aithne: (greece)

Nafplion from Palamidi
Originally uploaded by Nareshe.
This was the amazingly beautiful view from atop Palamidi Fortress--easily worth the climb to get up.
aithne: (greece)

sunset church
Originally uploaded by Nareshe.
One of my favorite shots from Mykonos, which was seriously photogenic.
aithne: (greece)

deep sky
Originally uploaded by Nareshe.
...but I love it so very much. Taken in Fira, on Santorini.
aithne: (greece)
Oia, on Santorini, has several packs of semi-feral dogs that roam the streets. Sometimes, one or two take naps on the roofs of building adjacent and below the caldera-rim road. This was taken just about sunset; the city you can dimly see to the top center of the picture is Fira.
aithne: (greece)
I wake up disoriented. What time is it? Where am I?

Very far away from home. Surrounded by water.

Oh, right.

Walking where the gods still sleep shallow under the surface of the land, I'm unnerved. And far from home, yes. I've never been this far from home in my life, and I understand why, now.

I am home, now. I learned a number of things, chief among them is that I can operate pretty well when I'm terrified out of my mind and extremely sleep-deprived, as long as there are bits and pieces of familiarity to cling to. The smell of my shampoo, a favorite necklace. Also, I learned that sacred is a quality of light and place that never goes away entirely. I wish we'd spent more time on Delos; the weather was getting very rough, though, and the boat was wallowing through the waves back to Mykonos as it was.

Delfii was wonderful, when we got there, and it was a sheer relief after the head and teeth-rattling jangle that was Athens. Athens and I did not get along. At all. By the time we spent the last night in Athens, right before we went home, the city treated me a bit more nicely on the express condition that I leave now thanks.

Crete was lovely, but I would have preferred to stay more in Heraklion instead of Chania. Heraklion was like an Athens that didn't hate me. Much.

Santorini was definitely my favorite island, though driving there was terrifying (par for the course in Greece) and it was still full of tourists. Beautiful, though. The cats ruled Fira, and the dogs ruled Oia. We swam in the ocean on a black sand beach, went to wineries, and drank a bottle of wine by the pool under the stars and the moon.

Mykonos was kind of eh; the streets twist and wind and it's almost impossible to get from point A to point B without going through the rest of the alphabet with a couple of detours into the Greek alphabet for good measure. Pretty, though we did get stuck there and the ferry ride back to the mainland was very, very rough.

Back on the mainland a little late, we stayed the night in Piraeus and then went to Nafplion, where we had the Best Hotel Room Ever. It had two levels, a couch, a foyer, an attached, stone-walled courtyard , and easily the best and prettiest bathroom we had in Greece. I am such a sucker for such things. (It was the Byron Hotel, Room 3, 80 euro a night which was a complete steal). Storm and Jen's room at the same place was tiny but similarly charming. Nafplion was probably my favorite city on the trip; small enough to be eminently walkable, with cool stuff nearby to see (including Palamidi Fortress, which we climbed up to--857 steps and then some later, it was the best exercise we got all trip).

I've posted pictures to Flickr, and I'll post a couple of my favorites here. Also see [livejournal.com profile] duckdaring's journal, who did a lot better job than I did at recording details of the trip.

The trip home was very, very long, and it happened to be on my birthday. Our plane sat on the tarmac in Athens for a couple of hours, and we barely made our connection in Philadelphia to Seattle, and our bags missed the plane. However, all of the bags have made it safely back (I had to pop over to the airport to grab one of mine) and after I finish with pictures and stuff I'll go unpack.

Oh, yes, and when I got home there were fresh-made birthday brownies, a Johnathan Coulton t-shirt, and a new monitor(!) waiting for me from my sweeties, who are very sweet indeed.

I am so happy to be home, with my loves and my bed and my cat and my dog, all of whom were very happy to see me. I thought Boone was going to fly apart at the seams, he was wagging his whole body so hard.

home!

Sep. 26th, 2007 08:17 am
aithne: (greece)
Home safe and sound, though my luggage can't say the same thing (it got stuck in Philadelphia due to a really short connection that barely had us getting on the plane). Going out for coffee with [livejournal.com profile] zaratyst; more pictures and words later.
aithne: (greece)

greece1 254
Originally uploaded by Nareshe.
Pictures from the last week uploaded; very few are really tagged or titled yet, but we have an early ferry so I'm going to sign out and let you all make educated guesses about what's what. (Check the tags on the individual images for some information, I tagged large batches.)
aithne: (greece)
We're at the Marin Dream hotel in Heraklion, Crete, which has Internet access in the rooms, which I will be using to upload pictures later after everyone's had a chance to check their email and such. We spent the morning driving from Chania (which is adorable, but our hotel was awful) to here, where we have the nicest hotel of the trip so far. We did Knossos this afternoon, which was amazing, and went to the Archaeological museum here in town a little bit ago. Now we're back at the hotel and chilling for a little bit.

