Giannis Antetokounmpo Leads Bucks to Eastern Conference Finals

Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks
Credit: Keith Allison, CC 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Bucks to the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday after an epic win 115-111 in overtime in Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets.

It was the NBA’s first do-or-die game to go to overtime in 15 years and the Greek Freak had an amazing performance with 40 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Nets Kevin Durant, who did everything humanly possible to carry the Nets, took a 3-pointer to win the game with only seconds remaining, but came up short to allow Milwaukee to escape with the victory.

The Bucks, who are now playing in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2019, will now face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers. If they win there, they will advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.

“At the end of the day, I try not to get too high, not to get too low. But I almost got emotional a little bit out there because the team really tried their best,” Antetokounmpo said. “We kept our composure. We were down 2-0. A lot of people didn’t believe we could make it.”

Antetokounmpo may be the superstar advancing, but he was quick to acknowledge Durant’s heroic performance. The Nets star scored 48 points, the most ever in a Game 7. In his post-game interview, he called Durant the best player in the NBA.

This game, like most Game 7s, quickly devolved into a tense, physical affair, with both teams struggling to get consistent offense going outside of its stars. The result was a performance that felt more like an endurance contest than a basketball game for all involved.

Antetokounmpo twice the NBA Most Valuable Player

Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo began playing basketball for the youth teams of Filathlitikos in Athens. In 2011, he began playing for the club’s senior team before entering the 2013 NBA draft, where he was selected 15th overall by the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo’s nationality, in addition to his combination of size, speed and ball-handling skills earned him the nickname “Greek Freak”.

Antetokounmpo won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26.

Along with his MVP award, he was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) to win both awards in the same season.

Upcoming movie on the Greek Freak

Giannis Antetokounmpo gave a series of interviews to Jim Paschke recently, where he spoke about the upcoming film that is being produced about him and his life journey.

The Greek Freak said that the movie will not be just about his life, but also for his family.

”…about what they went through in order to raise us to become who we are. What they had to do in order for us to put us in a position to have the opportunity to be successful,” Giannis noted.

”Obviously, I had a great childhood, but it was tough,” the Milwaukee player said.  ”I had to do what I had to do, I had to help my family because we didn’t have money,” he added.

”But, the real heroes are my parents, because they had to do all that a thousand times more,” the Greek player noted emphatically in an emotional moment during this interview.

Guide to the Classics: Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War

A statue of Thucydides in front of the Austrian Parliament
A statue of Thucydides in front of the Austrian Parliament Building. Credit: Walter Maderbacher/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Thucydides’s historical account, History of the Peloponnesian War, is considered a classic as well as being one of the earliest known history books.

By Julia Kindt*

Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War breaks off before the story is over. After detailing the armed conflict between the Athenians and the Spartans (and their respective allies) between 431 and 404 BCE, the eight-book text ends abruptly in the middle of a chapter as if, one day, the writer simply dropped his pen and left his desk, never to return.

What required such urgent and final attention? And why did Thucydides never return to complete the manuscript? Whatever the answers, the book’s incompleteness adds a human touch to a work that is otherwise an accomplished and polished piece of writing.

The Peloponnesian War Thucydides recounts culminated in Sparta’s surprisingly late victory over the Athenians and ended a power dynamic that had shaped the ancient Aegean world for decades.

Everything changed in its aftermath. Both major powers came out of the war considerably weakened, opening the door for the later annexation of Greece by Philip of Macedon, his son Alexander the Great, and, finally, the Romans.

In Thucydides, the war found an author of meticulous standard and dedication who created a work that still resonates in the disciplines of history, international relations, and political science. His thoroughness, sharpness, and matter-of-fact analysis have led some people to believe that he, and not fellow historian Herodotus, deserves the title “father of history”.

Thucydides would have agreed. His history includes several direct and indirect attacks on his immediate predecessors, most notably on Homer and Herodotus. While never once referring to him by name, Thucydides accused Herodotus of fabulation, storytelling, and a writing style that pandered to his immediate audience.

Needless to say, Thucydides was convinced that he himself offered a far superior product. He set the bar and set it high:

And the results, by avoiding patriotic storytelling, will perhaps seem the less enjoyable for listening. Yet if they are judged useful by any who wish to look at the plain truth about both past events and those that at some future time, in accordance to human nature, will recur in similar or comparable ways, that will suffice.

