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Saturday, July 30, 2016

MEMORIES OF ALL THE FUN I HAD IN GREECE (Sept/Oct 2015)

I didn't do much blogging after I got back from last year's trip to Greece and here it is, time to embark on another. So while looking through my photos I came across many of the adventures I enjoyed, from the islands to visiting archaeological site and hanging out with my friends.
 Maragas Camping, Naxos
The most beautiful beaches!

 A margarita for lunch at the Picasso Beach Taverna
 
 Spectacular Naxos sunset
I started my holiday adventures on my favorite island NAXOS, at my favorite spot, Maragas Camping, Agia Ana. The most fabulous beach, and fun staying in a bed-tent for three days.
Then I moved into a lovely pension in the town with a room right by pool-side.

 The "Something Else" Pension

 There's lots to see on the island of Naxos and I like to go back there every time I visit Greece. 

 The walk out to the "Portada" 

 The Portada "Apollo's Temple"


 I love the Venetian influence on Naxos with these vaulted streets. 

 Then, back to Athens, an on to many more adventures.  These included a couple of day trips with friends, a visit to the island of Salamina, an afternoon at the Temple of Poseidon, Sounion, and many others.  Here's a sample of a few of them.
 The Corinth Canal
 A day trip to the Peloponnese:  Fish farms

The small ancient theatre of Epidaurus.


The Big Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

Then some trips around Athens and the mainland.  There is so much to do there and many choices of where to spend your time. You really need to allow for this when you visit Greece.
 Athens, the Acropolis
 The Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion
The Temple of Poseidon (try to get there for sunset!)

One day I made a trip to Marathon, where the famous battle took place between the Greeks and the Persians. This is where today's marathons begin, just as the runner who bore the news of the Greek victory ran from there to Athens (and then died of exhaustion!) 
 Grave mound of the fallen warriors
Marathon, monument for the runners
Then I made a trip to Salamina island, also the scene of a famous naval battle between the Greeks and Persians. My friend Christina lives there so we always go exploring and this year was a very special archaeological adventure!
 Monument to the fallen warriors
Monument for the Battle of Salamis
I had heard from my friend about a cave up on the mountain where the dramatist Euripides had once lived. I was determined to make the climb up there, and I did!  (It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!)  
 The Cave of Euripides
It wasn't all Archaeology on this trip. I even did a reading of my historical novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON at the Canadian Institute. 
Then there was more exploring and having fun. 
 somewhere around the Agora

 along one of the old walled areas of ancient Athens.
 my travel buddies

My Athens pals!

And most of all I love hanging out with my Athens pals.  This year there will be lots more adventures too and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and being there, in Athens, my second home, and exploring Greece, my favorite place to be! 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A FEW LOVELY DAYS IN MALAGA, SEPT 2015

I've been remiss in posting blogs since I learned that had to move in January and things got a bit hectic from then til moving day April 1. Now that I'm settled in my new place, things are getting back into my usual routines of writing.  I'm finishing up old tasks and have been working on a new e-book for Hunter Publishing, a guide to the Greek Islands. And in just a few more weeks I'll be departing on another trip overseas, this time to mainly visit some of the islands as well as my friends in Athens.

First, though, I decided to post a few photos and memories of MALAGA, SPAIN, a city that I really fell in love with and would like to think I could return some day.  I spent three days there last September visiting my friends Carlos and Natalia and had a wonderful time.  Here's a few of the highlights.

My first panoramic view of the city convinced me it was going to a place I'd love to explore.







Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world, first settled by the Phoenicians in about 770 BC. They called it Malaka  because of the fish that was salted at the harbor.  Later it fell into the hands of the Greeks, then the Romans until the Moors took over. It was under Islamic rule for 800 years.  So there are many ruins in Malaga which interested an archaeology buff like me.


The Roman Theatre dates from the 1st century BC

In te 8th century AD when the Muslim Arabic rule took over, the city became in important trade centre. The Moors left behind some outstanding structures, mainly the Castle of 'Gibralfaro which is connected to the Alcazaba the lower fortress and royal residence.
 The Fortress


Walking up to the Alcazaba
The Alcazaba was built on a quadrangular plan, protected by an outer and inner wall supported by towers,between which a covered walkway led up the slope to the Gibralfaro Castle.  It's an enjoyable trek up with some good panoramic views as a reward, plus a stroll through some lovely gardens.




Besides the archaeological sites of Malaga there are many other interesting places to explore.  We wandered through plazas where people were enjoying an afternoon drink of wine and tapas,  we passed by some old Churches and market squares, and down palm-lined pathways.  There are various museums including the Pablo Picasso Museum and I even had my photo taken with him!  And, we visited the old bodega (wine shop) in Malaga.  That was very interesting! Barrels and barrels of wine


 Pablo and me


 The Oldest Bodega in Malaga
Of course there were the days by the seaside as well and a trip to the nearby resort town of Bandalmadena.   It was crowded with tourists as are most of the seaside resorts near Malaga.  If you've ever visited there  you'll understand why it's a place that attracts so many tourists. I loved it!
Bandalmadena