The elections were yesterday, and evidently the local communist party (aka the KKE) did not win, though nobody can adequately explain who did. (Aha, it was the incumbents.) We have had some amazing food, and the Cretan custom of serving the local liquor roka and a honey cake of some sort at the end of a meal has utterly charmed me. However, the way people here drive terrifies me. Passing over double yellows and creating lanes where there are none really existing is only the start of the problems.

I have decided i like retsina, though ouzo's charms still escape me a bit. The local Cretan liquor, roka, is really really good, though. And food is so inexpensive here, even after doing the conversion from euros to dollars. Greek cafes are also marvelous inventions, frappes are wonderful, and Greek coffee is good.

I have been sending text messages to Laura, who I hope is getting them. Last night, we sat in a taverna on the beach and drank retsina and watched the sun go down. So, really, all is well.

Tomorrow is Santorini, and I don;t know if i'll have internet access at all for the rest of the trip, so i'm going to post some pictures to Flickr and call it good.
aithne: (greece)
Athens is big, noisy, dirty, and overtly hostile. The Acropolis was cool, though, and last night I got semi-seriously flirted with by Nikolo, our waiter. So it's not all bad.

I mostly haven't been sleeping, but it's starting to get better. I have huge blisters on both feet, I accidentally deleted some of the pictures from Philadelphia, and overall things are probably going about as well as can be expected. I no longer have the panicky desire to return home Right Fucking Now, though I'm still pretty freaked out most of the time. My trees are an ocean and a continent and a half away from me, and that isjust way too far.

So we went to Delfi the day before yesterday, which was neat except for the Greek drivers, all of whom are INSANE. Yesterday we hiked around the Acropolis and the Plaka, and then hiked back to the Plaka for dinner.

I'm finally learning "thank you" in Greek. This is a major accomplishment.

My Twitter thing isn't working from this phone, alas. No idea if I'll check in again before we get back, but we'll see.
aithne: (greece)

water-washed
Originally uploaded by Nareshe.
I am alive and in Philadelphia. Had dinner in Chinatown, went to see the King Tut exhibit, which was very, very cool. It is really damned muggy and hazy here, though. Tomorrow, we're going to go see American history stuff, then come back to the hotel, check out, and head to the airport about 2.

Still can't quite believe I'm doing this. (However, I am currently full of cope, so I'm doing good.) Tomorrow, air travel. The day after, Athens!

I will be out of touch after tomorrow noon except for the occasional twitter. Have a good two weeks, all!
aithne: (greece)
The last thing I have to pack is my thumb drive, but since I'm still writing that will wait until tonight. Juniper is brushed, my office and bedroom are cleaned as much as they're going to be, my library books are returned, and I've done everything I can do to put my life on hold for a couple of weeks.

The taxi will be here at 7 tomorrow morning.

I'll probably post tomorrow night from Philly and then I'll be mostly incommunicado until the 26th. I'm going to try to send updates to Twitter, which you can follow at http://twitter.com/aithne .

Otherwise, see you all in 17 days...

whoa.

Sep. 4th, 2007 11:14 am
aithne: (greece)
A week from today, I will be in Athens.
aithne: (Default)
We're spending a day in Philadelphia in September on the way to Greece.  (Long story having to do with flight changes.)  We figure since we're going to be there anyway, we might as well, you know, See Stuff.

Other than the mandatory Liberty Bell, is there anything else that's a must-see?  Anywhere good to eat?  (We have two mostly-vegetarians and omnivore me in the party.)  History is good, but Pretty Stuff is also good.  We'll be there from the evening of 9/10 to early afternoon on 9/11.

(And heck, if anyone i know is there and wants to see stuff with us, that would likely be cool too.  :)
aithne: (greece)
So, Greece.

I know some of you have been there.

What's worth seeing? What's worth avoiding? We have an open itinerary at the moment. We're going to spend at least a day in Athens, so we're going to hit most of the obvious stuff there. I'd like to go to at least an island or two, so reccomendations on which islands are pretty and have things to see on them would be good.
aithne: (greece)
I'm going to Greece in September.

I have tickets.

Must learn to read Greek.

*****

Do I want this dress? Or this dress?

Well, I want both, but I can't decide which one is prettier.

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