Greece - much more than Sirtaki, Moussaka and Ouzo

griechenland delphiGreece, since 1981, is member of the European Union and, together with 18 other EU member states a monetary union, the euro zone. It is a member of the United Nations, the OECD, NATO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. The Human Development Index ranks Greece among the highly developed countries.

The Greeks of modern times call themselves Hellenes, but they had many different names throughout history. However, Homer (8th century BC) did not use the term "Hellene" in his epics. In classical antiquity, the Greeks hardly lay a point to present ithemselfves as a unified nation. The own home instead, be it a polis or a kingdom, was up to a few exceptions far more important. The participants in the Olympic Games were summarized as Hellenes. Perhaps it was this name later, in the first centuries of Christianity, being used as synonymous with paganism. From late antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages (1453), the Greeks even called themselves Rhomaioi (ancient Greek for, Romans').

The Vergina Star - Origin and Meaning

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The Vergina Star - Origin and Meaning

During the visit of the really interesting Museum of Vergina we had met the so-called Star of Vergina several times, the sixteen ray sun symbol that first struck us on the big, golden ash box of Philip II.

Olympus - exploration at the access in Litochoro

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Olympus - exploration beginning at the access in Litochoro

The Massif of Olympus rises to the south of the Macedonian region of Greece on the border with Thessaly and appears due to the proximity to the Thermaic Gulf, particularly impressive viewed from there.

Plaka - oldest part of Athens below the Acropolis

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Plaka - oldest part of Athens below the Acropolis

Probably every traveler to Greece will visit the capital Athens, especially as the Acropolis is one of the most famous ancient sites on earth.

Athens - The history of urban development in Krekopia

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Athens - The history of urban development in Krekopia

The history of the area of ​​today's city of Athens goes back to about 7500 years BC until the Neolithic period. Around 1300 BC a first Mycenaean palace was built on the Acropolis.

Rentina Castle - Roman Via Egnatia towards Kavala

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Rentina Castle - Roman Via Egnatia towards Kavala

Together with our friends Philip, Micha, John and Anna, we were on the National Road 2 from Perea to Kavala, as Micha at the end of the Volvi Lake drew our attention to the ruins of a fortress, which he, together with Philip, had used earlier as a pitch for their camper.

The hot springs of Eleftheres near Kavala

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The hot springs of Eleftheres near Kavala

Even if the temperatures are rising continuously, one thinks that the many hot springs of Greece have lost their attractiveness during the summer months, one rubs his eyes in amazement when one comes to the springs of Eleftheres.

Kavala - once a major trading center for tobacco

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Kavala - once a major trading center for tobacco

After the Greek-Turkish War in 1922, Greek settlers from Asia Minor also settled in Kavala and established villages in the area where the settlers started cultivating tobacco. By processing and shipping the tobacco, Kavala gained a certain international importance.

Abdera - trading centre for Constantinople and Rome

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Abdera - important trading center for Constantinople and Rome

For our way back to Turkey we had chosen Skopje in Macedonia and Thessalonica along the old Roman road Via Egnatia, the now well-developed highway A2 across Greece, which leads  towards the Evros up to Kesan crossing the border of Turkey.

Free Hugs - Christmas in Alexandroupoli

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Free Hugs - Christmas in Alexandroupoli

After our stopover in Vienna for further preparation of our project "A journey of Intimacy and Culture along Roman Roads" we had travelled along the former Autoput passing Croatia to Morovic (shortly before Belgrade), where we had stayed in a lovely private room rented out via the internet.

Chios - Greek island at the gates of Çeşme

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Chios - Greek island at the gates of Çeşme

For some time now, visiting the Greek island of Chios has been high on my list of places to visit that just need a good reason. My friend Belgin now offered this reason, who suggested a short relaxation trip to the island of Chios at the weekend after a stressful work week.

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