Monday, May 2, 2011

The Mysterious Island of Scorpios, Lefkada Greece

Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, otherwise know as "Ari, the Golden Greek" and one of the most famous and legendary self made billionaire tycoons purchased Scorpios in the fifties.
Before Onassis, Scorpios was nothing more than a barren rocky piece of earth in the middle of the Ionian, across Lefkada.
Onassis deployed the latest engineering and irrigation methods including an underwater pipe system that carried water from the mainland, via Nidri (Nydri), to Scorpios.

Onassis also ordered the transportation, via his own fleet, of fine beach sand from the shores of Northern Africa and had it deployed in key areas of the island, thus creating shorelines and beaches.
Onassis in addition brought vegetation from different parts of the world and planted them on Scorpios (once the irrigation system and water works were up and running) and converted a barren wasteland into a man made paradise.
To the wonder of the Lefkadan locals, what was once a piece of barren rock in the middle of the Ionian seven island complex, the Eptanisa, was transformed into a habitable island rich in lush and exotic vegetation, beachfronts with ample water supply.

Once the island was made habitable, estates were built including his own and the “Pink” estate which housed visitors. Notable visitors to the island paradise were celebrities such as the legendary Maria Callas as well as Onassis' last wife, Jacqueline Onassis formerly Kennedy.
Onassis had the island guarded 24 hours a day on shore by local security, and underwater by frogmen to ensure that paparazzi and unwanted visitors were kept at a distance from the family premises.

Aristotle Onassis' only son, Alexandros, was killed in a plain crash in Greece in 1973, and Aristotle Onassis died of pneumonia in France in 1975. Onassis' only daughter Christina passed away in Buenos Aires, Argentina from pulmonary edema in 1988 leaving her daughter Athina as heiress to the Onassis empire.
The mausoleum of the Onassis family occupies an area on the island and houses Aristotle Onassis and his two children, Christina and Alexandros. Onassis has included a clause in the will that even if the island is to be sold, the area occupied by the mausoleum will remain with the Onassis foundation thus ensuring that the remains of the once powerful family remain undisturbed for the years to come.
How to Get There
To get to Scorpios from Athens one takes the road to Patras. Right before Patras one crosses the Rio/AntiRio bridge and heads for Astacos, then Amphilohia and then across the bridge to the Ionian island of Lefkada.

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