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Old 07-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #16
tufbuf
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Originally Posted by WeLoveABD View Post
Enjoying your photos tufbuf! That last one was cool too as it still had (metal) eyelashes!
That's right! Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:52 PM   #17
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More photos...

Next stop, the islands of Santorini. This is our favorite stop. Love the hotel and location. It is very near town which is a great place to shop and eat local food.

After dinner at the Kallisti Taverna in Pyrgos, the group walked up the stairs which had a great view of the Aegean Sea and the sun setting. We took several photos next to the Pyrgos Church.



Sunset in Santorini, they say it's one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset. I definitely agree.



We stayed at the Majestic Hotel. It looked bigger in pictures but it's nice, cozy and airy. Our room had a loft and a nice balcony.


This is the view from the balcony which shows typical Santorini home architecture. The buildings all look the same, one reason is to protect them from the harsh environment.


The hotel swimming pool...


The next day was probably the most strenuous day of the whole trip. We got on a private boat which took us to the islet of Nea Kameni, or commonly known as the Kaldera or Volcano. This is a protected natural monument and the youngest volcanic landform in the eastern Mediterranean. Some say the catastrophic eruption 3600 years ago may have been the cause of the loss of Atlantis.


Mary showed us 4 lookout points which are craters formed from previous eruptions. This one shows the twin crater formed in August 1940. Near the crater are hot gas vents. I tried to take photos of steaming rocks but it didn't show up too well. I know it's kinda hard to appreciate.


Just to show the path we took hiking the volcano. This one led to the highest point, a dome formed from the eruption in the 1800s.


After a short swiim at Palea Kameni, the other volcanic island in Santorini, we had lunch at Captain John's. Here is one of their delicacies. It was quite tasty!


Next, we sailed to the town of Oia. Here we can clearly see the typical white painted villages on top of high cliffs. The main reason why they build homes so far away from the sea is because of their fear of pirates. The stone zigzagging walkway at the center of the photo was where we rode the mules to reach the top!


The mules are a-waiting...


A closer view of Oia from the shore below


View from above


View from the deli where we stopped for a snack and gelato!


The town of Fira, where we stayed


And the sunset from Fira
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #18
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Sorry for the huge photos! I can't seem to post small ones... help, anyone?
I'd help you post smaller pictures, but I'm really enjoying the large ones!

(Seriously, I notice you're using photobucket. When you click the Green Upload button, there's a link at the top right that says "Customize your upload options". You can select the size that your photos get uploaded as. I usually use 640 x 480.)

Fabulous pics! Looks like an amazing trip. I'm so jealous! While I loved my Hawaii trip, a part of me really wishes I'd taken this trip this year. I've already signed up for 2013, but I'm pretty sure 2014 will be Greece!

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Old 07-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #19
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I'd help you post smaller pictures, but I'm really enjoying the large ones!

(Seriously, I notice you're using photobucket. When you click the Green Upload button, there's a link at the top right that says "Customize your upload options". You can select the size that your photos get uploaded as. I usually use 640 x 480.)

Fabulous pics! Looks like an amazing trip. I'm so jealous! While I loved my Hawaii trip, a part of me really wishes I'd taken this trip this year. I've already signed up for 2013, but I'm pretty sure 2014 will be Greece!

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Thank you so much! I will try to upload it as you suggested. I prefer the photo size you include in your trip report, smaller and does not use up so much space.

It was an amazing trip! It was a big group of 44 but it didn't feel like it since everyone participated, was on time and just eager to get going and see what's in store for the day. My DH is having withdrawal symptoms and was reminiscing last night.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:57 PM   #20
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Our last day in Santorini, we visited the ruins in Akrotiri. They named this site the Minoan Pompeii as both places were destroyed by a massive eruption which buried everything under ashes and pumice. Akrotiri, however had no human remains indicating an orderly, hasty evacuation. This was recently discovered in 1967 when farmers noted the donkeys' hooves sinking in the ground. The site was closed in 2005 after the roof collapsed and killed one visitor. It was reopened in April 2012.