As a high-ranking Athenian military commander (or “strategos”), Thucydides brought to the project firsthand experience of the war, as well as an acute understanding of the complex power politics behind events on the battlefield. His analysis of the immediate and underlying causes of the war and his insight into the considerations and motivations of those fighting it remain one of the most brilliant pieces of political history to date.

His sharp analysis of the kind of forces that stir popular sentiments and drive collective decision making still resonates in the modern world. It fulfils its author’s own – somewhat preposterous – proclamation about the nature of his work:

It is a possession for all time (“ktema eis aei”), not a competition piece to be heard for the moment, that has been composed.

No self-esteem issues here.

Nonetheless, his programmatic prediction proved right. More than 2500 years later, Thucydides’ History still stands among the foundational texts in the classical canon due to its enduring analytical sharpness and the acuteness of his observations.

My war is bigger than yours

When Thucydides set out to compose his work, the writing of warfare was already a notable tradition launched with a bang by the legendary Homer about three centuries earlier. In his epic poem Iliad, Homer related the story of the Trojan War as an epic battle involving gods and humans alike. He was followed 300 years later by Herodotus who gave an account of the Persian Wars, similarly rich in iconic battles and larger-than-life personalities on both sides of the conflict.

With Thucydides, the writing of war took a new direction. In contrast to the wars of Homer and Herodotus, the armed conflict that concerned Thucydides was fought primarily among Greeks. It also involved events that occurred within the author’s lifetime, which introduced a contemporary dimension to the genre.

Thucydides focused on offering a strong and authoritative account of the war, its causes, and behind the scenes negotiations. To this end, he largely left out the gods and religious explanations more generally – although there is still more religion in Thucydides than one may think.

Instead, he offered a deep analysis of human factors and motivations. Although Thucydides was aware that all authors exaggerate the importance of their topic, he still felt inclined to make a case for his:

And this war – even though men always consider the war on hand the most important while they are fighting but once they have ended it are more impressed by ancient ones – will nevertheless stand out clearly as greater than the others for anyone who examines it from the facts themselves. 

The reasons he gave were three-fold: the Peloponnesian War was fought between two cities at the height of their power; these powers went into conflict prepared; and most of the Greek world (and beyond) was subsequently drawn into the fighting.

The so-called “archaeology” of his work – a succession of observations laid out in the beginning – sets out his method: eyewitness accounts; the critical evaluation of sources and informants; and, finally, his own experience and insight.

What stands out throughout is the sharpness with which Thucydides reports. In contrast to Herodotus, he no longer includes alternative viewpoints and traditions but offers a strong, singular explanation of events. Yet the authorial voice Thucydides created in the History should not belie the fact that he engaged in his very own forms of make–believe.

Through the speeches, in particular, Thucydides offers evaluations of events and situations in a voice other than his own. Interspersed throughout the History, they provide a commentary on the events from the perspective of the historical actors.

A battle of words, Thucydides’ Pericles

Some modern critics decry the speeches in Thucydides’ History as the failure of an otherwise truthful and authoritative narrator. Yet Thucydides himself apparently saw no problem; there was no conflict between his aim to tell what really happened and his use of speeches, although he did find the subject important enough to warrant an explanation:

Insofar as these facts involve what the various participants said both before and during the actual conflict, recalling the exact words was difficult for me regarding speeches I heard myself and for my informants about speeches made elsewhere; in the way I thought each would have said what was especially required in the given situation, I have stated accordingly, with the closest possible fidelity on my part to the overall sense of what was actually said. 

Among the speeches, the so-called “Funeral Oration” stands out. Allegedly delivered by the famous Athenian statesman and orator Pericles’ after the first year of the Peloponnesian war, the speech was intended to celebrate those who had fallen, and offers an appraisal of Athenian culture, identity, and ideology.

Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War
Pericles’s Funeral Oration, (a famous speech from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War) Public Domain.

Thucydides’ Pericles makes an emphatic appeal to the very foundations of Athens’ power and supremacy. His appraisal of Athenian greatness includes references to bravery, military strength, democracy, freedom, and the rule of law, as well as to “soft” values such as the love of beauty, education and the arts.

However, a different picture of life in Athens follows this oration: Thucydides’ detailed account of the plague that broke out shortly afterwards. Thucydides, who was also afflicted, reports in detail on the plague’s impact on the human body, the city, and its people. Lawlessness, disregard for custom, egotism and a general lack of order in the face of death took hold of Athens.

