A Travellerspoint blog

Athens...A City with Hidden Charm

Athens, Greece

We ferried back to Athens for the last few days of our trip and stayed at the Plaka Hotel. We found it to be very convenient for walking to nearby sites, shops, and restaurants.

The city was a stark contrast from the islands. There was a ton of traffic and it was dirty and gritty. But, I found it amazing to walk down a sidewalk, turn a corner, and stumble onto a random archeological site that was unearthed when a water main broke and had to be fixed. These sites were everywhere. Modern day Athens next to ancient Athens.

On our first day, we set off from our hotel to find the Parthenon. The Acropolis can be seen from anywhere in the Plaka so we just started walking toward it. We didn't exactly find our way on the first pass because the Plaka is a maze of streets and sidewalks. We figured that as long as we were going uphill then we were headed in the right direction. But sometimes our path would begin to go downhill or just dead end so we would have to back track and find another way. Every now and then we would stumble onto a sign that pointed the way.

Eventually, we found our way to the entrance and the entire site was awe-inspiring.

IMG_0851.jpg

IMG_0866.jpg

The amphitheater is still used for concerts so it has some modern touches.

IMG_0869.jpg

The Erechtheum

large_IMG_0902.jpg

large_IMG_0946.jpg

Taking it all in.

IMG_0918.jpg

large_IMG_0943.jpg

Another day was spent exploring other areas that were close. The Parliament Building, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, and the Acropolis Museum were all within walking distance of each other.

When we arrived at the Parliament building, there were several military-type police groups with guns hanging around the outer edges of the square. It was a little unnerving at first but there were no riots or protests while we were there.

large_IMG_1026.jpg

We arrived in time to see the changing of the guard.

IMG_0993.jpg

IMG_1012.jpg

IMG_1014.jpg

IMG_1016.jpg

large_IMG_1031.jpg

I found one of the few spots of shade in the square while waiting for Eric to finish taking pictures.

large_IMG_1022.jpg

Temple of Zeus - We didn't go onto the grounds but just looked in from the street.

IMG_1041.jpg

Hadrian's Arch

IMG_1032.jpg

IMG_1039.jpg

The Acropolis Museum - There were a lot of beautiful statues and interesting artifacts but it was almost too much to absorb during one visit.

This is a reconstruction of the West Pediment of the Parthenon.

large_IMG_1053.jpg

The Caryatids of the Erechtheum

large_IMG_1045.jpg

One of the best things about our hotel was the rooftop bar. It faced the Acropolis and the view of the Parthenon was perfect...especially at night when it was lit up. It was an amazing way to end each night.

IMG_0971.jpg

IMG_0985.jpg

large_IMG_1060.jpg

Posted by tammy_b 14:16 Archived in Greece Tagged greece athens parthenon acropolis erechtheum hadrian's_arch Comments (0)

Setting Sail with Captain Panos

Naxos, Greece

While on Naxos, we spent a day sailing along the coast with Captain Panos. We could not have asked for a better day...the weather was perfect. What a dream-come-true to say we sailed around the Greek Isles.

.

.

.

.

.

.

We made several stops throughout the day to swim in coves on nearby islands as well as off the Naxos coast. The water was so clear. Looking off the boat, you could see down to the ocean floor.

.

.

.

.

.

.

We're swimming in the Mediterranean!

.

.

For lunch, we made a stop on Schinoussa, a small island off the coast of Naxos. We ate at a restaurant called Sweet Bar Deli which turned out to be a culinary experience. The owner/chef made around 8 different dishes for us to sample family style along with different types of bread and salads in between. Before serving each one, he explained each dish and its ingredients. Everything was so fresh and he was so passionate about cooking. We had a great sampling...fish, calamari, chicken, goat, etc.

After lunch, full and happy, waiting for our ride back to the dock.

.

.

Later in the day, we stopped at one of the captain's boyhood haunts...a sea cave.

.

.

I'm toward the back with the yellow noodle and Eric is standing next to me on a submerged rock.

9D1DF9B4ECC5F3B7D78E7725F6F6777C.jpg

Posted by tammy_b 09:14 Archived in Greece Tagged boat sailing naxos sea_cave captain_panos Comments (0)

Ahhh...Naxos

Naxos, Greece

From Santorini, we took the ferry to Naxos where we would spend the next few days. While Santorini was breathtakingly beautiful, Naxos just felt more relaxed and laid-back. I really enjoyed our time there.

We stayed at the Aeolis Hotel and the location was perfect. Located just a few blocks from the main square, St. George Beach, and the harbor, it was easy to walk to nearby shops and restaurants or catch the city bus to other areas.

Some of the things we did while on Naxos:

Spent an idyllic day at Plaka Beach. We caught the bus and rode it past the main "Plaka Beach" bus stop to "Plaka Camping." The beach in that area was not crowded at all. $5 Euro got us two sunbeds and an umbrella for the day.

large_IMG_0658.jpg

large_IMG_0660.jpg

Walked around Naxos harbor.

large_8C896F36D6EA76E256146D165FD906BD.jpg

large_5749E279A00517F87E220EE5855C7A0E.jpg

large_8C8B61A1C4BE20CF90C7D7DC7A02398B.jpg

large_8C8CFD47F8549B09568D9B9310FB3B6E.jpg

Walked to the ruins of Apollo's Temple (The Portara).

large_8CB6813C92C0FDD1909BD64610A87917.jpg

8CB883489A9698F3844F598172BBF813.jpg

Eric's Captain Morgan stance...

