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GREECE 9ED -ANGLAIS- (Anglais) Broché – 22 avril 2010
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Quatrième de couverture
150 detailed mails
comprehensive coverage of all the island groups
illuminating colour section on Greek art and architecture
entertainment and eateries, from retsina to rembetika; mousakas to mezedes
fascinating insights into contemporary Greek culture
island hopping made easy: clear, up-to-date ferry information --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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In Athens, I stayed in a couple of budget accomodations in Plaka that received glowing reviews from the guide -- both places didn't even come close to the authors' high praise. In Delphi, the phone number provided for the hotel where I wanted to stay actually rang at a completely unrelated pension several blocks away. A description of which bus to take into Athens from Bus Terminal A and B would have been incredibly useful, and saved me an afternoon of wandering.
I also referred to this book many times for information about the towns and sites around Ancient Corinth, only to find it totally useless. Clearly the authors' own distate about places accounts for this gap. For example: "Loutraki: The town was devastated by the 1981 earthquake, and subsequent reconstruction has resulted in its reincarnation as a tacky resort with dozens of modern, characterless hotels along the seafront. Loutraki hardly warrants an overnight stay." That's it.
Color-photo sections are a nice selling feature of the book, but don't help much when you're trying to find your way around Greece. When I referred to this book I often ended up more lost than found. Browsing through some of the comparable guides, such as the Rough Guide or Let's Go, I unfortunately found them to have very similar shortcomings. Lonely Planet forced me to approach more Greeks and ask directions, and to learn how to find my way around on my own -- perhaps something I can thank them for after all. Next time I go to Greece, I'll leave the guidebook at home.
A relucant 4 stars to each, and a slight preference for RG. We certainly found the books serviceable, and they gave us good ideas of where in Greece we wanted to go. But they were much less valuable in their listings for individual destinations. They were the least valuable compared to the other LP and RG travel books we've used (Portugal, Italy, Thailand, Tokyo).
As usual, they both overstate their hotel rankings which to me make sense only if you've been sleeping out on the beach from necessity, and now have finally scraped some money together for a room. An exagerration, but I've lost patience with gushing praise for facilities which are usually no better than serviceable and sometimes less than that. And, we're not into spending money on fancy accommodations. Occassionaly the books are on the money, but often not.
On the smaller islands RG usually had more accommodation listings, but occassionally LP did. There were at least two instances when LP had none, just saying that rooms were available.
The ferry schedules in the books, pretty much consistent between them, bore little relation to reality, even though we were there in the high season.
I want to complete with my usual gripe about these and other guide books: we don't know which restaurants and hotels were actually visited by the writers (and by which one) and when. To paraphrase from my review of RG Portugal:
LP is out front in saying that its reviewers do not stay at all the hotels or eat at all the restaurants they list. I would like it if the reviews would be initialized by the reviewers with the date. This would allow us to learn each reviewer's tastes and standards, not to mention seeing which places they actually visited.
One LP writer (not I think an author of this book) in discussing restaurants wrote: "As one of those LP writers I can tell you that it is not physically possible to eat even a 'little bit of a meal' in each of those restaurants :-) What we all tend to do is eat at a broad cross-section within the norms of natural eating times and visit the other restaurants and talk to the owner or even the diners if it can be done discretely. In the same vein we don't sleep at every hotel!"
Talk to the owners for your evaluation! Says it all.
Yes, there are a few problems. An internet cafe that was supposed to be on Mykonos is now a flower shop, but that had happened in the past 3 months. We had bought the March 2004 edition, the most current, but it is understandable that perhaps the internet café became a flower shop after they went to print.
Before you buy this book, think about whether you will be spending more time on the islands or the mainland. We were in both places so we decided on just normal "Greece" but I know there is also a "Greek Islands" book which may be better if you are island hopping.
The maps of the cities are helpful and their recommendations whether it be for hotel, food or activities are always great. If you are lucky enough to be going to Greece make sure you pack this book, you'll be very happy with it.