The strong contrast between the high-minded “Funeral Oration” and the ravages of the plague provides a powerful insight into the principles that guide Thucydidean enquiry. This author is not afraid to point out that ideological premise and historical practice don’t always mesh. Time and again he shows that in extreme situations, it is human nature to diverge from ideals that are otherwise firmly held.

In these moments, the anthropologist and humanist in Thucydides comes to the fore. Recent scholarship has highlighted this dimension of his work. Even though the main focus in his History remains on warfare and the geo-political deliberations that inform it, there is more on human nature and culture in this work than one may think. And, more frequently than not, Thucydides extends his sharp analysis from politics and warfare to the human and cultural factors driving human history.

The tragedy of power politics

The same sharp analysis runs throughout the work. It cuts to the core of the hidden forces, motivations, and considerations at stake in various historical situations, and informs such diverse accounts as the so-called “Mytilenean Debate” and the “Melian Dialogue”.

The Mytilenean Debate revolves around whether the Athenians should revoke their decision to annihilate the entire western Ionian city of Mytilene in retaliation for a revolt.

Thucydides has two main speakers set out the case. Both speakers make a series of complex arguments revolving around questions of justice, fairness, good governance, and the nature of hegemonic rule. Cleon (a General during the Peloponnesian War) argues for harsh treatment: doing otherwise would set a dangerous precedent for other allies. Diodotus (his opponent), on the other hand, takes up this point and insists that a more lenient response is the superior strategy: it would not corner those rebelling but provides them with a viable alternative that secures a future source of revenue for Athens.

Diodotus’s argument, in particular, invokes the principles and practices of these aforementioned “soft powers” successfully. As such, the Athenians choose to overturn the decision. A trireme is dispatched just in time to prevent major bloodshed.

However, a very different side of Athens emerges in the Melian Dialogue. This is the only section in the History that’s set out like a dramatic fast-paced sequence of direct speech – a dialogue like an Athenian tragedy. Importantly, this conceit allowed both the Athenians and the Melians to present their views directly and as a collective voice.

Should the Melians (a Spartan colony) be allowed to remain neutral? Or should the Athenians insist they submit and pay tribute? The Melians make a passionate plea for justice and the right to remain neutral. The Athenians counter by pointing out:

the standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that… the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept. 

Allowing the Melians to remain neutral would set a dangerous precedent and threaten Athenian hegemony.

Over two millennia later, this line of reasoning still resonates. Particularly now, as populism reemerges, insights into the power of words to influence public sentiments and decision-making remain acutely (and painfully) up-to-date.

In a modern context, the American political theorist Robert Mearsheimer calls the dynamics of such considerations which revolve around national self-interest “the tragedy of great power politics”. In his book of the same name, he describes the constant struggle of nation states to maintain and optimise power and hegemony in order to prevent other states from dominating them.

And a tragedy it is. Both the Athenians and the Melians remain steadfast. Melos (an Aegean island inhabited by Dorians) refuses to submit. Athens ends up murdering all men of military age and selling their wives and children into slavery.

Enduring sharp political realism

It is such resonances which make the History stand out and endure. The voice of the characters within the story reverberate with the voice of Thucydides as its author.

Despite his penchant for long-winded sentences – truthfully and painstakingly rendered into English in most translations – Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War has become a classic by virtue of the sharp political realism at its core.

It remains a must-read for all who want to understand how power politics manifest, and learn about its effect on the psychology of humankind, both individual and collective.

All translations are from M. I. Finley and R. Warner’s translation of Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War (New York, 1972)

*Julia Kindt is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Sydney. The article was first published at The Conversation and is republished under a Creative Commons License.

Epirus Riviera: Crystal Clear Waters and Secret Coves of the Ionian Sea

Parga Epirus
Credit: Steliosp97 – Own work, CC0

The coasts of the Greek mainland hide a multitude of mesmerizing locations which promise to offer unforgettable moments to fortunate travelers. The Epirus Riviera, in the northwestern corner of Greece, just opposite Corfu, is undoubtedly one of these magnificent places, offering amazing beaches, crystal clear waters and secret coves.

Washed by the blue-green waters of the Ionian archipelago, the captivating Parga and exotic Syvota make an irresistible pair of islands, each with refreshing breezes and cosmopolitan auras. They are natural gems which enchant all their visitors at first sight.

Parga is a renowned maritime town belonging to the Prefecture of Preveza and is already well-known as a famous holiday destination.

