My first impression of Greece was from the Bari-Brindisi ferry and the country seemed truly rugged. But already on the first island, on Corfu, scenery was stunning, houses beautiful and tourism services worked well. Unfortunately I do not have other experiences of Greek islands, but mainland Greece did not impress me as much as Corfu. The train trip through Peloponnesos and Attica to Athens was long and boring, and so was the train trip from Athens to Istanbul via grey and dull Thessaloniki.
Athens is an overrated city and without the Acropolis hill with its ancient ruins, the city would not be very interesting. In June the air was hot and polluted, so you might just image what it would be like during the hottest summer months. From Athens I did, though, a bus trip to the ancient ruins of Delfi, which are situated on a steep hill in a beautiful setting.
Greek food is tasty and is based on fresh, ripe ingredients. You cannot claim that you have eaten Greek feta salad, unless you have done it in Greece. The tomatoes are so sweet that they taste like fruit and this is like a completely different vegetable compared to the ones we are used to in northern Europe. Souvlaki meat in pitabread, feta cheese pie, moussaka, tsatsiki and spinach pie are well-known Greek delicacies but personally I would like to point out halva, a sweet cake of crushed sesame seeds, which are spiced with honey or cocoa.
The Greeks are relaxed and during the latest years the rest of Europe has accused that lifestyle and connected it with the difficulties of the Greek economy. There is also a strong socialistic support for everything to be distributed equally and the Greeks do not like outsiders to interfere with internal matters by giving financial demands and advice. Despite these confrontations travelers may visit Greece without worries as long as sudden and frequent strikes do not scare you off.