Articles

To Hull

To Hull

I wait behind an old fashioned, green painted, heavy iron British Rail gate. Craning my neck as the just-arrived Hull Train from Kings Cross snorts a few engine noises and a cut-price crowd file along down the platform towards me. I’m in front of the Royal Station Hotel on a Friday evening, and stood next […]

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Crete

Crete

Rethymno Days   We landed at Heraklion sometime in early April. The ferry gliding in, like a vast white sea bird, to rest next to the red-brick arches of the city’s Venetian arsenal. We left Heraklion though. straightaway, for Rethymno, 80 kilometers to the west. Heraklion’s charms – and its shabbiness – would have to […]

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Athens

Athens

I’ve come to show you the Street of Dreams It doesn’t stand out; it’s just a street like all the others of Athens It is the street where we live Small, insignificant, sad, tyrannical, and yet infinitely kind There is a lot of dirt, a lot of children, a lot of mothers, a lot of […]

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Thrace

Thrace

The White Arrivers We arrived in Xanthi as the worst winter storms in over 50 years hit the Balkans. Blizzards, blocked roads, violent slurries of thick snow throughout the whole of northern Greece. A church bell chimed in the darkened sky, splattered with snow, as we crawled in. And then, from somewhere on the hills […]

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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. Giristroula and I were a little less ambitious. We had got as far as the Aegean seacoast of Central Macedonia, but time had run out on us and now we had to turn and head back across the country. Homeward […]

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Central Macedonia

Central Macedonia

Along the road between Florina and Edessa, Western Macedonia turned quietly, imperceptibly, into Central Macedonia. Waiting somewhere for us within this new Greek state were beaches of naked abandonment, a forsaken camp for fifteen thousand refugees, a preposterously grand Orthodox wedding, the sworn sighting of a miracle… For now though, we were making our way […]

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Western Macedonia

Western Macedonia

We were aiming for Grammos mountain, driving through the north western part of Greece. Like a low rumble, turning into a rolling boil, the ground started rising dramatically all around us. We stopped and asked a man at a precariously tilted petrol station the way to Aetomilitsa. Aetomilitsa, somewhere ahead up the mountains before us, […]

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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

While living on Corfu, we crossed over the thin strip of sea that divides the island and Greece’s mainland one summer to take a tour round the northern part of Greece. There was no real reason behind it, we were just travelling to see what we could see. Which is, of course, always the best […]

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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 douleias […]

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