife was equally good. They could not have killed King Duncan, as he died in battle, not far from Cawdor. For the truth to be known, however, we would have to rewrite Shakespeare…

 

Mysteries

A GHOST VERY MUCH ALIVE

The young wife was very happy. She had a young, handsome and loving husband who was promised a fine position. They lived in one of the finest parts of London in a sunny apartment. Only one thing bothered the young woman… She was always having the same dream. She saw herself in front of a…

Art

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Lucia di Lammermoor is Donizetti’s best-known opera. It’s the story of a young, aristocratic Scottish girl who is in love with with a noble and handsome, but poor young lord, whose parents are against their union. Lucy is forced to break up with him and he moves far away. Her parents make Lucy marry a…

Royalty

Greece family portraits

My grandmother Queen Olga of Greece in exile in Italy. Immediately behind her is my father, Christopher, and next to him, his sister Maria. Behind her is her brother Andrew, father of the Duke of Edinburgh.   King Georges II of Greece and his brother, the heir to the throne Paul of Greece, visiting the…

Adventure

LE MENTOR

Today a sleepy, coastal village, at the beginning of the 19th century Avlemonas was the scene of dramatic events. The Russians landed there to kick the French off the island. On September 15th 1802, the few inhabitants witnessed a fateful shipwreck. A small sailing ship by the name of “Mentor” arrived from the East and…

Adventure

THE PIRATES, MELIDONI

We cross a hill near Aghia Elessa then begin our descent into the unknown. There is a dirt track, rocks and stones and the sea. Nothing else. There are no houses, no roads, no telegraph poles. The hills rise up in the distance, the sea is an intense blue and there are no signs of…

Mysteries

ROSA HERN

In 1850, an Irish doctor by the name of Charles Hern was appointed by the British authorities as resident physician on the island of Kythera. He was young and was blessed with the typical charm of the Irish. One evening, at a ball at the British governor’s palace, he met a young Kytheran girl, Rosa…

Mysteries

THE HANGED MEN

That morning, October 9th 1821, an inhabitant of Karava saw everything. He went straight to Hora and denounced the killers. The English governor ordered a police inspector to go immediately to Karava. The inspector’s name was Jean Kasimatis, and he was a member of one of the dynasties which had ruled over Kythera for a…

Royalty

FAMILY PHOTOS

The wedding of William Leeds with Princess Xenia of Russia. He was the son of my father’s first wife, Princess Anastasia of Greece. She was the daughter of my father’s sister. In the photo we can see my father, Christopher, his wife Anastasia, and the married couple. Next to the bride is her mother, Maria…

Royalty

THE BIGGEST SAPPHIRE IN THE WORLD

It is one of the biggest cut sapphires in the world, weighing over 300 carats. It was bought at the end of the19th century by the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, a passionate jewelry collector. It was passed on to her daughter-in-law, the Grand Duchess Cyril. After the 1917 Revolution, needing money, she sold…

Royalty

THE PIANIST AND THE TWO SISTERS

It was during, or at the end of the World War. A young Austrian pianist arrived on a Greek island. He was handsome, and alone. He was talented. The two sisters belonged to the island’s aristocracy. Among their numerous properties, they prefered one they had called “happiness”. It was situated on top of a hill…

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