Friday, July 25, 2014

Packing List. Greece and Turkey.

Image from The Goddess of the Hunt
Planning for this trip has gone remarkably smooth - probably because I don't have work to get in the way :-)

Even though we're quite a lot of weeks away from departing, it's not to early to put together my packing list....at least, it's not early for an obsessive planner like me as I hate leaving packing to the last minute.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Süleymaniye and Rüstem Pasha.


Rüstem Paşa  Mosque on the left and Süleymaniye Mosque on the right.  (Photo by İsmail Yaşartekin)

Hard to believe that I have been to Istanbul twice already and on neither visit did I visit these two places - Süleymaniye Mosque and Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul and you can see it from the Galata Bridge which I did at least a couple of times.  Unfortunately, Süleymaniye was closed to visitors from 2007 to 2010 for restoration work but why I never ventured into Rüstem Pasha is something I can't explain considering it stands just stone's throw away from the Spice Bazaar. I am determined to correct the oversight on this trip and have put both places on our must-see list!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Athens.


Athens.  Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf
Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf.  The photo was too gorgeous to display in any other format than its original panoramic width.  Use the scroll bar to pan to see the entire photo.

I've always wanted to come to Athens.  One of the oldest cities in the world, centuries of history.  Just up my alley.  We'll be arriving into Athens from the US and then immediately going on our road trip so we won't actually be in Athens until five days into our trip.  By the time we arrive, we'll have had a whirlwind tour of tourist sights and having a bit of downtime would be welcomed.   We'll only be in town for three days and I don't want it to be a rushed visit.  So, I've  pared down the list of must-see touristy places to the highlights, leaving plenty of time to to see and do whatever we discover along the way.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Santorini.

Santorini.  Photo by Scott Stulberg
Photo by Scott Stulberg.  The photo was too gorgeous to display in any other format than its original panoramic width.  Use the scroll bar to pan to see the entire photo.

When my brother and I first talked about going to Greece, we were firm that we wanted to avoid the real touristy places and that included Santorini. But the more I talked to my friends who had visited Greece and all the "travel to Greece" websites I read, the more and more I began to change my mind.  Truly, all it takes is one look at pictures of the place - dozens of white washed stone buildings clinging to hillsides overlooking stunning blue water,  like the one that opens this post, and you realize that Santorini's villages, are the quintessential Greek seaside villages that make up our romantic notions of the Greek Islands.  We must see this place!  So much so that I'm now convinced that a trip to Greece would NOT be a good one unless we spent time visiting Santorini. It's now firmly back on the itinerary and in fact, we'll be spending more time there then in any other place in Greece!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Acropolis.

The Acropolis. (Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf)

I've always wanted to come to Athens. One of the oldest cities in the world, centuries of history. Just up my alley. We'll be arriving into Athens from the US and then immediately going on our road trip so we won't actually be in Athens until five days into our trip. By the time we arrive, we'll have had a whirlwind tour of tourist sights and having a bit of downtime would be welcomed. We'll only be in town for three days and I don't want it to be a rushed visit. So, we'll be narrowing down the list of must-see touristy places to the highlights, leaving plenty of time to wander the markets and to just find a nice spot to sit and people watch and soak in our surroundings.