August 31, 2014

  • August 31, 2014

Athens ancient side (own photo)

Thoughts about Greece - such a wonderful country and travel destination at Mediterranean sea.

So, thinking at Greece I picture in mind the Land of Gods, ancient history... 

Mediterranean sea, scenic islands, tempting beaches and legendary mountains, traditional food, bouzouki music, breathtaking landscapes... travels...

Regardless my very old and pale Greek roots, and odd feeling that sometimes my paths in life were as for Zorba's the Greek, the country that I dreamed to visit since my childhood was Greece.

My thoughts about Greece were leading especially to the amazing and impressive Greek ancient history and all those genius minds coming from this impressive ancient land - philosophers, mathematicians, architects, musicians and so many other amazing people and personalities - that managed to boost our knowledge to new horizons.

Have you ever been to Greece? Do you know about Zorba the Greek and Zorba's spirit?
Greek holidays - Greece one of the best Mediterranean travel destinations - an intriguing and (all senses) captivating European country always worth to be visited

Traveling to Greece…
Greece to me was the first country visited after Romanian Revolution (1989), so, first getting out to a so said “wonderland” for a simple citizen from “Eastern block” – as we were labeled at that time…

There, I had a great opportunity to travel around main part of the country (excepting Northern side), peninsular area and few spectacular Greek islands: Aegina – Hydra – Poros, Evia, Andros, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodos and Kefalonia (where was made the movie “Captain Corelli’s mandolin” – with Nicholas Cage).

I regret that I went to Santorini (please feel free to read my other lens The magic of Santorini island) and had no idea at that time about the Minoan ancient site built on the island but, no doubt, that will be added as main point for one of my future traveling plans there!

Regarding main part of Greece, I was fascinated with the beauty of Volos area, Makrinitsa, Karditsa, Prespes Lake, Ioannina, and for its peninsular part I consider Monemvasia being one of the most exciting places (a well preserved medieval city and not so famous yet for tourists),Epidavros Ancient Theater (one of the most impressive “acoustic” experiences that no one should miss in a lifetime) and Nafplion (a scenic place combining mountain and sea landscapes, all in a rich pallet of colors, sounds coming from a variety of birds chirp, pale wind playing thru the leaves and turquoise sea waves, and everything surrounded by delicate scents).

Really remarkable that at every single step around one could see a temple, an ancient theater, a piece of wall or a fountain built thousand years ago or a simple piece of rock stubborn to assist from its passive place the inhabitants evolution over centuries, as well as a blossomed tree connecting your mind somehow with shadows of heroes from our ancestors mythology and history.

Having all these in mind, to me Greece will be always one of the best Mediterranean travel destinations – rich in history, culture, music, gastronomy and… old traditions.

Greece - Epidavros (own photo)
First contact with Greece
At my first contact with Greece I couldn’t believe it’s so much green! Plenty of colorful flowers in every single corner of nature (and buildings, as well), the Mediterranean Sea with hypnotizing clear water bright turquoise, entire nature combined so smoothly and wild, in the same time, wonderful beaches with fine sand and cliffy mountains “topped” with joyful goats wherever was a tiny bush, plus the mixture of flavors coming from traditional Greek coffee, ouzo (their traditional drink made out of anason seeds), cigarettes (too many, though), olives, calamari, Greek salad, souvlaki, spanakopita and oranges having some Greek bouzouki music as background…

For whole this genuine beauty and past history, Greek ancient history, I consider this country a wonder of nature on Earth and still one of my favorite places to visit in the world.
In Athens, for any curious or traveler, it’s worth to walk throughout Monastiraki and Plaka areas, especially for the subdue way of preserving the spirit of ancestors with daily crowds of people browsing around the ancient market (agora) searching for best bargains while following the ancient roads among olive trees and laying their humble prayers for a dozen gods inside those perfect temples erected everywhere around, while nowadays everything is projected into another time and different dimension, showing you a cosmopolitan world passing by Karaghiozis Theatre (a sort of satire show with muppets made out from cartoon), following same old paths enriched with plenty of art crafts and souvenirs stores, the velvet scent of tasty Greek coffee and, sometimes a bouzouki sound, daring to follow you out of tavernas to open your eyes and make you use of all 5 senses (or even more!) to “breath” the beauty of the place and feel the history under your skin, and I like more Thisseon area from where you can go up on Acropolis, Philopapou hill, The Ancient Theatre or Socrate’s cave and enjoy the scenic landscape.


Mythos - Greek beer
In old part of Athens is a very popular and cozy tavern (I don’t remember its name now), at the edge of Plaka – Thisseon, few meters away from Theater for amateurs actors, with a panoramic view right above ancient site and The Tower of Winds (known also as Horologion or Timepiece, located near the Ancient Roman Agora). I used to drink Irish coffees there, read “Athens News” and spend some time thinking at all those master mind architects and artists, their humongous knowledge of mathematics, physics, anatomy and astrology sciences, and spectacular creations, shading humans’ vanity and our ephemeral existence.

Moreover, if we consider Homer’s notes (if I’m not wrong) about mysterious Atlantida and it inhabitants, the Atlants, I may say (as ignorant in this domain) that Greece has all main items from Genesis till nowadays: history, traditions, myths, secrets, proper natural environment, great ancient characters, passed throughout all types of political systems and was marked enough by all kind of hypocrite rules imposed by self named servants of God….




Nia Vardalos quote about Greece - "In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece."

Kefalonia - Myrthos beach (own photo)
Flashbacks - traveling to Greece
Thoughts about Greece
Sometimes I have flashbacks with some friends’ comments thrown right before to go to Greece – “why to waste your time visiting that arid country and see only rocks!?” Isn’t it interesting how people minds are functioning, when they have no clue on what they’re talking about?

Thinking at my escapes taken years ago I’d like to get born once again (prior some wild minds may take other weird decisions and vanish whatever treasures are still left on Earth), in a wealthier stage, settle and implement some compulsory rules to limit worldwide waste (all kind), sponsorship several true companies helping African states (schools and medical system), then travel around, especially to areas not invaded by regular tourists or very easy accessible trails, as: 

Brazil (to have an extreme experience along Amazon river, jungle, ancient temples and see in real all those famous fossils), Tibet (first have to read more from Krishnamurti, prepare myself for 5 years with a disciple of Dalai Lama and, eventually, learn some fighting movements from Steven Seagal :)) ), Costa Rica, New Zealand and South Africa (for their spectacular beauty and natural reserves), 

Egypt (for going beneath the real ancient temples, not the ones visited by tourists, and mostly to give my full support for searching that famous library from Alexandria) and, also in Africa, to pay a visit to Dogon Tribes (in Mali) to see with my own eyes their ancient shrines and astrology tools and try to understand how was possible thousand years ago (without nowadays technology) to see all 3 Sirius planets, all those savage places that I haven’t visit them yet and, of course, to buy a simple house in Firostefani (Santorini Island, Greece) with sea view, take care of my own goats, discover a new recipe for rocky-volcano red wine, rent Dalaras (famous Greek traditional singer – included amongst my notes playlist) for one week-private concert, had a weird combined meal consisting out of tasty Kalamata olives, delicious calamari grilled on charcoal (not fried!!!), souvlaki, tirokaftheri (local specialty, spicy creamy cheese), traditional Greek pie recipes + Mythos (beer – instead of ouzo) and get the drive and strength for scuba diving from there till Read Sea coral reefs checking for Atlants ruins along the way…

… Still there or already fall down from the chair reading all these thoughts about Greece?
Plutarch quote - "I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better."



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