Blogs from Greece, Europe


Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka February 4th 2024

Most of you who follow my travels and emails know that I try to connect when I travel. This means making friends, whether in the host country or with other travelers. It is readily apparent to me, that travel guru Rick Steves has copied my approach to travel!!! He shared this in Explore: When Rick Steves talks about challenging yourself by learning about the world when you travel, it relates to his phrase "travel as a political act." This is also the title of one of his books. This idea could mean visiting a country which is slightly out of your comfort zone. Then the challenge becomes taking your broadened perspectives home with you. "Use what you've learned to help bring about positive change," Steves told BookTrib. The overarching theme that drives the idea of "travel ... read more
Friends on the Trans Siberian Railway
Cape Town buddy
Fun group on Halong Bay

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka January 25th 2024

Mastika (also spelled as mastiha) is one of the most unique Greek liqueurs. It is made from mastic tree resin from the island of Chios, the only place where the trees grow. Chios Mastiha has European PDO status. Mastika has a slight piney flavor, making it an intriguing cocktail ingredient. It must be at least 15% ABV. My Greek brothers make their own, and offer it at the end of dinner (usually not lunch). Mastika can also be purchased at most grocery and liquor stores in Greece. In fact, on one of my first trips to Athens, I was having dinner, and enjoying a conversation with some Americans at the next table. After we were served the mastika, they decided to buy some at the store around the corner. They brought back TWO, one for them ... read more
Greek booze
My mastika

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi January 4th 2024

From Vanessa at MarketWatch: Research supports the idea that exposure to diverse cultures and people promotes personal growth and learning, which in turn, contributes to keeping your mind sharp and young. The possibility of stagnation and immobility (both mind and body) motivates me to embark on group trips, despite my introvert-influenced reluctance of meeting new people. An 80-year-old url= study confirmed that community, relationships and how happy we are in them influences our health as we grow older. As we age, many of us lose people (through death or otherwise) when, arguably, url= read more
Katy's final tally
My Bucharest adventure

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Rhodes December 24th 2023

By far the largest and historically the most important of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes abounds in beaches, wooded valleys, and ancient history. Whether you’re here on a culture-vulture journey through past civilizations, or simply for some laidback beach time, buzzing nightlife, or diving in crystal-clear waters, it’s all here. The atmospheric Old Town of Rhodes is a maze of cobbled streets that will spirit you back to the days of the Byzantine Empire and beyond. Further south, in the picture-perfect town of Lindos, capped by an ancient Acropolis, sugar-cube houses spill down to a turquoise bay. While both Lindos and Rhodes Old Town get very crowded in summer, Rhodes is large enough to allow plenty of room to breathe that pure Aegean air. A Little Bit of History: the island was inhabited in the Neolithic period, ... read more
Acropolis overlooking St. Paul's Bay
Crumbling walls of Mandraki Harbor
Original Site of the Colossus of Rhodes

Europe » Greece » Crete December 23rd 2023

Wherever you are in Crete – in the region of Chania, Heraklion or over on the eastern shores in Lassithi -you’ll find an irresistible story of beaches, culture, mountains, valleys, villages, wine routes and people. And somehow, once you’ve sampled it all, it becomes part of your story. With incredible countryside and rich history, there are so many things to do here. The island of Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands, with approximately 700,000 inhabitants - the capital and largest city is Heraklion. Crete, a tapestry of splendid beaches, ancient treasures, and landscapes, weaving in vibrant cities and dreamy villages, where locals share their traditions, wonderful cuisine, and generous spirit. Here is where you will discover centuries-old ways of life, magnificent Ottoman, Byzantine, and Minoan ruins, with an Old Town (in ... read more
Palace at Knossos (3)
Palace at Knossos (4)
Palace at Knossos (5)

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka December 18th 2023

Growing up in a mostly Swedish community, we were always told the Swedes drank a ton of coffee. This map proves it. As you can see, there are very few countries in the "brown" coffee area. Yet, when I travel throughout Europe, coffee places are ubiquitous. Asia still prefers tea over coffee. But around the world, coffee places have become a gathering place, a free Wi-Fi connection, an office away from home, and much more. In the second map, I find it so interesting that Europeans eat later as you move south. I try to stay on the same schedule, no matter where I am. That means the cocktail hour is 5pm, and dinner is around 6pm. I was not happy about our late meals in Spain. And the nightclubs do not open until midnight! I ... read more
Euro dinner

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka November 22nd 2023

A writer on Insider mentioned that of her 40 trips, 20 have been solo. That got me thinking about how many countries I have visited solo. This includes many that I have done with others. Or multiple times. Also, please note that some travelers do not consider traveling solo and traveling alone to be the same. Solo: (Belgrade) Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece (4 times), Bucharest, Romania, Istanbul (twice), Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Lyon, Champagne, Berlin, Lisboa, Porto, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Russia, Japan, Porto, Portugal, Finland, Warsaw, Poland (3 times), Iceland, Thailand, Mexico City, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada, Slovakia. Looks like 25. I do not regard it as a big deal. Most were intentional, a few were not. But rarely do I feel alone. In Athens, I was adopted by my Greek brothers, Stavros, Giorgos, and Vasili. ... read more
Times Square with Kenbob
My Greek brothers and sisters

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese » Nafplion November 22nd 2023

Our first trip to thus area and we were immediately happy that we had come. Nafplio is a great town to visit with streets to wander, shops to plunder and many different restaurants. Our favourite was a taverna in Nea Kios 10 minutes by car called Tsarkiris! Rowdy and fun. We made a quick trip to the ruins at Mycenae and to Epidavros. Both interesting drives through olive fields. Next stop was Gytheio a rather tired looking fishing port chosen because it was close to the Mani Peninsula and Monemvasia. A day trip to Monemvasia was fabulous. 1.5 hours drive one way but worth it. The weather was fine and made it possible to climb to the top of "the rock". It is called the Greek Rock of Gibraltar.... read more

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens November 3rd 2023

Today we hit the big smoke of Athens, I cant believe that it has been nearly 30 years since I first hauled myself up the steps of the Acropolis to see the 2,500 year old Parthenon (used as the treasury for the Delian League (around 438 BC), then as a temple to worship the goddess Athena (around 5 BC), the Christians then dedicated to the Virgin Mary by 7 AD before it changing again by mid 1500s to the Ottoman's who converted it to a Mosque and (kind of stupidly) a store for their ammunition, this was pretty much the end of the Parthenon after a bomb hit it around 1687, it wasn't until the 1800s that some of the remaining sculptures were preserved (or stolen depending on which side of history you read) and ended ... read more

Europe » Greece November 2nd 2023

After leaving Italy we headed across the Ionian Sea to the Port of Katakolo and took a bus to the original Olympic Stadium in Olympia. Built over 2,000 years ago, the remains of the town, its temples, stadiums and gymnasiums are still there and continuously being restored, all of the sculptures that survived have been removed and are in museums. Today was our first day of wet weather, but luckily there was a guy selling brollies at the gates of Olympia, the gods must have been with him, because the rain inflation of umbrellas when bus loads of tourists get dropped off here is ~300%!!!! The little town is still thriving with plenty of gift shops and cafes and was very pleasant to have a wander through.... read more

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