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Book review: inyourpocket guide to Athens

Book review: inyourpocket guide to Athens This was originally supposed to be a review of the Rough Guide to Greece. I really like the Rough Guides and two weeks before I set off to write my travel series about Greece I ordered a copy from Amazon. The morning of my flight it still hadn't arrived. Luckily I knew...

Ten random observations about Greece

Ten random observations about Greece While researching my travel series on Greece I noticed some interesting things that didn't fit into any of the articles. Some of these observations may be obvious to those more familiar with Greece, but odd first impressions are one of the fun things about travel! 1....

Mistra: a medieval ghost town in southern Greece

Mistra: a medieval ghost town in southern Greece On a steep hill overlooking the Vale of Sparta in southwestern Greece stands the last capital of the Roman Empire. In 395 AD, beset by enemies, the empire split into western and eastern halves. The Western Roman Empire was soon overwhelmed. The east flourished. Its...

Sparta: Greece's ancient warrior city

Sparta: Greece's ancient warrior city After having seen Athens and Corinth, I couldn't resist visiting one of the other great city-states of ancient Greece: Sparta. Sparta needs no introduction. It's a star player on the History and Discovery channels and that schlocky pseudo-historical film 300. While I...

The Athens War Museum

The Athens War Museum This is a Heckler & Koch MP5 9mm submachine gun with gold plated parts. It was given by the Defense Minister of Kuwait to former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, probably as a thank you for his nation's help in liberating Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm....

The Acropolis: Greece's most famous monument weathers the crisis

The Acropolis: Greece's most famous monument weathers the crisis Visiting Greece and not visiting the Acropolis is unthinkable. Set atop a high rock overlooking Athens, the temples here were built primarily to honor the city's patron goddess Athena in all her attributes. The buildings here are some of the best examples of Greek...

Athens day trip: Acrocorinth, one of Greece's greatest castles

Athens day trip: Acrocorinth, one of Greece's greatest castles Greece is justly famous for its ancient monuments. The Acropolis, Delphi, and other Classical sites are the reason most history lovers come to this ancient land. The medieval period, however, produced many equally impressive monuments and it's a shame they're so often...

Greek museums face the economic crisis

Greek museums face the economic crisis It's not easy being the caretaker of Greece's heritage these days. Greek museums are facing budget cuts, strikes, reduced staff, even loss of visitors due to riots. The National Archaeological Museum had many rooms closed during the peak tourist season last summer due to...

Athens nightlife: desperate pensioners on the hustle

Athens nightlife: desperate pensioners on the hustle Giorgis looked like he didn't have long to live. Aged about 70, he was a tall man who appeared shorter because he stooped so much that his head hung almost below his shoulders. He was thin and walked with a limp that showed he suffered from sciatica. His clothes--yellow...

New series: Our past in peril, Greek tourism faces the economic crisis

New series: Our past in peril, Greek tourism faces the economic crisis This is a sculpture of a fallen Greek warrior from the temple of Aphaia on the Greek island of Aigina. Made in the 5th century BC, it's an important example of Early Classical Greek art. This was a time when Greek artists began imitating life with realistic poses and...

Rent the Acropolis for just $2000 a day

Rent the Acropolis for just $2000 a day Desperate times require desperate measures. That seems to be the mantra coming out of Greece these days, where the country has gone from debating whether or not it should lease out the Acropolis to just how much they should charge. Yesterday, the Greek cultural ministry...

Should Greece lease the Acropolis?

Should Greece lease the Acropolis? Greece has been hit hard by the recession. According to EU figures, it has 18.8 percent unemployment, the second highest in Europe and more than twice that of the United States. Last year it saw its economy shrink by 5.5 percent. Now former deputy health minister...

Daily Secret offers insider intel for Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and more

Daily Secret offers insider intel for Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and more Last month, I went to a designer-clothing pop-up sale in the back of a restaurant, scored an invite to an exclusive party with Champagne and gourmet truffles, and got the manager's private phone number of a hot new nightlife spot. I'm not famous or especially well-connected,...

Greek island for rent

Greek island for rent Island-hopping around Greece is one of the most glorious travel activities imaginable until you arrive in Corfu or Santorini or Crete and realize that thousands of other holiday makers had the same idea. If only you could have an island to yourself.... Well, now you can....

Castles in Greece in danger

Castles in Greece in danger When people think of castles, they usually think of those in Western Europe such as Spain, France, and Germany. Eastern Europe, however, has just as many if not more. Greece has some of the best, like the castle of Methoni photographed here by Wolfram Sinapius. Having...

Battle of Marathon to be fought again

Battle of Marathon to be fought again While the U.S. is having lots of Civil War reenactments lately, it's not the only country where avid hobbyists like to refight old battles. This year Greece is marking the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon, an epic clash between the Greeks and Persians that saved...

Travel Dreams survey ranks cruise vacations tops

Travel Dreams survey ranks cruise vacations tops Virtuoso Life magazine readers, some of the world's most sophisticated travelers, voted for travel options on their "wish list" for the 2011 Travel Dreams survey and the results are in. Spending time on the high seas emerged as a common theme. Taking a world cruise and...

Macedonia: what's in a name? A major controversy!

Macedonia: what's in a name? A major controversy! The erection of a giant statue of Alexander the Great in the Macedonian capital of Skopje is the latest round in an ongoing controversy with neighboring Greece. The statue, erected on Tuesday as part of an ambitious urban development plan called Skopje 2014, drew...

Summer Travel: Athens to Meteora

Summer Travel: Athens to Meteora You don't have to be an accountant to know that Greece's spreadsheets are in need of some serious financial overhaul. Some would argue that the country is essentially bankrupt, and that nothing short of a European bailout and/or a return to the drachma can save it from total...

From myth to Empire: Heracles to Alexander the Great

From myth to Empire: Heracles to Alexander the Great Today's royals have nothing on the ancients. Alexander the Great and his predecessors enjoyed a sumptuous lifestyle that beats anything William and Kate will ever enjoy, not to mention real power as opposed to lots of TV time. Now an amazing new exhibition at the...

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