Tag: travel

Greece 2012 #7 Temples and Take-Off

Then before we realised it, it was the last day of the road trip portion of our journey. In a desperate attempt to fit everything in we visited three major sites on the way back to Athens. Epidaurus was our first stop, an impressive sanctuary to the healing God Asclepius. Epidaurus has a very famous

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Greece 2012 #6: Mystra and Menelaoin

The morning we left Sparti we visited the stunning, Frankish, hilltop monastic settlement, Mystra. The Byzantine architecture fit beautifully into the rocky landscape.    It was also a peaceful place and we got on to the bus exhausted, overheated and sweating but glad. Every seemed to be on the phone to their parents or girlfriends while

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Greece 2012 #5 Olympia and Sparta

We crossed the huge cable bridge that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland as Tom told us about the many naval battles that had been fought in the waters around us throughout history. It was hard to reconcile the sparkling views with where Cervantes, author of Don Quixotes, lost an arm. Athenians and Spartans alike

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Greece 2012 #4 Itea and Delphi

Itea was once the ancient port of the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi. After five days in dusty, sweltering Athens getting beside the sea was relief and a half. Itea is a pleasant seasidey town and most of the shops and restaurants are on the strip along the beach. We ate that night at a table

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Greece 2012 #2

The study tour section of the trip started in earnest at half eight on Tuesday morning after our dishevelled group staggered down from breakfast, such as it was. I was worried that I wouldn’t know many people or that travelling in a big group wouldn’t suit me (it didn’t totally in Barcelona and that group

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An Archaeology Tour of Greece (2012) #1

I’ve wanted to go to Athens and see the Acropolis since I was eleven and my drama teacher started us on Greek tragedies. So when a university study trip of ten days based in the ancient city was offered to me I jumped at it like a shot. My mother was so jealous that in the

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Rome in France Lyon & Nimes

We arrived in Lyon to an evening of heavy snow. We were running late after getting the tram and two metros from the airport to our hostel on the quays of the river Saone. The Cool and Bed Hostel is clean and the staff is friendly but there’s an air of disorganisation and zero security,

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Istanbul (2012) #4: Turkish Art and the Spice Bazaar

Down the side of Sultanahmet mosque is a square with Egyptian obelisks brought to then Constantinople by the Romans and the Serpent Column of Greece which once stood as a Pan-Hellenic monument to the Greco-Persian war made from melted weapons of Persian soldiers and dedicated at Delphi.   On the right from there is the less visited Museum

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Istanbul (2012) #2: Blue Mosque, Chi Kofta and crossing to Asia

Istanbul has a wonderfully organised public transport system where with just one card, the Metro Card, you can take the tram, ferries, buses and metro. You can top it up at most shops and the machines at the stations and ports. Also one can be be shared throughout a group perfectly legally.    Using Seán’s

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Istanbul (2012) #1 Solid History

We froze, forks halfway to our mouths and halted our conversation as the sundown prayers were called out in song through the city evening. The restaurant, a tourist favourite, kept on bustling. A haunting echo sang back from the city in reply. That morning that we had sleepily left our house and now we were sitting

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