Most people spend their vacation enjoying sun, sand and sea and idleness to relax from daily stress. However, there are other alternatives, for example by taking a journey through time in Greece, or Hellas respectively.
You can follow the traces of apostle Paul when arriving in Philippi where he baptized the crimson merchant Lydia, the first Christian baptized on European soil, or go to Thessaloniki, Corinth and Athens. Discover antique Greece, the cradle of European culture in Mycenae, Delphi and Epidaurus. Mycenae impresses visitors with its “Lions’ Gate,” Epidaurus with its theater which is nothing less than an acoustic miracle. Clapping your hands in the center of the orchestra will surprise you. Due to the reflection of the sound, every spoken word can be heard all the way up to the top rows. The theater features 13,000 seats.
Epidaurus, since 1988 a World Heritage Site, was the medical and cure center of the ancient world, a place where body and soul were harmonized with theater, music and culture. Healing was based on the devotion of the God Asclepius, whose baton with the twisted snake has remained the symbol of all health professions until today.
Delphi is located near the quaint city of Arachova in a fascinating mountain region at the foot of the Parnassos mountains. The oracle located there, which was consulted for thousands of years and existed until 391 A.D., is world-famous. According to Greek mythology, the mountain was dedicated to Apollo. The Metéora monasteries, located near the city of Kalambaka on mountains up to 500 meters high, are World Heritage Sites as well. Today, only six of the 24 monasteries are inhabited. The view to the Canal of Corinth is just as fascinating as the majestic mountains on which the monasteries were built. It separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnesus peninsula. The 6,346 meter-long canal was built from 1881 to 1893.
You can visit the archeological excavation sites and museums and enjoy the beautiful Greek landscape and the ocean when taking a bus trip. If you have a good tour guide, you can immerse yourself in Greek mythology and the stories about the Gods Zeus, Hera or Demeter.
Visiting the Greek capital Athens is a must. It combines ancient and modern things and you can climb the city’s highest elevation, the Acropolis.
By Renate Gradl