ancient world in contrast

the roots of modern greece can be traced back to the mycenaean, minoan and helennic civilisations. since then the country was ruled by the roman, byzantine, and the ottoman empire. it housed a large number of conflicts and cultural as well as religious influences. these influences still shape the impressions you get when wandering around the country. although the county recently had to face a substantial economic crisis, the people did not lose hope nor did they forget their overwhelming hospitality. our road trip brought us to peloponnese and back to athens. it was impressive how kind all the people we met approached us in every aspect – whether it was in athens or in small villages we visited on our trip and whether it was in a shop or a restaurant or just on the streets. newspapers and media often shape a vague picture of a country. traveling to the place and getting in touch with people is the best way to understand their perspective and culture. my biggest failure in terms of wrong expectations was about the food. based on my very limited experiences I had with greek food, i was not really looking forward to the menus in greece. i was expecting common gyros and bifteki rather than a distinct sense for healthy, seasonal and regional food. although the food alone is worth a travel because of its quality and its various taste adventures, yet the impressions are completed by the ancient buildings embedded into the landscape, old industrial buildings, beautiful facades of greek houses. together with skeletons of unfinished buildings, the landscape displays an continuous contrast and scattered chaos that fascinates and captivates.

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