It was built inside a natural amphitheater and is nestled along a picturesque crescent-shaped bay, while its wooded offshore island of Panagia lies under the shadow of the town’s Venetian castle.

Parga Epirus Riviera
Credit: Numenor, CC BY-SA 3.0

You can take a stroll up to Parga’s Old Town, where you’ll enjoy the impressive architecture while wandering around its cobblestone streets, which are adorned by beautiful arches above.

End up by drinking in the mesmerizing sunset views over the emerald waters of the Ionian Sea from the castle, which was initially built in the 11th century by the residents of Parga to protect their town from pirates and the Ottomans.

The town of Parga and its castle were occupied by the Ottomans for two years, beginning in 1452; part of the castle was demolished at that time.

In 1537, Ottoman admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa burned it and destroyed the fortress and the houses within it.

The Turks demolished the castle yet again before it was reconstructed in 1572 by the Venetians.

When this once-great maritime power rebuilt it for the third and last time, they created a stronger fortress which stayed impregnable until 1819 despite military attacks, notably from Ali Pasha, who ruled from Ioannina.

Romantic Walks & Pink-Sanded Beaches are part of the Epirus Riviera Enchants

Panagia Island in Parga. Credit: Jennifer Slot – originally posted to Flickr as Corfu – Parga, CC BY 2.0

At nightfall, take a romantic walk by the waterfront, which is lined with tourist shops, stylish restaurants and cozy bars where you can drink or dine.

You will certainly be drinking in the views of the castle, which is illuminated at night, as well as the idyllic islet of Panagia.

Not to be outdone, just thirty-five kilometers (22 miles) to the north lies one of the most exotic destinations within Greece, Syvota.

Pink-sand beaches, luscious green islets, and long, more sheltered beaches with crystal clear waters and secret coves are just some of the town’s many features which lure fortunate summer visitors.

Syvota Epirus
Syvota. Credit: Thanas Todhe (Guri Q…, CC BY 3.0,

Syvota is the perfect stop for sailors who are lucky enough to be plying the waters of the Ionian archipelago, but it is certainly a must-visit destination for any other Epirus-area traveler as well.

Just offshore from its coastline, you’ll find the small islands of Mavro Oros (meaning “Black Mountain”) Agios Nikolaos, and Mourtemeno, as well as other even smaller islets.

Take note that it is also worthwhile to rent a boat and sail the calm waters of the area. Discover your own secret coves or shores and let the magic of paradise overcome you this summer.

Agios Nikolaos
Credit: Silar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The area’s most renowned beach, located in the town of Agios Nikolaos, is none other than “Pisina;” you’ll enjoy its fine golden sand and transparent turquoise waters which lap the shores beneath its looming cliffs.

In Mourtemeno, head for the second “Five Star” beach of the region, “Bella Vraka,” which you can reach by foot just by crossing over a narrow strip of golden sand from the mainland.

Yet another beach near the town is the spectacular “Zavia,” which features yet more green and turquoise waters which not only offer a feast for the eyes but a blissful swim for those lucky enough to be able to plunge into them.

Kate Hudson Vacations in Greece on the Island of Skiathos

Kate Hudson Greece
Kate Hudson poses with beautiful Greek scenery as her backdrop. Credit: Instagram/@Katehudson

Kate Hudson has once again chosen to vacation in Greece, posting to social media on Thursday that she was visiting the beautiful island of Skiathos.

Hudson and her family frequent the island, having vacationed on Skiathos almost every summer in recent memory.

Kate Hudson in Greece

The famous and much-beloved actress is not alone on her vacation, and is joined by her immediate family. Her partner Danny Fujikawa and her children, Rani Rose (two years old) and Bingham (nine years old), have joined her on the picturesque vacation.

Hudson is not alone in frequenting Greece as a vacation spot — it was very likely her mother who inspired her love of the country! Goldie Hawn, Hudson’s very famous mother, and the former’s partner Kurt Russell actually own a vacation home on the island. The entire family often visits and stays in the house, making their love of Greece a “family affair”. 

“Feels like summer,” wrote Hudson in a caption on her instagram, showing how much she feels the country is emblematic of the season. Friends of hers and fans wished her a wonderful time in Greece underneath her post.

Kate Hudson’s perfect day is in Greece

In 2018, Kate Hudson spoke to Harper’s Bazaar and outlined that her “perfect day” would be in Greece, and that the country is her “happy place”.

