We are the country of the inventors of the Olympic Games, of philosophy and logic: Yes, nothing that much!
Well, we thought that it was a hot country, but we have found the first snow of our trip. Yes, Yes, we had the feet in the snow and on water of gourds frozen overnight.
Where is the Greece?
– Area: 131 944 km² (and 14 854 km of coastline).
– Population: 815 10,200 inhabitants (estimated 2013).
– Capital: Athens.
– Official language: Modern Greek.
– Currency: the euro, which succeeded the ancient Drachma in 2001.
– Political system: Parliamentary Republic.
– Head of State: Karolos Papoulias (since February 2005).
– Religion: Orthodox 98%.
– Unesco World Heritage sites:
- Athens: the Acropolis.
- Greek Islands: the Acropolis in Athens, the medieval town of Rhodes, the sites of Pythagorio (Efpalinos tunnel) and the Heraion at Samos, the historic centre of Chora Patmos and the monastery of NEA Moni on Chios.
- Continental Greece: the temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae (Vasses), the monasteries of Ossios Loukas and Dafni, the archaeological site of Delphi, Mount Athos, Meteora, the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, the archaeological site of Epidaurus, the archaeological site of Olympia, the medieval town of Mystra, the archaeological site of Vergina, the archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns, and the town of Corfu.
– Lag: 1 h: this is nice because in Albania the sun sets at 4: 30 p.m. - 5 p.m. when it is passed, then the days were short!
After the dictatorship (1964-1974), the Greece is experiencing strong economic growth and standards of living never achieved before, including through the increase in foreign tourism in Greece. It joins the European Union in 1981, adopted the Euro in 2001. Starting in 2007, the country is affected by the global economic crisis and in 2009, she is experiencing a serious budgetary crisis, and is forced to ask for help from the European Union.
We know that the fundamentals of the Greek economy are not brilliant. Only two sectors are doing well. The Tourism accounts for 18% of GDP. The Greece also has its Merchant Navy : she is officially the first world (17% of the world fleet), and there are twice as many ships registered under flags of convenience. Behind these two 'heavy weight', the rest of the Greek economy is hardly known for its performance.
Estimated the part occupied by theunderground economy at least 30%...
Main handicap, a bloated public sector and found ineffective. The Greece combines a high budget deficit and high debt.
Greek territory is marked above all by the mountain: it occupies over two-thirds of the country. The Greek mountains belong to the Dinaric Alps (where we went), stretching from Slovenia, travelling throughout the former Yugoslavia and the Albania in a Northwest-Southeast axis to end in Crete. Not Summit over 3,000 m in the country (Olympus does "that" 2,917 m), but 120 peaks exceed all same 2,000 m. all this does not leave much room to the Plains: about 30% of the national territory, most often within the country.
Arriving in Greece, it has the feeling of being doubly abroad. First of all, it is difficult to recognize much to the ear. Second barrier: the alphabet. It is quite different from our latin alphabet!
If a little too tend to say that it has not invented anything from the Greeks, it is in any case certainly true for the theatre. The tragedies were the stories of Mythology. Them was played in huge theaters outdoors, capable of accommodating up to 14 000 spectators. Among the great authors, there are for example Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides.
Shadow theatre show, called Karagiozis ("black eyes") by the name of its (anti) - hero. This popular show was born in China, it is said, and crossed throughout Asia to Turkey, where the Greeks appropriated it (the first mention of this show in Greece dates back to 1841, in Nafplion). Articulated (in transparent calf skin) figurines are animated by an «exhibitor of shadows"which makes them move before a lighted white screen (shows are often nocturnal). Karagiozis is a still hungry Greek living miserably in his hut, with a gaggle of unruly kids while the Pasha (Turkish) has a luxurious Seraglio. Fortunately, Karagiozis is ingenious... Other characters revolve around him. Even though this show is deeply part of Greek culture, the cultural authorities do nothing to save him. Few young people are trained, the old disappear. There are still a few itinerant professionals as well as some Athenian places, and a museum that is devoted to this art in Maroussi.
Some impressions about the country
-The culture of the home is here: people often offer us a coffee or tea.
-The crisis is very present in people's minds: almost everyone found talk about the difficulty of finding work, especially for young people. Heard us 60% under 25 years old unemployed and 25% in the general population!
-To find water: fountains everywhere, it's pretty easy. In bars, as soon as sit for a coffee, tradition dictates that one brings a jug of water before customers even take control.