Monthly Archives: June 2012

Greek Football Teams

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Football is one of the most popular sports in Greece, and in 2004 they stunned the world by winning the European Championships as a country. Lots of brilliant Greek footballers play all over the world and are very successful, and although the Greek football league isn’t the most prestigious there is, the country still boasts loads of great football teams, and get to mix with the world’s best players in the Champions League too.

If you’re visiting Greece soon, you can expect to see loads of European football shown in bars everywhere, but if you’re taking more of an interest in the local sports, check out some of the Greek football teams listed here.

Olympiakos – Based in Piraeus, Olympiakos are the best supported of all Greek clubs with an estimated 500,000 fans. They have won the Greek title 39 times and boast a 32,000 seater stadium. They have reached the quarter finals of European competitions twice in their history.

Panathinaikos – Olympiakos’ fierce rivals boast one of the biggest stadiums in Europe at almost 70,000, though they rarely fill their seats. The club have won the Greek championship 20 times and reached the European Cup final back in the 70s in one of Greek club football’s proudest achievements.

P.A.O.K. – Standing for Panthessaloníkios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinoupolitón (I’m glad they abbreviate, too) are another force of Greek football, winning the league twice in their history, the club have also played in European competitions and boast a 28,000 seater stadium.

AEK Athens – Which stands for Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos, are the main Athenian Greek football club. They are a club who have experienced moderate success and won the league 11 times in its history. They play at the Olympic stadium in Athens (where Panathinaikos also play) and so can fit up to 70,000 people in to support their club. Athens regularly appear in European competitions.

A list of all the clubs in the current Greek top league is below:

AEK Athens – Athens
Aris – Thessaloniki
Asteras Tripoli – Tripoli
Atromitos – Peristeri
Doxa Drama – Drama
Ergotelis – Heraklion
Kerkyra – Corfu
Levadiakos – Livadeia
OFI – Heraklion
Olympiacos – Piraeus
Panathinaikos – Athens
Panetolikos – Agrinio
Panionios Nea – Smyrni
PAOK – Thessaloniki
PAS Giannina – Ioannina
Skoda Xanthi – Xanthi

Greek Tattoos and Greek Tattoo Ideas

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Tattoos are all the rage since the turn of the century, and are a great way for somebody to show their love for absolutely anything, countries and cultures included! The best thing about Greek Tattoos is the wonderful imagery and text that can be ta

ken from the country’s rich heritage and story-telling history. Here are some of the absolute best Greek Tattoo ideas:

  • Greek Gods and Goddesses as tattoos – One of the most common Greek influences on tattoos is Greek Mythology. Perhaps a tattoo of Zeus along with his mythical horse Pegasus, lovers of the Sea might opt for a tattoo of Poseidon, or perhaps you’ll opt for the more dark option of a tattoo of Hades and his underworld
  • The Greek Alphabet as tattoos – lets face it, the Greek alphabet is awesome! It’s elegant and beautiful and would make a great tattoo, whether one of the letters means something to you, or you’d like some initials, your own or somebody else’s, tattooed on yourself, the Greek Alphabet makes an awesome talking point and looks brilliant.
  • A Greek word, phrase or saying, the Greeks have many philosophical sayings and quotes that you may find strike a chord and would make a fantastic tattoo, in Greek or in English, somewhere on your body.
  • Greek Places – Greece boasts many beautiful places, and a tattoo based around a greek monument or place would make a magnificent talking point. Something like this tattoo of a Greek temple may well float your boat!
  • A Greek pattern – you what? Greek patterns? You might not think such thing exists, but patterns that stem from Greek archaeology and the portrayal of Greece in the media. Greek patterns are often quite square in nature and look superb in black and white, you might get some inspiration from this piece of artwork.
  • Ancient Greek artwork is probably the most common inspiration taken from Greece for tattoos. There is a distinct style to art like this, think Disney’s Hercules! Greek artwork often stems from pottery and features references to mythology and the gods, as well as religious references, which leads me nicely to my next point.
  • Greek Religious references – The Greek orthodox church means that oftentimes, Greek influenced tattoos feature religious references including quotes and parables.

greek tattoo 300x257 Greek Tattoos and Greek Tattoo Ideas
Do you have a tat that’s inspired by your love of all things Greek? Let us know, and make sure you send in a photo! We’d love to include it in this article.

What is Ouzo?

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What is Ouzo? This spirit or liquor which is symbolic of Greek culture, and is also consumed widely in Cyprus. The drink, also nicknamed to farmako, has a distinctive anise taste and can be found in bars and restaurants all around Greece. In fact, Greece and Cyprus are the only countries which are allowed to produce the drink under an EU ruling passed in the 90s.

It is said that the drink was invented by a group of monks back in the 14th century at holy Mount Athos, though it first attained its huge popularity between the 19th and 20th centuries as Absinthe fell out of favour.

So how do I drink my Ouzo? Traditionally, Ouzo is drank with water, in a similar way to scotch or another whiskey might be, and can also be taken straight from shot glasses. If mixed with water, the drink goes cloudy (don’t worry, this is normal), and is arguably most delicious in its h20 mixture! Another popular and more recent way of drinking Ouzo is in cocktails, which you will find across certain bars in the more touristy areas of Greece.

Due to the anise flavour that Ouzo possesses, it is often compared to the Italian spirit Sambouca, but this is not the only drink with similarities, Turkish Raki and French Pastis also share similar flavours as the drink, though are technically not the same.

In most Greek eateries, it is tradition to drink Ouzo as an aperitif with any starters you might have with a meal and indeed all through the evening! They usually drink it with water and served over ice, again, baring similarities to how we might drink scotch.

Can I buy it in the UK or USA? This might prove difficult, but it can be done! Due to the restrictions in place on producing Ouzo anywhere other than Greece and Cyprus, it is often hard to source Ouzo, but you may be able to buy it online and there are certain liquor and alcohol specialists that will import international spirits, though you might pay a premium. Perhaps it is best to visit and try it out first hand!

The Ouzo effect. Contrary to what you might initially think, the ouzo effect is not  how you might act after having a few too many. Because of the way Ouzo is produced, it creates a strange, cloudy effect when mixed with water, explained brilliantly here. It might get used to looking like something that would look more in-place going through your washing machine.