Greece is best known to most British people for its islands and Athens for the Parthenon. Many off us learned a little about Ancient Greece at school, and the wonderful stories of Gods and Goddesses, heroines and heros. Homer’s books The Iliad and The Odyssey tell of some truly formidable women – the loyal Penelope and the weaving, singing nymph Calypso.

New 2019 Greek blogs

My time in Athens

Where I stayed in Athens

Food and drink in Athens
Travelling around Athens and Greece

The magnificent sights of Athens

Thessaloniki

Traditional Greek Orthodx Church, Komotini
The Ecclesiastical Museum of Komotini, Greece

The country of Greece is all spread out, sharing the Aegean Sea with Turkey, and the Mediterranean with Italy.

The tip of Mount Olympus showing through the clouds - taken from the aeroplane
Mount Olympus poking through the clouds, as seen from the aeroplane on arrival

I flew to Thessaloniki, was met by B and taken north around the coast to the small village of Proskynites which means, can you believe it, A Pilgrim.

I met B in Ireland a month and a half ago through a fellow Shiatsu practitioner. He is German and works with young people whose lives are chaotic and needing some order and care. He doesn’t walk the Spanish caminos with them, but supports them in his home, encouraging positive communication and providing clear boundaries to engender trust in preparation for starting a new life somewhere.

Three weeks later he asked me to look after his Greek home with its horses, dogs, cats and chickens for a couple of weeks, although circumstances later changed meaning that I was actually there with A, his wife, helping with the tasks and giving Shiatsu.

Winter fruit tree - pomegranates
Pomegranates at the end of the season in B and A’s garden in Proskynites
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And here is the same tree the following June, all green abundance, the last flowers and small fruits

It is said that Persephone ‘naughtily’ ate six pomegranate seeds when in Hades (the subterranean land of the dead) and so was only released above ground for 6 months of the year, giving rise to the Ancient Greek explanation for the fertility of the different seasons: half the year being fecund and the other half latent.

An urban scene in northern Greece with church spieres predominating
Proskynites, Greece predominantly Greek Orthodox although there is a community of Muslims in Komotini
Shiny red and green peppers on a market stall in Greece
The wonderful colours of the market produce, Xilagani, Greece
Gleaming oranges (bananas and potatoes) on a market stall in Northern Greece
Oranges for sale in the local market near Komotini, Greece

I visited Komotini, a half hour’s drive away, the nearest town, and the next door village of Xilagani which has a weekly market. I took a bus trip to Alexandroupolis to meet Shiatsu practitioner Panayiota who came all the way from Athens to meet me and with whom I spent a fascinating day.

A ckoudy day with the base of the island of Samosthraki, Greece
A part view of the island of Samothraki (sweet Thrace named because the rest of the region doesnt have such a ‘sweet’ climate!) from Alexandroupolis, where there are snakes so you cannot walk alone!

2018 Greek blogs

My Proskinites blog

The Maronia Coastline, East Macedonia and Thrace, Northern Greece

The frescoes of Mount Athos

Information site about Ancient Greece