Riding the coastal road in Athens

I spent my birthday in Athens, and we decided to head to Pireas. This is the major port of Athens, where all the cruise ships dock (and apparently where you can buy an I-pad from a dude holding them up to the passing tourist buses!).Beach

On the other side of Pireas, there is a large marina full of super-yachts. We enjoyed a simple birthday lunch of kebabs and coke overlooking the harbour Continue reading

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Don’t come a cropper at the Acropolis!

The Acropolis stands over the city of Athens and can be seen from most places in the city.  We ignored advice to get there early before the crowds, and instead went late afternoon. This was a gamble but luckily it paid off; the crowds had been and gone and we had the place to ourselves.

ParthenonIt was beautiful up there with great views over the city. The Parthenon itself was majestic but unfortunately covered in scaffolding and so forth due to the ongoing reconstruction. Continue reading

Falling for Stray dogs in Athens

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not the biggest dog lover (blame an incident where me and my sister were chased by a vicious dog as kids and she was bitten 😦  )  So at first I was really scared of the stray dogs in Athens. They are everywhere; trotting around the squares and reclining on the pavements.

Monastiraki Square

I wondered how they survived, but I watched the locals feeding them, petting them, greeting them. They are effectively everyone’s pet; affection without any responsibility. Continue reading

Sunsets over the domes of Oia, Santorini

Oia is the location of THE photo of Santorini (and indeed, Greece) – the one used on all the tourist brochures. It was sublimely beautiful but also a complete tourist trap.

Oia 1

We entered Oia in a large courtyard with a lovely whitewashed church, and headed straight for THE view. (Yes, yes I’m a typical tourist!) Continue reading

Road Trip around Santorini

Santorini is a really small island. If you stand on high ground you can see coast to coast in most directions. So we decided to spend a day exploring by car… Road Trip! 🙂

Doorway in Pyrgos, SantoriniWe first drove to Pyrgos which was a cute village with small winding alleyways leading up to a whitewashed church on a hill. From here you get great views across the island. Continue reading

Perfection in Fira, Santorini

It is difficult to get much nearer to perfection than Santorini. I remember blue seas, dazzling white buildings, blue skies, and large white cruise ships loitering in the harbour. And every night we would sit on our balcony and watch in silent wonder as the sun made its way below the horizon.

SantoriniFira (or Thera) is the main town in Santorini. It has unique architecture – lots of domed whitewashed buildings. The small town is charming and we spent many a pleasant hour wandering around perusing gift shops and eating ice cream. Continue reading