Philip Farina

Phil Farina

Philip Farina

Asia February 7th 2016

Allow me to introduce you to the Quartet from Toledo: First is Ricky, some of you may recall he was my traveling companion to Egypt several years ago. Rick, as we call him, has been a friend of the Farina family for more than 20 years. He has watched our kids grow up and I have helped him through some tough times. He has AIDS, but is in complete remission so he feels NOW is a good time to travel and I could't agree more. Rick is rather laid back, sometimes forgetful, but is easy to get along with. He likes to sing, try different things and is very much looking forward to China as this is an experience well beyond his normal zone. He will be my roommate for the journey, and although he talks ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing February 6th 2016

I have had the opportunity of a lifetime handed to me on a silver platter. Through luck, love, friends and an act of God I fell into a FREE trip to China! Let me explain. I have a great friend who likes to travel, but he has no one to travel with. He offered to take me to China on vacation if I did all the work setting it up and making all the arrangements. WOW, right? He made the offer at brunch one day, so I looked at my wife and she said "GO". I thought long and hard, about 3 seconds and replied, "sure." and the rest is history. I met another friend Tony Baroni, yup his real name, and he suggested a company called China Spree, a tour company sponsored by the Chinese ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Greece » Delphi July 4th 2014

Our cruise is now complete and we are now back at the port of Piraeus. Leaving the ship was like leaving family. Our friend Noel, the Australian, was leaving for his next and final tour, Italy. He will spend another two weeks touring before returning home. Suzie, the Philadelphia Lawyer, returnes home in the morning. So we decided to meet for a final dinner after our tour of Delphi. We boarded our bus, only 17 people, for the 3 hour drive to The Oracle. We stopped along the way for a coffee break and some shopping. Soon we arrived at our destination, the famous Temple of Apollo. The Delphos site is over 2500 years old, first mentioned in history 7 BCE. The facility was in full operation until 400 AD when Christianity was officially declared the ... read more

Europe » Greece » North Aegean » Chios July 3rd 2014

Next stop Chios, a small island once captured by the Turks during the time of the great Ottomon wars. Here we head to the acropolis, the highest point on the island, to visit a deserted village. This Village, once the home of 20,000 Greek citizens, was completely abandoned more than 500 years ago. The Turks attacked the village and either killed or enslaved all the locals. Since that day, no one has lived in the village, save for one old woman, whom we met. She is the squatter caretaker of the village. It was amazing to see a village build in 1100's just abandoned as if everyone left yesterday. Some of the buildings had fallen down over the centuries but others, like the church at the very top of the hill, just looked closed for the ... read more

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Rhodes July 2nd 2014

We are getting closer to the end of the cruise. There are two day left. We have seen so much and done so much, we will have memories and stories to share for years to come.Today we dock at the 4th largest island in Greece, Rhodes. Here we passed through the the harbour, where in ancient times stood the Colossus of Rhodes. The Colossus once stood with one leg on one side of the harbor and the other leg on the other side, forcing ships to pass below his 64 meter height. Nice story right? Well it is a lie! The Colossus was in Rhodes and he was 64 meters high and stood for 66 years in the center of town at the front entrance gate of the ancient city. No spanning the harbor. Unfortunately, builders ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean June 30th 2014

Today we visited Turkey for a city tour of Instanbul. Turkey sits on the border of Europe and Asia and Instanbul is actually half in Europe and half in Asia. The city is ancient and crowded. Our first stop was the palace at Topkapi. Here for centuries the rulers of Turkey, the Sultans, lived with there 500 wives (busy guy) and ruled the better part of the known world. The Palace became a museum in 1954 when the last Sultan was deposed during the white revolution, so called because no one died. Since then the Palace, and all its treasures, have been open to the public. Here we saw the ornate daily items used by the Sultan, gold and diamond coffee cups, solid gold plates and even a solid gold cradle,we tried to get one for ... read more

Europe » Greece June 30th 2014

Our next stop was Santorini. This is the famous resort island dedicated to food, drink, falling in love and SHOPPING.There are more stores per square foot on Santorini then anyplace in the known world, my opinion. They sell everything from cheap shirts to very expensive jewelry. Pottery, art and souvenirs.The shopping was acompanied by magnificant views of the blue Aegean Sea. The sights from the top of the volcanic island are breathtaking. Of course the day started with a little adventure. The boat was anchored in the harbor, so we had to take the tender to the island. So we had 700 people trying to get off the boat at nearly the same time throuh the same door. It was a madhouse, as usual. It was also HOTin the hallway. Some people looked a little worse ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete June 29th 2014

Our next stop Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Our tour today was to the ancient site of Knossos, of the Minotaur fame. We visited the palace of King Minos with 2000 rooms. The site was reconstructed by a British archeologist named Evans, he made many assumptions of what things were and how they looked. Unfortunately, modern archeologists disagree with Evans' work and as such most sites are no longer reconstructed. In any event, the site was huge. Our local guide took us all over the site, fighting crowds and the heat. It was near 100 again today, but our water allowed us to keep cool. Fortuntely, no one needed medical attention, so it was a fun day for all. The site was amazing, even though Evans had made many mistakes and bad interpretations of ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Kusadasi June 29th 2014

Today we tour the ancient city of Ephesus in the 100 degree heat. We landed on the island 7 AM but first another sumptious breakfast. We loaded our camelbac backpacks with as much cold water as they would hold. Everyone is amazed how well we can travel since we always have water with us. All our fellow travelers are constantly draining water at 50 cents to 1 euro per bottle, while we travel a full day and still have ice water from the ship in our pack. Makes travel in this heat much easier. We boarded our bus for the half hour drive to the ancient site. Our tour guide for the day was Can, pronounced John, a twenty year veteran as a tour guide. He wanted to be an archeologist, so he went to the ... read more

Europe » Greece June 29th 2014

Today we leave for our 7 day cruise. Up at 7:30 for another hearty breakfast. Our bags out the door at 8:00 for a 8:45 departure. Well almost. We needded our passports today since we were actually leaving Greece for an overnight trip to Turkey. I usually keep the family passports, but today we each had our own. After breakfast, our bags in the bus, Cathy remembers her passport was packed in her bag! No big deal. They unpack the bus and pull out her bag. Now comes the fun part. She has no idea where in the bag is the passport. Unfortunately, she had to unpack the entire bag to find the passport burried in the bottom of the bag. So there she sat, on the suidewalk, clothes everywhere, can you imgine the wrinkles? After ... read more

Tot: 0.076s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 16; qc: 68; dbt: 0.0225s; 1; m:jupiter w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb