Greece

By Alexis Noe Period 6 4/28

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Geography of Greece

About Greece

Climate and Weather

The best time to visit Athens and the Greek Islands begins in May, when the mean temperature is 69 degrees (Fahrenheit) and rainfall is less than 1.5 cm, and continues on through June. July has monthly average temperatures of 82 degrees (Fahrenheit) and rainfall less than 0.5 cm and September, with an average temperature of 76 degrees (Fahrenheit) and less than 1 cm of rain. Most rain falls between November and February, when Athens can be colder and windier.
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Culture

Religion

Some 98% of Greeks are Eastern Orthodox Christians (Greek Orthodox). Easter is a major holiday and cause for much celebration. The traditional Easter meal is eaten on Sunday-roasted lamb, various veggies, and Easter break and many desserts. Because the Greek Orthodox Church has its own calendar, Christmas and Easter are usually celebrated one to two weeks later than in the West.

Language

98% of the 10.6 m population of Greece speak Greek, which is the country's official language. The largest minority language is Macedonian, spoken by 1.8% of the population. Others include Albanian, spoken in the center and the south, Turkish, spoken by Muslim communities around the Aegean, and Arumanian and Bulgarian. None of these minority languages has official status.
Greek Culture

Sightseeing/Activities

Physical and Historical Features

  1. Located in the north-west of Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach is world-famous for the magical colors of the water. The blue and turquoise colors of the sea contrast sharply with the bright white of the smooth marble pebbles of the beach. The steep mountains and tall cliffs behind Myrtos beach only add to its beauty. For all these reasons Myrtos has previously been voted 12 times as the best beach in Greece.
  2. The Samariá Gorge is a 16 km (10 miles) long canyon in southwest Crete. Walking the Samariá Gorge is extremely popular and more than a quarter million tourists do so each year. The walk takes 4 to 7 hours and passes through forests of ancient cypresses and pines, then cuts between vertical cliffs through the mountains to emerge at Agia Roumeli on the Libyan sea.
  3. The Acropolis is an incredible monument to the achievements of ancient Greek civilisation and is one of the most recognisable historic sites in Greece, if not the world. Containing a number of ancient structures, most famously the Parthenon, it tops the list for any visit to Athens.

Current Greece

Trade, Government, and Currency

Greece's currency is the Euro, which is equal to $1.12. The current president of Greece is Karolos Papoulias. Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Greece main exports are mineral fuels (37 percent of the total exports); manufactured goods (13 percent) and food and live animals (12 percent). Others include: chemicals (9 percent); machinery and equipment (7 percent); miscellaneous products (6 percent) and crude materials except fuel (4 percent).
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FOOD!!!

Hummus

To prepare this version of homemade hummus recipe, place the garlic in a food processor and mince. Add the chickpeas and lemon juice and pulse until the chickpeas are minced. Pour in the olive oil a little bit at a time, whilst pulsing, like making mayonnaise. Blend until the oil is incorporated and the hummus mixture is smooth or coarsely pureed, depending on what you want. Season with salt and cumin and pour in the water, whilst mixing. Add the water gradually and check the texture of the hummus. If your hummus is creamy and liquid enough for your taste, don’t use all the water.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • up to 1/4 of a cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches of ground cumin
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Transport and Lodging

How to Get There?

Take a round trip flight from Chicago O'Hare Airport in Chicago to Eleftherios Venizelos in Athens (with a friend, of course)! From there, take a rental car to your Superior Double/Twin Room in your 5 star hotel-The Margi! Located in Vouliagmeni, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kavouri Beach and Vouliagmeni Spa Lake. Voula Beach is 3 mi (4.8 km) away. This smoke-free hotel features 3 restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center! Free buffet breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a poolside bar, and a coffee shop/café are onsite. All 89 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and 24-hour room service. All of this, just for the bargain cost of $3,779.26.

Where to Go?

Here is a day-by-day guide for your 7 day trip in Greece:


DAY 1:

-First, let's take a peek into the beautiful scenery of Greece. So, take a cab to the National Garden! In the heart of Athens, the National Garden includes a green oasis. This is a quiet and peaceful place away from the city with a green canopy of trees and plant life. Statues around the gardens as well as flowerbeds and small ruins of antiquity are present throughout. The gardens of Zappeion can also be found here, which surround the ancient congress hall that was built in the 19th century.

