I've listed a few things I found in the week or so we spent in Greece on our way to Italy -
1. In half an hour of arriving I fell in love again with the Greece I remembered from 30 yrs ago! It only took some friendly taxi drivers, lots laid back people and the beautiful Acropolis and I was hooked. Of course the friendly carefree mood I love is perhaps the country's biggest problem as they struggle with a huge deficit and await an EU bailout.
2. The statues are all still mainly headless- except for a lucky few like the “Hermes” and “The Charioteer of Delphi” which were buried unbroken and found intact centuries later.
3. Lord Elgin is not popular! The new museum is ready and waiting for the Parthenon friezes to be returned (buckley's I say ) and now there is a suggestion that they should sell the marbles in return for the bailout...interesting idea that isn't going down too well in Greece.
4. Greek food is delicious – so fresh and flavoursome!
5. I still don't like Retsina.
We enjoyed our 3 night, 4 day cruise from Kusadasi in Turkey to Athens. We
visited the islands of Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini and they were varied and picturesque. The Palace of Minos on Crete was the big disappointment because of the poor restoration work done there but that impression was more than made up on the mainland with some wonderful museums and sites. The new Acropolis Museum is stunning and we loved Olympia and its museum and Delphi as well. In all of these, any restoration has been done sensitively and well. An unexpected treat was Meteora in the north where monasteries are perched on the tops of the cliffs amid a strangely beautiful landscape.
Our 4 day tour of the Peloponnese and mainland sites was excellent. Well organised with a good guide. We drove 1400 km's and walked an average of 4kms each day and we couldn't believe it but on the same tour there were 2 other retired NSW secondary principals and a former DDG who had all booked independently of one another!
An early start from Athens, a short flight to Venice and 2 trains got us to Zegliacco and our castle in Treppo Grande in Fruili, Italy. Now we feel in another world that is full of
Our cruise ship
Our cabin was 5 from the front on the second level
rolling green, rich fields, beautiful alps dotted with little villages, and a unique language that even other Italians can't understand. More on that next time...
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