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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

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« Attila 1974 | Main | Ενα Σπιτακι στην Καρδια ( A Home in the Heart) »

01 September 2013


Simon Baddeley

Amazing and moving journey.

I have been set the task of learning Ithaca by my Greek tutor


Bravo Simon,

Your rendition sounds quite good. You are to be commended for your hard work especially since your younger guests seem not to appreciate the poem as much as you or I. :)

It is good to hear from you.

Nikos Theodoropoulos

What a wonderful surprise to have received an email notification of your latest post after such a long time. I look forward to your posts like my wife looks forward to the next episode of her favourite "soapie"
Your description of you journey back home left me feeling inspired, sad, bitter but most of all responsible.

We the children of first and second-generation immigrants owe it to the memory of our grandparents and parents who sacrificed so much, to enlighten our children.

They should feel, taste and touch Hellenism in all its forms, from Orthodoxi to family to philotimo. Your blog offers me the kick in the ass I sometimes need to take my children to church, teach them Greek or even share a good Dalaras song with them.

Maybe one day we will be lucky enough to pick up a book written by Stavros. A journey into hellinisim, so that we might share it with our children long after your blog has ended.


Thanks Niko for your kind words and patience. I was lucky enough to save up my vacation time and was able to take a whole month off, a rarity. I spent all of it in Greece and Constantinople. My next post will be about my pilgrimage to Mt Athos with my son. I wish I had more time to write and work on that book, something I plan to do eventually.


Hi Stavros,
Sounds like a wonderful journey! We made it as close as Samos one year. Not to Ephesus where Petros' Pappous was born.
Sounds so bittersweet.
We saw Politica Cusina last year. A very good movie. Reminded me of your story.


Hi Susan,

Good to hear from you. Hope you and your family are well. I've been to Samos, years ago, a beautiful place. If you visit Istanbul they have bus tours to places like Ephesus and Cappadocia. Maybe next time.

All the best to you.

Meg Edison

Loved this post, drop me an email or find me on FB. Nov is coming and I'm having a ball...


My daughters have blogs too. Katherines is, Christinas is
Katherines is all about her adventures in Moscow, Christinas is about her life with 2 boys!!
Thought you might enjoy them!


Thanks Susan,

I'll check their blogs out, both sound interesting.



I too am counting down until November when Dingell and his cronies are asked to apck their bags and go home.

Greg Birbil

You reminded me of our trip to see my parents birthplace in Turkey. Although you went to see your own as well. Well told Stavros,
I went to Constantinople and felt very Greek there, even more so than Athens I identify with our Byzantine roots.
I look forward to your blog about Mt Athos, since I want to do it with my son as well.

Greg( )


One of the most thought provoking "travel reports" i've ever read.A truly enormous emotional roller coaster.Quite inspirational
to say the least. I'll make sure my friends (americans , hungarians , serbians) read it.
Thank you



You are always very generous with your praise, thank you. The city belongs to all of us with a connection to it, just like Jerusalem.

Best wishes.


Hi Stavros! Thought you might like this article:


Thank you for taking the time to bring this article to my attention, It provides a great deal to think about in trying to determine the greater meaning of Cavafy;s Ithaka, We all search for our own Ithaka do we not? And in the course of our journeys may find that life often takes us in directions not always of our own choosing.

BTW did you know that Cavafy lived in my mother's hometown for a few years? He wrote a poem about its beauty.

Good sailing to you on your own journey.

Valantis Stamelos

Greetings Stavro,

Really enjoyed reading your blog. The history you unravel in it is intriguing and often times haunting.

I would like to share with you my blog:

I am a Greek-American NYer who has moved to Turkey. Along the way, I have discovered so many things that I do my best to blog about, including my visits to the Greek areas of Istanbul.

I would love to talk with you more if you have the time. I can't seem to find an email off your website. Hope we can chat soon.


Meg Edison

Congratulations on the state results!


interesting pages please can you tell me what the music played here is?

Erato Sahapoglu

Hi Stavros. Moving "proskinima" so well told!
Congratulations. I hope you publish it as a book. My parents and I were married at Haghia Triadha... I live in Canada now. I wish I can pay a last visit to my hometown, though I walk with a cane now... I wrote my souvenirs in a book "With Love as Guide". I wish you do it too. I am in Facebook. Wishing you all the best and please continue writing...
Erato Sahapoglu.


Hi Erato,

Thanks for taking the time to encourage a fledgling writer like myself. I read your story about Melek:

and I decided to order your book; can't wait to read it.

Don't give up on returning to Ithaka, it is never too late.

Na se kala.



This guy is great:

the piece is called "why" and you can find it on YouTube or you can order the CD from his website.



Hello Stavros,

I write this comment from Germany. I am actually from Izmir, Turkey (as the Rums say 'H Smyrna'). I really enjoyed your trip report. I hope we could create a peaceful and tranquil place all around the Mediteranean Sea with only our hands.

Greetings from a Turkish Guy. Efharisto!


Merhaba Cetin,

I'm glad you like this post. From your lips to God's ear but I think it will take more than hands to achieve peace.

Best wishes to you from a Rum guy

maria v

an incredibly emotional journey - thank you for leading us through it


Hi Maria,

Welcome back, it is good to hear from you again.

Simon Baddeley

"I sent two birds to the red apple tree, of which the legends speak. One was killed, the other was hurt, and they never came back to me. Of the marble emperor there is no word, no talk. But grandmothers sing about him to the children like a fairy tale.I sent two birds, two house martins, to the red apple tree. But there they stayed and became a dream."
I think I told you that half my family is half-Greek from my father's second marriage to an Athenian in 1949. My eldest half-sister's is married to a Greek, and their youngest son, a most talented young graphic artist, has a Turkish girlfriend, also an artist. If they were to marry where would they hold the ceremony. Who would officiate? What vows made? Or will they choose a secular compromise? What are the ceremonies and rituals of conciliation. This is why I am so moved by the lines: Ἰωάννην 14·2: Έν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου μοναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν· εἰ δὲ μὴ, εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν ὅτι πορεύομαι ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν; I have a Muslim friend now recalled to serve in the present government in Baghdad and he tells me there is an equivalent sentiment - tho' youy might not believe it now - in the Koran. I wait to hear it and I'm sure he'll send it to me.


Let not your heart be troubled.



Δες την ταινία Πολίτικη Κουζίνα (Α touch of spice)άν δεν την έχεις δει ήδη. Θα μιλήσει στην καρδιά σου σίγουρα


H καλυτερη σκηνη του εργου:

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Searching for Ithaka

  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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