Tag: Athens (page 1 of 4)

New Emirates route will link Athens and Newark with non-stop daily flights year-round

Emirates airline Boeing 777

An Emirates airline photo of the Boeing-777-300ER-2 aircraft it will fly on a new route linking Athens to Newark beginning in March

 

Four season flights:  There’s good news for North American travellers: Getting to Greece from the USA both during and outside the peak season summer months will soon be a lot easier.

Emirates airline today announced a new route that will provide daily non-stop service between Athens International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport — year-round.  It will be the first time since 2012 that an airline will offer daily non-stops from the USA to Greece all year long.

The non-stop transatlantic service is part of a new Dubai – Athens – Newark route that will launch on March 12 2017.

Emirates will fly a Boeing-777-300ER-2 on the route, providing 8 seats in first class, 42 in business class, and 304 in economy.

 

“Emirates flight EK209 will depart Dubai at 10:50 local time, arriving in Athens at 14:25 before departing again at 16:40 and arriving into Newark at 22:00 on the same day. The return flight EK210 will depart Newark at 23:45 local time, arriving in Athens the next day at 15:05. EK210 will depart once again from Athens at 17:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 23:50, facilitating convenient onward connections to over 50 Emirates destinations in India, the Far East and Australia,” the airline said in its media release.

“Passengers in all cabin classes can enjoy the friendly service from Emirates’ international cabin crew, meals prepared by gourmet chefs, and over 2,500 channels of the latest movies, TV shows, and music hits on its award-winning ice inflight entertainment system,” the announcement added.

While the new Emirates route will greatly facilitate travel to Greece for Americans, it also will benefit travellers in Toronto and other parts of eastern Canada by providing a possibly more convenient alternative to flying to a major European city and then catching a flight to Athens. I’ve been considering off-season trips to Greece, so the forthcoming Emirates service is welcome news to me personally, as I’m sure it will be for the large Greek communities in Toronto, Montreal and the New York City area.

 

Greece in white winter glory

 Η χιονισμένη Ακρόπολη από ψηλά (The snowy Acropolis from above), is a 1-minute video filmed for the Eurokinissi news agency. It shows drone views of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and nearby historic sites following a light snowfall in Athens in early January 2017

 

Winter wonders: I previously published a 2-part post containing dozens of photos of winter scenes from Greece — pictures that had been shared on social media after severely harsh northern weather systems brought freezing temperatures and snowfalls to many parts of Greece, including islands, the Peloponnese, and the mainland. Dozens of winter scene videos have been published online, too, and in this post I’m sharing some of the many films that I have enjoyed watching.

On this page you’ll find films showing breathtaking aerial views of snowy Athens, Kastoria, Kavala,  Ioannina and Nafplio.  The videos on page 2 feature stunning storm and après-snowfall scenes from Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Sparta, Thessaloniki, Volos, Evia, Chios, Crete, Naxos, Lake Plastiras near Karditsa, and more of Athens and Nafplio.

 

 

International news reports about the snow and cold weather that struck Greece and other European countries earlier this month, along with the scores of snow photos and videos shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, have surprised many people around the world who don’t realize that Greece gets winter weather, too.

Many mistakenly believe Greece enjoys balmy temperatures and sunny skies year-round, so some people have been absolutely astounded to see pictures showing snow on beaches, monuments and villages they have visited during summer trips to Greece. (In the various Greece travel forum pages on TripAdvisor, I regularly see  posts from people who are planning Greek island holidays for winter months because they believe it’s a good time to visit for swimming, sunbathing and beach parties. I would love to see the looks on their faces when they see videos like the ones in this post — or actually show up at a Mykonos beach in mid February!)

 

 

While the winter scenery in these videos is amazing to see, it simply confirms that Greece looks marvellous and is well worth visiting even in the off season. The island and mainland landscapes, the historic ruins and monuments, and the cities, towns and villages are breathtaking all year long.

If you can’t make it to Greece in spring, summer or autumn, why not consider a winter trip? You’ll find the scenery is just as lovely as it is in peak travel season, the locals are warm and friendly, and best of all — there are no crowds.

