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Friday, August 13, 2010

The Glory that was Greece

It has taken me about two weeks to finally get up the mental energy to complete my travel thoughts on Greece. There were various drafts on the glorious ruins, fabulous meals and stunning views. Our journey encompassed the breath of Greek history from the early Cycladic civilization, to the Circle graves of Mycenae, to the height of Athenian democracy, to the Roman colony days, the lost years of the Ottoman occupation and the re-birth of Greece as an independent state.

It was a pleasure to take in all this history for which stated first as bed time stories told by my parents. The tales of Aesop, the trials and tribulations of the Titans and Olympian gods, and the adventures of Thesus, Jason, Odysseus, and other Greek heroes were fully realized in this trip. The pride that the Greeks have in their culture is quite evident. There has been a return of their diaspora from the lean post-WWII years. New found wealth in tourism seemed to fuel this growth. However, it is tempered by reports that Greeks are proud tax-evaders. The "black money" that rich Greeks see as their right. Quite disturbing to Canadians who already feel greatly overtaxed. Equally unsurprising that the Greek economy is in such bad shape despite the obvious signs of wealth.

Despite such complications, I would gladly return to Greece and specifically to the islands of Crete, Kos, Corfu and perhaps those islands closer to Turkey. There after all can't be too much vacation!