Κυριακή, 19 Μαΐου 2013

The Sun Is Still Shining In Greece !

(English text follows)

Πρόσφατα ταξίδεψα με την αεροπορική εταιρεία EasyJet και με μεγάλη μου έκπληξη ανακάλυψα το παρακάτω άρθρο στο περιοδικό που διανέμει δωρεάν στους πελάτες που πετάνε μαζί της. Αποτελεί αναδημοσίευση ανάρτησης του μπλόγκερ John Manuel που εδώ και επτά χρόνια είναι μόνιμος κάτοικος Ρόδου. Ανατρέπει όλους τους μύθους που θέλουν την Ελλάδα να είναι ένας επικίνδυνος προορισμός για τους τουρίστες. Ο τίτλος της ανάρτησης: ο ήλιος λάμπει ακόμα! Ένα εξίσου ενδιαφέρον άρθρο για τον τουρισμό στην Ελλάδα είναι και αυτό της ηθοποιού και σκηνοθέτιδος Sylvaine Strike στο loL Travel με τίτλο "Destinations to dream about".








Put off Greece because of the recession? Rhodes-based blogger John Manuel suggests you should think again.

The Sun Is Still Shining


"You're going where? Is it safe?" These are the questions that many visitors to Rhodes get asked, with some concern for their safety and sanity. Images in the British media early in last year's season tended to create the impression that Greece was in meltdown. "Don't take €50 notes, you won't be able to spend them; the ATMs aren't dispensing cash; the hotels are out of food; you're not safe on the streets," were some more of the wildly inaccurate ideas flying around.J
Having lived on Rhodes for more than seven years, I can safely say that nothing could be further from the truth. While many people stayed away in response to the story being told in the newspapers, others chose to come anyway, and were glad that they did. They found the same essential experience that they'd always enjoyed: the sun still shone, old men still sat in corner kafeneions playing dominoes, and the food in the tavernas was just as tasty.
In truth, holidaymakers are almost unaffected by the crisis, which will only deepen if they stop coming, since tourism is Greece's biggest source of income. Without wishing to over-simplify things: the problems primarily affect civil servants and those on pensions.
Images of missile-throwing youths weren't creating an accurate picture, even last summer, At one point, I spoke to a Greek friend just after he'd got off the phone to his brother in Athens. While the TV footage aired, the brother had been sipping a frappé in a café just round the corner from the "unrest" and was surprised to hear from his Rhodes sibling that there was concern for his welfare.
The Greek islands are faring quite well in the recession generally, because they're packed with private businesses such as tavernas, apartments, bars and souvenir shops. The only real threat to such places is from people who fail to take advantage of them, preferring to spend all their time in their all-inclusive resorts. It begs the question: why even come to a culture- and cuisine-rich country such as Greece if you're not planning to interact with it at close quarters?
www.ramblingsfromrhodes.blogspot.co.uk
Source:EasyJet, Traveler, April 2013


TALENTED: Sylvaine Strike. Picture: Gary Van Wyk
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 Destinations to dream about

 Cape Town - Sylvaine Strike is an actress, voice-over artist, creator and director. She has a diverse career in theatre, television and film and is best known for her riveting, innovative plays that have captivated audiences both nationally and internationally. She won the Naledi Theatre Award for best director last year, for her direction of the comedy The Miser, which is now on at the Baxter.
How widely have you travelled?
I would say pretty widely. I have been to France, Italy, England, Tunisia, Australia, Mauritius, Egypt, Israel, Namibia, Greece and lots of places in South Africa.
Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

No matter where I go, Paris remains my number one mistress, she just keeps luring me back, and our love affair is complex, romantic and eternal. I spent two years studying there and never quite got over Paris. I have promised myself I will retire there, but in the meantime, I shall visit. Greece comes very close for an exceptional holiday… I love Greece.
Your worst experience on a holiday? 
When I got food poisoning from some dodgy dinner while cruising on the Nile. It had me violently ill for 10 days. Revolting! Not a great way to spend any holiday.
Your funniest experience?
I was once on a camel safari in Tunisia. My camel was the only one that refused to walk. After half an hour of the Bedouin slapping it with his numerous scarves, the beast took off like a rabid lunatic, leaving me begging for mercy, crying for it to stop, my snot and tears shooting in all directions. It was funny when I got off.
What do you avoid during a holiday?
Having smoked salmon on a Nile cruise (I was 21 and very naive)… and tourists, when they descend from buses and flood cathedrals and museums and art galleries.
Best meal abroad?
Chartier, a typical lunch-hour dining hall in Paris, the best French food for the everyday Parisian. The waiters are all ex-cons training to reintegrate into society. They are often very funny. Paper tablecloths on which your order is written, your bill added up, your baguette sliced. There’s no choice but to have the starter, main course and dessert, whether you like it or not. But it’s so good you won’t know what’s hit you. From patés and langoustines starters to grilled entrecôte, rabbit in cream and mushroom sauce, boeuf bourguignon, to crêpes à l’orange or crème brûlée, its simple, fast and delicious with the atmosphere that projects you straight into Paris during the swinging 1920s.
Your favourite place to drink a glass of wine or to have sundowners? 
On Naxos, an island in Greece, which has a tiny unpretentious family restaurant on a beach called Mikri Vigla, perfect for an ouzo (anise-flavoured aperitif) or a little chilled retsina (pine resinated wine) with the sea of a colour that will make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Their complimentary grilled octopus starter is pretty damn delicious. 

Naxos Island

What have you learnt from your travels?

Not to plan too much, never to fear getting lost, to walk as much as possible, to stop converting your currency into that of the country you’re in, to live large. With our poor old rand we are broke anywhere, so just throw caution to the wind.
Don’t spend precious time moaning about what’s not as you expected, you’ll miss out on the beauty of the unexpected.
Ideal travelling companion?

My husband, Chen, or my sister Taina.
Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Culture without a doubt. By the time I reach my destination I always need a culture fix, and usually know which plays, films, live bands I need to see within the first two hours of my arrival.
Greatest travel luxury?

Converse takkies, purchasing whatever I fancy at any patisserie in Paris and enough money to see as many plays as possible.
Holiday reading?

The Pariscope, which is a 150-page weekly journal on what is on in Paris, from puppet shows in the Luxembourg Gardens to big shows, all the restaurants, bars, street theatre, galleries, exhibitions and more.
Favourite drive?

The desert drive from the Dead Sea to Eilat Israel, called Arava Road. It is like nothing on earth, driving over the last pass and being left breathless by the blue radiating from the Bay of Aqaba.
Dream trip?

I would like to take a yacht around the Greek Isles.
As a seasoned traveller and flyer can you share some tips?

I strongly recommend that travellers spend time truly seeing what surrounds them, not stuck behind a camera or iPhone desperately trying to record every moment. Look for the road less travelled and that is usually by foot.
Where next?

I would love to experience New York, and hope to realise this dream very soon. - Weekend Argus






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