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      October 2011 > Joanna's Greek Odyssey
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Joanna's Greek Odyssey

Joanna Lumley kicked off her new travel series on the TV last night, exploring Athens, at the start of a discovery of the remarkable country of Greece. She got up close to the renovation work on the Parthenon and wandered into an Athens’ nightclub to watch those who still can, fritter their money away on throwing flowers at the cabaret (throwing plates is now banned because so many people were getting injured!).

With Greece going through 'a few economic difficulties', I suppose she had to acknowledge the current situation, but she was soon back on track, showcasing the glories of this beautiful, historic country in that engagingly seductive way of hers.

From Athens, she headed south to explore the Peloponnese, visiting the many world renowned sites where modern democracy, medicine, sport and theatre were born, even persuading Greek icon Nana Mouskouri to come out of retirement to sing Ava Maria in the astounding amphitheatre at Epidauros. Her voice may have lost some of its clarity and purity since her heyday when she was the world’s best-selling female artist, but it still brought a tear to the eye.

With the London Olympics less than a year away, Ms Lumley made the obligatory trip to the ancient site of Olympia where the Olympic Games were born, but resisted the temptation to join other tourists running down the track in the heat of the midday sun (she’s far too cool and composed for that). Further south, she crossed to the “quiet side of the mountains” on the Mani peninsula where she explored the staggeringly beautiful, yet wild, landscapes (below); enjoyed the warm hospitality of the local people and sailed to the Gates of Hades.

To end this first episode, she returned north, crossing the Gulf of Corinth on the very modern Rio-Antirio bridge to reach one of the most ancient and famous sites in Greece, the home of the Oracle and the ruined Temple of Apollo in Delphi.

Greece is a truly fascinating and beautiful country, so if you missed the programme or need some inspiration to plan your own Grand Tour of the Peloponnese, you can catch up with Joanna here.

Ruins at Mystras, Mani Peninsula, Greece

Posted: 14/10/2011 09:07:24 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: Greece, heritage, journey, media


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