Travel TopOfBlogs Past and future wanderings of a travel bug . . .: It's All Greek to me . . .

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's All Greek to me . . .

So far of all the places I have traveled my absolute favorite place is Greece. My love affair with all things (or at least many things) Greek began way back in Grade 5 when my teacher told our class the story of the Odyssey. It continued over the years as I discovered the mythology and the food. By the time I was university I was hooked. I very nearly took a minor in Classics and one of my first year courses was an Introduction to Archaeology. It was a large class in a huge lecture hall and was taught with lectures and slides. The first month of the course or so, one of the professors showed us slides of her trip to Greece. Some of these were at the dig site she was at but not all of them were. I fell hard. The photographs were stunning and only intensified my wanting to visit.

It wasn't until 2007 though that I first managed to visit. I traveled on my own and spent a couple of days solo in Athens before joining a group to take a four day cruise through the islands. If you ever visit Athens you will likely discover one of two things. You will either love it or you will hate it. I loved it. The streets are chaotic, red lights don't necessarily mean stop and there is no pedestrian right of way. For an English speaker the language is strange--but don't fret, street signs in heavily touristed areas are transliterated from Greek into English. Learning a few words of the language will earn you smiles from the locals. And thanks to the Metro, built before the Athens Olympics, most of the city is very easy to navigate. The Metro is a work of art in itself and is clean and easy to use. Many places in the city you can walk to, especially in the streets of the Plaka which are narrow, winding and not really built for cars--you will see many a moped zipping down these streets though so keep your eyes open. A map, may be helpful for you to help navigate in this older part of town.

Before you go, do your research! There are loads of great resources out there that can be of great help to plan your trip, online and otherwise. My favorite is is Matt Barrett's travel guide to Athens which you can find at He's got tips on everything including how to get there, and get around, what to do, what to see and what eat (and how to pronounce it too!). Lonely Planet's guides were helpful as well. If you are traveling on a budget check out hostel reviews for cheap sleeps and other money saving tips.

Are you inspired or intrigued yet? I hope so! Next week, more on Athens. My favorite places to see, things to eat and a couple of neat places to sleep! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I plan on going with Uncle Louis! Ha ha... I'd love to go, but eating the food while listening to Greek music will have to satisfy me for now...


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