Took ferry 355 miles across the Ionian Sea past the isle of Ithaca, home of Odysseus, into the port of Patras . Then bussed along the Gulf of Corinth on the north coast of the Peloponnese peninsula to Athens 131 miles east... mountains, seas, ruins, and trees... At one time, this was the land of polysprites and pantheons, now, ghosts of gods long gone. Ces nymphes, je les veux perpètuer. Lead on, Hermes...

travel slides

Hunting tribes, and wandering hippies, see spirits everywhere — trees, streams, wind, clouds... Farmers beget numbers which create civilization and its pyramids of many levels with many gods. After a thousand years or so, many gods merge into one. A thousand years later, the one god evaporates and wills his divinity to all. Ancient Greece knew all stages of religion before Europa began. How apropos that just yesterday, June 19th 1975, the Greeks had voted in a new democratic constitution. The spirits, plus one wandering hippy, were back.


A new alphabet was upon me. The o's looked like w's; the n's, like v's; the r's like p's. And like all other nations, the names of places differed from map to map. Why can't everyone call a place by the same name as those who live there? Thus, Greece is actually named after Hellene, the son of Zeus, and not Helen, the daughter of Zeus who launched a thousand ships. Whereas, Athens is actually named Athena, the goddess of wisdom, at least wise enough to endure 3400 years.

After a brief acclimation to an unfamiliar alphabet on every street sign, I found a youth hostel across the way from the Acropolis. It was not quite a temple; the neighborhood, like the entire ancient world, was in decay, but Athena was looking over me.