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').

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.

Tomb in Amphipolis - excavations intensified again

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Tomb in Amphipolis - excavations intensified again

To the north-east of Amphipolis there is a 23-meter-high grave, which in all probability contains an important tomb from the last quarter of the fourth century BC, that is, from the epoch of Alexander the Great (356-323) and its immediate successors.

Amphipolis - customs taxes on wood and mines made it rich

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Amphipolis - customs taxes on wood and mines made it rich

After our stop at the Monument of the Lion of Amphipolis, we continued along the Strymonas to the inner countryside, where we first noticed the Marmariou Tower at the entrance of Amphipolis.

Argilos - early Greek colony west of Strymonas

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Argilos - early Greek colony west of Strymonas

We are on the way to the ancient Amphipolis, which is situated in an arch of the river Strymonas at the Roman Via Egnatia and which once was a major trading place, as a sign for the excavations of ancient Argilos appeared.

Thasitic Peraia - settlement area of inhabitants of Thasos

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Thasitic Peraia - settlement area of the inhabitants of Thasos

During our project work along Via Egnatia, we encountered the ancient Amphipolis, next to Thessalonica and Kavala, neighboring important trading centers on the ancient Roman road between Durres and Istanbul.

Hammam - or Hamam - the steam bath of Agkistro

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Hammam - also Hamam - the steam bath of Agkistro

The Hammām is a further development of the Greek-Roman bath, which the ancient Greeks, Romans and Byzantines have already implemented in their urban concepts as public baths 2,000 years ago.

Kerkini Lake - reservoir on the way to Agkistro

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Kerkini Lake - reservoir on the way to Agkistro

It was originally a suggestion from Toni Zampetas, which finally brought us to George and Anthimos and thus to the village of Agkistro, a small mountain village near the border with Bulgaria in the Serres region.

The wetlands at Lake Kerkini in the region of Serres

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The wetlands at Lake Kerkini in the region of Serres

The first impressions at Kerkini Lake were so impressive that we decided to completely surround the lake, especially as the huge wetlands are more on the north-western bank areas in front of the imposing mountain chain that forms the border with Bulgaria.

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