Greece offers extremely beautiful scenery, tropical beaches on one hand and high, snowy mountains on the other. Thousands of Greeks are passionate about gliding on the snow and, every chance they get, they go up to the mountains in order to confront the elements of nature. Parnassos Ski Resort is always a surprise for those who visit it for the first time. Huge installations that reach the altitude of 2,260m and giant lifts, which lead to 23 slopes totaling 34km. While gliding on the snow, skiers see amazing landscapes unfolding in front of their eyes, as if they were on a plane.
If someone goes to Lycabettus right after the sunset, he'll be surprised by the pictures he will see. As darkness spreads the impersonal buildings of Athens disappear and the eye goes up to the sky which is set on fire by the colours. The only human creation one can see there is the silhouette of Acropolis.
The place where the Gunpowder Mills of the 1821 Revolution (against the Ottoman Turks) were hidden and the birthplace of Patriarch Gregory V, who was hanged by the Turks in Constantinople. The village’s library has thousands of rare books -and it would have had many more if Theodore Kolokotronis’ men had not shredded the paper, with tears in their eyes, in order to make bandoliers for their Carlo E. Figli riffles (known in Greece simply as Kariofili riffles). Dimitsana does not only stir up emotions of national pride for Greeks but also satisfies the senses. Wherever one stands, he or she can see wild mountains and running water. In the morning, visitors are awoken by sheep bells and the sound of axes splitting wood in half. In the tavernas, one can eat omelet with salted pork and coq au vin with a side of hylopites, a type of Greek noodles. It is an amazing winter resort!
Evros river has some islets, the most important of which is "Islet A", which is near Dikea and is divided among Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. In the middle of the islet there is the "tri-national", which is the point where the borders of the three countries meet. This is marked by a concrete triangular pyramid, one meter high, on the sides of which the three flags are painted. The islet covers an area of 340 acres, 170 of which belong to Turkey, 85 to Greece and 85 to Bulgaria.
A multinational city with an oriental feel, which doesn’t contradict its western finesse. It does not have anything powerfully beautiful but nothing ugly as well. A vibrant society with high wages and government services that serve the people without submitting them to unnecessary bureaucracy. Even though there are many cars, oddly enough roads seem almost empty. The city’s centre has lost its traditional character to a significant extent but offers its visitors remarkable recreational and cultural outlets. It looks like the centre of Greek cities, but is less noisy and significantly less stressful. Organized and serene, it makes life easy for its residents and visitors.
An imposing Castle Town from the Byzantine Times and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated close to Sparta. The Franks began building the town in the mid 13th century but it quickly passed into the Byzantine rule. During the next two centuries, it evolved into a powerful political, military and cultural centre. In 1443, Constantine Palaiologos, who in 1448 was appointed Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, became the ruler of Mystras. He was the last Emperor, the man who in 1453 decided to die like a common soldier on the wall of Constantinople. In 1460, Mystras was captured by the Turks and began its decline. In 1821 it revolved against the Turks and in 1825 it was plundered by Ibrahim’s army. From then on, it remains a ghost town. At Mystras, there is a very interesting museum.
The Archaeological Museum of Tegea houses ancient Greek treasures of immense beauty, which are presented in a masterful way. Amongst the exhibits, the head of Asclepius, a marble relief of Pan, thrones of the Kings and carved marble plates with scenes depicting heroes and demigods. In Tegea stood a temple dedicated to Athena Alea, built by the sculptor and architect Scopas from the Island of Paros. Many of his important works are on display at the museum. Tegea had a population of 40,000, a parliament of 300 men and its own currency. The founder of Paphos, King Agapenor was born there, as was the mythical Pan. Next to the museum there is an imposing outdoor archaeological site. Photographs capture very little of the magical vibes this museum emits.
Since 1974 and up until today, Nicosia has been divided in two by barbed wire and fortification works. It is the only European Union capital that has been forcibly divided by foreign occupying troops. The free part of Nicosia has changed and is evolving with leaps but the images in the Buffer (Dead) Zone haven’t changed in almost half a century. The young soldiers of the Cypriot National Guard keep watch in the narrow streets of the dividing zone defending the ideal of freedom. Their fathers did the same. But for the powerful of the world, pacts and maintaining the balance with the intruder seem to be more important than these ideals.