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Chaos

    This is my latest photography project called Chaos. Watch the video slideshow    read more

Stylianos Papardelas

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Two Weeks, Ten Countries: a backpacker's itinerary

Just over two weeks spent traveling through ten European countries. It was completely worth every minute spent planning the trip - but you're welcome to save yourself some time by stealing parts of our itinerary. We used an Interrail flexipass.  It was valid for 10 days of travel within 22, and ... read more

Anjali Nirmalan

AustriaAustria

GermanyGermany

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HungaryHungary

ItalyItaly

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Lying in Church: The Backpacker's Religion

My friend Jade likes to lie in church. On the ground. It gets tricky in a house of worship; sometimes she has to settle for kneeling.  In the Hagia Sofia, she had barely a minute to soak in the 6th-century dome before a security guard dragged her up.   But ... read more

Anjali Nirmalan

GreeceGreece

A Secret Room Full of Immigrants

Greece is the gateway to Europe and recently, I got an up close look at what it takes to get inside. For many immigrants, Greece is the first stop on their journey to what they hope will be a better life. I've gotten a unique perspective on immigration in Greece ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Modern Greek, Ancient Mathematicians...Internet Porn?

What better way to test how much Greek I've learned than to go to an event held only in Greek? I've had mixed results with this approach before. I took a wine-tasting class here in Athens which was taught in Greek. As the only English speaker in the room, I ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Greek Birthdays

I turned 23 in Greece and it was a blast!   The teachers in my department surprised me with a chocolate cake and everybody sang "Happy Birthday" in English and Greek. It was such a nice gesture and totally unexpected. I also love the Greek Birthday song which includes some interesting ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Mountaintop Casinos, Germans and Snowmen

I went up Mt. Parnitha for the first time in early November. It was rainy, windy and there was no one on the mountain. Yesterday, I went back for another round. I have to say, there's no such thing as doing the same hike twice. Every time is different. Yesterday, ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Acropolis

January 16th, 2010  Feeling very sick today, I was hardly in the mood to get out of bed, but I knew I couldn’t miss our planned trip to the Acropolis. We had a bus tour around the city which was informative, and then we made our way to the Acropolis. ... read more

Michelle Saltis

GreeceGreece

Ancient Delphi and Athens

 January 15th, 2010 After breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to the ancient site of Delphi. The view was amazing, the allusion to what the buildings had been were amazing, and the history and depth of the place was stunning. I loved the fact that it was so ... read more

Michelle Saltis

GreeceGreece

Delphi

January 14th, 2010  Waking up in the morning to be surrounded on the sides of the boat by the beautiful Greek mountains was breathtaking. The boat zoomed down the Adriatic Sea, passing by the mountains that looked like someone had painted them. After a light breakfast of a croissant and ... read more

Michelle Saltis

GreeceGreece

New Year's in Crete

Before too much time goes by, I thought I'd share a bit about what a New Year's celebration looks like in Iraklio, Crete's biggest city. One of Iraklio's central squares was set up as a carnival complete with a live band playing traditional Cretan music, a lit-up Christmas tree, games ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Top 3 Weird Things About Being Home

As I'm typing this, snow is slowly drifting down onto Boston's streets. I arrived here late on New Year's Day for a short (week-long) visit back to the U.S. and it's been great to be back. That said, lots of things strike me as weird about being in the U.S. ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Top 5 Strange Greek Crimes

1) The former President of Cyprus was kidnapped... from his grave. Don't take my word for it. Just ask the BBC.  2) A Greek convict escapes from his maximum security prison by helicopter... for the second time. Here's CNN's take. 3) A man attempts to rob an ATM... by using ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Great Greek Phrases

Greek may not be an easy language, but it's certainly a colorful one. Here are three of my personal favorite Greek expressions. Les trihes-  In context, this means "You're saying nonsense" or "That makes no sense," literally translated however, it means "you're speaking hair"  Vrehei karekles- It's raining chairs!  This ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Hermit Monks and Hitchhiking Nuns

It hasn't always been easy to be a Christian in Greece. In Athens, I see priests walking around in black robes with full beards every day, but not so long ago, Greek men and women were persecuted for their beliefs. One response to religious oppression throughout the ages was to ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Awesome Greek Haircuts

Greece is famous as the birthplace of Western civilization, but it's also a country that's given us more than its fair share of fashion trends. Togas, Gladiator sandals, headbands and oh-so-much more. So here's a look at some of the more pioneering haircuts on the streets of Athens right now. ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Downtown Athens Seems to Be On Fire

