Travelling any country comes with some surprises, facts, and education. Greece was no exception!
1 – Gazing out over those famous views of Santorini, one may wonder why there are so many churches built so close together. In the past, a church was built by a family to show their commitment and faith to their religion and as a sort of social standing.2 – Greece has over 2000 islands, of which not even 250 are inhabited. Noone’s going to care if you decide you want to go live on one, it will be your problem trying to figure out how to get your supplies there!
3 – Grapes and cherry tomatoes are the only produce they grow on the island of Thira (Santorini). And on that note, Santorini boasts 12 wineries and is one of only two locations in Europe with a desert climate (its neighbour Analfi is the other)!
4 – Wandering around many of the islands you’ll notice cave-like structures all over the place. These were formed as homes and still today many of the houses and hotels are underground, with that perfect white and blue facade.5 – All those tiny curved streets you find all over the place, especially on the islands, they’re not like that to ‘make the pirates dizzy’ as some rogue tour guides might inform you, they’re to combat the strong winds that are often common on the islands.6 – In the past, the sons of the family were favoured to receive the best land to be used for farming, while the daughters were left with the useless cliff areas. Their ‘useless land’ isn’t so useless anymore with the tourism boom seeing lavish hotels pop up in the most scenic locations!
7 – The government controls the cost of bread and water, it is illegal to sell a 500ml bottle of water for more than 50 cents and 1.5L bottle for more than €1. Bread is limited to 70 cents per half kilo.
8 – In some villages you’ll find colourful doors galore – this is because in the past the postman would have a letter delivered to a name that was rather popular in Greece, and the only way to distinguish which Stelios Palioudakis it was meant for was to complete the address with the colour of the receivers door!9 – You’ll see plenty of those picturesque domed churches with large rocks sticking out all over the top of them. No matter what anyone tells you, they’re just there to make it much easier to climb the rounded surface if any repairs need to be performed!
10 – Education is free in Greece, with 75% of young people holding a university degree. This is often chosen rather than a training in a trade, although a trade can often be both more monetarily rewarding and have many more employment opportunites. 50% of university graduates are currently unemployed or not working within their field.
11 – There are beautiful little churches scattered all over the country, and that includes in many of the fields, even if it’s the only structure to be seen for miles. The Greeks build these as they believe the angels will watch over their crops.
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