Category Archives: ΤΑΞΙΔΙ

Culture Tourism: The Minotaur of Crete moved Greece, Rome, art, literature, and myth

Perhaps no other mythical creature so terrified humans as did the Minotaur, the monster half-man, half-bull who was imprisoned in the labyrinth on the island of Crete by his stepfather, King Minos, trapping a creature who ate people supplied by Athens to appease him. The legend lives on and it seems curious in the digital age and with movies being taken over by superheroes and super-villains and unstoppable forces that no one’s made the Minotaur the centerpiece for a fantasy film. The National Geographic recalled the power of the Minotaur and his effect on Greek and Roman culture and civilization and how he finally met his end when the Athenian hero Theseus came to Crete, entered the Labyrinth, and slew the beast, to the relief of all mankind of the time. The story has, over the ages, inspired everything from pottery designs of Picasso, operas, movies, and even video games, as the story by Amaranta Sbardella noted, who wrote that the roots for the myth go deep into real events in the Bronze Age. The tale of the Minotaur varies but the nucleus doesn’t: Zeus, king of the gods, falls in love with Europa, a Phoenician princess. He turns himself into a gentle, white bull, charms her, and carries her off to the island of Crete. She later gives birth to his son Minos, who grows up to become king of Crete, as the feature explained. It goes on: To seal his reign’s legitimacy, Minos asks the sea god Poseidon to send him a bull that he will sacrifice in the god’s honor. Poseidon duly sends a magnificent white bull from the surf. But at the moment of sacrifice, Minos, fascinated by the beauty of the animal, spares his life. Furious at this disrespect, the sea god makes Minos’s wife, Pasiphae, go mad with desire for the bull. Pasiphae asks the Athenian inventor Daedalus to design a disguise for her so she can get close to the beast. He creates a life-size hollow cow, and Pasiphae climbs inside it to entertain the bull. The result of their union is a bull-human hybrid child she names Asterion. Better known as the Minotaur, he is imprisoned by King Minos in an intricate Labyrinth designed by Daedalus. Then came Theseus. When the Athenians marked for human sacrifice arrive at the island of Crete, Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, falls in love with Theseus. Before he enters the Labyrinth, she gives him a ball of thread enabling him to find his way out after slaying the Minotaur. Alas, Theseus set sail for Athens, taking Princess Ariadne with him only to abandon her on the island of Naxos to take up with her sister, Phaedra, whom he married with apparently no one noting the irony of whether he was only half a man for betraying the woman who saved him. The story keeps being passed down through the thousands of years, so beguiling it is indeed. References to the Minotaur appeared in Greek literature such as Euripides’ 5th-Century B.C. play The Cretans, and another account of Theseus and the Minotaur comes from the Bibliotheca, a massive compilation of Hellenic myths and stories as well as from Roman sources such as Plutarch’s 2d-century A.D. work Parallel Lives and for Greeks of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., Theseus was celebrated as a national hero of Athens. From 1900-03 British archaeologist Arthur Evans excavated on Crete and found a royal palace at the site of Knossos and many artifacts featuring bulls, naming the ancient Cretan culture he unearthed there Minoan in honor King Minos, son of Zeus and stepfather to the Minotaur. The Minotaur’s prison, the Labyrinth, also has deep roots in Minoan material culture, but scholars have different theories as to its origin and no archaeological remains of a maze have ever been found on Crete, although some describe the ruins at Knossos as ‘maze-like’’. That might have inspired the myths of the Greeks who later came upon the remains of the palace. Read more at thenationalherald.com RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Lemur12 Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek government bill to regulate “red” loans by end of October

The bill on regulating “red” loans will be ready by the end of October, Deputy Finance Minister George Zavvos announced, int.ert.gr reports. According to the Ministry of Finance, this is a systematic, long-term solution to the radical redress of loans, that will not aggravate the Greek taxpayer and the state budget. Mr. Zavvos said that government guarantees worth 9 billion euros would be able to clear the “red” loans totaling 30 billion euros during an 18-month period. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Lemur12 Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greece plans to promote manufacturing in Attica through industrial and business parks

