Tag Archives: Greece

The First Philosophers

This anthology, edited by the Greek scholar Robin Waterfield, consists of a series of extracts, with commentary, from the work of a number of Greek thinkers who lived in the couple of centuries before the first megastar of western philosophy, … Continue reading

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home soil

I landed in London at 6 in the morning. People are really friendly. Everything moves slowly, and there seems so much space and time between objects. Almost nobody employed in London, apart from the guys with the green fluorescent waistcoats … Continue reading

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mosque heaven: Edirne

From Samothraki I took the ferry before dawn back to Alexandroupoli, arriving in brilliant, freezing sunshine. After 20 minutes, the bus to Orestiada turned inland into thick fog, passing through small towns among roads lined with white single-storey Thracian cottages … Continue reading

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great gods

New Year’s Day: back in Thessaloniki, I opened the local bottle of red I had bought on the mountain, and drank it. Then I went out, tensing my shoulders in the sub-zero night, and found what seemed to be the … Continue reading

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old religion, new year

now the rain came pouring down; it was cold, my shoe was letting in water, and I had no place to stay. Regretting that I hadn’t taken the ferry back to the world, I sheltered in the doorway of one … Continue reading

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built upon the rock

Equipped with my €30 visa from the religious authorities, I took the fast boat from Ouranoupolis to Dafni, the port of Mount Athos (though that makes it sound grander than it is – there are about six buildings). Since Athos, the … Continue reading

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hard times in Greece, and how to survive them

The Guardian had a story about a guy in Patras who has been so hard hit by Greece’s current troubles that he could no longer support his ten children and had turned four of them in for care. Sad, yes, … Continue reading

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Meteora

My first stop out of Athens was Meteora. This is a strange piece of geology: vast rock pinnacles rising out of the plain and flanking the local mountains. That would be enough to attract 21st century sightseers, but what augments … Continue reading

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Athens

Arriving in Europe, the same as always: cool grey light. This time, there’s a chill, too: coat and jumper are barely sufficient to be comfortable at night, and there’s a sprinkling of snow on the higher hilltops around Athens. The … Continue reading

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oh no, those Habsburgs again…

I thought that yesterday had been my day of visiting Habsburg palaces, but it seems that in Vienna their influence runs deeper than that… Today I went to the Vienna art history museum, a very grand structure… …that, as it … Continue reading

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