Marathon, Greece and the Ghosts of Ancient Warriors

Monument to marathon runners

I stand on the deserted beach of Marathon, Greece, a long crescent of stones and sand. Surf spills over the pebbles, spray bursts like a shower of gold-dust reflecting the dazzling Greek sun. On this beach, with the surf hissing over pebbles red as blood and white as bone, I hear the wind moaning like the voices of the ancient dead, as though the spirits still linger in the shade of the pine ... Read Full Article

On the Road From Athens to Corinth

The road from Athens to the Peloponnese traverses the coastline past factories and shipyards then climbs high above the sea rewarding us with panoramic views of the sparkling blue Saronic Gulf. My friends and I on our way to visit Corinth, the ancient city that was once a strong rival of Athens. As we descend the pass, we reach a low, flat barren track of land known as the Isthmus that connects ... Read Full Article

Anafiotika: The Hidden Village under the Acropolis

The great city of Athens, Greece is made up of numerous small villages that have melded together over the years. Plaka is the most ancient, original part of the city where most of the archaeological sites are located. Just up on the hill above Plaka, under the flank of the Acropolis (“the high city”) there is the tiny village of Anafiotika, unique because of how it came to be. In 1841, King ... Read Full Article

The Jewish Museum of Athens: Recalling the Past

Ethnic Costumes - Jewish Museum in Athens

In a small, privately owned building just at the edge of Athen’s old Plaka district, all that is left of Greece’s Jewish heritage is displayed with artifacts that have been collected and restored since the 1970’s by tireless museum curators and volunteers. It is because of their dedication that the Jewish Museum of Greece now ranks among the top Jewish Museums in Europe. The idea of a ... Read Full Article

Heinrich Schliemann’s House in Athens

interior hallway Schliemann House

I’m sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by classical sculptures and exotic foliage. Brazilian jazz is playing as I sip my glass of sangria. Who could imagine I am in the middle of downtown Athens or that this garden is at the former home of the explorer Heinrich Schliemann. This “Garden of the Muses” is part of what was the Schliemann estate, located just a few blocks from Syntagma ... Read Full Article

Canal of Corinth, Agamemnon’s Tomb and Epidaurus

I hadn't expected to visit the Canal of Corinth, Agamemnon’s tomb and Epidaurus  on this trip, but Athens was a nightmare. I had arrived in the middle of violent demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures. Roads were closed off which made getting from A to B extremely difficult, even on foot, unless you wanted to risk life and limb. The Acropolis was shrouded in scaffolding and ... Read Full Article

Hand-Picking Olives in Greece

On a sunny October day in the southwest Peloponnese, about 3 hours outside Athens, countless electric green olives were weighing down branches, signaling that it was time for an annual ritual: hand-picking olives in Greece. I was joining the workers for my first time olive-picking experience. I rolled up my sleeves and waited for instructions to participate in this tradition. In Costa Navarino ... Read Full Article

Dining Al Fresco in Athens

It is said that the gods fought over Athens. Ocean god Poseidon and his niece Athena, goddess of wisdom, both desired patronage over the city. The residents of the metropolis asked each deity to give them a gift; whoever gave the best gift would gain the city. Poseidon struck his trident into the ground, and a salty spring bubbled up – an impressive feat.  Athena, however, merely planted a ... Read Full Article

Where (and What) To Eat in Athens

Greek food can be bizarrely good; and following is a guide to some of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. The flavors of Greek food have been shaped over thousands of years, and the history of Greek food includes Middle Eastern as well as Italian influences. Common cooking ingredients include feta cheese, olive oil, yogurt, olives, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and lamb. From breakfast ... Read Full Article

Drinking Lion’s Milk in Greece

  The experience was one of the most disorienting I’ve ever had. The milk of the lion is also known as the ouzo effect - spontaneous emulsification if you want to get technical - and it’s caused by adding water to anise-infused alcohols, such as ouzo, raki, and absinth. Believe me, I’d never heard of it either before one hot May day in Athens. At 10 a.m., the temperature was 110° F, but ... Read Full Article