 

Studiotrasias created this superb aerial film of gorgeous winter scenery at Kastoria

 

These drone views of Kavala were filmed by Tetracopterakias after the city endured three consecutive days of snowfalls 

 

Nikos Roussis captures the winter beauty of Ioannina in this 4.5-minute film

 

Captivating aerial views of Nafplio, filmed by Kostas Ko

 

Please click on the link below to view more videos on page 2 of this post.

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Amazing winter wonderland scenes from Greece

Athens Acropolis with snow photographed by Maria Theofanopoulou

Maria Theofanopoulou captured this beautiful photo of the snow-dusted Acropolis in Athens on the morning of Tuesday January 10. She shot the image from a rooftop vantage point at the Electra Metropolis Athens hotel.

 

Surreal snow scenes:  Since the Christmas holiday period, I have been fascinated viewing hundreds of images of stunning winter scenery that people throughout Greece have been sharing on social media. Although the news feed for the MyGreeceTravelBlog Facebook page is usually filled with breathtaking photos of beautiful beaches, stunning seasides, charming villages and historic monuments, I have been surprised to see that familiar places look almost completely different under dark, stormy skies and blankets of crisp white snow.

At times the pictures of snow-covered beaches, ruins and villages in Greece have seemed surreal to me, especially since there is almost no snow anywhere near my home in downtown Toronto.  Scenes of streets knee-deep in fluffy soft snow are something I would expect from most places in Canada this time of year, but not on Greek islands like Skiathos, Skopelos or Evia!

 

 

I find the images particularly impressive because they show how spectacular Greece looks even in extremely severe weather during a season few tourists get to see and experience. 

If, like me, you have only visited Greece during spring, summer or fall, you probably will be pleasantly surprised to see just how striking and amazing various regions looked during the cold snap that has gripped much of the nation since Christmas.

Below are photos of wintry scenes in several popular Greece destinations, followed on page 2 of this post by dozens of photos from Athens, Rhodes, Chios, Evia, Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros, Sparta, Mystras, Lakonia, Corinth and Ioannina.  Part 2 includes photos from Crete, Nafplio, Epidaurus, Thessaloniki, some of the Cyclades and Ionian islands, plus various locations in the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. With links to scores of additional snow pictures and videos, this two-part feature is one of the most comprehensive collections of Greece winter storm photos you’ll find in one spot.

(Please note that I have done my best to credit the original photographers for each image. However, it wasn’t always possible to trace back all sources. if you notice an incorrect attribution for any of the pictures, please let me know and I’ll be happy to correct the photo credits.)

So bundle up and enjoy a photo tour of winter wonderlands in Greece! 

 

Constantinos Mg photo of snow in Kymi village on Evia

Evia island (also spelled Evvoia and Euboea) was one of the places hardest-hit by snowfalls, with some regions receiving nearly 2 meters of white stuff. Constantinos Mg photographed this snow-filled street in Kymi.

 

Snow on Mandraki beach on Skiathos

It looks like a scene from the Arctic, but this actually is Mandraki beach on Skiathos, photographed by Nikos Mavropoulos 

 

Snow at Parga Greece

Parga looks pretty all dressed in white. This image of the popular seaside resort in northwestern Greece was shared on the Meteo Gr Facebook page

. snow on Skiathos

This photo of snow on Skopelos island has been widely shared on social media, including the Meteo Gr page on Facebook

 

Snow at Myrtos beachon Kefalonia

Myrtos beach on Kefalonia after a snowfall. The image appeared on the Amazing Greece / Incroyable Grèce Facebook page.

 

Snow at Knossos Palace on Crete

Snow blankets the Palace of Knossos near Heraklion, seen in a photo from the My Crete Guide page on Facebook

 

Snow on Charaki beach on Rhodes

A Christmas Eve view of Charaki beach on Rhodes, seen in an image shared by the Rhodes Through My Eyes page on Facebook

 

Snow at Chania Crete

Léandrou Simeonidis captured this breathtaking scene as stormclouds filled the sky above the city of Chania on Crete

 

Lagada village on Chios island

It looks like a scene from a Christmas card, but it’s a photo by George Zournas showing Lagada village on Chios island after a snowfall

 

Snow at Nafplio

The Bourtzi sea castle at Nafplio is surrounded by snowy mountains and  white landscapes in this image by Σεραφείμ Ζίου 

 

Snow at Thessaloniki Greece

Αλέξανδρου Παπαδόπουλου took this photo of the Thessaloniki waterfront during a snowstorm

 

Snow at Mystras Greece

Sunshine illuminates one of the churches at Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Sparta. The image appears in a collection of Mystras snow photos published on the Evrotas blog of landscape photography from the Sparta region. 