IMG_0791.jpg

large_8CDC13289066AF530AF36B1066DBFFCA.jpg

large_8CF0B49007241247B2AC5C7502F1123F.jpg

This view is from the Portara, looking back at the town.

large_8CF2A7FEA6327746C26FE6C4B028464D.jpg

Explored Old Town by the harbor. This area was a maze of pathways and arches filled with shops and tavernas...perfect for wandering. There was something new around every corner and the Venetian castle and church were at the center.

large_IMG_0741.jpg

3AA96A71C11DB4F4B39A454BD9EF2CD7.jpg

3AC52395E39E4475843E880AE89E4834.jpg

3AB7650DE33787B3771AA6F3C40DF06C.jpg

large_3AD7F0EEE3C776D73BCE9AD7EC0E01BE.jpg

IMG_0695.jpg

3AD13139C1838B5772579CF5C60EBE57.jpg

large_IMG_0713.jpg

IMG_0702.jpg

large_IMG_0703.jpg

IMG_0708.jpg

IMG_0718.jpg

large_IMG_0732.jpg

After a day of exploring, we took a little break and enjoyed the views from this bar and a few drinks.

IMG_0819.jpg

IMG_0822.jpg

IMG_0828.jpg

Posted by tammy_b 08:53 Archived in Greece Tagged greece harbor old_town naxos portara plaka_beach Comments (0)

Last Day on Santorini

Santorini, Greece

For most of our time on the island, we managed to avoid the crowds and found the pace to be pretty relaxed. But today we decided to explore the towns of Fira and Oia.

We found Fira to be very touristy. This is the place to be if you want to be in the middle of all the action. There were lots of shops and many different restaurants and bars. We walked around for a little while but there were soooo many people. We finally ducked into a local bar to escape for a few minutes and get a little air-conditioned relief.

IMG_0612.jpg

IMG_0611.jpg

Later, we caught the bus to Oia, and it was even worse. The main street leading into town was so jammed with traffic that the bus couldn't get through. Everyone ended up getting off the bus & walking the rest of the way into town.

Despite the crowds, Oia was breathtakingly beautiful. So picturesque...Just about everything was white-washed and gleamed against the deep blue sky. We walked around and had lunch at one of the many tavernas. I would have liked to have stayed longer but just couldn't bear all the people. The cruise ships were in that day and the crowds were maddening.

It was time to go. My quiet balcony view was beckoning for me to return.

IMG_0623.jpg

IMG_0626.jpg

large_IMG_0628.jpg

large_IMG_0633.jpg

IMG_0634.jpg

large_IMG_0635.jpg

large_IMG_0636.jpg

IMG_0637.jpg

large_IMG_0638.jpg

On our final night on Santorini, I bid farewell to the magnificent sunset.

large_IMG_0648.jpg

large_IMG_0646.jpg

Posted by tammy_b 18:38 Archived in Greece Tagged sunset oia fira Comments (0)

Hiking Skaros Rock

Santorini, Greece

This afternoon, we caught a cab to Imerovigli in search of the Blue Note Taverna which was the starting point of our hike to Skaros Rock. Even though we purposely started the hike later in the day, around 5:30pm, it was still very hot and there was no relief from the sun. I would highly recommend doing the hike in the morning. We probably walked 500 steps making our way down the cliff to the bottom of Skaros and then back up to the top. It was well worth it, though. The views were incredible and this was one of the highlights of our trip.

large_IMG_0468.jpg

Once the cab dropped us off, we walked into the maze of bars and hotels and wandered around a bit trying to find the way.

large_IMG_0441.jpg

IMG_0445.jpg

IMG_0467.jpg

large_IMG_0463.jpg

Eventually, we found that as long as we were going down, we were headed in the right direction.

IMG_0470.jpg

IMG_0476.jpg

A small church along the path.

large_IMG_0479.jpg

IMG_0483.jpg

large_IMG_0488.jpg

IMG_0489.jpg

IMG_0493.jpg

Eric is exploring some of the ruins left behind from an ancient castle.

IMG_0511.jpg

large_IMG_0527.jpg

IMG_0533.jpg

IMG_0543.jpg

IMG_0560.jpg

IMG_0561.jpg

Our prize is below...a hidden church at the end of the hike.

large_IMG_0565.jpg

IMG_0595.jpg

large_IMG_0592.jpg

IMG_0575.jpg

IMG_0576.jpg

large_IMG_0580.jpg

large_IMG_0589.jpg

IMG_0574.jpg

On the way back up, we took an alternate path. Instead of going left on the main path, we went straight and avoided all the stairs going back up Skaros Rock. This path took us around the rock and back to the cliff to climb back up. It was much shorter and easier.

Posted by tammy_b 22:13 Archived in Greece Tagged santorini imerovigli nature_walk skaros_rock Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 20 of 32) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 »