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Iain Stewart introduces Journeys From The Centre Of The Earth

Updated Thursday, 16th September 2004

The warm sun, the blue sea, the wonderful food - the Mediterranean certainly has its attractions. But the landscape is more than the backdrop to a great holiday - it tells the story of civilisations, as Iain's welcome explains.

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Dr Iain Stewart Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team Presenter Dr. Iain Stewart welcomes you to the series and the website:

The Mediterranean is one of the cradles of western civilisation, but it is a restless world. For its tranquil, sun-lapped shores are also amongst the most volatile places on an ever-changing Earth. The Mediterranean we know today has been forged in a violent hearth of clashing continents, rising mountains, a turbulent climate and restless seas.

It is an irony that most visitors go there to relax. In fact, the Mediterranean is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Some visitors go for the beautiful scenery and relaxing beaches, some go for art and culture, others for the food and drink. But whether they are drawn by heart, head or stomach, none of what they desire would be there if it wasn’t for geology.

The Mediterranean owes its shape, its architecture, its culture, its food, and the basic realities of its life, to geology.

In this series I’m a kind of geological tour guide, travelling the Mediterranean to reveal the hidden side of some of the most familiar holiday destinations. By viewing places like Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Egypt through rock-tinted spectacles, I try to show you the connections between why you enjoy the Mediterranean now – the beach, the art, the architecture, the food, the culture – and the civilizations that have been there before you.

Each film romps back through the layers of civilizations until I hit rock bottom in my quest to uncover how what we do today has been shaped by the people (and the rocks) who were there before us.

Visiting all the most popular Mediterranean tourist hotspots and hi-jacking unsuspecting holiday makers along the way, I reveal how what lies beneath our feet is behind everything from the rise and fall of civilizations to the essential elements of our modern world, and from its spectacular scenery to its deadly dangers.

In Journeys, each programme is a whistle-stop tour that takes in many popular and seemingly familiar tourist destinations providing a unique geologist’s insight which can’t be found in the guide books. And, here on the website, you'll find some extra background on how the rocks shaped our world.

 

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