Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do much traveling this year because of a move mid-year to a new, more comfortable lodging. For most of the year I was working on a travel ebook of the Greek Islands for an American publisher (under contract), the same one who published my ebook ATHENS AND BEYOND. Because of the unpleasant situation in my apartment I couldn't do much other writing though I did accomplish publishing a couple of travel articles on EuropeUpClose.com Just when I was nearly finished the Greek Islands book the publisher suddenly disappeared and refused to respond to any of my emails. Consequently I have shelved the project and will consider doing it as an ebook myself some time in the future.
Once I got moved I was able to focus on travel and managed a three week trip direct to Athens. I spent three days on Naxos at the Maragas camping where I love to stay in the bed-tents. Then I took the fast ferry to Iraklion, Crete where I met with a writer/mentor friend who is an expert on the Minoans. Dr Jack Dempsey and I have been communicating since the 1990's but this was our first in-person meeting. This made my visit in Iraklion special. I also enjoyed a return to Knosses where I'd been a couple of times in the 1980's. Jack and I met at the famous Lion Fountain and then went to the Venetian Harbor for a seafood lunch and a wonderful long chat.
I went out to Knossos on the hop-on-hop off bus. It had started to rain but as we arrived the rain stopped so I had a pleasant afternoon wandering the archaeological site. It's expanded a lot since my last visit and I enjoy seeing everything but it would be so much fun to visit again with Jack!
Most of the wall paintings and artifacts are now safely protected and stored in the Archaeological Museum which is definitely worth a visit. I went there the next day, again on the bus, and also stopped by to pay my respects at the grave of writer Nikos Kazanzakis which is up on the city wall.
Back in Athens I visited the lovely new Niarchos Centre where there is an opera house, theatre, library, computer room, vast gardens and green spaces all for the pleasure of the Athenians.
I also took several days to visit my friend on Salamina where we always enjoy exploring archaeological sites. My favorite is the monument to the soldiers of the Greek/Persian sea war which is located on the tumulus of the dead soldiers.
I spent most of time in Athens doing readings from my historical novels at the Canadian Institute, Athens Centre and Athens Community School. I always love visiting Athens and look forward to returning in 2018 for a longer time.
So the year has drawn to a close. I'm looking forward to more travels in 2018. Some of them may be local jaunts as there's lots of interesting things to see around the Province where I live on the West Coast of Canada. But my main focus will be returning to Greece via England, Wales and a visit to Germany to see family and friends.
Safe and happy travels to everyone in this coming year!