GreeceFlying Flag of Greece







Athens and Surrounds - Andrew and Roy - 1989
Corfu - Shaun and Alison - 1993
Zakynthos (Zante) and Keffalonia - Shaun and Alison - 1994
Corfu - Shaun and Alison - 1995
Kos and Rhodes - Roy and Tammy - 2000
Santorini - Andrew - 2002

Map of Greece showing various destinations visited  Map of Greece with flag

Click here for a more detailed map

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Greece is the cradle of European civilisation and as such contains some of the most historic sights in the whole of the World. It is a straggling country of peninsulas and islands, each of which has a character of its own from the largest, Crete in the far south almost a country in its own right, to the dramatic volcanic crater of Santorini, to Corfu in the west and Rhodes in the east.

Athens, the capital, is one of the most spectacular in Europe and is dominated by the Acropolis and its Parthenon.

Along with Spain, Italy and the USA, Greece is one of the four countries which all the Raving Loony Team have visited.

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Athens and Surrounds - Andrew and Roy - 1989

Andrew and Roy's first major trip abroad was to Greece.  Andrew's parents had been a few years before and came back with glowing reports, both Andrew and Roy are interested in history and so Greece seemed the perfect destination.

Andrew in Glyfada (under the flight path of the airplanes!)So they found themselves at Gatwick Airport at some ungodly hour in the morning waiting for the first plane to Athens airport.  A few hours later they arrived in Glyfada where the airport is situated - and also where their hotel (the Hotel London) was situated (directly under the flight path of the planes so it seemed!).

The first day they didn't do much but wander around Glyfada and turn in for an early night in what can only be described as a "cramped room"!  This turned out to be the first of three rooms they had to occupy as the management kept moving them from one room to another.

During one period of the first day (whilst Andrew was elsewhere) Roy hooked himself up with a girl from Southampton called Tracey who travelled with them to Athens the following day.

Naturally enough the first place they headed for on day one was the Acropolis.  Even with great big crowds the Acropolis and Parthenon are hugely impressive.  Andrew and Roy's visit coincided with the"scaffolding" stage that the Parthenon went through during most of the 1980s, so consequently certain bits were out of bounds of smothered in metal work which was a shame.

Andrew on the Acropolis with the Theatre of Dionyssos behind

After they left the top of the Acropolis the trio walked down into the Theatre of Dionyssos (behind Andrew in the picture above).

Roy and Tracey in the Theatre of Dionyssos

The Theatre is still used for concerts sometimes, although the seats have to be mightily uncomfortable!

Tracey, Roy and Andrew rest at the Temple of Olympian ZeusFrom here they walked to the old Roman centre of Athens centred around the Temple of Olympian Zeus, a rather wrecked Forum area where they rested for a while in the baking sun.

From here they moved on to the Olympic Stadium - a more modern landmark of Athens - in fact about the only modern landmark of Athens!

The Olympic Stadium, Athens

After this they had to return to Glyfada...one disadvantage of not staying in Athens itself was that they never got to see the Parthenon floodlit which must be quite a sight.

The reason they had to return was because they were all booked on a "Bouzouki Night" (i.e. a free booze and food night - in other words an excuse for everyone to get totally pissed).  This Andrew managed to do a little too much and so he spent a good deal of the following morning asleep whilst Roy bade Tracey a farewell as she returned to Southampton never to be sighted again.

It seems incredible to think now that Andrew and Roy scheduled "rest days" into their holiday - so it was another day before they returned to Athens, this time without Tracey.  They began the day at the Parliament building on Sýntagma Square watching the Évzone Guards doing their peculiar slow-motion guard changing routine.  The Évzones are the famous kilted Greek soldiers with their mildly daft-looking bobbled clogs.  However, as they are all about six foot six tall no one is ever going to tell them they look silly!

Andrew having coffee atop Likavittos in Athens

A wander through the Plaka (Old Town) was next on the agenda, and it must be said they didn't make the most of this - both were a little too nervous about getting lost and unused to being abroad on their own for this length of time.

From the Plaka they took the Funicular Railway up to the summit of Likavittos from where an excellent - if pollution fogged - view of Athens opens out.

The next day was the first of the organised tours that Andrew and Roy went on during their stay.

The Corinth Canal

This one was across the spectacular Corinth Canal (above) and into the Peloponnese.  Only a short break at the Corinth Canal broke up a long and sweaty journey to the historic ancient site of Mycaene, the ruins of the Palace of Agammemnon which were excavated by Schliemann in the 1870s.

Roy and Andrew at Mycaene, Greece

After this their trip took them very briefly to Nafplio on the Gulf of Argolis.  They sadly had no time to explore the superb fortress there (which would have been their first foreign Castle - something which ended up waiting until 1998).  After Nafplio it was another hot sweaty drive to Epidavros, the famous amphitheatre built in the 4th Century BC.  From the very top row you can clearly hear someone in the performance area whispering...a feat of magnificent acoustics totally lost on the host of American tourists shouting to one another across the stadium!

The Amphitheatre at Epidavros

Despite the best efforts of the Americans to ruin the atmosphere, Epidavros is a very special place, hidden amongst the trees and in wonderful condition because it lay covered until the 19th century.

The next day was another day in Athens, beginning with a visit to the Agora - another remnant of Roman Athens, and then progressing to hours spent inside the amazing National Museum of Greece which, naturally enough, has some of the greatest exhibits of the ancient civilisations (those which the British didn't nick).

The Treasury of the Athenians in Delphi

The following day it was up very very early for the second of their organised trips - this time along the top of the Gulf of Corinth to the most spectacular place they visited in Greece, the complex of temples, stadia and amazing structures built high in the mountains that is Delphi - the home of the Oracle of myth.

