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Drama, the capital with a total population 50.000, a small town in Northeastern Greece.

History: The first residents of the area created a settlement dating back to 5000 BC in one of the town's neighborhoods. In later times the worship of Dionysus I think makes a landmark in our almost forgotten history. Dionysus was the god of wine -- and fun and theater. The Drama plains still produce some of the finest Greek wines. A lot of different tribes, peoples, and nations passed and added their own incredients to the soup: Thraceans, Macedonians (Hellenes), Romans, Byzantines, Jews, Franks, Ottomans. Drama was also the capital of a greater province during the Roman and Ottoman rule. Dramalis, actually Mahmud Dramali pasha, an Ottoman local ruler started a campaign to stop the Greek Revolution in the south, but was defeated (thankfully).

During the end of the 18th century and the beggining of the 19th century the people of Drama, most of them Christians and of Greek origin, took active role in the Macedonian Struggle in order to gain their freedom and to unite with the free modern Hellenic State. It took almost 10 years, but at the end of the Second Balcan War Drama was liberated by the Hellenic Army (July 1, 1913).

Etymology: There is a number of theories regarding the origin of the name. The most popular claims that it comes from the word YDRAMA (pronounced ee-drama), the place with many water springs. During the years the initial ypsilon (Y) was dropped leading to the modern name DRAMA. However, it is almost proven that the modern town evolved from the ancient town of Dravescus.

Of course, the word Drama has both in Greek and in English a very different meaning. So it is very common to hear people from other places to say something like life in Drama must be drama, i.e. tragedy. Try to avoid saying that; you don't really want to hear how "original" you joke sounds! Furthermore, I can tell you that this just isn't the case! Drama is well known in the region as a party place: it has the best bars, clubs and tavernas in the greater area. Come and join the groove!

Sightseeing's: - The Falakro mountain, the bald mountain. It have not many trees but you can't even imagine the diversity of the vegetation; no wonder it is aso called the mountain of the flowers. During the winter you can also enjoy skiing at the Falakro ski center. The Frakto virgin forest, a asset of mother nature, unique in Europe.

- The Maara cave, the Alistrati cave, the monastery of Ikosifinisa, the Nestos valey. You can visit it by car or take the organized tour by train. The Nestos dams. The 3 hydroelectric power stations of the Public Power Corporation produce more power than any other hydroelectric plant in Greece.

The Trip to Drama: By plane. Drama doesn't have an airport. You will have to use the Macedonia Airport (Thessaloniki) or Kavala's Airport. Finally Ellenikon (Athens) is your last choice. Of course in either case you will have to use another means of transportation to reach Drama.

By car. Drama is 2 hours away from Thessaloniki (158 Km), and 30 to 40 minutes from Kavala (36 Km). Athens is a little bit further away, but you can make it in 9 hours (670 Km).

By bus. You can use the public bus service (aka KTEL) to travel from Thessaloniki and Athens to Drama. As all students in Thessaloniki know, the bus needs 2 hours and 15 minutes to Thessaloniki no matter what the weather or traffic conditions are! (If you did this trip for 6 years you would also know...) You can ask for more information at the bus terminals in Athens (+3 210 5130220) and Thessaloniki (+3 2310 525131).

By train. You can use the Hellenic Railways (aka OSE) to travel to Drama. The trip takes about 9.5 hours from Athens. You can also use the train to come from Thessaloniki, but it costs more than the bus and takes almost 1.5 hours more! For more information call +3 210 5240647 (Athens office), and +3 2310 517517 (Thessaloniki office).

Philippi: Named after the father of Alexander the Great, it is known to be the site of the defeat of Caesar's murderers, Brutus and Cassius, by Octavius in 42 BC, and of the first recorded preaching of St Paul in Greece. Today it is one of Macedonia's most extensive archaeological sites.

>> Macedonia : Drama, Florina, Grevena, Halkidiki, Imathia, Kastoria, Kavala, Kilkis, Kozani, Pella, Pieria, Serres, Thassos Island, Thessaloniki.

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