Archive for ‘Greek History’ Category

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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Greek attitudes to tax explained

There is genuine bewilderment in the voices of English, Swedish, Dutch, Canadian, German and other Fiscally Solid journalists and clients, who ask me why Greeks don’t want to pay taxes, and whether I think that their attitude will ever change. I have great sympathy for these questions, (especially from the Germans who are doing the … Read More

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Ithaca – Odysseus’ palace and Psycho-archaeology

Honestly, how could one ever leave the important business of locating Odysseus’ palace to archaeologists? With this report, I would like to introduce you to the new discipline of Psycho-archaeology. I escorted a group of friends and relatives up to the new found site of Odysseus’ palace on the side of the northern part of Ithaca, … Read More

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Patrick Leigh Fermor

Patrick Leigh Fermor died on June 10th – author of three of my favorite books – A Time of Gifts, describing his journey on foot as a young man from London to Istanbul, though the book stops at the Hungarian border – Roumeli; an exploration through travels in Northern Greece of the sense of Greekness … Read More

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Mount Athos, Hitler and some Easter musings

Easter 2011 For those who were wondering, my Tsoureki (Easter bread) turned out just fine this year, although the ends of the braid did look a bit peculiar and the red egg in the middle of the bread for some  strange reason exploded in the oven.   I turned it (the egg)  upside down and  no-one noticed,  but … Read More

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Greek Easter week – reflections on an imperfect religious upbringing.

Five Star Greece Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Easter Week or “Megali Evdomada” Easter is the high point of the Greek year, much more important than Christmas – to my father who was of an older Greek generation, Christmas was just a day when his devout mother would try to impose yet another … Read More

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Patmos – for connoisseurs.

Five Star Greece recommends  the Jerusalem of the Aegean. We thought we would feature Patmos this week as we have taken on two really lovely houses on the beach. The only places to stay until now were beautiful but not frightfully comfortable village houses.  Now we can offer you air conditioning, pools and beaches nearby; … Read More

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25th March – “Freedom or Death!”

March 25th  National Holiday. On March 25, 1821,  Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese, and the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire was officially born. The battle cry “Freedom or Death” was taken up by thousands, and war was waged for 9 years … Read More

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Greek echoes in Ethiopia

Five Star Greece “Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison” – that ancient Greek prayer is ringing out above an 18th century marble pool where 60,000 white robed Ethiopians have gathered, glimmering like ghosts in the cold pre-dawn, to celebrate the Epiphany in the old citadel of Gondar. I have been researching Greek influence in the Horn of … Read More

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“No” Day – a national holiday

Today is “Oxi Day”, or  “No” Day, or even  “**** off” Day.  At 4.00 a on the 28th October 1940, the Axis powers gave Greece an ultimatum – let our troops though or else… The Greek Prime Minister Metaxas, answered with one word. “No”. The next morning, the streets of Athens were filled with a … Read More

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