 

Please click on the link below to view more photos on page 2 of this post.

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Fab video scenes from a reader’s visit to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos in May 2016

In his beautifully-filmed Greece – Cinematic Travel Video, Kris Clark spotlights top attractions and stunning scenery from Athens, Mykonos and Santorini

 

Trip highlights:  Readers of my blog occasionally write to say they found my website helpful or inspiring for planning their own trips to Greece.  My favourite feedback message of all arrived just yesterday — and included a link to the wonderful video I shared above.

In a comment posted on my blog, Kristoffer Clark said he, his wife and some friends recently returned from their May 7 – 15 trip to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

“We loved it, we used your site to help plan our itinerary. Your site was a big help,” he wrote. “I love to make travel videos of my trips so i wanted to share our Greece one with you.”

It’s such a fabulous film that I can’t resist sharing it here, since I think it superbly captures the essence and tremendous beauty of all three destinations.

And what I like best, besides the gorgeous scenery, are all the smiles, laughs and happy faces in evidence as Kristoffer, his wife and friends enjoy and experience the sights and scenery of three amazing destinations I visited on my  own first trip to Greece. 

If you’ve been to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini before, watching Greece – Cinematic Travel Video will undoubtedly trigger many happy memories for you as well. And if you haven’t been to Greece yet, I’m sure it will quickly convince you that it’s time to go.  What are you waiting for? Start planning!

 

Athens nightlife: Where to party with the locals

Millenium GAZI club in Athens

Scenes from Millenium GAZI, one of dozens of clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the Karameikos metro station in the buzzing Gazi entertainment district of Athens

 

After dark: Wondering where to find a great party scene while you’re visiting Athens? Check out the article Athens nightlife: where do locals go? published recently on the Odiporikon travel tips website.

Written by an Athens-born blogger, the article notes that Athens offers “a very rich variety” of places to enjoy a night on the town. “Avoid the tourist traps and try out places a little further from the usual path,” the article advises.

To that end, it describes the top Athens party districts and how to reach them using the local public transit system and taxis.

Areas listed in the blog post include:

♦ Thissio

♦ Ag. Eirini Square

♦ Kolokotroni Street

♦ Gazi

♦ Psirri

♦ Exarcheia

♦ Chalandri

♦ Glyfada, and

♦ Mikrolimano

Be sure to bookmark the guide to keep on hand for your trip to Athens.

OPUS Inner Pleasure Glyfada

OPUS Inner Pleasure is one of many hot hangouts in the Glyfada coastal suburb of Athens. It’s a restaurant-cafe by day and a party club at night.

 

Top smoke-free Athens bars and restaurants for non-smokers

Mama Roux Athens

The open-air terrace at Mama Roux is shown in a  photo from the restaurant’s Facebook page. Mama Roux is among 10 top Athens cocktail bars & restaurants that expressly forbid smoking on their premises, according to an article from the Greece Is culture and gastronomy website.

 

Breathe better: From a visitor’s point of view, there are very few negative things I can say about Greece. I love going there, and wouldn’t publish this website if I didn’t. But like any place on Earth, it’s not a perfect paradise and it does have some drawbacks. The biggest, from my personal perspective, is the wide prevalence of smoking — not just by locals, but by tourists, too.

I’m seriously allergic to tobacco smoke — it makes me intensely nauseous, and it hinders my breathing. It also stings my eyes and sticks to my contact lenses, leaving them scratchy and uncomfortable. And it doesn’t matter if I’m inside a building or outdoors — if someone lights up nearby, the impact of their smoke is just as severe.

It seems I have plenty of company: I’ve received messages from other people with smoke allergies, and I’ve spoken to numerous travellers (mainly from the USA and Canada) who have commented on the pervasiveness of smoking even in places where it’s supposed to be illegal. 