Greek government is moving toward a lifting of current restrictions that prevent the foundation of new industrial and manufacturing plants in Attica, where it hopes to increase the number of industrial and business parks that offer businesses greater privileges and facilities, according to ANA. The measures are included in the draft omnibus bill for development law and hope to "corral" existing industrial concerns - mostly based in western Attica but also in Mesogia and Eleonas - into organized industrial zones that provide more favorable licensing, expansion and financing conditions. According to sources, this targets some 70 informal "conglomerations" of industrial and manufacturing concerns that employ thousands of workers and are engaged in the food industry, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, packaging, plastics, glass-making, and other manufacturing sectors. The draft omnibus bill also includes statutes written by the environment and energy ministry that remove current restrictions and allow the founding of facilities for "medium-impact" industrial activity in Attica, provided they are established within an organized industrial zone or business park. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Panagiotis Botsis Let's block ads! (Why?)

Commissioner Moscovici interview: Greece is regaining its credibility (video)

In an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) during his recent visit to Athens, a mere few days before his term as European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs comes to an end, Pierre Moscovici described some of the more "dramatic moments" that he lived through with respect to Greece, including two occasions - in 2012 and 2015 - when it was on the verge of exiting the euro area. In the interview released on Saturday, he also spoke about the role of European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, the background regarding the 'leaks' from Germany and the Greek economy's prospects now that it had exited the support programs and was returning to "normality". RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: European Commission Let's block ads! (Why?)

First crematorium in Greece operational 70 kilometers northeast of Athens

The first crematorium in Greece is reportedly operational as of Thursday, ending a decades-old prohibition that was followed by an unwillingness of successive Greek governments to license such a facility in the country, naftemporiki.gr reports. The inaugural crematorium in the country is situated some 70 kilometers north, northeast of Athens in the industrial Ritsona district, a few kilometers west of the city of Halkida. The privately financed and managed facility, with one of the owners being the Hellenic Society for Cremation, a NGO that has lobbied for years to build such a facility in Greece. According to the president of the group, Antonis Alakiotis, some 2.5 to three million euros are spent by Greek citizens abroad every year for the cremation of their loved ones, as per their last wishes. Most cremations of Greek citizens were carried out in neighboring Bulgaria. Apart from ubiquitous bureaucratic obstables that characterize Greece's public sector, the dominant Orthodox Church in the country has long opposed the option of cremation of the dead. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Philly boy92  Let's block ads! (Why?)

SETE President: Full extent of problems from Thomas Cook collapse ‘not yet apparent’

The repercussions for Greece from the collapse of Thomas Cook, the second-largest travel agency in the world, have not yet become fully apparent, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) Yiannis Retsos noted in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) published on Saturday. He pointed out the damage to the "backbone" of the Greek tourism industry - the hotels that had worked with Thomas Cook's networks - and said the issue was "systemic," affecting the Greek economy in general. Retsos added the measures that SETE had asked for to support the tourism businesses affected were not a bailout at the expense of Greek taxpayers. "We never asked to be given the money that would not be paid by the company that went bankrupt. On the contrary, we asked for measures to relieve us from paying VAT on invoices that tourist enterprises will never be able to collect," he added. SETE's chief said the impact of the collapse was made worse by its timing, which came in the third quarter of the year, at the height of the tourist season when tourism had its highest revenues. This alone, he argued, raises questions as to whether the companies "exposed" to Thomas Cook will be able to meet their own obligations to suppliers and others. "If one takes into account tourism's multiplier on the economy (ranging from 2.1 to 2.5), this could potentially spell a great loss for the Greek economy," he explained. It could also have knock-on effects on the plans of tourism enterprises to invest and modernize their units as well as pushing companies with large loans or marginal profits into the red. On the matter of loans, Retsos said SETE has been in contact with the Hellenic Bank Association to determine the extent of tourism's exposure to bank loans, while it was pressing the state's public revenues authority AADE to remove sums that have not been collected from companies' total turnover. On the future of Greece's tourism sector, Retsos said the wager remained the same, with the focus on improving quality, in line with worldwide trends, and not increasing arrivals. He forecast that the number of tourists brought to Greece by Thomas Cook will not be "covered" by other tour operators and that, regardless of the numbers, there would be pressure for lower prices that will decrease revenues. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Let's block ads! (Why?)