Her “perfect day” starts with an early morning wake up on an island in Greece to the sound of her kids running around.  She goes on to explain that since she is an early riser, she would wake up and open the door at 7:30 am and it will already be warm outside.  She continues by going to buy a double espresso and then walks down to the sea for a swim, while her sons run around on the beach.

An hour later at around 8:30 am, they head back to the house they stay in, “one of those adorable little Greek houses with whitewashed walls and blue shutters.”

Kate Hudson Greece
Kate Hudson and her partner Danny Fujikawa pose in a vehicle on their 2021 vacation to Greece. Credit: Instagram/@katehudson

Around 11 AM Hudson tells Harper’s Bazaar that her perfect day continues by going on a hike with her partner.  After that, she would do a pilates workout, followed by light weights.

Around 12:30 pm Hudson says she would shower and get dressed.  Her vacation wardrobe includes bikinis, high-waisted shorts, scarves that you can tie in a million different ways, and flip-flops.  The day may continue by boarding a small dinghy-type boat and going to another island for lunch or fried zucchini and moussaka at a seaside taverna.

After lunch, the kids will play on the beach, while she sits and suntans.

“Greece is my favorite vacation spot; I feel really at home there. I love the culture, the people are wonderful, and the water is just so incredibly appealing,” says Hudson.

Caroline Crouch Murder: Prosecutor to Decide Custody of Baby Lydia

Caroline Crouch baby Babis Anagnostopoulos
Caroline Crouch with her husband and father of her baby, Babis Anagnostopoulos. Credit: Instagram/@Flying.babis

Questions surrounding who will get custody of Caroline Crouch’s baby, named Lydia, have been top of the agenda for the prosecutor involved with the case on Saturday.

The current deliberations about where the child will be housed only concern a temporary arrangement, as the final decision is up to a court which meets in 90 days.

Custody arrangements for Caroline Crouch’s baby

The child was in the custody of her father, Babis Anagnostopoulos, before he admitted to murdering his wife and the family dog on Wednesday. Now prosecutors are faced with the difficult question of where the child should be placed in order to be as safe as possible in the coming days.

According to Article 1532 of the Civil Code, the prosecutor’s office has two options. Crouch’s baby may be temporarily assigned as the custody of either Crouch’s relatives in Alonissos or to Anagnostopoulos’ family.

Investigations to discover where the child will fare best in the long run have already begun. Social services are examining the living conditions the child would receive in both family homes in order to hopefully come to a conclusion of which one is more suitable for a minor.

However, Article 1532 of the Greek Civil Code also highlights that extremely urgent cases, the prosecutor can take any and all measures to safeguard the interests and protection of the child, “until the court decision is issued, which must be addressed within 90 days, with the possibility extension of this deadline by an additional 90 days.”

Anagnostopoulos is currently being held at the Attica General Police Directorate, more commonly referred to as “GADA,” which are the police headquarters in Athens.

He released his first statement to the press since his arrest through his lawyer, Alexandros Papaioannidis. Speaking to, Papaioannidis relayed the following statement from Anagnostopoulos.

“My concern is for our child, Lydia. I send well wishes to both of our families (meaning his family and Crouch’s family). I am devastated about everything I did, I did it with my child in mind,” claims Anagnostopoulos.

Crouch’s husband confesses to brutal murder

Late on Thursday, Greek police charged Anagnostopoulos for Crouch’s brutal murder on May 11 in Athens. The husband confessed to committing the crime.

Twenty-year-old Crouch was strangled to death in front of her 11-month-old baby at their home near Athens on May 11. Anagnostopoulos initially claimed that the murder was carried out by robbers.

According to sources, the suspect told investigators that he killed Crouch after she threatened to leave him and take their 11-month-old infant with her following an argument.

“We had an argument that night. At one point she threw the child inside the crib and told me to get up and leave the house. She pushed me and punched me. I blurred, I killed her and then I staged the robbery,” he told police investigators.

He confessed to staging the scene of the crime to back his story to police that the 20-year-old was beaten and strangled by three robbers looking for cash and valuables, while he was tied to a chair and unable to help.

Remembering Fallen Lieutenant Nikolaos Sialmas

Hellenic Defense plane
The moment Floros flew over Sialmas’ memorial. Credit: Hellenic National Defense Office

The Chief of Hellenic National Defense General Staff, Konstantinos Floros, honored the memory of a fallen lieutenant named Nikolaos Sialmas by flying a plane over his memorial on Friday.

This flight commemorates 29 years since Sialmas’ tragic and untimely death while on duty on June 18, 1992.

