Greece is the home of some of the greatest ancient philosophers, or at least, the greatest ones to still be quoted till date.
I think we’ve enjoyed more of an oversaturation of Greek mythology now as portrayed in mass media in this time than any other. We all love to watch an ancient tale played out. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of the actors and actresses have that wonderful “Greek” physique.
Greek myths and legends are some of the most circulated and widely enjoyed mythologies of modern pop culture which originated in no other country than Greece itself. So today, we will be travelling to no other country than the one whose rather intense motto is “Eleftheria i thanatos” meaning “freedom or death.” Today, we’re going to Greece!
Santorini is an island in the southern Aegan sea and the site for one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history (about 3600 years ago in the Minoan civilization). It’s windy enough to knock your socks and you off the ground. In fact, because of the wind, vines grow in coils on the ground, rather than upright on your typical trellis. The main grape grown on Santorini is assyritiko. This is present in many of the wines made there. You can visit the wineries and make a day of wine tasting. Take a Sunset cruise and enjoy the view of the white towns on the rim of the caldera.
Athena is the glorious Greek goddess of window and war and who the beautiful city of Athens is named after. Visit the Acropolis of Athens, were people gathered to watch plays millennia ago. It is an exceptional ancient building and is still a wonder to behold. You can also stop by at the Acropolis Musuem which has historical artefacts and art to feast your eyes on.
Aegina was the beautiful daughter of the river god Asopos and the nyph Metope. So of course, Zeus fell in love with her, as Zeus does and she had his baby on Oenone. The island was named after Aegina and is now a popular tourist destination. It is about 27 kilometers away from Athens.
The Achilleion Palace, built by Empress Sisi of Bavaaria is in the beautiful island of Corfu. The palace was named after Achilles who was dipped into the enchanted river Styx by his mother for his protection. The protection worked except for his heel, where his mother had held him. This was the Achilles’ heel that killed him. The Achilleion Palace still stands in Corfu today, amomg other historic buildings. The Canal d’Amour is one of the top wonders of Corfu. Its impressive sandstone rock formations creates a natural passage from its small beach into the Ionian Sea. It is absolutely beautiful and if you want you can dive from the rocks and swim in underwater caves and tunnels, as well as snorkel underwater. You can hike to Mount Pantokrator, rising 906 meters above the island to visit the 700 year old Pantokrator Monastery. It is an amazing view from up there. And on a clear day, with your glasses on, you can see part of Southern Italy.
Cronos, one of the original titans, tried to destroy and eat his children to prevent the prophecy that predicted one of them would kill him (you know, Oedipus style). Rhea, Zeus’s mother hid Zeus in Ideon cave to protect him from Cronos until he was old enough to kill Cronos himself — which he did. Today the cave stands in Crete as a site of worship and pilgrimage for Greek mythology lovers. Crete has several other wonders. The Palace of Knossos was built during the Minoan civilization in the 14th century. Its massive columns and frescoes add to its beautiful grandness. You can pay for a guided tour for the mythology and history to come to life as you listen and see the history of the place In the Rethymnon Old Town, the Fortezza. It was built by the Venetian ruling class, hoping it would protect Crete from the Ottomans. Yeah that didn’t happen, because the Ottomans defeated and ruled Crete for two centuries. The Fortezza perimeter houses the partially restored Ibrahim Han Mosque from the Ottoman era and the church of Agios Theodoros Trichinas, a chapel built in 1899.
The Acheron River is one of the five rivers that border the under world. It is known in Greek mythology as the river of woe, for transporting the dead to Hades, and his home, Hades. The river has a wonderful ancient temple of necromancy, nekromanteion and is located in scenic Epirus. You can camp and kayak on this river while being alive, instead of dead.
As you may well know, Mount Olympus, in Greek mythology is regarded as the home of the gods and goddesses except Hades. And although you might not see any gods on the mountain but it is still a stunning and majestic mountain, the highest in the country, and perfect for hikes. It is located between Thessaly and Macedonia.
Greece is filled with wonders you have to see to believe and a history and mythology that has grown to become adored by the world. It is a wonderful place to visit. It is an absolutely beautiful living fossil of its self and it opens up for a tourist to see a lovely history in modern times.