Who You Are
Note: My site has not been significantly revised since 2011, when the deepening of the world’s economic crisis made our annual trips too much of a luxury to consider. GreeceTraveler‘s chapters now comprise: “En Route”; “Andros,” Messenia, Kalamata & Environs”; “Mykonos & Delos”; “Santorini, Anafi, Sikinos, Schinoussa, Koufonissi & Folegandros”; “Special Trips With Elizabeth”; and “Photo Album (Slide-Shows of Mykonos and Santorini).” A new essay on Iraklia, by Michael House, will be added, before Spring 2014, to the Santorini chapter, so look for it should you be visiting the Cyclades early next season. Dean and I hope to get back to the islands in the fall of 2014, when we will again be updating the site. Best, Elizabeth Boleman-Herring
Whether you know it yet, or not, you are a “philhellene”—a lover of Greece, the Greeks, and all things Greek. Whether you visited Greece briefly in childhood (with your parents, on a scaled-down version of the 19th century’s “Grand European Tour”), spent one giddy long-ago collegiate summer backpacking through the Greek islands, or have reached your 50s or 60s or 70s never having gotten farther than collecting Greek travel brochures studded with photographs of temples, sunsets and the wine-dark Aegean, you are a philhellene, and it’s high time you got the stamps in your passport to prove it.
This website of mine was designed with an open-minded, literate, optimistic, inquisitive and well-heeled (though by no means un-frugal) Western traveler in mind. Ideally, you’re someone who prepares a year ahead of time for a trip of from three to six weeks’ duration, someone for whom visiting Greece is both a cherished dream and an adventure anticipated with glee, someone who wants to know in advance as much as possible about what to expect in “Hellas”—the Greek word for Greece is /Ellatha/, Eh-LAH-thah—and someone willing to travel light, but in a certain style
You’re a traveler who can carry (or wheel) her or his own luggage half a mile if necessary, and someone who’s willing to get into better shape at home to experience more fully what Greece has to offer. You’re also someone who’ll practice with Greek language tapes (even though most of the people you’ll encounter will speak English), and someone who, in general, sees herself (or himself, needless to say) as an ambassador-without-portfolio of her/his own country when abroad: you care about being a good traveler, as opposed to being a careless tourist.
You are also, Dear Potential Philhellene, here online reading these words of mine, so you are, by definition, a creature of the 21st Century, and this is a great good thing. The Worldwide Web (is that not a wonderful term?) comprises a cornucopia of information about Greece, all there for the accessing, but you’re savvy enough to know that a lot of the data you’ve encountered online hasn’t been vetted and edited and updated. You’ve reached the point where you have some information, but don’t know how solid it is—which is the point at which you, the traveler, and I, the guide and writer with 40-odd years of experience (as philhellene, bi-national, and author, editor and photographer of multiple Greek titles) begin to interface. So, come with me, and let me introduce you to the country I have known and loved since the age of ten, when I first embarked (from New York City, on the S.S. /Atlantic/) for what would become my second home. /Kalo taxithi/ (Kah-LOH tahk-SEE-thee)! Bon voyage!