Episode 1: The Land of the Ancient Greeks
Joanna begins her Greek odyssey at the Parthenon in Athens, which was created by the ancient Greeks two and a half thousand years ago. This was the dawn of western civilisation, which saw the birth of democracy, language, science and medicine.
From here Joanna travels around the southern region of Greece from Athens to the Peloponnese, visiting spectacular mythical and historic sites left by this great civilisation. These were places of theatre, death, sport and religion to the Ancients and they represent the very cornerstone of this empire. The Greeks flocked to these sites and Joanna follows in their footsteps.
En route she meets modern Greeks who are still influenced by this ancient era.
From the marble cutters on the Acropolis who continue to use the same tools as their ancestors, to the Englishman who now worships the god of Apollo at Greece’s most sacred place, Delphi.
Joanna’s route takes her off the tourist trail to places where ancient myths and cultures live on. She meets villagers who communicate by whistling, a lady who lives a solitary life in an almost deserted village, surviving by eating wild plants and shrubs and a fisherman who takes her to the gates of Hades, the underworld, where the Ancients went when they died. Joanna finds inspiration in the isolated peninsula of the Mani, where its haunting tower house settlements and barren landscape seem unchanged for centuries.
Joanna also takes part in a Bouzoukia, a hugely popular singing club where, in a modern twist on an old tradition, the audience spends a fortune on flowers that they throw in appreciation.
And finally Joanna meets perhaps one of the most famous singers in the world, Nana Mouskouri, at Epidaurus, one of the best surviving amphitheatres, where, in order to demonstrate the perfect acoustics, Nana gives a rare performance to Joanna.