Pottery found in the site


Afterwards, we headed to Kamari Beach where we had lunch.

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:22 PM   #21
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We arrived late at our next hotel Porto Elounda in Crete. The 2-hour high speed ferry ride was comfortable.



The hotel swimming pool which is salty...


This was taken from the hotel lobby. The beach is easily accessible from the hotel.


First activity in Crete, kayak to the island of Spinalonga. We are getting briefed on as to how to kayak properly.


My DD and Chris kayaking


It was kinda hard to take photos as we kayaked so DH was able to take a couple of photos. Here I am with my kayak partner. We really have to concentrate on the task since it was windy and a good chance of us capsizing.


Our kayaks parked on the island of Spinalonga waiting for the next batch. Since everyone in the group kayaked, we had to be divided in two groups.


The ruins in Spinalonga. Because of its strategic location, it served as a fortress for the Venetians in the 1600s. The Turks later took over in the 1700s. In 1903, a leper colony was established on the island which closed in 1957.




The enticing clear turquoise water of the Aegean. We did get a chance to cool off and swim right after kayaking. It was refreshing. Greece has the second cleanest coastline in Europe, next to Spain and Mary said the only reason that is so is because Spain is bigger.


We left the island via private boat.




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Old 07-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #22
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Great photos, Tufbuf! We leave for our pre-nights on Monday. As I'm packing, is there anything you wished you had packed and didn't and is there anything you packed and wish you hadn't? Your insight and tips would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #23
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Great photos, Tufbuf! We leave for our pre-nights on Monday. As I'm packing, is there anything you wished you had packed and didn't and is there anything you packed and wish you hadn't? Your insight and tips would be helpful. Thanks.
I think we packed just the right stuff for the trip. I could have packed much lighter. The dri-fit shirts, like the ones you buy from REI is perfect for the weather and activities. If you packed a few shirts and shorts and just wash them every few days, you will be fine with the excursions. Thats what DH did. I wasnt into washing but i might justdo that next time. It was really hot when we were there. You have balconies in Fira and Porto Elounda, the clothes dry extremely fast.

Have fun!! It's an extraordinary adventure well worth it. Oh and try to read a few Greek myths and some on the sites you will be visiting. It helps understanding the ruins as well as getting oriented.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:46 PM   #24
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The night before, the kids had their second junior adventures night. The adults chose one of 3 dinner venues within the resort. It was a really nice touch and we enjoyed the evening. The view was spectacular and the food sublime. DH and I ate at the Yacht Club. Unlike other dinners covered in previous ABD, they did not give us a set menu. This one, we ordered straight from the regular menu and the meal was quite pricey. For the two of us, it probably cost about a hundred euros, would have been more if we ordered fish or steak.

Anyway, next stop, Knossos. In Greek mythology, this was where King Minos reigned and the legend of the Minotaur and the labyrinth originated. The area was continuously inhabited from 7k-3k BC up till the 5th c AD. The area was excavated and partially restored by Arthur Evans, a British guy.







The restored north entrance with a charging bull fresco


Next stop was lunch at the village of Arolithos where we learned to make tsaziki, a yogurt-based sauce used to dip just about everything.


Another gorgeous view from where we had our meal


The streets of Arolithos


Samples of komboloi beads
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:58 PM   #25
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Our last day, we headed to a rustic village in the Cretan mountainside. First glimpse, DD said it looked like District 12.

This is where we met the village crazy man (referred by WeLoveABD ), Andreas. He can easily milk his 50 or so sheep in an hour or so. The method looked back-breaking to me. The milk was later cooked and made into cheese which became part of our lunch meal.





One of the shepherd's shearing the sheep wool, in record time too.


We drove a short ways to Kato Karouzanos where the cheese was prepared. The kids took turns churning the cooking milk while Andreas chattered away.


We were also treated to freshly made Greek coffee


This is the outside oven sealed shut with bread dough which WeLoveABD referred to in his report.