Hellenic defense flies plane over memorial

Floros chose to fly the F-16 block 52 plus fighter aircraft over the memorial in a very symbolic tribute. The use of a fighter jet could commemorate Sialmas’ bravery in fighting for his nation and his heavy involvement in national defense during the course of his life.

Sialmas crashed in a Greek Mirage jetfighter aircraft in 1992 while attempting to defend his country from alleged Turkish violations of Greek airspace. Greece’s official line after the tragedy was that Turkey was to blame, as its fighter jets “were in violation of national airspace and international flight principles of civil aviation”.

Fast forward 29 years and Sialmas’ memory continues to live on. Floros flew with the Chief of Tactical Aviation, Lieutenant General Themistoklis Bourolias, and they both flew F-16 planes.

The flight path concentrated on the Aegean islands as the memorial to Sialmas is located on the island of Agios Efstratios. The Hellenic Defense planes then flew over the north, central and eastern Aegean sea, ending the flight on Skyros.

Once there, Floros disembarked and met with officers and members of the Hellenic Air Force who are currently serving, and thanked them for their work, bravery, and sacrifices.

When the unfortunate accident occurred, Foreign Ministry spokesman Dimitris Avramopoulos was quoted as saying “the accident was caused by Turkey’s persistence in continuing its provocative tactic,” which involves repeatedly violating and entering airspace which Greece claims as its own.

Turkey did not take any responsibility for Sialmas’ death, with the Turkish Prime Minister at the time, Suleyman Demirel, saying, “It’s their own fault, not ours”.

Mitsotakis, Erdogan “break ice” on Greece-Turkey relations

The leaders of Greece and Turkey, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in Brussels on Monday, in what Greek officials described as an “ice-breaking” meeting.

The two leaders met privately, with only two interpreters present, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit.

Greek sources said that the meeting, lasting more than an hour, was held in a “positive climate.” They added that the two leaders agreed “to leave behind the tension of 2020, despite the very important disagreements that exist.”

Earlier, Mitsotakis said that he was open to a positive agenda when he meets Erdogan.

Speaking at the EU Mediterranean countries ministerial meeting (EU-Med7) held in Athens, he stated that Greece is always open to a positive agenda with Turkey “but in a gradual, proportionate and reversible fashion.”


Koufonisia Islands: The Hidden Greek Paradise

Koufonisia. Credit: Zde/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0

The islands of Koufonisia have often been described as the hidden paradise of Greece and they remain a top destination for both Greek and foreign tourists.

Koufonisia is a group of islands belonging to the East Cyclades archipelago, consisting of Pano Koufonisi (Upper Koufonisi) and Kato Koufonisi (Lower Koufonisi).

These idyllic isles are known their calm beaches with golden sand and turquoise waters, their many natural pools and the magnificent sea caves.

Naturally, there are many excellent dining choices featuring the islands’ abundant fresh fish and seafood.

Experience Greek island life on Koufonisia

The Chora (the center or main village of an island) of Koufonisi is a typical Cycladic village with picturesque streets, pristine white houses and a white windmill. Located in the village center is a church dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of Koufonisia.

The islands also offer excellent opportunities for hiking and discovering all the natural delights they have to offer, since they are quite small and all distances can be covered on foot within two or three hours.

The locals are famous for their good cheer as well as their hospitality, and all visitors feel like home when they are in the Koufonisia islands.

The traditional products of the island include of course their fresh fish and seafood, but there is also ibex (a type of goat) meat and ksinomyzithra cheese to sample while you are there.

Tourists can also make use of the small boats regularly connecting the Chora with remote beaches and nearby islands and enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling into the sparkling aquamarine waters surrounding the island chain.

Keros was a major ancient site

The nearby island of Keros is well deserving of a mention since the small, uninhabited island was once one of the major centers of the Cycladic civilization.

Important archaeological findings have been discovered in an early Cycladic cemetery there, including 100 marble figurines, some of which are now exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Gála Beach is a largely unknown beach on Ano Koufonissi.

Many people know the three islands known as Koufonissia (Ano Koufonissi, Kato Koufonissi and Keros) for their spectacular beaches and their untouched natural character, as they are for the most part off the radar screen for mass tourism.

Even fewer are those who have ever heard of Gála Beach, a true miracle of nature, which offers a rare spectacle due to its unique geomorphology.

Gála Beach is comprised of a massive white-washed rock which the waters of the Aegean have sculpted into intriguing shapes throughout the centuries.

