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  • You're the one I want, you're the one I want. ♫

  • Yoo hoo hoo. You're the one I want. ♫

  • You get my reference, right?

  • YOU GET IT?

  • I AM SO CLEVER RIGHT!?

  • DO YOU GET MY REFERENCE!?!?

  • ♫ ♫ ♫

  • It's time to learn Geography! ♫

  • NOW!

  • Hey everybody, I am your host, Barby.

  • Greece is sometimes seen as kind of the cradle and birthplace of European civilization and thought.

  • SO much of everything your see today has some kind of correlation to Greece.

  • Pretty heavy for a relatively small country in the Balkans, eh?

  • Let's find out how it all went down.

  • (POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY)

  • So, let's just jump into it.

  • Greece is located in the southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula

  • that stretches into the Ionian, Mediterranean, and Aegean Seas,

  • bordered by 4 countries in the north and east.

  • The country is divided into 13 regions, with 1 autonomous state that we'll talk about later,

  • and the capital of Athens, one of the oldest capitals in the world,

  • where nearly 40% of the entire population lives.

  • Now, despite the administrative makeup,

  • Greece is generally divided into 9 geographic regions.

  • Thrace, Macedonia,

  • (not to be confused with this place that we already talked about)

  • Thessaly, Peloponnese, Epirus, Central Greece, Ionian Islands, the Aegean Islands, and Crete.

  • As you can probably tell from it's makeup,

  • Greece is one of, if not the most, seafaring marine emphasized countries in the world.

  • I mean, they do have the world's largest merchant marine fleet after Japan.

  • And at any given point in Greece, you are at no point more than 85 miles, or 137 km, from the sea.

  • Greece has about 2000 island, in which only about 220 are inhabited,

  • and about 4,000 extra islets, keys, and sea rocks.

  • Even the ones that are, like, right off the coast of Turkey.

  • In fact, the only 2 significant islands belonging to Turkey

  • in the Aegean are Imbros (or Çanakkale)

  • and Tenedos (or Bozcaada).

  • Now, keep in mind, the Peloponnesian Peninsula is not an island,

  • it's actually just BARELY connected by the Corinthian Isthmus,

  • in the city of Corinth, which has a huge canal going through it.

  • After independence from the Ottoman times,

  • Greece was VERY intent on making sure they kept everything in the Aegean.

  • This has historically led to some controversy with Turkey, in regards to things like

  • the limitation of territorial waters, airspace, the executive economic zones, and the militarization of the islands.

  • Nonetheless, they've been able to work stuff out...

  • ...kind of...

  • but some things are still left in a gray zone,

  • with the only land disputes being over these 2 small scraps of land,

  • the Imia/Kardak islands.

  • Finally, let's talk about the one autonomous state.

  • See this little guy right here?

  • The third finger on the weird monster claw-looking peninsula?

  • Well, that peninsula is called Halkidiki, and the third finger is Mt. Athos.

  • With a population of only about 2,000,

  • Mt. Athos, or "Holy Mountain" is interesting because it's an isolated monastic state,

  • completely run by monks and priests.

  • Getting in is a little tough.

  • The number of daily visitors is restricted, you must have a special permit,

  • and you have to be a dude. No women allowed.

  • Although, historically, some women have accidentally or intentionally got in,

  • including this former Greek beauty pageant winner, who dressed up as a man and snuck in.

  • The three largest cities are, of course,

  • Athens, the capital,

  • Thessaloniki,

  • and Patras.

  • However, the 3 largest and busiest airports are

  • Athens Int.,

  • Herakilon Int., on Crete,

  • and then Thessaloniki Int. coming in at 3rd.

  • Speaking of Crete, each inhabitant island in Greece kind of has its own charm.

  • Of course, there are too many things to list,

  • but a few to consider might be things like:

  • Corfu, being the most family-friendly island.

  • Delos, known for being the legendary birthplace of Apollo.

  • Skyros and Hydra are kind of like the quiet islands, where more people use mules than cars.

  • Rhodes once held the Colossus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

  • Ikaria once tried to become its own country at one point in time.

  • Naxos and Paros are known for kind of being the windy islands, great for sailing in water sports.

  • Santorini, with its ridiculously picturesque white marble villas,

  • and Patmos, the incredibly significant religious sight

  • in which Jesus's disciple, John, was exiled and wrote the Book of Revelations.

