Greece 2007


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Durrell is a poet and his letters were poetic: they caused a certain confusion in me owing to the fact that the dream and the reality, the historical and the mythological, were so artfully blended. Later I was to discover for myself that this confusion is real and not due entirely to the poetic faculty.
   -- Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi
      (on Lawrence Durrell's letters from Corfu)
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In July 2007, Bari and Sally and I spent two fabulous weeks in Greece, attending the wedding of my college roommate Michael and his bride Vaia. We stayed on the mainland, starting in Athens, then motoring west through the Peloponnese to Ancient Olympia, north to the wedding on the Ionian coast, up to a village in the Zagoria mountains, to Meteora and Delphi, and finally back to Athens. This page gives a few images from our unforgettable Greek experience.
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Athens
7/08/07
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An unexpected start to our first morning in Athens: the view of Acropolis and the Parthenon from the breakfast room of our unassuming hotel near Syntagma Square.
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Athens
7/08-09/07
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Sightseeing in Athens. Acropolis was closed for two days due to a strike, so it was incredibly crowded when we went the following day.
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Shops
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Not all the sights are ancient. Here are sandals, bouzoukis and a Monastiraki street market in Athens, a Peloponnesean honey store, a silver shop in Ioannina and a cheese shop in Metsovo.
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Shops
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Loutsa Elena
7/10/07
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Just after we crossed the Corinth Canal to enter the Peloponnese, we stopped at a taverna on a beautiful beach for a great lunch. Other than hotel breakfasts, we ate only one meal indoors during our two-week stay.
Epidavros
7/10/07
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The huge, amazingly well-preserved 3rd-century theater at Epidavros; no performance on the day we were there, sadly.
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Nafplio
7/10/07
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Nafplio
7/10/07
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My guidebook quite correctly described Nafplio as one of Greece's prettiest towns. White buildings, brightly colored flowers, brilliant blue water, the island castle of Bourtzi, and the 18th-century fortress Palamidi hanging on the cliff above the town; gorgeous.
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Argos
7/11/07
Once we found our way through the convoluted streets of Argos up to the ruins of Larissa Castle, we had the place entirely to ourselves.
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Olympia
7/12/07
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Ancient Olympia, a sprawling archeological site plus a wonderful museum. The arch marks the entrance to the ancient stadium.
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Patra
7/13/07
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I missed a turn on the way to the magnificent Rio Bridge near Patra, a fortuitous mistake: we drove through the town of Rion and found an old fort next to the new bridge, a striking visual juxtaposition.
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Riza
7/13/07
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We joined Michael and Vaia at a villa just off the beach at Riza, with a view of Corfu, Paxi and Antipaxi across the lovely blue waters of the Ionian Sea.
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Ligia
7/14/07
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The raison d'é;tre for our journey: Vaia and Michael were married at a tiny seaside church in Ligia, a picturebook setting for a magical event.
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Ligia
7/14/07
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Nikopolis
7/15/07
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The sprawling ruins of the Roman walled city of Nikopoli, five minutes from the beach umbrellas at the modern Nikopolis Beach Club.
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Mikro Papingo
7/18/07
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Mikro Papingo
7/17-18/07
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We spent three days in the Zagoria mountains in the tiny stone village of Mikro Papingo. An old woman in traditional dress took her goats down the stone street early every morning, then back up every evening. Mikro Papingo overlooks the Vikos Gorge, a favored hiking location.
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Mikro Papingo
7/17-18/07
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Meteora
7/19/07
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Meteora
7/19/07
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The geological formations of Meteora with the towns of Kastraki and Kalambaka nestled below are dramatic in themselves, but the monasteries perched atop the buttes are astonishing. Lots of stairs, an improvement on the rope ladders or baskets on pulleys which once provided access.
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Meteora
7/19/07
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Delphi
7/20/07
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The Temple of Apollo at Delphi, set below an ampitheater on a magnificent hillside location overlooking a broad valley.
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