No, the country is not in flames or rioting everyday, bad media, bad.
I spent 12 days in Greece. The Greek hospitality is superb, I can not ask for better friends in Greece. I first arrived in Thessaloniki, stayed there for a few nights. Then went to Larissa, and stayed with my friend and his family. There was a small communication barrier with his parents in this smaller town, they don’t get too many tourists. However, I had a very nice Christmas there and it was nice to be with such great people over the holidays. I went to a namesday celebration. Even though I couldn’t understand most of the conversations, they still welcomed me, gave me food and wine, and exchanged culture information. Then I went to Athens, stayed in a hostel, and spent New Year’s watching the fireworks over the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Cool experience! It was so great to be walking around the birthplace of “western ideals” – not the oldest civilization, but close. Some takeaway thoughts: 1) Greek hospitality is unlike anything I’ve experienced, really. I made sure that a I told everyone that they have an open door with me whenever we meet in “my new home” (meaning, I don’t know when or where), 2) you cannot go hungry in Greece, especially when they are cooking for you! 3) the cafe culture is great, 4) I want to go back during the summer
Of course, you will always find the not so nice parts. I got fooled by the old man scam, as seen here. Luckily, they only got 30€ from me, compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. Looking back on it, I just laugh at myself. Maybe I’ll be jaded towards a genuine experience in the future but, lesson learned. I don’t judge Athens by this one mishap, however.
I only have pictures of Athens since I had to buy a new camera.. [Pics here]