  • Speaking of which, Greece has the most archaeological sites per capita than any other country in the world,

  • only ranking behind a few other countries like Turkey and Mexico, in terms of overall sites.

  • Now, we all know Greece is a a tourist hotspot,

  • and like France, more tourists than the entire population of Greece visit Greece every single year.

  • Now, we all know about the Acropolis and the Parthenon,

  • but other cool sites that stick out include:

  • The Meteora Pillar Cliff Monasteries,

  • the Necromanteion of Ephyra,

  • the Oracle of Delphi,

  • St. Theodora's Chapel, with 17 oak trees sprouting with no visible evidence of roots,

  • the sculpted face on the shore of Nisi,

  • the Chios, former Leper Colony Building,

  • the Place of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes,

  • and of course, hundreds and hundreds of other sights,

  • there are too many to list,

  • and if you know of any, please write them down in the comments below and share.

  • In the meantime, we gotta get down to the foundations of the country.

  • The land.

  • (PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY)

  • Now, there's an old Greek saying.

  • When God made the world, he took the leftover rocks, threw it over his shoulder, and that's how Greece was made.

  • I-I kind of paraphrased that a little bit, don't quote me on it.

  • Brandon: Too late, it's a quote now.

  • *barby has the crushing realization that he, in fact, has a quote now*

  • Now, Greece is funny because land-wise, they don't exactly score high on the soil performance index,

  • and overland transportation has always been an issue.

  • But when you pretty much dominate the maritime trading sector,

  • you can kind of turn a semi-arid rock zone into a flourishing agrarian hub.

  • Just wait until we get to the Israel episode.

  • They've done quite an interesting-

  • *israel episode live preview*

  • First of all,

  • the country is about 80% mountainous, on both the mainland Balkan region and the islands.

  • 2 main mountain chains form among the Balkan mainland,

  • the Pindus in the west and the Rhodopes in the northeast Macedonia/Thrace regions.

  • Right around the area where Thessily meets Macedonia,

  • you will find Mt. Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece,

  • notable for being the legendary home of the ancient Greek gods.

  • Now, with the small exception of small boats and canoes,

  • almost all the rivers in Greece are non-navigable, as they are too shallow.

  • Nonetheless, the largest river, the Aliákmonas River,

  • flows through the Pindus range and eventually ends into the Thermaic Gulf, right along the monster claw.

  • Also, Trichonida, the largest lake, can be found in the south-central Greek regions.

  • Beautiful, right?

  • Well, it comes at a cost.

  • Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world,

  • as it lies on 2 major tectonic plate zones,

  • the North Anatolian Fault,

  • and the Hellenic Trench.

  • This means that although frequent,

  • earthquakes in Greece are relatively mild because they usually have epicenters that are in the sea.

  • Or, you know, Turkey kind of takes all the biggest hits.

  • Greece gets about 250 days of pure sunshine a year,

  • and 7% of the world's marble mines are found in Greece.

  • They're also the third largest olive oil producer.

  • Speaking of which, if you've never had Greek food,

  • you are not allowed to DIE until you do.

  • Popular dishes like moussaka,

  • spanakopita,

  • the classic Greek salad,

  • pita with yeeros,

  • (the real kind, not that cheap sleazy stuff down on 14th streets where half the meat is made of cornmeal).

  • Nonetheless, agriculture only makes up about 4% of their economic output.

  • Most of the revenue, at over 80%, comes from tourism and service jobs.

  • Otherwise, some notable spots in nature would be places like:

  • the Vikos Gorge,

  • the Sami Cave in Cephalonia,

  • the Syri Blue-Eyed Spring,

  • the Volcanic Rocks of Lemnos,

  • Neda Waterfalls,

  • Pozar Hot Springs,

  • AND-SO-MUCH-MORE.

  • In a nutshell, Greece is kind of a rocky, rugged, seafaring realm of merchant ships and olives.

  • Could've said that 3 minutes ago and skipped this whole segment.

  • Welp, on to the next.

  • (DEMOGRAPHICS)

  • Winston Churchill once said,

  • "Greeks don't fight like heroes, heroes fight like Greeks."

  • Turkey: Tsk. Okay.

  • First of all,

  • Greece has about 11 million people

  • and has one of the most highest aging populations in Europe.

  • The vast majority of the country, at about 93%, are made up of ethnic Greeks,

  • and the remaining 7% are mostly made up of other groups like Albanians, Gypsies, and Turks.

