GREECE 2014

Sithonia Peninsula


Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki where residents sit down for dinner at midnight, kids and all.



Meteora

Home of the largest complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries constructed atop rocky spires of an ancient sea.  Today there are about six monasteries functioning and open for the public, and visitors must follow all rules.  It is worth the trip to see this magnificent sight.  Monks still live in solitude in caves carved into the cliffs.  It is dumbfounding when you enter the monastery grounds and find they have hauled dirt up the cliffs with ropes and ladders to grow their food; vineyards and vegetables.  Also, small tortoises live all over this region, we kept seeing them on the trails. 

One of the monasteries was in a James Bond film so of course, we had to hike up to the monastery (not drive) like James Bond supposedly did.  Although, we did take the stairs straight up, instead of scaling the side of the cliff with our bare hands.  Meteora also has an awesome local roadside eatery where they cook outdoors.  Just order up rack of lamb from the grill, a big Greek salad, fries for John, and beer, and you have an awesome meal for about 10 bucks.

It's worth taking the time to learn about this amazing place.  Here's the wikipedia link.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteora


Temple of Delphi

Pythia the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi was the Oracle of Delphi.  At one point, writings state that she was the most powerful woman of classical times. She would stand in the vapors from a crevice in the rocks and speak wild gibberish and she was thought to have been speaking prophecies.  In modern times, they discovered this crevice in the rocks was leaking sulfurous fumes and she was as high as a kite. 


PELOPONNESE

Olympia


Ahhhh Pylos!


Day tripping on "The Mani"

Mani Peninsula "The Mani", as the locals would say.  Is a beautiful peninsula in the southern part of the Peloponnese.  There are quaint villages, white pebble beaches ... some rock beaches, and outcroppings of tall tower homes which is the architecture of this region.  Many of the tower homes had been abandoned, but people are slowly returning to their ancestral village and renovating the interiors and making them beautiful again.  When we were there, we happened to meet a family who brought their grandfather back to The Mani.  He was a poet that is apparently well known in Greece.  He was quite the character and before we knew it they were insisting we come in for a drink at their tower home. A very humorous and welcoming family. Oh yes, and there are caves along the coast here.


PYLOS TO KARDAMYLI TO MONEMVASIA


NAFPLIO TO LANTIDES WINERY TO ZUES TEMPLE AND SANCTUARY



ATHENS