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Athens: Worth All the Marbles
Athens deserves time and I loved my time in Athens.
The city spreads like a white sheet over hill and dale, hidden neighborhoods explode with activity. Athens is as layered as the centuries of its history. Read more
Ancient palaces, mysterious bull-riding rites and bright frescoes fascinate even the most historically uninspired traveler. But Phourni – arguably the most important archaeological site on Crete – lies ignored at the summit of a hill overlooking the Archanes township.
The Phourni cemetery remained in use for over 1000 years, from approximately 2400 BCE to 1200 BCE when the Minoan civilization had nearly died away.
The cemetery even contains later Mycenaean tombs. This and the fact that two undisturbed "royal" female burials were discovered here, make Phourni the most significant Minoan cemetery discovered to date.
Why a group should head to Greece for a belly dance holiday is indeed far from straightforward. The choice of location almost seems to play with history: the dance of the age-old rival, Turkey, for one week colonises the small island of Hydra, whose ships were fundamental in the war of independence from the Turks.
Sarah, our teacher, explains: "You have to get away from clubs and markets if you want to learn the dance: Vlychos has no distractions." Read more
Nestled in the mountains of central Greece is a land that time forgot. Giant fingers of Granite rise up out of the Kalambaka valley like the hands of God reaching toward heaven.
Perched miraculously on the tips of these fingers are five monasteries and one convent, all of which are active and thriving. The area is called Meteoras and it literally means "up in the clouds." Read more
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