Greece has so many beautiful and unique places. I visited Athens, Mykonos Olympia, and Corfu in 2002 and found them to be incredible. I was in total awe walking in these cities. There is nothing like actually seeing the places that I teach in history. It was incredible to actually walk the same streets that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle once walked. However, nothing compared to Santorini. This island was out of this world magnificent. There is no doubt that Greece is diamond among the worlds nations. I could return to this country again and again if giving the opportunity. My second trip to Greece came in August of 2009 as I traveled to the island of Crete. The highlight of this visit was seeing the ruins of the 3000 year old Palace of Knossos.

Greece achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. Following the defeat of Communist rebels in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. The 1974 democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy; Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992).

Athens 2002

The Original Olympic Stadium

Mykonos 2002

Santorini 2002

Corfu 2002

Crete 2009