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Greece, An Endless Dream

Greece, An Endless Dream

December 2019 · 7 min read · Macedonia - Thrace

Greece was the cradle of civilization on this earth. This is the opinion of a European, so I learned in school over fifty years ago. The name Europe is derived from Greek mythology so at least for the inhabitants of the old continent, this cannot be denied. I apologize to those from other continents because I do not know their history which may be older and more important ... I, as a European, worship to Greece!

One fact is undeniable: democracy appeared in ancient Greece, more precisely in the city of Athens. Five thousand years ago, the equality of all citizens before the law was respected; freedom of speech; participation in government, right to vote. Incredible! Then it was lost for several thousand years until the modern times of mankind.

Winston Churchill has several quotes about democracy ...

Democracy is a very bad form of government ... but all the others are so much worse.

Democracy is an awful way to run a country, but it's the best system we have.

... some even contrary ...

If you want a good argument against democracy, spend five minutes with a voter.

I wanted to recall what a huge contribution the Greek Civilization had to the progress of humanity. However, it is not because of this that I'm obsessed with Greece. I'm obsessed with the beauty of the landscape and most of the inhabitants. Greek lifestyle that respects the small pleasures of life. A life as close to nature. And nature is wonderful in Greece, it is endowed with all forms of relief but I'm fascinated by the sea.

Islands and sea. I'm talking about islands because I know most of them are wonderful but to know and visited I only know about Thassos Island.


Thassos Island

The northernmost island of Greece is in the Aegean Sea. For me this is a blessing because it is the closest to my city, Bucharest, which is in the south of Romania. Only 700 km away from Thassos. I cross Bulgaria from north to south and in about ten hours drive I reach Limenaria, the place where I like to stay when I arrive in Thassos.

The most important city near the island of Thassos is Kavala. So, those who want to visit the island and cannot come by car have to reach Kavala by plane or bus. From there, there are ferries (10 km) to Limenas, the capital of the island.
For those traveling by car, like me, the best place to cross is Keramoti, which is much closer to the island (4 km).

From Limenas you can reach the whole island either by bus, taxi or you can rent a car.

I arrived in Limenaria after about half an hour driving along a coastal road and passing through several picturesque villages and small resorts.

I arrived in Limenaria after about half an hour driving along a coastal road and passing through several picturesque villages and small resorts.

Limenaria is the second-largest city on the island, after Limenas, the capital. The name Limenaria is an adaptation of the name Limenas and means the smaller city.

Although the city is small, you can find everything you need and even more than that: restaurants, shops, supermarkets, taverns, bakeries, cafes and banks.

Now I have to say that I love this city because it has nothing out of modernity. I like old buildings, often scrapped. I like the atmosphere of the city, which seems to ignore the thousands of tourists who are everywhere. Apart from the promenade filled with shops and small restaurants, souvenir-filled stalls.

On the side streets people lead their normal existence. This existence, way of life I like very much. No matter how poor they are, they abide by their daily routine, work, food, and siesta. They like to gather at a table and tell a story, drink a coffee or a glass of ouzo. They never rush.

I like Limenaria because it is built on several levels, on a small hill and some streets are higher than others and are linked by stairs.

Small hotels are on all streets. Mixed with the houses of the locals. I think that's why you always feel at home here.

The inhabitants of the island are Greek, of course. They know how to be friendly and know best how to treat tourists as they are impressed by their hospitality. If you are a loyal customer, I am a loyal customer, every year I go to the same hotel, small family hotel. In this case, you will receive many signs of friendship and benefits. For this reason, you will definitely go to them for years to come. In my case, I will only go to the Karagiannis hotel because the owners, Alexandra and Dimitris, are wonderful people and they allow me to consider them my friends.

It is interesting that the city of Limenaria was built by the inhabitants of a mountain village, 30 km away. They did not live on the seashore to protect themselves from pirate attacks. After 1900 a mining operation was established and the inhabitants of the mountains were employed as miners. Thus they made more money and started to build houses near the mine and set up Limenaria. Gradually they started to leave the village from the mountains and it became almost deserted.

The village in the mountains is called Kastro

Because there a castle was built around the year 1400. It, meanwhile, was abandoned and the inhabitants of the village used the stones in the walls of the castle to build their houses. Now Kastro has become a place to visit. I was there too.

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Kastro or Castle

In recent years the inhabitants of Kastro have begun to return to the village. They renovated the abandoned houses and turned them into holiday homes. The place is very beautiful, at the top of the mountain. The view is amazing!

The stone is everywhere, and in the walls of houses and in the ground beneath the feet. I wonder how this tree managed to infuse the roots so as to withstand the strong winds from here.

Even though the houses have been modernized and have new finishes, we have seen that the Greeks tend to add something traditional, as decoration. What can be more traditional in Greece than an amphora?

In the village there are not only houses. Tourists are attracted to old buildings, such as the village church, which unfortunately was closed when we arrived there, so we were content to look only at the outside.

Although the church was closed, in the yard I found a small souvenir shop and even a small bar where you could drink a juice or eat a traditional orange cake. After a long walk, little rest is welcome.

Tourists are everywhere on the narrow streets of the village. They prefer shade places because it is very hot under the open sun.

I saw a lot of goats, I think they are the most common animals in Greece. I wondered what they eat because the grass is not near the place. Then I saw that the goats are very happy to eat the small leaves from the bushes.

The main attraction of the village is The Church of St. Athanasios, built by the inhabitants of the village in 1804. They completed the church in forty days and used in its construction the stone of the old castle built in 1400 by the Genoese conquerors. Every 18 January the church celebrates the memory of St. Athanasius and then all the former inhabitants return to the village. It's a big holiday for them.

I was very pleased that I came to the sea and I was able to climb the mountain.

Finally, I have to give some credit to my wife who took this photo. After half a day spent in the fresh mountain air, a portion of good Greek food is all I wanted.

Travel Resources for your trip to Greece

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Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

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