The Greek people are probably the friendliest people I have met as a tourist. Even if you don't understand the language (it's completely Greek), everybody is eager to help you. I should mention that I visited the country a bit off season (early October), and locals might be less patient with tourists in the top season when they are just too many of them. I would say Greece is my favourite destination in the Mediterranean. 

Greek history is fascinating, ant the architecture is still an inspiration for today's architects. This is a theatre in the ancient city of Delphi, and most of the ancient town is still there, except for what nature and possible old-time wars have damaged. It seems the many delicate details in Greek architecture didn't withstand time as well as the more massive classic Egyptian constructions.

The Greek isles are famous, and if you don't have or rent your own boat there are a lot of different boat services to choose from, from these fast "Flying Dolphins" to regular, slow ferries. Back-packing between the islands is relaxing and fun. Most connections are from Piraeus, a port town just a short ride on the subway from Athens - taxi is better if you carry a lot.

All Greek islands are different, and it's easy to understand how the Greek turned out to be a nation of many good sailors. Boat is the only natural way to get around, as most of the islands doesn't have airports. Excellent for boating holidays, boat rental agencies are plentiful.

This is a train of donkeys on the island called Hydra. All the narrow, steep roads, most with stairs in then prohibit the use of cars. Donkeys are used for transportation, and the city is small enough to walk across in 30 minutes. Peaceful and charming, unless you dislike cats. Hydra is famous for all the cats. This island is only a couple of hours from Piraeus with one of the Blue Dolphin hydrofoils, and it's easy to make a day-trip here while staying in Athens.

The classic picture of the Acropolis height. All first-timers in Athens have to go there. Expect crowds, and carry drinking water in your backpack.

The Parthenon temple on Acropolis. This was damaged about 500 years ago when used as a warehouse for ammunition. An enemy got to the warehouse, and the whole thing exploded. It took only 30 years to build in ancient time, using paid workers (no slaves), but today's restauration is likely to continue forever. Putting the right pieces back in position is a giant task.

Acropolis height with Parthenon temple by night as seen through a telephoto lens from the rooftop of our hotel (The Stanley Hotel) in Athens. It is a large, modern hotel with central location, but still nice and with affordable prices. The rooftop terrace had magnificent views, and even a swimming pool. Recommended.

(c) Thomas Høven 2004