This natural rocky sculpture has created a tiny beach inside the very rock, creating a natural ”swimming pool” of sorts, which takes on some of the most spectacular colors, depending on the weather and the sunlight.

The waves which crash onto the outer side of the cliff manage somehow to come under it as well, and they flow through it to the other side, forming a pool full of sea water enclosed by the rocky ”walls” of the island’s terrain.

Due to the white sand of the area and the color of the rock, the water that comes into this natural pool sometimes takes on a shimmering, pearly tone which is also similar to the color of milk.

This is why the beach is called Gála, since ”gála” (γάλα) in Greek means ”milk.”
One can find Gala Beach by foot, near the beach of Pori, and if he or she is lucky enough to find it without other visitors, then the experience is guaranteed to be unique, and completely unforgettable!

New Coronavirus Figures Continue to Dwindle in Greece


coronavirus figures Greece
Greece’s coronavirus figures continue to decrease. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece’s coronavirus figures on Saturday number 394 new cases on Saturday, which marks 75 fewer instances of the virus than the 469 cases that had been recorded on Friday.

Coronavirus figures in Greece decrease

The low COVID-19 figures have brought the lifting of restrictions for Greek citizens.

The number of intubated patients is slowly but steadily declining, with 301 patients in ICU, while the number of new deaths is 20, the same number as those who tragically passed away yesterday, Friday.

According to the National Public Health Organization (EODY), four of the 394 cases in the past 24 hours were identified after checks at the country’s gates.

The total number of cases is 418,095 (daily change + 0.1 percent), of which 51.2 percent are men. Based on the confirmed cases of the last seven days, 24 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 933 are related to an already known case.

The total number of dead from COVID-19 has reached 12,534, of which 95.2 percent had an underlying disease and / or were over 70 years old.

The number of patients treated by intubation is 301 (64.5 percent men). Their median age is 67 years; 85.7 percent have an underlying disease and / or are over 70 years old.

A large percentage of Satuday’s cases, 163 of them, were detected in Attica. The second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki recorded only 43 cases in the last 24 hours.

40,746 coronavirus tests were taken within the past 24 hours, making these figures even more encouraging. This means that the positivity rate was only 0.97 percent.

AstraZeneca vaccine not suited for under-60s

The AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to those under sixty in Greece, the National Vaccination Committee announced on Monday.

The president of the committee, Maria Theodoridou, spoke after the meeting which was held to analyze the course of the vaccination campaign in Greece.

Currently, the vaccine is offered to those over 30; however newest guidelines outline that people wishing to become vaccinated with the AstraZeneca product should be over the age of 60.

Theodoridou stressed that those who have already had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccination should get their second dose as well — regardless of age — in order to be considered fully inoculated. This is because the side effects are extremely rare following the second dose.

The only case in which people should take a different vaccine for their second dose is if they have experienced severe side effects from the first dose.

When asked about this recommendation, Theodoridou reiterated that “those who have taken the first dose will continue with the same vaccine for the second dose.”

She continued by stating that “those who want to change due to fear, should think very seriously about it,” as doctors will not recommend using a combination of vaccines unless there is a significant reason to do so.

Caroline Crouch Murder: Diary Reveals Shocking Details About Tragic Marriage

caroline crouch diary Babis Anagnostopoulos
Caroline Crouch, who was murdered, and Babis Anagnostopoulos on their wedding day in 2018. Credit: Babis Anagnostopoulos/Instagram

Caroline Crouch’s diary shows that her relationship with Babis Anagnostopoulos, her husband and eventual killer, had been troubled for years prior to her murder.

The Greek police have prepared a 26-page transcript to present to prosecutors as evidence for Crouch’s murder which includes extended excerpts from her diary, accessed by the media on Friday.

Caroline Crouch’s diary — A Greek Tragedy

From dates recorded in Crouch’s diary, it seems the marriage between 32-year-old Anagnostopoulos and 20-year-old Crouch began to have serious problems in November of 2019.

In the diary, she divulged that she had suffered the loss of a child prior to her pregnancy with Lydia, and that this was taking an extreme emotional toll on her. She refers to fights and disagreements with her husband, which she attributes to her bad mental health and hormonal issues following the loss of her child.

“I am 18 years old and I want to try to have a baby! I haven’t told Babi yet. Because today we had a fight and I told him, just to hurt him, that sometimes I think it does not matter that we lost our baby because at least I do not need to see his family. I regretted it the moment I said it,” writes Crouch of her fights with her husband.

