The Acheloos Delta in Aitoloacarnania – The Ebro Delta in Catalonia
The natural flow of rivers leads to the sea, where their journey ends.
Depending on their size, they form lakes and natural ecosystems by the sea. There are many such rivers in the Mediterranean as there are many different civilisations, which have flourished along their watercourses, over the passage of centuries. Yet there exist two significantly parallel cases of rivers, which flow into the Mediterranean; river Acheloos in the prefecture of Aitoloacarnania (Western Greece) and river Ebro in Catalonia (el Rìo Ebro en Cataluña – Eastern Spain), given the similarity of their heritage and ecosystems. Their common destiny throughout modern Mediterranean history is quite intriguing for any researcher, seeing as both rivers, which have played key roles in the evolution of the civilisation of their people, have been subject to redirection of their natural flow by means of aqueducts.
It is natural for any Mediterranean person, who has connected river Acheloos with his childhood myths of the Herculean duel against the animistic deity of Acheloos that he would like to be acquainted with the qualities of the ‘twin’ river Ebro in Catalonia. In that respect, an exploration of the area suggests itself. In particular, when such a trip is combined with photography, the visitor is spurred to compare the landscape, to ‘communicate’ with pictures and finally conclude that there are no substantial differences between the two ecosystems mentioned above.
These landscapes depict clearly the common course of the two rivers, throughout the ages. The case of Ebro is known; it has retained its natural source, flow and estuary, thus giving life to its surroundings…
What will Acheloos’ fate be? Will history be rerouted?
Demitris V. Geronikos
(Translation into English by Thomas P. Sypsas)