Second Time Around travel blog

Lions Gate, Mycenae

Hotel balcony view


Greece is still suffering the effects of its national debt crisis. Unemployment is 20+%. Many shops are empty. Athens has its share of beggars and people sleeping on sidewalks. Graffiti is epidemic, and most of it is merely ugly.

There are plenty of well dressed people. BMWs and Mercedes are everywhere. Income inequality is in plain sight.

We feel safe. We practice street smarts at all times, just to make sure.

Greek T.V. has lots of music videos, along with near nightly analysis of Survivor Greece. We look for news or programs in English and usually don't find it.

Olive and orange groves dominate the countryside. Mediterranean Cypress and pine occasionally decorate the mountains, but most forests were cut away centuries ago. Except for birds and occasional untended goats, we have seen no wildlife.

Stray cats and dogs roam in all towns.

Layers and piles of history abound. In the best of times there would never be enough money to preserve every deserving Minoan, Mycenean, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, or Ottoman site.

We have been unbelievably lucky to have had sunshine for most of our visit.

I have had music from Berlioz's Les Troyens running through my head constantly. I have tried countering it with Eddie Arnold's "Cattle Call" and Bing Crosby's "Teddy Bear's Picnic."

The famous sites are justifiably famous. For me, Greece is among the top destinations I have yet experienced. Don't hesitate to come here. In the off season. Don't even think of coming here in summer.

Share |