October 12, 1944: The date of Athens’ liberation from Nazi forces

On Thursday, 12th October 1944, the Germans lowered their swastika flag from the Acropolis and finally left Athens, greekcitytimes.com reports. The Nazi forces in Greece vacated the Greek capital and started their withdrawal north, to avoid being cut off by the advancing Soviets. The fast advance of the Soviet army towards the Balkans, threatening to cut off the German forces in Greece, forced the Germans to withdraw very soon from Greece. Their withdrawal began from the Peloponnese and the islands and on this day in 1944 Athens and Piraeus were liberated. Greek flags and bell-ringing overflowed the capital, while crowds of people flooded the streets and the squares celebrating, as the last German soldiers took the swastika down from the Acropolis Hill and began to drive through the city towards the north. They passed through crowds of Athenians who were in a state of joy, waving their blue and white Greek flags, embracing, while bells were heard ringing all over the city. It was an elated time for those in Athens who had survived the occupation, but their joy was not destined to last as they were about to enter the most divisive period of modern Greek history. Traditionally, Greeks mark the historic ‘OXI Day’ on October 28, when Greece entered the Second World War but over the last few years October 12, 1944, is also a day which is commemorated in Athens and all of Greece. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: BArchBot Let's block ads! (Why?)

Greek Tourism: Canada and Australia become top source markets

Canada and Australia were the top source markets for Greece over the 2016-2018 period, recording the highest rises in the number of arrivals, overnights, and revenue, according to a study released this week by SETE Intelligence (INSETE), the research arm of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), greekreporter.com notes. Based on the study titled “An X-ray of Greece’s 26 Biggest Inbound Tourism Markets 2016-2018”, the number of arrivals from Canada increased by 126 percent, night stays by 158 percent and revenue by 158. Australia follows with a 91 percent growth in arrivals, overnights up by 105 percent and revenue by 99 percent. INSETE analysts examined Greece’s 26 largest source markets, which represented 92 percent of total tourism revenue for 2018. Arrivals from Denmark rose by 59 percent, overnights by 59 percent, and revenue by 61 percent. The number of US travelers increased by 41 percent, with a 43 percent rise in stays and a 43 percent increase in revenue. And lastly, Poland recorded a 43 percent rise, with overnights up by 19 percent and revenue by 37 percent. Overall, according to the study, inbound tourism in 2016-2018 increased by 21 percent in terms of arrivals, 19 percent for overnight stays and by 23 percent in revenue, continuing the upward trend that started in 2012. More specifically, arrivals went from 24.8 million in 2016 to 30.1 million in 2018; overnight stays rose to 227.0 million in 2018 from 190.4 million in 2016; and revenue came to 15.7 billion euros in 2018 from 12.7 billion euros in 2016. SETE analysts discovered that all source markets recorded growth in the 2016-2018 period apart from Russia with decreased arrivals by 13 percent, overnight stays down by 15 percent and revenue by 22 percent. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Let's block ads! (Why?)

New development bill to encourage investments in Greek mass media

The new omnibus bill in Greek Parliament includes regulations that "will facilitate investments in the mass media" and increase employment, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Friday, according to ANA. Explaining the contents of the bill relating to his portfolio, Petsas pointed out the regulations "are pervaded by the idea of creating a favorable framework to attract investments across the mass media sector and to rationalize and update anachronistic and outdated regulations." The sector, he noted, had been "disproportionately hit by the economic crisis, both in terms of profits, but mostly in terms of employment" and the new regulations will lift obstacles to investments, particularly for private television, free-to-air digital TV, radio & TV subscription services, newspapers, magazines and press printing, and distribution businesses. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: flickr.com License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Curtis Kennington Let's block ads! (Why?)

Work stoppages in Athens tram and metro next Thursday

The workers in STASY, which operates Athens' track-based modes of public transport, such as the metro and tram system, have declared work stoppages next Thursday, October 17, according to ANA. The metro, the tram and electric train (line 1 of the Athens metro) will not be running from the beginning of the shift until 09:00 and after 21:00 until the end of the shift. RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Orlovic Let's block ads! (Why?)