DAY 2:

- For a little bit of fun, let's visit the Plaka District! One of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens is the Plaka District, which resides under the Acropolis and spreads out to Syntagma. This village is almost like an island within the city, and it’s the perfect way to experience authentic Greek culture. The area is more on the private side and has unique scenery with several cafes, ancient trees, green leaf canopies and stone walkways. The area is well-known for its food, boutique shops and cafes. Along Kydathineon Street, visitors find the Jewish Museum, Folk-Art Museum and Saita Taverna, which serves bakalairo and other grilled meats.

DAY 3:

-A main stop on any Athens tour is the New Acropolis Museum, which resides near the base of the hill overlooking the city. It has the largest collection of Greek architecture and ancient sculptures including statues of the goddess Athena and “Kritios Boy.” The museum was originally scheduled to be built in time for the 2004 Olympics, but its completion was delayed due to legal battles. The museum has five floors that include 4,000 artifacts. Permanent exhibitions here include the Parthenon Frieze, Athena statue, Color the Peplos Kore, Parthenon Gallery, and Athena Nike.

DAY 4:

-Time for a spa day! Visit Spa Alchemy at 2350 Prince Ave., Suite 7 in Athens for the perfect massage! Spa Alchemy offers therapeutic massage, professional skin care, reflexology, and healing body treatments. The intimate atmosphere of the studio is perfect for individuals seeking personalized service, results, and relaxation.

DAY 5:

A major point of interest for any traveler is the Syntagma Square. The most famous part of Syntagma is the changing of the guards by the Evzones in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Hellenic Parliament Building is located here. Most major events that occur in Greece have been celebrated at the Syntagma Square. It’s also the site of various political functions, and it was also at this square that the Military Junta government was overthrown in 1974.

DAY 6:

-Since it is your last full day, we've saved the best for last. The Mount Lybabettus provides a panoramic view of Athens. As the highest point in Athens, it allows visitors to see all across the Attica basin and the Aegean Sea. Climbers can also see as the chapel of St. George from its peak. The little cafe there will also provide a great dinner. To start the hike, visitors go up the path that begins at the end of Aristippou Street in Kolonaki. The path continues to wind upwards around the mountain. Visitors can also take the funicular, which departs from Ploutarchou and Aristippou Street.

DAY 7:

-Before your flight, get the breakfast meal of a lifetime at To Tsai. To Tsai, the Greek word for tea, is an exclusive tea room and bistrot on a quiet street in Kolonaki. Tsai serves unique qualities of tea in the traditional way. The menu includes specialties such as salads, cold sandwiches, various tarts and special sweet and savory tastes based on tea, made by the head chef Jean Pierre Jaclot. To Tsai is ideal for breakfast all year round and Sunday brunch, for a lunch, or even just for tea. It also offers tea tasting, Chinese tea ritual, and musical evenings. Some must tastes are the French onion soup, Annas apple pie, and the cheesecake, just to mention a few :).

Itinerary

DAY 1

-The National Garden

DAY 2

-Plaka District

DAY 3

-The New Acropolis Museum

DAY 4

-Spa Alchemy

DAY 5

-Syntagma Square

DAY 6

-Mount Lybabettus

DAY 7

-To Tsai

Works Cited/ Links Used

"Aegean Airlines | Official Website | Flights to Athens." Aegean Airlines | Official Website | Flights to Athens. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

"A Boutique Hotel in Vouliagmeni, Athens." Athens Riviera Boutique Hotel, Vouliagmeni Luxury Hotels / Athens Design Hotel. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

"Government and Politics." - About Greece. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

"Greece." Climate of the World:. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

"Greek Culture." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 14 May 2015.

"3 Easy, Delicious Homemade Hummus Recipes - My Greek Dish." My Greek Dish. N.p., 24 May 2014. Web. 13 May 2015.

"To Tsai – Tea – Time." Athens Tips by Locals. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2015.

"Touropia." Touropia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.