Happily, I have found cigarette smoke less of a nuisance in recent years than it was during each of our Greek holidays prior to 2009. That was the year Greece enacted legislation to ban smoking in many public places, and though the law has often been ignored since it took effect, I have encountered far fewer people puffing in places where I can’t easily escape their smoke, such as in shops, restaurants and hotels, or on public transit. I still have occasional problems, but I breathe much easier in Greece now than I did up to 2009.

Nevertheless, a meal in a restaurant or a coffee break in a cafe can be ruined for me if another customer or someone on staff lights up. No matter how far away I sit from a smoker (and I actually have changed tables to avoid some), their smoke will waft in my direction and give me grief. 

 

Since I’ve often wondered if there’s anywhere I could go where I could be guaranteed someone wouldn’t be smoking at the table beside me, I was glad to find an article entitled Athenian Hangouts Without Smoke, which was published at the end of March on the excellent Greece Is culture and gastronomy.

Written by Maria Coveou, the article profiles 10 Athens restaurants and cocktail bars “which are smoke-free in theory and in practice, and where exceptions are never made.”

I haven’t been to any of the establishments yet (though I have walked past one — the legendary Zonars restaurant and lounge), but I have bookmarked the article to keep on hand for my next trip to Athens.

If you’re planning to visit Athens and you’re a non-smoker yourself, click here to read Maria’s article and save it for future reference. 

And if you happen to know of other bars and restaurants in Athens (or anywhere else in Greece) that steadfastly forbid tobacco smoking on their premises, please let me and my non-smoking readers know by adding a comment to this post (simply click on the word “comments” under the headline at the top of this article, and write your response in the “Leave a Reply” box.) Those of us with cigarette smoke allergies will be immensely grateful for the information!

 

Zonars restaurant Athens Greece

One of the city’s most famous restaurants and lounge bars, Zonars is another establishment where non-smokers can enjoy a drink or meal in an environment free of tobacco smoke. This street-view photo of Zonars was shared on Facebook by Aspasia Taka Architects.

Experience Greece’s glorious off-season sights & scenery with winter walks and drives

Greece on foot walking tour photo 01

A light layer of snow on the ground didn’t deter participants in a Greece on Foot walking tour from enjoying the awe-inspiring mountain and valley scenery in the Arcadia region of the Peloponnese on January 24 …

 

Greece on foot walking tour photo 02

… nor did cold temperatures just two days later, when walkers got to trek through vibrant green olive groves like this one under brilliant sunny skies. (Photos provided courtesy of Greece on Foot tours.)

 

Winter wonders: Take a winter vacation in Greece? Sure! Why not?

The seething  crowds of summer tourists have long since disappeared, as have the scorching temperatures and the startling high prices of peak season. There’s no waiting in long queues for seats on buses or in restaurants, and no jostling with mobs of organized excursion groups or gaggles of selfie-snapping sightseers at monuments and museums. Hiking paths are almost deserted, and roads aren’t clogged with tour coaches. The magnificent historic and natural scenery remains glorious despite the drastic change in seasons, the legendary Greek hospitality continues unabated, and the food is superb as always.

Of course, winter is the wrong time to visit if your primary holiday preferences are swimming and water sports, lounging on beaches, or all-night-long dancing and carousing at bars, clubs and beaches on Mykonos, Ios or any of the other legendary Greek “party islands.” 

But you’ll still find dynamic nightlife in Athens and Thessaloniki, cities which abound in world-class dining, shopping, entertainment and cultural activities all year round. And if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, you can challenge your alpine mountaineering or snow kiting skills on Crete, or go snowboarding and downhill skiing at Kalavrita or one of several other major resorts on the Greek mainland.

Mountaineering in Crete

Two alpine mountaineers ascend the steep snow-covered peak of Mt Dikti on Crete, in this image shared on Facebook in late January by Festivalaki: Cretan festival of Arts & Culture. The organization’s Facebook post said mountaineering in Crete offers “a wonderful experience combining alpine terrain with breathless views of both the Libyan & Aegean sea.”

