Archive for ‘Greek History’ Category

Magical Syros

  There is good food, there is bad food, and OK food. I can cook  all three kinds, especially the last two. Then there is the food where you close your eyes and let something magic happen in the universe. I can’t do this at all, but chef Costas Bouyiouris  can. I will just say … Read More

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Paros: Poking around Parikia

Parikia is often thought of as a place  you arrive on the ferry and drive out of  pretty sharpish to head to pretty Naoussa or your villa on the south coast, but  apart from its function as the capital of Paros, it has it own great charms and  considerable interest, and it would be a … Read More

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Paros- Away from the beaches- the Byzantine road and further afield

Paros beaches are fun, plentiful, sandy, safe, clean and  get rather full in summer. Here are some ideas  for getting away from them for a day or two.   THE BYZANTINE ROAD Through Paros’ green and flowery June meadows,  along hillsides and down into cool valleys, a path of weathered, grey marble  flagstones meanders from … Read More

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Surprising Syros

  Although it has an airport, Syros has somehow missed out on becoming a destination, all the more surprising when one takes a close look at it. The other Cycladic islands are variations on a theme, based on the aesthetics of fishermen and peasants; the iconic cubic houses, cane roofs and whitewash are the stuff … Read More

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The Ancient Greek origins of Christmas

Did you know that the origin of the Christmas tree in ancient Greece, was not fir or cypress tree, but a branch from a wild olive tree? According to many references in ancient texts, the wild olive branch, or “Eiresioni”, was decorated with garlands of  red  and white wool.  On it hung the first autumn … Read More

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The Camellia – A Classic Motor Yacht to cruise the Ionian Islands

The seven islands that make up the Ionian Islands are about soft  seduction; they don’t go in for  brash, bright, harsh, wind-blown,  barren, dynamic or other such theatricals –  Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia,  Zakynthos and  Kythira have always been a country apart – the Venetians owned them,  as did  Napoleon and then  the Russian … Read More

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The Madonna of the Cave – Ithaca

  The Panaghia Spiliotissa, or the Panaghia ton Vlachernon as it is properly known, is a little magical site on the hillside of a mountain on Ithaca. The path winds up through peaceful fields and smallholdings that Homer’s Laertes , the father of Odysseus whose farm is supposed to be around here, would have probably … 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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Greece before the tourists

Clearing out a drawer, I found an antiquarian book with some wonderful photos taken  in 1957  of Greek islands – here are my favourites – another world then.

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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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Spinalonga – Crete’s tragic leper island, and more of Joanna Lumley!

I don’t know who was doing the research for Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey, but in spite of the sometimes baffling choice of things for her to be amazed at/cry over/laugh at/drink or eat, there were some pure gold nuggets on Thursday. The island of Spinalonga lies off the North-Eastern coast of Crete, just along from the … Read More

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