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Athens-Crete 1990

  • Submitted by: Ana Chiappori
  • Website: None Available
  • Submission Date: 04th Feb 2005

This is a remembrance of a trip we did in 1990, but it was just great, I hope you enjoy yours as we did our own. Please forgive my English, I will try to be as clear as possible.

Buy a phrase book and learn at least the numbers and most common phrases. It helps a lot. Buy mineral water: ena metaliko nero, parakalo: a bottle of mineral water, please. DO NOT DRINK ANY TAP WATER. You need to carry your water EVERYWHERE because it is very hot and dry, you can dehydrate easily. Beware of sunburns,use sunblocks, hats.

Everything is a lot cheaper than England. First, we traveled on a budget; the air fare is a big part of the expense, so we try to do as much as we can every time we go aboard. That year we went to England for 24 days and to Greece for 21. We use two books: Let's Go for accommodation, travel tips, food, etc. The Michelin Tourist Guide to Greece for the 'cultural' part; that way we found a great hotel in Athens: Clare's House, 28 Sorvolou St., Aristos, tel. 922 22 88. Phone them from the airport if you didn't make a reservation from home. They are very friendly and speak English. Take a taxi from the airport; ask for the fare IN ADVANCE. They helped me organize our trip around continental Greece. They made the phone calls to every hotel in our trip. That was helpful. Not everybody speaks English, but most people will do anything in order to understand you. In order to choose where to go, we used our own interests (we are three, my husband, our then 16 year old daughter and I, all of us mad about Greece from our childhood) and the Michelin advice.

They grade sites by stars: three stars A MUST SEE two stars go if it is in your way. One star only if it interest you specially. We found that they give good orientation.

In Athens, you walk and walk and walk, and see splendid things. For our travel in continental Greece, we rented a car in Athens (you don't need a car for your stay in the city) We went to Delphi (Stadion Hotel (tel822 51) You walk to the site of the Oracle of Apollo on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos. (one day) Then we went south to the port of Itea (you see it from the temple, a great sight) and when we passed a small village I bought the best olives I have ever tasted. It was in a small tavern. The lady vendor didn't know any English but asked a man to ask me my origins, our destination, etc, they are very nice an curious. Then we went north to near Latmia, to see the site of the Termophilae battle. South east again, through the isthmus of Corinth, (impressive) to Mycenae (the Belle Hellene Hotel, tel. 662 55), Schliemann stayed there, it is very simple but impressive. Usually people don't stay there, but go for the day. Any way, it is cheap. The owner was not at the hotel when we arrived but must have seen us from the tavern as he arrived some time later. Remember all the places are villages, really. You must take the car to the ruins and tombs. It is very hot. Next day we saw Akrokorintosh (interesting) They opened our car while we were eating (good food) outside the ruins and stole my sunglasses and a rather expensive pair of binoculars. Remember to leave your car as near as possible to the place where you go and in the light.

Then we went to Sparta via the east cost. We saw dolphins but the road in some parts was terrifying. A car in front of us saved us from a precipice. It was very impressive, too. We saw some monasteries in the heights.

In Sparta (Hotel Cyprus tel 265 90 the most spartan of all) we saw Byzantine ruins. You will notice that in Greece anything Roman is new, so we were rather disappointed there.

>From Sparta we went to Stoupa (I don't remember the hotel) in the south cost to rest one day. You get rather tired of always seen tombs and temples. The sights are splendid, but that Mediterranean cost is full of pebbles, for us going from Venezuela they were poor value. I remember that at the time we were rather worried because Sadam Hussein had just invaded Kuwait and we were scared of being in the middle of a war.

>From Stoupa to Olympia (I run in the Stadium for the first time since a bad bone fracture six month before). Then back to Athens. We took the ferry to Crete and rented a car there. We went to Knossos, (just great) and to a small port called Leontas. We found very friendly people from Athens and Agios Nikolaos staying there, that use to go to that cost to fish. They invited us to dinner and we spent a very nice evening there. It is almost a hamlet.

In our trip back from Crete we stopped in Santorini. A MUST. Take the tour to the mouth of the volcano, and swim there. In every Greek museum we bought the books of the sites. They are very good souvenirs, and good value.

The museums are very tastefully presented. We were very impressed. I hope I didn't bore you, enjoy your trip,


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