 

Vouliagmeni beach photo by John de Castelberg

A beach near the Vouliagmeni beach suburb of Athens is seen in this December 29 2015 photo by John de Castelberg.  Most tourists might find the sea too chilly for a winter dip, but the scenic beach- and café-lined coast of the Athenian Riviera is pleasant to visit throughout the off season.

 

 

Main tourist season is April to October

For people like me and my partner, who couldn’t bear either the blistering heat and sun or the heaving hordes of tourists in midsummer, winter could well be one of the best times to visit Greece. So why, then, have we travelled there only in spring or fall?

That’s a question we have been pondering a lot lately. We used to believe it was better to travel during the regular tourist season, which generally starts in late April and winds down by the end of October (particularly on the islands). In fact, most of our Greek holidays have been fairly early in the season, typically sometime between mid-May and early June. But we have gone twice in the autumn — we went island hopping in the Cyclades in late September 2007, and we explored Naxos and Athens during the first half of October 2013.

What we like about our spring trips in particular is the palpable local excitement and anticipation for the new travel season and approaching summer period, an atmosphere we find invigorating and refreshing after our long winter hibernation at home in Canada. Also, the weather is usually perfect for some of our favourite holiday activities — hiking and walking, and dining outdoors (especially near the sea). We weren’t keen to visit Greece during the off-season because we were worried we might not enjoy it as much with colder temperatures, inclement weather and few tourists around. 

Samos flamingo photo by Nikolaos Housas

Winter shouldn’t keep us away from Greece — it didn’t stop this pretty pink flamingo and a dozen of its feathered friends from visiting the Alyki wetland reserve on Samos island for several days at the end of January 2016.  Local photographer Nikolaos Housas captured this splendid image on January 27 and shared it on the Samos Island public group page on Facebook. 

 

Social media show the winter appeal of Greece

But recently we’ve really been warming up to the idea of a winter getaway to Greece.  What changed our minds? In two words: social media.

With their photos on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter (some of which I will share with you on page 2 of this post), friends, acquaintances and dozens of people we don’t even know have shown us that Greece can be just as delightful and charming in winter as it is during spring, summer or fall. In fact, they have demonstrated that it’s a terrific time to see the country’s wonderful sights and scenery either on foot or by driving around, and it can often even be comfortable to eat outdoors, or at least sit outside with a coffee to people watch and enjoy the scenery.  What’s more, colourful Carnival celebrations held each February and March in scores of villages and towns provide traditional festive fun and excitement we wouldn’t find in spring.

Haroula taverna at Marpissa on Paros

We thought we would miss eating outdoors if we took an off-season trip to Greece. But occasional mild weather means outdoor dining can be possible even in winter, as this photo posted by the Parosweb Facebook page attests. Taken on January 21 2016, the picture shows a table laden with delectable dishes of home-cooked Greek cuisine in the courtyard at Haroula’s Taverna in Marpissa village on Paros.

 

A place to escape our usual winter blahs

Of course there can be gloomy days with rain, cold temperatures, gale-force winds and even snowstorms, as I have reported in posts on December 31 2015, January 17 2016, and January 23 2016. But we get unpredictable and occasionally severe weather conditions at home, too. Yet we continue to drag ourselves through our  December and January doldrums, and the brutal February blahs, daydreaming about Greece and counting the days until we can go back.  Why not just battle the blahs by getting a winter fix of Greece instead?  With luck we might encounter pleasantly mild weather conditions, as you’ll see in many of the photos below. At worst, it will feel almost like winter back home — but at least we will be passing the time enjoying the off-season beauty in our favourite travel destination. We’re already looking into the possibility of doing exactly that next December or January.

Please click here or on the link below the following picture to turn to page 2 and see some of the photos that have convinced us we’re long overdue for an off-season trip to Greece. Fingers crossed that we’ll be posting our own winter pictures at this time next year. 

Athens winter night view photo by Wendy Gilops

Athens is a bustling year-round travel destination, as evidenced by the throngs of people strolling past historic monuments in the center of Athens, just below the illuminated Acropolis and Parthenon (upper right). Wendy Gilops captured this scene on December 27 2015. 

 

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Greeking.me — Visit Greece like a local!