So that's my photo report which hopefully supplemented some of WeLoveABD's trip report. I just featured photos which are all in the itinerary list. I will leave the farewell dinner for the people to experience. It was a grand food fest from beginning to end and we didn't have enough Greek salad!
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:01 AM   #26
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The swimming pool in Elounda is not the one in your pictures. We thought so at first as well. Those are private swimming pools for the rooms attached to them. The public pool is down next to the beach. When we were there not all the private pools had water in them, so we asked why the pool wasn't filled and were told they were private and the public pool was down by the beach.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:50 AM   #27
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Our last day, we headed to a rustic village in the Cretan mountainside. First glimpse, DD said it looked like District 12.
I love that! It's a whole new frame of reference!

Quote:
So that's my photo report which hopefully supplemented some of WeLoveABD's trip report. I just featured photos which are all in the itinerary list. I will leave the farewell dinner for the people to experience. It was a grand food fest from beginning to end and we didn't have enough Greek salad!
Thanks so much for posting your pictures, tufbuf! They really were a fabulous companion to WeLoveABD's Trip Report!

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Old 07-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #28
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Great photos, Tufbuf! We leave for our pre-nights on Monday. As I'm packing, is there anything you wished you had packed and didn't and is there anything you packed and wish you hadn't? Your insight and tips would be helpful. Thanks.
Have a great time--and we would love to hear how the trip has been tweaked now that there have been a few trips under ABD's belt!

And thanks tufbuf for the great photos--my DW found out the hard way re the pools at the Crete hotel--took a swim (with others) and told it was private, although it hugged the building and you can sit around it! However, the beach area (and pool next to the beach) was actually a much better location and I really loved the time I had swimming and hanging out there.

We had a great group, too!!
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #29
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Smile Just got home from our Greek Odyssey!

Great thread everyone! Thank you very much!

The memory is still fresh in my mind - since we just got home a couple of days ago. Our family of 4 enjoyed the Greek Odyssey trip ABD (July 6-15, 2012). Awesome folks in our group of 29! Our 10 and 13 year old kids enjoyed the company of all the junior adventurers on the trip... from the 1st dinner in Athens til the farewell dinner in Crete, all the junior adventurers ate in the same table and hung out as much as they could.

We definitely loved the pre-night and post-nights - we only stayed 1 pre & 1 post night, which was just right since our family had already been in Paris for 5 days prior. We were well adjusted to the time difference (coming from California). Our ABD guides were superb!

It was HOT in Greece... we came prepared with a couple of small umbrellas (which we brought for the Paris weather). The umbrellas came handy in Delphi and Knossos since the kids enjoyed their portable shade. Lots of sunscreen for sure!
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:04 AM   #30
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Great thread everyone! Thank you very much!

The memory is still fresh in my mind - since we just got home a couple of days ago. Our family of 4 enjoyed the Greek Odyssey trip ABD (July 6-15, 2012). Awesome folks in our group of 29! Our 10 and 13 year old kids enjoyed the company of all the junior adventurers on the trip... from the 1st dinner in Athens til the farewell dinner in Crete, all the junior adventurers ate in the same table and hung out as much as they could.

We definitely loved the pre-night and post-nights - we only stayed 1 pre & 1 post night, which was just right since our family had already been in Paris for 5 days prior. We were well adjusted to the time difference (coming from California). Our ABD guides were superb!

It was HOT in Greece... we came prepared with a couple of small umbrellas (which we brought for the Paris weather). The umbrellas came handy in Delphi and Knossos since the kids enjoyed their portable shade. Lots of sunscreen for sure!
Who were your guides? Also--I am interested in how things changed (if at all) from our trip in late June--for example, how did they structure the day at Kalmari Beach (did they arrange for chairs/umbrellas, provide lunch? We loved the beach but it was a bit of a scramble to decide on a restaurant and then thereafter fit in beach time). Did they still have lunch at Cap't Johns, and if so did they offer more kid-friendly options? It is a great trip--our kids rated it their favorite of the ABDs so far!
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