alaturka

Greece, 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').

Ágios Pávlos - The S. Pauls spring next to Neos Marmaras

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Ágios Pávlos - The S. Pauls spring next to Neos Marmaras

Our explorations in Halkidiki should initially lead us to so-called Paulus spring at the Chapel Ágios Pávlos, where there is a first trail to explore today, extending around the rock Petros, one of the highest points on Sithonia.

Olynth - once the political center of Halkidiki

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Olynth - once the political center of Halkidiki

Our explorations in Halkidiki had us led to the ruined city of Olynthus, despite the now hot summer temperatures, an absolutely watch able destination.

Halkidiki - just a summer paradise with ancient past?

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Chalcidice - just a summer paradise with ancient past?

After several days of exploration of trails in the National Park of Mount Olympus and possible outdoor activities and culinary offerings around Rapsani we turned to Halkidiki, the peninsula next to Thessaloniki that is basically quite well known to travelers because of Mount Athos and the surrounding monasteries.

Not just the arch bridge makes Konitsa attractive for campers

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Not just the arch bridge makes Konitsa attractive for campers

After an adventurous journey crossing the Pindos mountains, we visited the district capital Konitsa together with George from Camper stop Bourazani, which is located only a few kilometers from the Albanian border.

Pindos - Cosy villages and exciting bridge constructions

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Pindos - Cosy villages and exciting bridge constructions

Our tour through the Pindos National Park had first led us to the villages of Kapesovo and Koukouli, both of them, so at least local documents, were founded in the 13th century.

Monaster Molivdokskepasti with its wondrous icons!

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The monastery Molivdokskepasti with its wondrous icons!

Only a few hundred meters away from the border with Albania, in the Konitsa region, the Monastery of Molivdoskepasti, dedicated to the Domitian and the Virgin Mary, is situated since the 13th century.

Exploring Pindos Mountains - Hiking to the Vikos Gorge

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Exploring Pindos Mountains - Hiking to the Vikos Gorge

During our stay at Camping Vrachos in Kastraki at Meteora monasteries we also had the idea of a first exploration to the Pindos mountain range in Ioannina, especially to "explore" the  famous Vikos Gorge.

Bourazani - Stopover at Tsipouro Distillation

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Bourazani - Stopover at Tsipouro Distillation

From the middle of autumn to the end of the year, Tsipouro will also be distilled in the region of Bourazani, which, according to Giorgos, normally requires a special license for the producer.

Bourazani at Pindos - A water mill for carpet washing

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Bourazani at Pindos - A water mill for carpet washing

During our introductory discussions Giorgos also told us about one of the many special features in the mountain village of Bourazani, which can be easily reached on foot from the local camper stop: the local watermill, which is also used here for washing the carpets of local residents due to the available water power.

Bourazani - walk along the Aoos River

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Bourazani - walk along the Aoos River

After the somewhat tricky descent from the heights of the Pindos due to the many snow and ice fields now end of November we could already arrive in Bourazani at noon, a serpentine-rich, but beautiful route was behind us.

Delphi - the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

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Delphi - the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

The sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the "Athena in front of the Temple", is situated on the other side of the Castilian gorge, a little further down and far below the site of the excavation.

Delphi - From the theater up to the stadium

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Delphi - From the theater up to the stadium

Our way through the ancient ruins of Delphi leads us higher up the settlement hill, despite the already lower sun and partial cloudy sky, the rise was partly quite exhausting.

Delphi - the Theatre and the Sanctuary of Apollo

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Delphi - the Sanctuary of Apollo

The further we follow the Sacred Road uphill and have passed the first treasures houses, the stronger the massive foundation walls of the sanctuary of Apollo come into our field of vision.

Delphi - the treasure houses along the Sacred Road

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Delphi - the treasure houses along the Sacred Road

Our route using the Sacred Road of Delphi is lined with the treasure houses and anathems that the Greek cities and polies built to preserve their sacred gifts.

Delphi - A short visit to the Museum of the Oracle

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Delphi - A short visit to the Museum of the Oracle

Very extensively we had walked through the outdoor facilities of Delphi, which in deed are rightly listed in the list of World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, so impressively well and historically explaining are the ruin fields and the monuments and the buildings themselves are preserved perfectly.

Ennea Hodoj to Amphipolis - alternating occupiers

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From Ennea Hodoj to Amphipolis - alternating occupiers

For the first time in the year 464 BC, Athens had tried to gain a foothold in the area of Ennea Hodoj, but had been repulsed by the residential Edon tribes in the Battle of Drabeskos.

After exploring Argilos - The Lion of Amphipolis

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After exploring Argilos - The Lion of Amphipolis

After a brief exploration of Argilos, a strong downpour had completely weakened the path, so it was extremely muddy, we went on towards Amphipolis, where we first had to cross the modern Via Egnatia - the highway towards Kavala and Alexandroupolis.

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