Greeking me website screenshot

The Greek Parliament building at Syntagma Square is seen in this screenshot from the Greeking.me website

 

Greeking.me, a new start up that offers customized experiences and tours  of Athens, has launched on 27 January, 2015. The innovative venture offers the chance to explore Athens like a local as all experiences are carefully designed so as to represent the authentic Greek culture.

Whatever it is you want to experience from seeing the best of Athens in a morning stroll, learning how to cook mouthwatering Greek recipes with the help of a food expert, discovering the Zorba inside you and learning the steps of your favorite Greek dance or exploring mythology traces throughout the city, Greeking.me offers inspiring packages or even the opportunity to design a completely hands-on personalized vacation just the way you like it. Needless to say that the holidays can be booked online through the user-friendly booking system, in just 4 easy steps.

 

Morning Strolls: See the best of Athens in a morning walk full of surprises and contradictions.

 

Night Crawlers: Athens by night is more attractive than by day!

 

Greeking.me is launching a campaign at Indiegogo, the crowdfunding and fundraising website, where users can support the project while having the opportunity to win amazing gifts! These are some great traditional greek products, such as Bariamis greek delights, Oreanthi herbal tea, Fisika soaps, Meraki herbal herbs and The Family Beez organic raw honey. Of course, there will be many discount vouchers for Greeking.me experiences for those that will support the crowdfunding campaign.

To stop being a tourist and start becoming an explorer, visit the newly launched website: Greeking.me and book your tailor-made dreamy vacation today!

Greekingme banner ad 728x90

This is a sponsored post by Greeking.me

Christmas sparkles at Syntagma Square in Athens

Syntagma Square Athens photo by Chris Maroulakis

I love this photo that Flickr contributor Chris Maroulakis shot of a Christmas tree and festive holiday lights at Syntagma Square in Athens. The photo is from his Flickr photostream, which features nearly 2,000 beautiful images of Greece, and is reposted here with his kind permission. Click here to open the Chris Maroulakis Flickr page and enjoy his other photos. 

Festive music and fun for kids at Athens airport on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve

 Athens airport Christmas and New Year events

Special music and children’s entertainment events will be held Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at Athens International Airport

 

Travel treats: Athens International Airport will be sharing the holiday spirit with special festive music and fun for kids on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both of those days, the airport will be treating travellers to live music and entertainment, as well as fun events specially geared to children, in the open access area of the terminal’s departures level.

The entertainment lineup for both December 24 and December 31  includes:

♦ appearances by two Happy Mascots — the Christmas Elf and the “living toy,” Miss Carousel — who will entertain children with acrobatic tricks, wish cards and photo opportunities

♦ the wind-up Living Statue, who will delight travellers near Entrances 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the open access area of the departures floor; and

♦ the Transformation Booth, where visitors can choose fun accessories and props for photo-taking. The booth will be at  Entrance 2 for the check-in counters.

On Christmas Eve, the Experimental Music School of Pallini will present a musical program of carols and all-time-favourite Christmas classics. The ensemble includes students who specialize in Greek and international traditional music and who play traditional instruments. The performance will take place from 12:00 to 12:45 in the open access section of the airport shopping center on the departure floor.

On New Year’s Eve, the Athens-based band Vanila Swing will help travellers bid farewell to 2015 with a live swing concert featuring the group’s trademark blend of 50s rockabilly and 40s swing with a fresh rock’n’ roll twist. The concert will take place from 12:00 to 13:00 in the open access section of the airport shopping center on the departure level.

The holiday festivities are a collaborative effort between Athens International Airport and the ελculture cultural platform.

The enchanting beauty of Athens

Athens is a gorgeous 5-minute promotional video produced by Visit Greece, the website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation. With its fabulous high-definition and time-lapse photography showcasing top attractions and historic monuments in Greece’s capital city and points beyond, such as spectacular Cape Sounion and beautiful beaches on the Athens Riviera, it’s one of the best Athens videos I’ve ever seen.  Click the arrow on the image above to start the film and take “an enchanting trip around the beauties of Athens.” 

 

 

Acropolis & Parthenon shine in print & social media spotlights

Trudeau family at the Acropolis

Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Prime Minister of Canada when he visited Athens with his three sons in 1983. His oldest son Justin (standing behind younger brothers Michel and Alexandre at the Parthenon) became Prime Minister after winning Canada’s federal election on October 19. This photo made the rounds on Greek social media following Justin Trudeau’s big election win.