  • They use the Type C and F plug outlets,

  • they use the Euro(€) as their currency,

  • although prior to the Euro, they used the Drachma,

  • which was the oldest consistently used currency in the world,

  • and they drive on the right side of the road.

  • Now, pretty much anyone that has been to school at age 12

  • will know how much Greek history has played a role in the Western world.

  • The history is too long to explain in detail, but in the quickest way I can put this,

  • Minoans, Mycenaeans, tribes and city-states, fighting against Persians at Thermopylae,

  • which was where Gerard Butler came in and did this,

  • Alexander the Great, ushered in the Macedonian Empire,

  • Macedonia: Ahem-ahem.

  • *argument about whether alexander the great was macedonian or greek*

  • -then there was classical Greece,

  • Roman Greece,

  • Byzantine Greece,

  • Ottoman Greece,

  • and finally, a revolution led by this guy in 1821 that started the modern version of Greece we have today.

  • Thanks to Alexander the Great, multiple regions on 3 continents

  • experienced some form of Hellenization,

  • or the influence of Greek culture and language,

  • and it went all the way down into the Byzantine era.

  • This means, at one point in time, even black Africans were speaking Greek,

  • or at least the ancient Koine-Greek language.

  • It became so widespread, that today, almost every language in Europe

  • invokes some sort of Greek origin and certain vocabulary.

  • For example, in English, we have "academy", "telephone", "grammar", and even "geography".

  • Not only that, but Greek has, in one way or another,

  • been spoken for 3,000 years, making it possibly

  • the oldest/written consistently spoken language in the world.

  • Ehhh, the Shang Dynasty...

  • Eh, moving on.

  • We could go on and on talking about Greece's explosively fascinating, ancient history,

  • enshrined with legend, myth, wars, warriors, trade, alliances, gods, beasts, Sparta, sculpture, arts,

  • leaders, philosophers, games,

  • and interesting clothing options...

  • but that'll take too long, and we gotta get through this episode.

  • About 90% of people in Greece adhere to Christianity, mostly in the Eastern Orthodox Branch,

  • just like many other countries in the Slavic world.

  • If you've ever met a Greek person, you'll know that most of them definitely have a unique way of carrying themselves.

  • Many of you Greek Geograpeeps, or as I like to call you, "Geogra-Greeks,"

  • have told me that the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

  • is actually kind of a pretty accurate representation of a typical Greek family upbringing.

  • A little exaggerated, but nonetheless, not far off.

  • Big families with strong, opinionated parents you do NOT talk back to,

  • there's always a weird grandma mumbling something about the Turks,

  • and one of the cousins is probably lighting something on fire, as your brother is getting into a fight.

  • But when Grandma brings in the souvlaki and moussaka,

  • everyone sits down and it's like a beautiful, warm, Norman Rockwell painting.

  • Or is it the beautiful picture you Geogra-Greeks have painted me, how was that, was that in the ball-park?

  • So anyway, in Greece, voting is required by law,

  • as is conscription for men, ages 16...

  • (yeah, that's right, 16, they get them while they're young)

  • ...up to 45, for a minimum of 9 months in service.

  • Many people celebrate Name Day instead of their birthdays,

  • in which they have a party on the day that pertains to the

  • patron saint that they got their name from.

  • Land is kind of limited, so to save space,

  • many of the dead have their bodies exhumed after 5 years of being buried,

  • and then the bones are washed in wine and placed in an ossuary.

  • Retirement homes are incredibly rare,

  • as most Greek grandparents typically end up living in their children's homes.

  • Traditional music can be found everywhere,

  • you'll probably hear a lot of lutes, mandolins, and tambourines.

  • Traditional dances are also alive and well,

  • they all usually incorporate some kind of group number,

  • with fast-paced movements and jumpy actions.

  • Oh, and old guys smoking while playing backgammon.

  • There's ALWAYS old guys smoking and playing backgammon.

  • Avoid the offensive mountza hands,

  • and just like we studied in the Estonia episode,

  • Greece has an massive influx of women, like a LOT.

  • Somewhere around 60-65% of the population is female.

  • This may or may not be the reason of why Greece is the world's most...

  • ...how can I put this in non-crude and vulgar phrasing for children viewers?

  • Umm...

  • ...Greece is the most "HEY-HEY" active country in the world.

  • They even beat Brazil. BRAZIL!

  • Interestingly enough, Greece also has the lowest divorce rate in the EU as well.

  • Speaking of that, okay, let's talk about about some numbers,