The nightly news seems to be telling me that downtown Athens is on fire. I can only understand some of the Greek words the silver-haired anchorman is saying, but the pictures speak quite clearly. Molotov cocktails thrown at police. Clouds of tear gas filling the streets. Angry young anarchists burning ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Top 5 Awkwardly Sexual Greek Souvenirs

Walking around the markets and streets of Athens, I'm always amazed by the things that people buy to take home as souvenirs. You have to wonder what some of these people are thinking. A particular Greek specialty seems to be the explicitly sexual souvenir. Everything from phallic bottle openers to ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

3 Things I Wish I'd Brought to Greece

1) An International Driver's License/Certificate- It's easy and cheap to get one back home in the U.S. (about $15 at a AAA), but difficult to get in Greece. Without this little piece of paper, you can't rent cars or mopeds on many of the islands which is a cheap (and ... read more

Christopher Duffy

GreeceGreece

Getting Lost in Centaur Country

On our second day in the Pelion, Chris and I hoped to hike towards Tsangarada, one of the larger towns and an agricultural capital of the region. Somewhere along the way though, we made a wrong turn. Then we discovered that the map we brought was useless. It didn't even ... read more

Christopher Duffy

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Books

Travel "The Odyssey" as you read it

Christopher Duffy

12 Oct 2009

Greece

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Christopher Duffy

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Forget about Lonely Planet. Throw that big heavy guidebook out the window. If you want a real guide to Greece, read Homer's "The Odyssey." It's incredible how many of the places Homer describes are easily identifiable, and if Homer's descriptions don't make you want to bathe in the waters off Ithaka or hike "wooded Zakynthos," there's something wrong with you. One of my best experiences in Greece so far has been reading "The Odyssey" on a balcony overlooking the Aegean and then waking up the next morning to see the "rosy fingered dawn," exactly as Homer described it.

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Getting Around

Get your internal driving permit

Stephanie Schmitt

13 Jun 2009

Greece

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Stephanie Schmitt

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If you want to rent a car in Europe, typically you must get an Internal Driving Permit. It can be obtained easily with a form and a $15 fee.

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Etiquette

How to avoid a fistfight in Greece

Christopher Duffy

30 Sep 2009

Greece

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Christopher Duffy

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You take your open palm and push it in the direction of a Greek person's face. It's like you're going for a high five, but all you really want to do is to jokingly tell them to "talk to the hand." No harm done, right? Wrong. In Greece, this gesture is one of the most offensive gestures around. Instead of "talk to the hand," you're really suggesting that they eat human feces. Oops...

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Food

Free dessert!

Vanessa Quirk

03 Feb 2009

Greece

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Vanessa Quirk

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You have to love the Greeks. Not only is their food amazingly delicious, they want you to have as much of it as possible - even for free! Most meals in Greece, particularly when you're outside of Athens, will provide you with a free dessert (typically this gelatinous square thing with nuts) and a shot of ouzo after your meal. This was especially true when I was in Crete - not only did the restaurants give free desserts/drinks, but a cafe I went to even presented me with an enormous plate of cookies with my order! For free! And since spending hours sipping coffee is practically religious dogma in Greece, there's nothing better than joining in with the locals and reveling in the experience of a culture that does eating right.

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Sports

Looking for an argument? Talk about soccer.

Christopher Duffy

12 Oct 2009

Greece

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Christopher Duffy

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Soccer and politics are two things that you should never talk about with a Greek, unless you're looking for an argument. The discussions can get heated. Every day, at least one Greek student asks me, "Which team are you?" Not "Which team do I support" -- a subtle difference that shows the fierce loyalty Greeks have to their soccer teams. There are only two paths when asked this question. Either choose a team that "you are" and verbally attack the other teams, or take the safe route and politely decline while saying "I haven't decided yet..."

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Fashion

Ditch the grungy sneakers

Christopher Duffy

12 Oct 2009

Greece

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Christopher Duffy

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Fashion styles for Greek men aren't all that different from those for men in the United States. Sure there's a propensity for mullets (I've even seen a bleached blond rat-tail) and the occasional unbuttoned shirt, but for the most part, the styles are pretty similar. Except when it comes to shoes. Greeks notice shoes, and don't think you'll get away with a pair of grungy sneakers just because you're a guy. You're gonna need some dress shoes. In fact, nice shoes were the only dress requirement I was told about for my job.

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