Archive for ‘Greek Culture’ Category

19 things never to say to a Greek

To end the year on a light-hearted note, here is a list of  things never to say to a Greek. 1. How are you? Sounds safe, no? But, a Greek, particularly if he is a she, will invite you home, tell you, in every last gory detail, plus the life story of their doctor, his … Read More

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A new Mycenaean tomb discovered in the heart of Ancient Greece.

  Pylos, in South West Greece, was the home of King Nestor, one of the Mycenaean chieftains who, according to the Iliad, sailed with his fleet of 90 black ships to Troy to bring back the runaway  Helen, and was one of the few to return safely. He is described by Homer as wise peacemaker, on the long-winded side, and … Read More

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The News from Ithaca

Let’s start with the bad news; the bad news is that the scheduled ferry services to Ithaca have made such losses over the last few years, that no-one wants to run the ferries, and the government is too poor to subsidise them, so getting to Ithaca by car is almost as much of an epic … Read More

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The best taverna in Greece

Dedicated to Billie Cohen of Condé Nast Traveler.   The real joy of travelling is not in seeing things –  the world is so overrun with images already – but in experiencing things, the magic moments are when we become someone different from our usual selves.   I was in slow, gracious Charleston, South Carolina … Read More

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Hubris – Ancient Greek term for overbearing pride, usually just before a fall…

It’s a lovely Greek concept – borne higher and higher by the thermals of good luck  and  perhaps hard work,  up flies the giddy mortal, till some minor sun-god lays aside his cup of nectar  for a second to swat away the  irritating trespasser, who then plunges earthward,  spiralling back down  to where he came … Read More

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Eternal summer gilds them yet; Lord Byron’s guest blog

Don Juan  Lord Byron’s greatest, last poem, is a rich seam of humour, wisdom, satire and lyricism – also travel writing; “The isles of Greece! The isles of Greece Where burning Sappho loved and sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace, Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But … Read More

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Captain Corelli revisited

“The real star of the film of course was Cephalonia itself,” said Susie Pugh Tasios, the producer of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which I watched again last night. Susie died last year of cancer, and is dreadfully missed by her friends and family. I remember the gusto with which she spilled the beans about the crises … Read More

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Martha Graham Dance Company comes to Ithaca

Five Star Greece was proud to join the sponsors who brought Martha Graham to Ithaca, as part of the Return to Ithaca open air festival. After a party the night before hosted at the grandest villa in Ithaca,  the great day dawned wild and stormy. By nine o’clock in the evening, massive thunderhead clouds were … Read More

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The Cyclades, then and now…

” The mainland of Greece has been overrun by barbarian tribes; the Ionian Islands have been thoroughly Italianised; Greeks in Asia Minor and the islands adjacent to the coast have been swamped by Islamism; yet the Cyclades have remained ore or less as they were, thanks to their  insignificance.” Thus J. Theodore Bent, Philhellene and … Read More

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Der Besuch der alten Dame – or Mrs Merkel’s visit…

I am in Athens at the moment, great, good-humoured uproar as Central Athens was closed off and cleared, Beijing style, for Angela Merkels’s visit – funny news coverage too – flag-waving lefty ranting hysterically  “Suppose I say today I feel like a nice walk through Plaka  with my friends to see the Acropolis,  which is … Read More

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Maria the taxi driver and Other Musings.

Dante, in his “Inferno”,  wrote that there is no greater pain than remembering times of joy in times of sorrow – the opposite is also true, there is no greater joy than thinking of Northern Europe’s autumn gales and dead leaves  while strolling through the leafy streets of Kolonaki in Athens, in a balmy 30 … Read More

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