Articles

Rethymno

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Iraklion-Rethymno by bus : 7,60 euros. 1h30.




Agrandir le plan Rethymno is a really nice little town which, even more than Iraklion, has kept a lot of its historical monuments, among which a lot of the Ottoman and Venitian period. The most impressive being the fortezza built by the Venitians to protect the old city :


Souvlaki

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The Souvlaki is probably, even more than Mousaka, the most famous Greek dish, the one which is not reserved only for special occasions and can be enjoyed by everybody anytime, anywhere, but also the most confusing. Indeed, Souvlaki can present itself as roasted meat (pork, chicken or lamb) on a pike (pic1), simple, or inside a pita (flat bread) peppered with chips and veggies and tsatsiki or mayonnaise sauce (pic2). 


The price for a Souvlaki with pita ranged from 1,80 euros to 2 euros, and the quality, we must say, can vary from shop to shop, but in Athens, there is no contest that the best Souvlakis I ever ate were fromΟ ΛΕΒΕΝΤΗΣ, ΠΕΙΣΙΣΤΡΑΤΟΥΣ 81 in Kallithea. Service was awful though.

THE ACROPOLIS MUSEUM

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Sunday 27 of September was Day of Culture, and as such, all museums and archeological sites in Athens (and in Greece as well I guess) were free ! I was absolutely not aware of this when I entered the new Acropolis Museum on Sunday morning.




As you can see on the picture above the Museum is built on the same plan as the Acropolis itself : the last floor, the glass one, is built a little sideways, just like the Parthenon on top of  the Acropolis, so that they are perfectly parallel. At least, I think that’s what they aimed at. All the museum is devoted to the Acropolis site, and most of the statues and marbles have been sheltered into the Museum itself. If I have understood well, the goal is to have a kind of giant counterfeit on the top of the Acropolis and to keep all the original and more precious things in the museum. I must say I was not really overwhelmed by the museum. There are less stuff than what I expected, no clear path or disposition of the elements, and to be frank the sho…

Meteora

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To go to Meteora, you can take the train from Athens. There is a train at 8:21 am every day. 5 hours more or less and 14,60 euros. You can also take a bus from Ktel Terminus B in Athens. Timetable and price here. However, the bus stops at Trikala. You have to take another bus or train to get to Kalambaka and Kastraki, where are the Meteora monasteries.


Agrandir le plan The trip by train is a bit slow sometimes and don’t expect it to be on time when you arrive, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to see the mountains of central Greece.
And as soon as you arrive in Kalambaka, prepare to be overwhelmed :



On the sides of the Greek roads

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The Greek roads are notorious for the number of accidents which happen every year. That's why you will see a lot of these mini-chapels, which commemorate the place where someone has died or the place where someone nearly died.

There is usually an image of the dead inside and oil burning, or an image of a saint. The family takes as much care of it as the tomb.



BYZANTINE ORTHODOX CHURCHES

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The monumental size of the Agia Sofia in Istanbul is a kind of testament of the greatness of the Byzantine Empire, but as time went by and the empire fell down the spiral of decline, the size of its building followed the same trend and it can be seen in Athens itself.
The Church of Panagia Karnikarea, at the end of the Ermou street, was built in the 11th century and strikes a radical contrast between its quaint and modest size with the ugliness of the huge modern buildings around it.

Even smaller, near the Metropolis Church, 5 minutes away from there, you will find the Church of Agios Eleftherios (also called "Little Metropolis"), a Byzantine chapel from the 13th century, which is worth watching for the sculptures of animal with which its walls are adorned.