Warning: This video includes ancient nudity and general horniness! Along with updating my guidebooks when I travel, I enjoy giving my audio tours a "r...
When in Greece, hospitality comes with ouzo. And when in remote corners and hardscrabble villages (like here on the Mani Peninsula), where historically hospitality is a matter of life and death, the welcome drink is tsipouro.
One of my fondest memories of traveling in Greece as a student back in the 1970s was gliding by boat through the Pyrgos Dirou Caves. Now, a generation later, I've returned, and the experience was the same.
Driving around this land so steeped in conflict and bloody vendettas, it occurred to me that there are a lot of towers on the Mani Peninsula. While everyone gets excited about the towers of San Gimignano because they are so unique, here on the Mani, towns with such skylines are common.
The situation in Greece, mere weeks after the country's recent national elections, is anything but settled. The country's future remains mired in uncertainty due to the maneuvers of the victorious but inexperienced, leftist "Syriza" party with respect to its dealings with its European partners.
When exploring the south coast of Greece's Peloponnese, I make Kardamyli my home base. And, while its coast is remote, the interior is even more so.
In Greek "ne" means "yes." You'd think it would mean "no" because it sounds so close to the English word. But "no" in Greece is "ochi." Which, considering it's pronounced like a guttural "okay," you'd think would mean "yes."
ATHENS -- The current disagreements with our partners are not unbridgeable. Our government is eager to rationalize the pension system (for example, by limiting early retirement), proceed with partial privatization of public assets, address the non-performing loans that are clogging the economy's credit circuits, create a fully independent tax commission and boost entrepreneurship. The differences that remain concern how we understand the relationships between the various reforms and the macro environment.
Any love affair with Greece is made sticky in part by honey. All over the countryside we found groups of beehives as beekeepers shuttled them from wildflower patch to wildflower patch in search of the sweetest action.
The important point to remember is that the United States cares far more about the health of the European Union and the global financial system than it does about Greece. If the Tsipras government continues to seem aggressively ambivalent about its desire for rescue within that system, the U.S. government will watch from the sidelines as it sinks.
From one end of the globe to the other, "have-nots" are looking with envy at the lives of the "haves." This is not about ideology or politics. They are not revolutionaries looking to overturn the old order or seeking payback for the legacy of colonial imperialism, rather they are looking to join it and benefit from its bounty.
One of my great treats is being literally all alone (with a fine local guide) at some of our civilization's greatest sights. With this clip, you're here with me -- late in the day when it's silent and cool -- at Epidavros, the most amazing theater surviving from the ancient world.
I am in Athens this spring and the city is drowning in the fragrance of the bitter orange trees that flood its sidewalks. The aroma is intoxicating, numbing the mind and the body's senses.
Greece is a feast for the senses. While the country's sunshine, amazing food, friendly people and love of life leave a lasting impression on me, there are also the little, unexpected scenes I come across that tickle my imagination.
Unless consumer demand drops (which we don't expect anytime soon), flying just about anywhere in the world will remain a costly affair. But that doesn't mean you should put off your travel plans. Instead, we suggest grinning and bearing it, and ponying up for the flight -- but choosing a destination that's cheap once you're there.
While the Greek government cannot do anything to replace its negotiating partners with people more to their liking, the European officials on the other side seem to believe they can do exactly that. And it is becoming increasingly clear that this is their current strategy.