We're traveling today to the country of Greece. I've been several times and lived there for a few years even. My last trip was a couple years ago. The country is going though some difficult economic times, but the people of Greece are full of hospitality and the country is absolutely lovely. History and culture abound in Greece! Are you ready for a short tour ?
First Stop Athens:
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. One famous area is the acropolis, or the high hill on which many famous ruins are located. The Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena. It was built in 438 BC. Today's pollution is crumbling the marble that held up for thousands of years, so they are restoring as they are able to. The Parthenon is shown below in the upper left picture. The bottom picture is of the acropolis with the Parthenon lit up at night from the roof-top bar of our hotel a few miles away. In the picture on the upper right is the Erechtheion temple, completed in 406 BC and dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. This "Porch of Maidens" or Caryatids is made up of six female draped columns.
Traveling north from Athens, we stop in a small village near the foothills of Mount Olympus. The air here is clean and fresh and the people wholesome. Most villagers are farmers and shepherds. The village has a town square with a church, a cafe, a few other stores to pick up daily needs. Village life is hard work but it is a good life. The picture below overlooks the village from a hill outside the village.
Next Stop - Katerini, a small city on the east coast
Still going north, we drive over to the other side of Mount Olympus and towards the coast. Katerini is a mid-sized city, the biggest in it's region of Pieria (sort of like county). It is about 35 miles south of Thessalonica, the second largest city in Greece. There is retail, manufacturing, and many industries here to keep Katerini town going. It is about 3 miles from the Thermaic Gulf, a part of the Aegean sea, and the picture below is at the shopping district of the beach area.
Final Stop - the Aegean Sea
We will end the tour with a dip at the beautiful clear waters at the beach near Katerini. You can't go to Greece and not visit the beach. Mainland Greece is a peninsula so beach is unavoidable! There are also hundreds of islands available to visit. There are public and private beaches, beaches with different kind of sands, beaches with rocks and ones with shells. The picture below is of a private beach area of friends of mine. The water is cool and clear. You do have to be aware of the occasional jelly fish, However, on a good day you can see dolphins frolicking a few hundred yards from where you are standing or swimming. Such a awesome sight for a landlocked Midwestern gal like me!
That is the end of the tour today. I hope you enjoyed this mini-travel to Greece with me. You must go some day and see it for yourself. Pictures do not give the beautiful surroundings justice.