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Cookisto: Airbnb For Home Cooking?

Cookisto: Airbnb For Home Cooking? Sep 25th, 2013 at 1:00PM: Flickr, Sean Ganann We've seen collaborative consumption work with everything from car rentals like ZipCar, to vacation rentals like Airbnb. But would you pay to eat someone else's home cooking? Cookisto, a social network that connects home cooks with hungry "foodies," started in Athens and will soon come to London. Cooks make their own dishes, upload the details onto the site including...

International Budget Guide 2013: Athens, Greece

International Budget Guide 2013: Athens, Greece Apr 9th, 2013 at 11:00AM: For budget travelers, there's never been a better time to visit the Greek capital. Despite being on the Euro, the country's debt crisis has made this popular tourist center dramatically more affordable than the balance of the European Union, making once expensive resorts now surprisingly reasonable. As unemployment and other economic problems take their toll, Greeks have all but stopped...

­­Waiting In The Pythion Of Time

­­Waiting In The Pythion Of Time Jan 30th, 2013 at 12:00PM: ­­ One of my prime New Year's resolutions for this year is to put together an anthology of selected pieces from my own writing career. With 30 years of narrative stories and reflective essays to sift through, I figure there must be enough material for at least a very slim volume. As part of this process – or perhaps just as a very clever way of procrastinating the hard work of...

Magical Moments Of 2012: A Personal Review

Magical Moments Of 2012: A Personal Review Dec 31st, 2012 at 12:00PM: As the end of each year approaches, I try to take stock of the preceding 12 months, to absorb and assess the adventures, inner and outer. Reviewing this year, I've been filled with gratitude and wonder to realize that this has been one of the most enriching, exhilarating years I've had in a long time, especially the past six months, when I managed to squeeze six special trips into an...

Think Globally, Eat Locally At Culinary Backstreets

Think Globally, Eat Locally At Culinary Backstreets Jul 28th, 2012 at 11:00AM: Budget-savvy and food-loving visitors to Istanbul have found an excellent resource in Istanbul Eats for several years, and now can find more authentic and off-the-beaten-path tips in Athens, Barcelona, and Shanghai, with Mexico City on the way. Culinary Backstreets was launched this week as an extension of IstanbulEats.com, a blog reviewing Turkey's best street food, hole-in-the-wall restaurants...

Fact vs. Fiction: The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Fact vs. Fiction: The Acropolis in Athens, Greece Apr 10th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Athens is home to one of the world's most-visited tourist destinations: The Athenian Acropolis. Drawing millions of visitors each year, the Acropolis is perhaps the most famous archaeological site in the world – and it draws the traffic in kind. The Acropolis Restoration Project also has a marked effect on the ongoing state of display at the Acropolis. Though it's nearing completion,...

The First Floor Of The Stoa Of Attalos To Reopen In Athens

The First Floor Of The Stoa Of Attalos To Reopen In Athens Mar 30th, 2012 at 9:00AM: Despite hard economic times in Greece, its capital city, Athens, is about to expand visitation to a major archaeological treasure -- the Stoa of Attalos. This ancient Greek colonnade and indoor market was built in 150 B.C. by Attalos II, King of Pergamum, as a gift to Athens in gratitude for the happy schooldays he spent there. The Stoa was meticulously reconstructed in the 1950s by The...

Book review: inyourpocket guide to Athens

Book review: inyourpocket guide to Athens Feb 15th, 2012 at 9:00AM: 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 about the inyourpocket guides. I had never tried these free, downloadable guides to dozens of cities, and now looked like the...

Ten random observations about Greece

Ten random observations about Greece Feb 11th, 2012 at 10:00AM: 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. Flying low over the Aegean as we made our descent into Athens airport, I swear I saw dolphins playing in the blue waters. We were...

The Athens War Museum

The Athens War Museum Feb 6th, 2012 at 9:00AM: 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. It's one of a case of Papandreou's personal weapons on display at the Athens War Museum. Greece has a long and proud...

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

The Acropolis: Greece's most famous monument weathers the crisis Feb 3rd, 2012 at 11:00AM: 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 architecture and have had a profound effect on the architecture of all the Western world. While I have a preference for medieval...

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

Athens day trip: Acrocorinth, one of Greece's greatest castles Feb 1st, 2012 at 12:00PM: 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 overlooked. Greece is filled with giant castles, remote monasteries, and lovely churches decorated with gold mosaics and richly...

Greek museums face the economic crisis

Greek museums face the economic crisis Feb 1st, 2012 at 10:00AM: 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 budget cuts, and strikes are regularly closing all publicly owned museums. Take the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens....

Athens nightlife: desperate pensioners on the hustle

Athens nightlife: desperate pensioners on the hustle Jan 31st, 2012 at 10:00AM: 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 sweater, gray trousers, and brown dress shoes--were old and faded but immaculately clean. His gray hair was neatly combed over...

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

New series: Our past in peril, Greek tourism faces the economic crisis Jan 30th, 2012 at 10:00AM: 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 expressions. We owe so much to the ancient Greeks--our ideas of art, architecture, democracy, philosophy, theater, and a lot...

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

Daily Secret offers insider intel for Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and more Jan 7th, 2012 at 12:00PM: 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, I'm just a subscriber to DailySecret.com. Daily Secret is website and email newsletter that delivers insider intel for...

Summer Travel: Athens to Meteora

Summer Travel: Athens to Meteora May 10th, 2011 at 12:00PM: 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 economic ruin. The silver lining on the ominous storm cloud is that Greece has the potential to be one of the world's top...

Discovery Adventures travel company debuts 2011's Discovery Channel-inspired trips

Discovery Adventures travel company debuts 2011's Discovery Channel-inspired trips Mar 3rd, 2011 at 2:30PM: Armchair traveler red alert! Discovery Adventures is offering eight new Discovery Channel-inspired cultural trips for 2011, including Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Japan, and East Africa. Explore archaeological sites near Athens, visit wineries in Tuscany, safari in Kenya, or soak in hot springs in the Japanese Alps. Trips are limited to 16 people, and run from eight to 15 days. Accommodations...

Zombies with passports: The Walking Dead goes worldwide

Zombies with passports: The Walking Dead goes worldwide Oct 28th, 2010 at 10:30AM: In order to promote the new show The Walking Dead on AMC, swarms of zombies invaded 26 cities worldwide (including my city of Istanbul, pictured above and filmed here) earlier this week, lurching around major tourist landmarks and generally freaking out passerby. The undead began their sightseeing in Taipei and Hong Kong, then hit European capitols including London, Rome, and Athens. More arose...

Greece will compensate tourists in case of national strike

Greece will compensate tourists in case of national strike Jun 22nd, 2010 at 10:30AM: As strikes, protests, and other forms of industrial action continue in Greece, tourism officials are scrambling to reassure visitors that the country is open for business. Bookings are down ten percent, and with tourism accounting for twenty percent of the national income, it's the economic equivalent of being kicked while you're down. So the government has offered to compensate any tourist who...

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