 

Media marvels: I’ve been seeing a lot of the  Acropolis and the Parthenon in Athens this month — unfortunately not in person, but in print and social media.

Photos of the top two Athens attractions appear frequently on my Facebook and Twitter news feeds, but in the last several weeks there has been a noticeable spike in the number of picture, video and article links that have been posted about both monuments.

Most social media posts have been travel pictures that tourists shot during their autumn visits to the world-famous monuments, but some of the stand-out photos and articles have been published by international print and online publications.

Screenshot of a Boston Globe article about AthensOne widely shared link was for the travel article Glories, history live in the heart of Athens, published October 3 by The Boston Globe.  The story said the Acropolis is “the absolute must see” for visitors to Athens, and it featured a large picture of the Parthenon as its lead photo.

Another popular share on Facebook was the photo I posted above showing then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his three young sons during a visit to the Acropolis on August 30, 1983.

The picture, credited to Peter Bregg of the Canadian Press news organization,  was republished by The Pappas Post website as its Photo of the Day on October 22 — three days after the eldest Trudeau boy, Justin, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Canada. Now 43, Justin was just 11 years old when the family photograph was taken at the Parthenon.

Meanwhile, a trip to my local magazine retailer brought me face-to-face with pictures of the Parthenon and the caryatids at the Erechtheion monument on the Acropolis. 

Prominently displayed on an eye-level shelf was the October/November issue of National Geographic History magazine, which has an attention-grabbing cover photo of the Parthenon basking in a golden sunset glow. 

National Geographic History magazine cover October November 2015Inside is an informative and well-illustrated 12-page feature article describing noteworthy events during the Parthenon’s long history.

“It was built to celebrate the triumph of Athens over adversity,” the article begins, “but survival would be hard for this extraordinary building. Over 2,500 years it has been abused, plundered, neglected, and all but obliterated. Its remains now stand as a proud symbol of the endurance of Greek civilization.”

The feature includes “The day they blew up the Parthenon,” a two-page account of the September 21, 1687 artillery attack on the monument by Venetian forces.

On another shelf, the November/December issue of Archaeology magazine caught my eye. Its cover image is a photo showing three of the caryatid figures on the Erechtheion, one of the historic buildings on the Acropolis. An 8-page feature article about the Acropolis describes “the decades-long project to restore the site to its iconic past.” 

Archaeology magazine cover for November December 2015“After four decades of intensive work by hundreds of experts in archaeology, architecture, marble working, masonry, restoration, conservation and mechanical, chemical and structural engineering, much has been accomplished. Already the restoration of two of the major buildings, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike, has been completed, as has much of the work on the Propylaia and on large sections of the Parthenon,” the article notes. 

In outlining “7 keys to restoring an icon,” the article illustrates and discusses several specific monuments and elements at the Acropolis, including the Circuit Walls, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, the Arrephorion, “scattered architectural members,” and of course the Parthenon.

Both magazine features are fascinating reads, whether you’ve been to the Acropolis before or not. If you’re planning a trip to Athens for later this year or sometime during 2016, see if you can find copies of the publications at your neighbourhood news outlets. You will enjoy a more informed and educated visit to the Acropolis if you get to read the articles before your trip. 

And just today (October 31), I have seen the Parthenon and Acropolis getting even more attention in a news video being shared widely on Facebook.

Originally posted on the Facebook page for the Greek Gateway entertainment website, the clip shows the Greek Presidential Guard participating in a flag raising ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Oxi Day this past Wednesday. A national holiday, Oxi Day celebrates events on October 28, 1940, when Mussolini’s forces demanded they be allowed to enter and occupy Greece. In response, Greek leader Iannis Metaxas bluntly said “oxi” (“no”) and refused the Italian ultimatum. 

 

Oxi Day ceremony at the Acropolis

  A screenshot from the special Oxi Day video that Greek Gateway shared on its Facebook page. Click here to view the clip.

 

 My last visit to the Acropolis was in May 2014, but after seeing all these photos and stories about it in recent weeks, I wish I could get back soon for another look around.

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