Athens, home of histor

athens

Athens is the capital of Greece in southern Europe and is known as the birthplace of modern Europe. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

These are the Acropolis and the Daphni Monastery. Athens is the home of the original Olympians and was the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Athens is so full of history that there are numerous sites that are worthy of visiting. Some of the more prominent ones include the AcropolisHellenic ParliamentAcropolis Museum, andMonastiraki Square, the Temple of HephaestusTemple of Olympian ZeusAgora, and theNational Archaeological Museum.

Athens has more theatrical stages than any other city in the world and the Athens Festival is staged there annually.

Greek food is very important to the culture of the city and seafood is special to the isles. Among the specialties are the Horiatiki SaladLambYogurtCapari Salata or caper saladOlives, and eggplant salad.

Among the places to try Greek cuisine in Athens are the MakaloMelilotosTo Kati Anno, and Klimatario.

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Thessaloniki, the summer in Greece

Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, the capital of the region of central Macedonia, and is famous for being the destination of two of St. Paul’s epistles in the New Testament.

The city is over 2000 years old and in its hey-day Thessaloniki was a co-reigning city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire alongside Constantinople.

The city is well-known for its many festivals and cultural events with the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair and Thessaloniki International Film Festival held each year.

The city boasts many Byzantine monuments and has 15 listed Unesco World Heritage Sites including the Hagias Sophia and Hagias Demetrius which is said to be the largest basilica in Greece. It also boasts many Roman, Ottoman, and Sephardic Jewish monuments. The Aristotle University in Thessaloniki is the largest in Greece and the Balkans.

The city has many imposing hills, mountain ranges, and fault lines and is subject to earthquakes.

Thessaloniki has characteristics of both temperate and Mediterranean climates and has dry winters, fog, and very hot summers with humid nights.

Thessaloniki is a major transportation hub with the Macedonia International Airport and railways connecting the rest of Greece.

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Corfu, castle island

corfu

In the Ionian Sea sits the Greek island of Corfu. The birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh, the whole island of Corfu is made almost entirely of limestone formations.

The island was heavily fortified against the Ottoman Empire and its capital city, also named Corfu, is enclosed by castles. It has been declared a Kastropolis or castle city by the Greek government. Among the islands sites is the Achilleion palace. The palace is famous for itsItalianate architecture and was after the Homeric hero Achilles.

The palace is is filled with paintings and statues of Achilles and depicts the scenes of the Trojan War. The historic Palaiokastritsa monastery on the west coast has beautiful coastal views of small, picturesque bays.

The Nymphes waterfalls in the north and the deserted 14th century village of Perithia high in the mountains near the highest peak of Mount Pantokrator are also worth seeing.

The foods of Corfu are similar to those of mainland Greece such as olivesolive oilcheeses,fresh fruitsvegetables and seafood.

Things to try include Bourou-Bourou Vegetable and Pasta Soup, Bourtheto a Scorpion Fish in a Spicy Sauce, Pastitsatha Rooster with Pasta and Sykomaïtha – Spiced Fig Cakes. The island is served by the Corfu International Airport, two miles south of Corfu Town.

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