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Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Add to Technorati FavoritesI usually try to go to the island of NAXOS when I'm visiting Greece, because it's my favorite island.  This year is no exception, however I've decided to also stop at PAROS.  Aside from a weekend a long time ago when I went to babysit a friend's little boy while she performed at a taverna, I've never spent time on that popular island. I've heard so much about this island from other people, I figured it was time to explore it myself.

 I've only got a couple of days booked on Paros but it should be enough to see a few of the sights although I have quite a list of options.  An interesting thing is that the town of Parikia where I will be staying used to be a Minoan city back in the 1400 BCs.  Later, in 338 BC it was taken over by King Philip II of Macedonia (Alexander's father), followed by the Romans.

There's a wide choice of things to see and beautiful beaches to visit so my little stop-over should prove to be really interesting. I'll probably wish I'd booked more than two days there!

From Paros, I will go to Naxos which is very nearby.  As always, I'm heading for Maragas Camping, and like last year I'm going to stay in one of the bed tents.  These are quonset-hut type 'tents' with a bed and electricity inside and lots of room to walk around.  I found it very comfy and it's cheap!
 NAXOS, Maragas Beach

 Spectacular Naxos Sunset

The beach there is just spectacular and there are some wonderful little tavernas along the beach where you can sit and watch the sunset. Besides that you can take the bus into town and there's lots to see including  the Venetian Castle, the Portala (doorway of the Temple of Apollo) and many other things. Naxos has a very interesting history and I've been on the round-the-island tour a number of times. It's a big island, with mountains and lots of greenery as well as those gorgeous beaches. It's the island where, in the myths, Theseus landed with Ariadne, the princess of Knossos after they had left Crete when the volcanic explosion on Santorini drove them all away.  Unfortunately Ariadne ran off with the celebrants of Dionysos and that's the last Theseus saw of her. This time when I'm there I must remember to visit that particular sanctuary and see if I can conjur Ariadne's spirit.

Last year when I was on Naxos I wrote a lot of poems while on the beach and one of them was about Ariadne.I am hoping the Muse is with me this time too.  I find if a very inspiring island!



From Naxos I take the ferry to Crete. I'll stop a couple of days in Iraklion in order to see the sights there which will include the Palace of Knossos famous from  Minoan times.  There is so much to see in Iraklion and other parts of Crete that I may decide to extend my time there because it's worth spending time. I've visited Crete on a couple of other occasions but not for a few years, so it's going to be fun to return. 


Eventually I'll head back to Athens and then a lot of new adventures will take place.  Among those I am hoping that I can do some book readings as the second volume of SHADOW OF THE LION is supposed to be published in October. 

NOTE:  photos of Paros and Irakleon  from Wikipedia



I've started to verify and plan my trip to Europe this year which will begin September 4 when I fly to London.  From there I will go right away to Caerphilly, Wales to spend a couple of days visiting with my cousins and touring my castle.  It's a quick trip due to me having to take advantage of cheap air fares.
 Caerphilly Castle

 Windsor St. Where my Dad used to live.

On Sept. 7 I'll head into London again, early, in time to take in a special exhibit at the British Museum.  I'm really excited about seeing EGYPT'S LOST WORLDS, which are artifacts found under the see, some off of Alexandria which was the city founded by Alexander the Great and occupied but the first Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.
 The British Museum

Early the next morning I fly to Corfu, my first stop in the Ionian Islands off the west coast of Greece. I was only there briefly back in the early '80's so I wanted to spend a few days there as Corfu has an interesting history with lots to see. I've check out the tours and will try and take one of them so I can see as many of the special sites as possible.  This will include the palace where Prince Philip was born and the home of the Durrell brothers of literary fame.
 Corfu, Kerkyra
 Mouse Island


I'm staying on Corfu for 3 days then taking the quick ferry over to the tiny island of Paxis where I'll spend two days exploring. There are a couple of interesting museums and a Venetian Kastro on an islet off shore that was reputedly designed by Leonardo da Vinci. 
 Paxi, Gaia

 Paxi harbour

From Paxi I must take a ferry to the mainland and then a bus to Lefkada where I'll head south to the town of Vassiliki (the surf-boarders paradise). Not sure yet if I'll spend a night there. It depends on the ferry service onward to Kefalonia where I will visit the seaside town of Fiscardo, established and named for a famous pirate. 

From there I will head by bus to Athens, and will stop there to visit friends for a few days before heading on another island adventure,  this time to the islands of Paros and Naxos.  I decided to stay two days on Paros as it is another island that I've only visited briefly back in the '90's.

My favorite island is Naxos, so I'll stay there five days in a bed-tent at the Maragas Camping, a campsite and beach that I just love going to. I never get tired of visiting Naxos as it's a big island and lots to see besides having the most fabulous beaches!  I can hardly wait to have my dinner at one of my favorite sea-side tavernas there to watch the sunset!

From Naxos I will head south to Crete.  I haven't been to Crete since the '80's and wanted to see the Minoan site of Knossos again as well as exploring around Iraklion.  I'll be there a couple of days and hope to get up to a mountainside resort owned by a FB friend.

When all my Cretan adventures are over, I head back to Athens and that's where I'll be for the month of October, until the 20th when I head back home.  There's lots to see and do in my favorite city besides visiting with my friends.  I'll go over to Salamina island for a few days to explore with Christina and probably make a few day trips around  If finances enable it, I might even go up to Pelion for a few days as I've been wanting to explore that area for quite some time now. 

Some of my Athens friends
 Zoe and me
 Carola, Christina and Kim

I'll be posting along the way and sharing all my adventures with on-line friends and family. So stay tuned for the next installment! IF YOU WANT FURTHER INFO ON SAVING MONEY WHILE YOU TRAVEL CHECK THESE LINKS. A little bit more information about our guide: It breakdowns when a no foreign transaction credit card makes sense for travellers, their benefits, as well as strategies to save money when traveling abroad. You can see our work here:

Saturday, July 30, 2016


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!