Blogs from Pláka, Athens, Attica, Greece, Europe

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Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 11th 2022

This is my third trip to Greece in less than one year. I first visited on May 14, 2021, the very day Greece opened to tourists. Here are a few highlights worth noting for your trip to Greece. Panathenaic StadiumThe powerful and mythical images of Zeus and Hercules fired up the imaginations of the ancient Greeks when this stadium was built. Commissioned by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos in about 330 BC, it hosted what was called the Panathenaic Games. The facility was abandoned, however, by the 4th century AD, only to be dug up in 1869. By 1896, the place was given a total marble makeover and hosted the first modern Olympic Games, in the tradition of the games held in the time of Lykourgos. In more recent times, the venue has served as a facility ... read more
Love the kydoni over Greek yogurt
Always in view, the Acropolis

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 10th 2022

Can you believe this? Over 6,000 islands that make up Greece’s landmass. The large number of islands is one of the factors that has contributed to grape variety diversity in the country. The number of ancient indigenous Greek varieties alone is estimated to be 80 to 200. Every year, hitherto unheard-of, nearly extinct grape varieties growing in some isolated parts of the country are discovered, propagated, and saved. (Winespeed) From my first visit to Greece in May, 2021: So, after spending nearly three weeks in Greece, I tried many wines. And I visited several wineries in Santorini, known for their famous Assyrtiko wines. BTW, it is pronounced "us-EAT-teeko" and has a definite "volcanic" taste, in other words, a quite pronounced minerality, for lack of a better term. Karen at Winespeed is spot on about this wine: ... read more
Assyrtiko is a bit different
Embarking on a wine tour in Santorini

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 9th 2022

This is my third attempt to cycle in Croatia, maybe the fourth? Previous trips were scuttled due to Covid, or the reluctance of the tour operator. No matter, here we are, ready to go, despite the war in the Ukraine, and the chaos in the Balkans. I land in Frankfurt, and immediately head to Athens for a few days, to acclimate (jet lag mostly), see my friends (my Greek brothers), and move south to nicer weather. After three nights in Athens, I fly to Belgrade, Serbia, before flying to Split to start the cycle cruise. My erstwhile, good friend, Dirty Pat, says Belgrade, and the famous Hotel Moskva are must see. We shall see! This type of cycling trip is rather unique for me. We cycle during the day, and stay on a small cruise ship ... read more
My Greek salad
Love the Greek coffee

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 8th 2022

This is my third attempt to cycle in Croatia, maybe the fourth? Previous trips were scuttled due to Covid, or the reluctance of the tour operator. No matter, here we are, ready to go, despite the war in the Ukraine, and the chaos in the Balkans. I land in Frankfurt, and immediately head to Athens for a few days, to acclimate (jet lag mostly), see my friends (my Greek brothers), and move south to nicer weather. After three nights in Athens, I fly to Belgrade, Serbia, before flying to Split to start the cycle cruise. My erstwhile, good friend, Dirty Pat, says Belgrade, and the famous Hotel Moskva are must see. We shall see! This type of cycling trip is rather unique for me. We cycle during the day, and stay on a small cruise ship ... read more
In front of Hadrian's Arch
The Olympic stadium

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 5th 2022

From TravelPulse: Europe is reemerging as a favorite destination among Americans in 2022 as recent data from Allianz Partners found that travel to the continent from the U.S. could climb by url=https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/the-most-popular-summer-travel-destinations-in-europe.htmlas much as 600 percent from last year. What's more, roughly three-quarters of Americans venturing to Europe will spend at least seven days traveling. In my case, 3 weeks. A new survey of 1,000 American adults conducted for url=https://newsroom.hilton.com/brand-communications/news/hilton-survey-highlights-2022-summer-travel-trendsHilton by Wakefield Research found that more than half of pet owners (55 percent) are planning to travel with their furry friends this summer. Interestingly, 58 percent indicated that they would prefer to travel with their pet rather than a frie... read more
An older map
Upgrade:  best advice

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka May 2nd 2022

We have long looked forward to the Athens portion of this trip as we would have the opportunity meet up with Dave’s sister Susan and her husband Jeff. We knew this would be a special travel treat. Susan and Jeff have worked hard over the years, plus they raised and home schooled six children. They intended to go to Greece on their anniversary many years ago. Life events kept postponing the trip—but it is happening now! We are thrilled to be able to join them for a few days. We have not been to Greece since 2003—it was one of our early trips out of the country. We arrived in Athens a few days before them and eagerly awaited their arrival. After getting settled in our hotel located in the old and historic Plaka District, we ... read more
The Acropolis at night....
Gold face plates for burial 16th century BC
Light through the temple

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka April 20th 2022

All of you know by now that since Sheri and Mike are not traveling these days, I have embarked on my own. I have reached a point in life where the solo trip is now equal to or perhaps superior to traveling with someone. This is not to diminish the joys of traveling with an adventurous, and energetic foodie and wine connoisseur like Mike. But when I travel solo, it seems I make more friends, talk to more strangers, and try some activities I would not otherwise partake. Trip Savvy lists seven ways to make friends while traveling solo. Take them for face value. Stay in a hostelMy hostel days are pretty much over, but I enjoyed my fair share when I was younger. How else would I make it to the famous Milky Way kasbah ... read more
In the Moscow Metro
With two of my Greek brothers, Stavros and Vasili

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka January 14th 2022

Slow travel has been buzzy for a few years now, but the pandemic has travelers leisurely strolling in droves. Slow travel is, of course, traveling with the intention to connect with, learn about, and appreciate a destination and culture. Slow travel url=https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.guidepoint.com%2Fovertourism-after-the-covid-19-pandemic%2F&data=04%7C01%7C%7C4a77c885d455455760ee08d9d6f45abd%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637777167308366073%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=URO7UuNYSL49P9BTxaPx6FLJ1FXgC7FeCjkgv6azlHY%3D&reserved=0asks travelers questions about sustainability and environmental considerations regarding the destinations visited, as well as traveler impact on the local economy and communities while there. Slow travel offers the opportunity to sta... read more
The providnitsa on theTrans Siberian
Barry the V in Cape Town

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka December 5th 2021

According to Lonely Planet, these are twenty important things to consider when traveling solo. I added a few comments. Safety first-I think this applies, solo or otherwise. Learn the language-the basics are always useful and helps make a connection. Talk to locals-of course, this is one of the main reasons to travel! Look for shared housing options-I am not sure about this, though many friends do this often. Go your own way-the perfect travel partner gives and gets their own space. Challenge yourself-always ... read more
European souvenirs
Anywhere in the world?

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka October 17th 2021

My second trip to Greece in less than six months may not seem very adventurous to you. But I plan to make up for what little I saw last May, when the weather was too hot to do anything. So, I am hoping for weather in the 70s, cooler evenings, and more outdoor activities. We had several downpours as well, mostly in the evening. But I plan on visiting the friends I made on my last visit, Stavros, George, and Vasili. And I also plan on getting more adventurous with my Greek meals, wine, and neighborhoods. I know how to use the Metro and can get most anywhere on the mainland. But as you know, walking the big city is one of my big thrills when I travel. I also met a young Belarus girl, who ... read more
Stavros and Vasili, my Greek brothers
Rhine wine tasting
View of harbor from the castle




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