Andrew at Delphi

The site stretches up and up and up from the road, passing astonishingly preserved ruined temples and the Treasury of the Athenians (pictured two pictures above, and visible behind Andrew in the picture above (small square building on right)).

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi

Above the Treasury of the Athenians is the Temple of Apollo (pictured left). This was the very heart of Delphi, the home of the Oracle and the main place of worship and pilgrimage.

Above this you soon reach the very top of the site at the Stadium from which superb views across the hills can be had.

Once back down the from the top of Delphi a visit to the Museum is certainly recommended.

Roy at Delphi

It took basically a whole day to visit Delphi and after another long sweaty coach ride Andrew and Roy arrived back in Glyfada to their second room and the thundering jets passing overhead.

Detail of the Temple of Poseidon, SounionThe next day they decided to undertake a journey under their own steam to Cape Sounion at the end of the Attica peninsula, 43 miles from Athens.

This is a Doric temple, completed in 440 BC and one of the most beautiful and complete of all Greek temples.  It was here that Lord Byron famously carved his name, although it is almost impossible to find it if you don't know where to look.  The situation of the Temple of Poseidon couldn't be more spectacular, it stands high above the sea on a windy cliff face.  One of the joys of visiting Greece is, apparently, watching the sun set behind the Temple at Sounion.

However, Andrew and Roy's luck didn't hold as they were caught in the first rain storm for about 8 months at Sounion.  It rained VERY hard indeed.  Whilst sheltering from the storm a slightly mad German woman attacked Andrew and Roy with an umbrella after she learned they were English - blaming the bad weather conditions on their Englishness!

Fortunately, Andrew and Roy got a chance to explore the Temple before the heavens opened and they made their somewhat damp way back to Glyfada.

Roy and Andrew at the Temple of Poseidon, Sounion

The following day, emboldened perhaps by their success in getting to Sounion by bus, Andrew and Roy decided to try for one of the Greek Islands.  They set their sights on Aegina, one of the Islands in the Saronic Gulf.  This involved a trip to Pireas, which is where things started going a bit haywire.  It took them some long time to locate the "Flying Dolphin" (hydrofoil) ferry to take them across to Aegina, and by the time they got their nothing was left open.  So they just wandered around the harbour a while and bought some pistachio nuts - the discarded shells of which litter Aegina like leaves in Autumn!

Roy on the "Flying Dolphin" to Aegina

The next day was a "rest day" in Glyfada.  They had intended that day to walk up one of the hills around the town, but never made it in the end giving up after getting lost for the millionth time and Roy in the shop of the Hotel London in Glyfadawalking into town instead, where they discovered a superb milk-shake shop which they tried out at every opportunity in their remaining days in Greece.  Yes!  They were getting the hang of this being in a foreign country business at last!!

On their final full day in Greece they decided to make a return trip to Athens, and particularly, to go up to the Parthenon once more.  This time they got into the Acropolis Museum and spent a lot longer on and around this most famous of all Greek sites.

Roy with the Parthenon behind him

On their final night the Tour Reps for the various companies in the Hotel London put on a show for their guests.  This was the usual half-arsed cabaret acts, enlivened mostly by Andrew and Roy's Rep, Kirsty, who was very buxom and ended up staggering around in her nightclothes. Not what you'd call 'highbrow'!

The following day it was back to Gatwick.  They had enjoyed the trip, but were just about getting into the swing of Greece when it was time to come back.

Corfu - Shaun and Alison - 1993

Shaun diving in Corfu

Shaun being energetic (plus some women in bikinis)

Shaun filming in Corfu

Shaun filming in Corfu

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Zakynthos (Zante) and Keffalonia - Shaun and Alison - 1994

Alison in Zakynthos

Alison in Zakynthos

A ruin on Zakynthos

A ruin in Zakynthos

Shrines in Zakynthos

Roadside shrines in Zakynthos

Shipwreck Cove, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Cove, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Cove, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Cove, Zakynthos

An arch

An arch in Zakynthos

Shaun in Zakynthos

Shaun in Zakynthos

Shaun and waterwheel in Zakynthos

Shaun and waterwheel in Zakynthos

Display thingy on Zakynthos

Display thingy on Zakynthos

Ruined church on Zakynthos

Ruined Church in Zakynthos

Watermelon Man

Watermelon Man

Horse

Horse on Zakynthos

View of Zakynthos Town

View of Zakynthos Town

The Church of the Virgin Mary Pikridiotissas in Zakynthos

The Church of the Virgin Mary Pikridiotissas in Zakynthos

The Church of the Virgin Mary Pikridiotissas in Zakynthos

The Church of the Virgin Mary Pikridiotissas in Zakynthos

Two small islands off Zakynthos

Two small islands off Zakynthos

Blue lagoon on Keffalonia

Blue lagoon off Keffalonia

Keffalonia from the Zakynthos Ferry

Keffalonia from the Zakynthos Ferry

Keffalonia Coast

Keffalonia coast

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Corfu - Shaun and Alison - 1995

Sunset over Corfu

Sunset over Corfu

Shaun and others playing sailors

Shaun and others playing sailors

Shaun amongst ruins in Corfu

Shaun amongst the ruins in Corfu

Strange Greek Sexual Practices?

Strange Greek Sexual Practices?

Table Balancing Man

Table Balancing Man

Greek Dancing Time

Greek Dancing Time

Corfu's ultra-safe Airstrip

Corfu's Ultra-Safe Airstrip

Yellow building

Yellow building

Fresco Ceiling

Fresco Ceiling

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Go to Greece Page Two

Back to Eastern Europe

Back to Eastern Europe


© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions, Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton, Tammy Pike, Shaun and Alison Runham
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton, Tammy Pike,
Shaun and Alison Runham
© Web Design and Layout - Andrew J. Müller
2010


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