- Aug 28-Feb 16, 2009
Deborah and I traveled to Greece – both on the Greek mainland and to some of the most iconic Greek Islands – in August and September of 2009. We stopped over in Amsterdam for two days on our way there.
- For more information and pictures about our stay in Amsterdam, please see the Amsterdam post in the Travel section.
- For information on how we were able to incorporate an extended stopover in Amsterdam on our way to our final destination of Athens, please see the post Travel > General Tips and Suggestions in the Travel section.
In retrospect, the timing of this trip could not have been much better. We were able to visit prior to the collapse of the Greek economy which, had we visited barely a year later, might have made for a considerably different experience.
We began by flying into Athens and staying four nights in a very nice Intercontinental hotel within sight of the Acropolis. Among other things we did while in Athens was to visit the site of the Athens Olympics in 2004, and also to take a day trip down to Cape Sounion, where we took some wonderful sunset pictures at the Temple of Poseidon. We also had dinner at a rooftop restaurant at the foot of the Acropolis.
We then boarded a “cruise” ship for a 6 day trip to selected Greek islands and a city in Turkey – Kusadasi. Cruise ship is in quotes for a good reason. Our “cruise” ship was in fact a converted oil freighter. It did have some nice features but you were always aware of the smell of oil. Still, it got us where we needed to go, and at a very reasonable price.
The highlight of this part of our trip was the three nights we spent on the island of Santorini. It is very much the magical place that you see in the iconic pictures of the whitewashed churches with the circular, bright blue roofs. Our VRBO rental was right on the side of the mountain looking down at the caldera of an ancient volcano, now filled with ocean, after an eruption many years ago.
After returning to the Greek mainland, we rented a car and drove to the small village of Nafpaktos which we had heard about from friends. From there we ventured north into the Greek mainland. The highlight of that portion of our trip was our visit to Meteora, located in central Greece. I had seen some pictures of it in a travel book while researching our trip and, because of that, made a stop there part of our itinerary. Talk about magical places, it is a very unique site. There are multiple monasteries built in the 1400’s on the tops of mountain outcroppings. Pictures taken there are included in the ones for the Greek mainland.
We returned via eastern Greece and stayed one more evening in a hotel near the Athens airport before returning to Wisconsin.
As I mentioned, we visited prior to the economy collapse. That was already eight years ago, however, so I can’t say for sure what it would be like to travel there now. But staying on the mountainside of Santorini, surrounded by those iconic, whitewashed homes and churches, definitely checked an item off of my life’s bucket list.
“Pay It Forward”
While on the mainland of Greece driving to Delphi, our rental car ran off of the road in icy conditions. We were assisted by a very nice Greek man by the name of Elias. That experience left a great impression on me. At the time, I wrote a description of that encounter which may be read in the following post here in this blog. You may either search for it by name or find it in the Travel > Greece fly out menu in the left sidebar.
Pay It Forward – Greek Style
Picture Locations on the Internet – Photobucket.com
Pictures from Athens …
Pictures from the Greek mainland, outside of Athens …
Pictures from the island of Santorini …
Pictures from the island of Mykonos …
Pictures from Patmos, Crete and Kusadasi (Turkey) …
Pictures of our various accommodations during our trip …
Tips when Using Photobucket
- The previous links will take you directly to a slideshow of pictures and collages, related to the locations, which reside on the internet on the Photobucket.com website.
- Once the slideshow begins, the display begins showing slides at a Medium speed.
- Slow displays each slide for 10 seconds
- Medium displays each slide for 6 seconds
- Fast displays each slide for 3 seconds
- To change the display speed, click on the word Slow, Medium or Fast at the bottom right of the Photobucket screen.
- To non-display the bottom toolbar, and thereby maximize the picture on your screen, click on the icon at the bottom right of the Photobucket screen.
- To display, or to redisplay a specific slide, you may click on the thumbnail at the bottom of the Photobucket screen.
- To Pause the display at a specific picture, click on the icon at the lower left of the Photobucket screen.