Whistling Villages, History, and the Race of the Gods

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Feb 05, 2014 / 0 comments

Greece: the land of the Gods, so rich in history that you can scarcely turn around without bumping into something extraordinary. As with many famous places, we feel as if we know the place before we even step foot there! But what about the reality of living in Greece today? It’s a land of contrasts, for sure.

Recently, we were sent a review copy of Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey (thank you!). We’d loved her Nile series, and were happy to delve in again. Lumley is the perfect host – full of thoughtful questions, interesting views, and a definite passion for Greece. In this 4 episode series, she explores historical monuments (including climbing atop the Parthenon!), visits popular places (a famous nightclub, and the bar of a man who won awards for his Greek martinis), and retraces Lord Byron’s journey through the western highlands (via horseback!).


Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey


She also meets a variety of people, including a lone woman in a ghost town, who forages for her food (the dinner of asparagus is hard-earned), locals at a bawdy village fortune telling festival, a shipping magnate, the mayor of Thessaloniki, soldiers at a military border, and villagers in a small mountain village that speak in whistles.



It is these real glimpses of Greece today – the people, rather than the place (although stunningly beautiful) – that sets this story apart from a standard travel video. It is the showing of history, in the NOW, that intrigues viewers. And, it’s the access to regular people - living as best they can and enjoying life - that inspires travel and dreams of Greece. Lumley handles with finesse tragic events, wartime murders, and loneliness, while celebrating life and places with joie de vivre. It’s a personal, compelling, and honest look at Greece today – the beauty, the history, and yes, the people. Highly recommended.




Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey