CELEBRATE GREECE, LTR’s May showcase ( May 1-30 ) alludes that GREECE is a destination worth discovering. As the birthplace of Western Democracy, philosophy, literature, political science, theatre arts & drama, it’s considered the cradle of Western civilization. It presently enjoys 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe. It’s also a favored destination for travelers world-wide. Last year it totaled 28 million visitors and is counted as one of the most visited countries in Europe. In 2010 Lonely Planet ranked Greece’s northern tier and  the city of Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest, as the world’s fifth-best party town. And Santorini, one of  the country’s major resort islands was recently voted ” The World’s Best Island” by Travel & Leisure magazine.

GREECE has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world measuring nearly 8,500 miles. It shares its borders with Albania, Macedonia, Turkey and Bulgaria. It is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe,Asia, and Africa. It is made up of nine geographic regions including Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese Islands, Thessaly, Epirius, the Aegean Islands including Dodocanese and Cyclades,Thrace,Crete, and the Ionanian Islands. It sits between the Ioanian Sea, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.The Capital is Athens. The population is 11 million.The country also includes a myriad of islands, really 6,000, in fact, of which only 227 are inhabited. It also enjoys the largest economy in the Balkans  and is the 15th largest in the European Union.Nearly 20% of its GNP is devoted to Tourism. GREECE is also know for Theatre Arts, Cinema and its Mediterranean diet. Most popular dishes include moussaka, pastitsio, fasolada, spanakopita, souvlaki, grilled octopus, a variety of cheeses including feta and dolmades, and various dips like tzatziki, and olive oil, the country’s main food product for export. Meze, an assembly of small appetizing dishes is regularly ordered.

GREECE stands tall on the cinematic stage as well.The industry was started in 1896. In 1907 The Asty Films Company was founded with a series of “long Films.” The Palme d’Or citation has been repeatedly offered to a number of GREEK film directors over the years. Costa-Gavis, Elia Kazan, John Cassavetes and Alexander Payne have been the most noted in the post WWII years. Zorba the Greek starring American film star Anthony Quinn is perhaps its most famous.

The Greek Orthodox Church has been a unifying influence in GREECE for the last 2000 years. It celebrates the major Christian feast days throughout the year including Easter, Christmas and the so-called “Patron Saint” days.According to GREEK law every Sunday is a holiday in GREECE. Beyond these, the Patras Carnival, the Athens Festival and dozens of wine festivals are the most popular.

In sum, GREECE is worth a re-discovering .If it’s your first time, then discovery is the mode for you. WWW.Visit Greece.com


About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine, et.al., and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

Hornblower blows ‘em away!

Thurs., July 4 aboard the Hornblower Esprit, celebrating Macy’s 4th, the nation’s 233rd Independence Day anniversary. What a night!

Hornblower Yachts owns up to having the largest number of luxury vessels in eight U.S. cities, including New York. The company has seven here ranging from the largest, the Infinity, at over 200’, accommodating up to 700, to the smallest, the Esprit, at 90’ , accommodating 80-100. Cruises are set lunch/ brunch and dinner, for a coterie of special events and private parties, corporate meetings, and weddings, of course! They serve both sit-down and buffet menus.. They also do After 5 cocktail cruises, and a host of charitable events. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Ca. It’s now in its 40th year.

On the night we were on, the 4th, we were seated on the Sky Deck of the Esprit, a restored beauty. There were only seven tables on this top deck facing out and with a nicely appointed bar in front of us manned by Nicholas, a really talented barkeep, and with some soft jazz by DJ Mike, which later turned to Pop, Latin, Disc and Rock for or dancing pleasure. Gabriel was our Maitre’d and Oscar was our chef for the evening. Boy can this guy cook! Dinner started off with a plate of Blinis with Caviar, followed by a nice medley of Little Neck clams and oysters on the ½ shell, with a sampling of jumbo shrimp in the best salsa I’ve ever tasted ( I asked for a second. My apologies ). This was followed by a full serving of Agnolotti served Italian style over freshly baked cherry tomatoes and a very fresh salad of lettuce, celery, cucumber and more cherry tomatoes. The entrée: Lobster and Filet Mignon with a crab filling topped with a wild mushroom sauce. A bottle of Chandon white was offered to each guest complimentary. Ha! You can’t beat that! As for dessert, a chilled freshly baked apple strudel and chocolate dipped strawberries was the finale, with good coffee and an assortment of blended teas for the asking. And, yes, the bar was open for the entire 3 ½ hours we were on board. By the way, the company provides translaters for Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, French, German and Italian guests.

The yachts ail from Pier 15/ 75 South St. adjoining the South St. Seaport and Pier 40 on the West Side/ W. Houston St. and the Hudson River, from March thru-November with 10 daily departures, 7 days-a-week.

In New York they operate the Statue Cruises affiliate to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island State Park from the Battery Park Terminal on the Manhattan side, along with a Liberty Water Taxi service. They also serve the Metro New York area with a round-the-clock ferry service, the city’s first commuter ferry operation to points in Manhattan, Bklyn and Queens. In brief, the company is the world’s leading provider of high-speed ferry services. For more on Hornblower try: info@365ticketsUSA.com or 1-844TKTS, or phone 646-780.9693 or simply: www.Hornblower.com



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