Articles

Salonica Train – England to Greece: the long way

Salonica Train – England to Greece: the long way

A journey back home from England to Thessaloniki.

Following great swathes of the old Orient Express route on seeper trains, a hint of muder and romance in the air. Stop-overs in the grand European cities of Empires’ past.
Or on rural trains through fields and plains in those mysterious regions between the Vienna Woods and the Black Sea.

A long detour round the back of Europe.

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North By Northwest Greece

North By Northwest Greece

Alexander the Great aimed for the Ends of the World and the Great Outer Sea. As did we. And we reached as far as Halkidiki and the Aegean Sea coast of Central Macedonia. Not bad. But it’s now time for us to turn and head back across the country. Homeward bound. From North to North […]

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Central Macedonia

Central Macedonia

Along the road between Florina and Edessa in Greece’s far north, Western Macedonia turns quietly, imperceptibly, into Central Macedonia. Waiting somewhere for us within this new Greek state are beaches of naked abandonment, an forsaken camp for five thousand refugees, a city of Eastern foods, a preposterously grand Orthodox wedding, the sworn sighting of a […]

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Western Macedonia

Western Macedonia

We are aiming for the Grammos mountain. Driving through the tail end – north western – part of Greece, in the region of Western Macedonia. Like a low rumble, turning into a rolling boil, the ground rises up dramatically all around us.  We stop and ask a man at a precariously tilted petrol station the […]

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Epirus

Epirus

Part 1: Epirus
From the Ionian Sea to the Albanian Border

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Travels in Northern Greece

Travels in Northern Greece

Part 1 – Epirus From the Ionian Sea to the Albanian Border Part 2 – Western Macedonia Civil war mountains, Greek lakes, Electric cities Part 3 – Central Macedonia Refugee camps, hippy beaches and an Orthodox wedding Part 4 – North By NorthWest Greece Alexander, Philip, Socrates, Meteora, and the Roman Road Home

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Corfu

Corfu

Corfu. A peninsula snipped off when red hot and allowed to cool for thousands of years in the wide, blue surrounding Ionian Sea. And now crawling with tourists. And with all the accompanying commerce and tat tourists cry out for every summer. BUT there is still a secret Corfu. Or, if not a secret Corfu, […]

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Greek Guides

Greek Guides

Describing the stage and halts, background and conclusions, of journeys through mainland Greece and the islands.

From the countryside to the buildings to the beaches; the customs and the habits; the best bars to have a quiet glass of tsiporou or personal favourite places to gorge on souvlaki. Living momentoes from wanderings around Greece. Hopefully they can be a guide for some other visitors. Or otherwise, just serve as a chance for reflection on the people and place, so as not to forget rambles around the country…

Greece observed.

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Lessons in Greek

Lessons in Greek

“M’ opoion daskalo kathiseis, tetoia grammata tha matheis” they say in Greece. Whichever teacher you learn with, such lessons you learn.   The teacher I learnt with was a tiny, excitable, slightly mad, retired primary school teacher from the villages in the centre of deepest Corfu. Kind and caring of her students, and with the […]

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Karagiozis and the musical island

Karagiozis and the musical island

Corfu is a strangely musical island. Throughout Greece, music always seems to be there, in the background: from the singing cicadas in their heat cocooned trees; to the dark Greek blues of rebetiko music, full of pain and intoxication, in the winter months coming from the streets of steamy ouzeri bars; to the tragoudia tis […]

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