Military History Tours On Tour - Greece and Crete Tour 6 May 2013
The day started with a very good surprise for John Lee and I as we received a visit for breakfast from the Chief of the Greek Army(COA). He was accompanied by our friend retired Brigadier George Papaconstantinou who we are assisting to develop a programme that will take Greeks to the areas where their family had fought during the early part of the War. The COA was most supportive of such a proposal being considered. John and I had a most informative breakfast.
Gathering our breath, we boarded the coach and headed south. Our first stop was lunch just outside Lamia and then we proceeded past a small village where during the War, Ian Long's father had "acquired" a small rowboat, those with him, "acquired" a second and using fence palings and a shovel rowed across the Maliakos Gulf to meet up with the New Zealand Division, who were preparing to take on the Panzer Force. This "trip" bypassed Lamia as the Germans were already in occupation.
We then moved on to Thermopylae where we were taken through the details of that famous battle of 450 BC, by Elena, that saw the Spartan 300 defeated. We then discussed a later Battle, 1941, where the New Zealand Division, supported by 7 Regiments of Artillery, mauled the German Force and ensured a clean break to allow many to reach the embarkation beaches.
Prior to boarding the ferry we were treated to dinner at a restaurant near the harbour and with us, making it a real family affair, was Elena's mother and father and Dimitri from XTTravel where he works with Maria and us.
The last photos show the Harbour in Greece before we left and some of our group relaxing on board. Tomorrow we are in Crete.