Greece 2022 (Gods, Legends, and Heros)
On this journey, we'll be tracing the route I explored last summer while filming a new project about mythology and legends. The trip begins in Athens and finishes in Thessaloniki (The culinary capital of Greece). On the journey we'll stop at the temples of two ancient oracles, explore the battlefield where the 300 Spartans fought Xerxes, wander through a penninsula full of natural beauty and mythological secret sights, and view the home of the gods. My intention with this trip is for us all to have an outer and inner journey as we roam. There are deep themes that Greece's history and legendsnaturally inspire: courage, sacrifice, rebirth, the good life, etc. Let's dig into these ideas, location by location, and see what wisdom we can gather from each other and the land.
Spots are limited.
Athens - ORDER (Vs. CHAOS)
Starting off in the capital of Greece, we’ll take a unique look at the dominant sights and explore the Road Less Traveled side of the city. We’ll dine on Athenian cuisine and discuss Plato’s themes of “order” both in society and in our lives.
Eleusis - REBIRTH
For thousands of years, Greeks and Romans took a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Eleusis to partake in a secret ceremony related to the myth of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades. Nobody knows exactly what happened (as speaking about experience would merit a death penalty) but there are some fascinating theories. We’ll try to piece together the story, and see what we can learn from it.
Livadia - THE BIG QUESTIONS
What would you ask the oracle? Pilgrims on their way to Delphi would stop in this town first, where another oracle resided. Tourists largely overlook this wonderful little town with a flowing river walk, abandoned Spanish Castle, and a monastery clinging to cliff walls.
Delphi - THE BIG QUESTION REDUX
After sleeping on it, could you refine your question to the oracle, as so many pilgrims before you have done? This is the big momma of fortune tellers and soothsayers. Around the edges of this popular destination, some Road Less Traveled spots are hidden from the crowds. After knocking out the main sights, we’ll retreat to one of the off-the-beaten-path locations and play the oracle game.
Thermopylae - SACRIFICE
Freedom vs. Tyranny. King vs. Dictator. All the marbles were on the table when Xerxes rolled into Greece. A small regiment of Spartan soldiers (joined by Thespians and a few other Greek units) waited for them in this pass. Death was almost a guarantee, but, If they could slow the Persians down just enough, and win a moral victory, they’d provide the Greek city-states with time and courage. We’ll explore the battlefield, take a dip in the thermal waters, and ponder the idea of sacrifice.
DAY 4 - 6
Pelion - OUR LIVES IN MYTH
Pelion is a gorgeous peninsula, full of quaint villages, lush forests, and ancient legends. Here we will hike between some of these little hamlets, sip coffee underneath towering trees, eat amazing food, relax on pristine beaches, and find the cave where the Centaur taught Achilles about life. During this time we’ll discuss some of the dominant themes in myth. How do they connect to this wonderful stretch of land? How do they connect to us?
DAY 7 - 8
Olympus - THE GODS AND FACING CHALLENGES
What would you ask of the gods? Who is god? What is god? The Greeks had a very different conception of the divine than ideas that dominate today’s landscape. We’ll explore the region at the base of Mt. Olympus, home of Zeus and his bickering family, as we ponder these questions.
Thessaloniki - THE PLEASURES OF LIFE
Tourists, surprisingly, don’t know something all Greeks do: Thessaloniki is the culinary capital of Greece. I’ll take you to some of my favorite restaurants, we’ll stroll the waterfront, climb up to the old fortress, learn to dance like Zorba, and meet some fantastic folks I’ve come to know. Scrumptious food, reliable friends, good vibes.. What else, could we say, constitutes “the good life?”
Greek/Bulgarian Border - COURAGE
It’s an unbelievable story. Thousands of years later, Greece experienced a situation almost exactly like the ancient conflict in Thermopylae, where the 300 Spartans battled for the fate of their land. This time, it wasn’t Xerxes. It was Hitler. Once again, the founders of democracy made a strong stand against tyranny by confronting an overwhelming force. We’ll explore the old bunkers, talk about the battle, hear some personal stories, and contemplate the idea of courage. How could we manifest more of it in our lives?