“When I get upset I do not care how much I will hurt him. Basically I want to hurt him as much as I can. I think it’s because I feel so hurt myself; I often take out all the anger and sadness on Babi.

“He does not deserve to be treated like that, but sometimes he does not understand what I need and that all I need is for him to be by my side,” she continues, highlighting the miscommunication and lack of support she felt in her marriage.

Hormonal issues and the loss of a child

The diary reveals how much Crouch was struggling following the loss of her child and how this led to friction between the couple. Crouch’s cries for help and behaviour towards her husband do not justify her husband’s confession by any means, but do help provide motive for the horrific and tragic crime.

“Yesterday we had a fight with Babi because my hormones made me freak out on him. I screamed at him, hit him and told him I did not want our baby.

“I’m not well, I’m very upset, obviously I would never hurt my baby. I love my baby more than anything else in the world. I’m so influenced by my hormones and Babis should know that. I’m ashamed to tell him. I know he will support me but I can not tell him. I’m not well but I’m trying for my baby. I do not want (the baby) to feel that her mom does not want her and does not love her. My hormonal problems are mine,” Crouch continued.

On July 3, 2020, Crouch references a desire to leave her marriage and move out of the house, taking her child with her. Following her murder on May 11, Anagnostopoulos confessed to the crime and attributed his unspeakable actions to a fear that his wife would leave him.

“Today my little one is one month old and today is the day I told Babi that I want to leave home.

I felt and feel miserable. As soon as he left to get a document they sent us for the little one’s examinations I started looking for houses. I found exactly what I was looking for in Chalandri. When he came back from the hospital (the baby was being treated at the time) he asked me if I wanted to separate. I did not answer him,” writes Crouch almost a year before she was likely murdered for trying to leave her husband.

Qatar Sheikh’s Super Yacht Spotted Off Greece’s Skiathos

Qatar super yacht Greece Al Mirqab
The massive Al Mirqab was spotted near the island of Skiathos. Credit: Piponwa/WIkimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

A Qatar Sheikh’s super yacht, named the Al Mirqab, was spotted in Greece moored near the island of Skiathos on Saturday.

Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Mohammed bin Thani Al Thani is an ex-Prime Minister of Qatar, serving in that position from 2007 to 2013. His yacht is one of the twenty largest yachts ever built and measures 133 meters (436 feet).

Qatar politician’s super yacht moored in Greece

The massive yacht was spotted at Maratha Beach, which is very close by to Koukounaries, one of the main towns on Skiathos.

The yacht itself is truly a head turner due not only to its humungous dimensions but also the amenities it features on board. The Al Mirqab features two swimming pools, a helipad, twelve suites, a gym, a jacuzzi and a movie theater on deck.

The boat is the sixth largest yacht in the world and is also the third most expensive yacht to have ever been built.

The sheer size of the boat means it cannot be anchored in the port of Skiathos, so authorities told the Greek captain of the ship to anchor it off the beach of Maratha.

Hamad is visiting the island with family and friends in tow for a lovely Greek seaside vacation. This is not the first time he has been on such a trip as the Sheikh seems to frequent the island, having visited Skiathos every summer for the past five years.

The yacht’s location is extremely close to the emblematic and luxurious “Skiathos Palace” hotel, which does not seem to be coincidence.

The mayor of Skiathos, Theodore Tzouma, and the owner of the Skiathos Palace are known to have excellent relations with the Sheikh with the former having visited Al-Thani in Doha, Qatar.

The Al Mirqab: one of the most luxurious yachts in the world

The yacht was built in 2008 at Peters Schiffbau Wewelsfleth shipyard, Germany and was named the most modern and luxurious boat of that year by Forbes magazine.

The yacht’s architect was Tim Heywood, while the interior design was done by Andrew Winch Designs. The Qatari ex-Prime Minister wanted the yacht to remind him of his home, so Winch incorporated hand-carved furniture, stunning Persian rugs, marble floors, and even a few paintings by influential artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

The yacht can accommodate up to 24 guests in 10 guest suites with two VIP suites for the yacht owner or important guests. The suites are large and of course each feature their own bathroom, living room and double bedroom. The yacht also has a crew of 60 in order to keep the gargantuan “floating palace” functioning and to keep guests, and Hamad, happy. 

A video of the boat taken near Skiathos on one of the Sheikh’s previous visits is shown below.