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Old 2nd June 2011, 00:19   #1
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Default Discover Greece

Hello everyone, its my first travelogue and hope you will enjoy.

It was March 2009. My wife Sunita and I were in Switzerland. We both are in IT and were working for one of the major financial Bank. I heard some of you saying lucky chaps Yeah we were really lucky as both of us are working for different IT companies and still managed to work for the same client and that too in the same country and city!!! IT guys can understand this. Anyway, the summer had just started. We were planning to visit some place in Europe. Why some places in Europe when you are in Switzerland? That’s because we had already visited smallest part of Swiss. If there was a database to keep a track of travelers, Swiss government would have awarded us with privileged traveler. Anyway, having roamed around most of the Western and Southern part of Europe we decided to venture into the eastern frontier. There were lots of options. Turkey -Istanbul, Hungary, ChechRepublic etc…But nothing was that appealing. We wanted to visit a place which we could remember for our life, as we knew that this would be our last trip before we head back to India almost after 4 yrs.

Couple of weeks passed and nothing was still on the cards. I am fond of bollywood music and was listening to some random songs when I heard “Tauba tumhare yeah ishare”. That’s it!!! The beautiful Greece started rolling in front of my eyes. Clear blue sky, the beautiful Mediterranean sea and picturesque homes & churches painted in blue/white. I told my better half about it and she immediately agreed to it.

We decided to visit Greece during late May early June as the weather is absolutely fantastic, not much crowd and it’s just a start of the peak season. The only drawback is you need a large heart to swim in the sea as the water would be still cold. But then who cares if you have swimming pool, nice Jacuzzi in your hotel looking over the blue sea (Snaps of the hotel will follow soon)

So the planning started. Places to visit; we wanted to visit Athens simply because of its rich culture, great architectural monuments & world heritage sites. The next were the Greek islands. Which Greek islands? Top on the list was of course Santorini just because of its breathtaking beauty. Then came Naxos and Mikonos. We had 8 days to cover these places. So the flights were booked from/to Zurich to Athens. Hotel bookings were done. Sea cruise were also booked to travel from Athens – Santorini and from Mykonos to Athens. We couldn’t get bookings for sea travel from Santorini – Naxos – Mykonos as the website said too early to book. One of my German colleague had visited Greece the previous year and he suggested that we book the mid journey tickets after reaching Santorini as it shouldn’t be that a problem. Well that’s it. The logistics were sorted out and we were waiting for May end.


After one and a half month of wait, finally the day arrived. We boarded the flight from Zurich at around 9:45 in the morning and landed in Athens at around 13:30. The Athena airport is pretty descent and had gone through lot of infrastructure changes during the Olympic games.

We had booked our hotel in a prime location called Syntagma square. It’s quite popular amongst the tourist and has lot of good hotels. Plus it is one the central place and most of the tourist destinations are at a walkable distance. But for those who are lazy bugs or bit heavy on their legs, Athens tube is always an option. The tickets are pretty cheap. There are two quick options. For the ticket which is valid for 1 hour it will cost you 1 Euro and for a day pass around 5 Euro.

We found that there was some construction work going on in Athens tube on some of the stations between Airport and Syntagma. So we took a city bus which took 1 hour to reach Syntagma coursing through the heavy traffic of Athens. Looking at the traffic we felt homely. The same crowded streets that we see in India.
After taking a short rest we decided to go sightseeing around Syntagma. Here are some of the snaps.

That's the famous flea market.
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Some guys doing skate boarding at syntagma square
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That's me!!
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Food:

I love to experience different cuisines and wherever I go I try the local specialties, their local food. It builds a kind of bond between locals & us, moreover it’s a great gesture to show respect towards them & their culture. Well, I feel that is what is good about travelling. I urge each and every team-BHPian and in that sense every Indian, that wherever they travel, please do try different food. No matter if you like it or not. Try to enjoy it. That’s the fun about experiencing new things.

Greek food has its own culture and tradition. The food is excellent, be it Veg or non-veg. Before going to Greece I had done some homework about their food and wanted to try out Greek Salads, Moussaka, Souvlaki and Gyros to name a few. All these dishes are quite famous and tastes amazing.

"Moussaka" is an oven-baked layer dish: ground meat and eggplant casserole, topped with a savory custard which is then browned in the oven. There are other variations besides eggplant, such as zucchini or rice, but the eggplant version, “melitzánes moussaka” is by far the most popular.

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Souvlaki is a 'skewer' grilled pork small pieces or gyros, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki as sauce.

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And this is Gyros

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I felt the food has lot of similarities between Italian and Turkish cuisine with a contemporary Greek touch.

The next day we visited Acropolis. Acropolis can be seen from various places in the city. And it looks beautiful in the evening when the sun fades away.

Here are some of the snaps!!

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And here is Sunita!!!

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The next morning we will head towards our dream island "Santorini".


The next day..

We boarded our cruise from sea port 'Peiraias' for Santorini.

There are two ports in Athens. The other one is on the south east cost of Athens called, Laurium or more famously called as Lavrio.

Some snaps of Peiraias port from the ferry before we started our journey to Santorini.
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Last edited by GTO : 7th June 2011 at 11:19. Reason: Please read our rules. No more than 2 smileys per post please
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Old 6th June 2011, 17:44   #2
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Awesome Ashish, keep them coming. Waiting for Santorini.
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Old 7th June 2011, 13:57   #3
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Nice! Which camera are you using?
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Old 8th June 2011, 14:38   #4
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Quote:
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Nice! Which camera are you using?
Thanks PearlJam. I have a Canon EOS rebel xsi with some basic lens set of IS 18-55mm and 55-250mm.
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Old 8th June 2011, 15:57   #5
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Default Re: Discover Greece

Keep 'em coming. Nice photos so far. Did you see Sam_Kapasi's travelogue ? He has posted some really awesome photos.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
Keep 'em coming. Nice photos so far. Did you see Sam_Kapasi's travelogue ? He has posted some really awesome photos.
Of course, who hasn't read Sam_Kapasis's blog. He writes amazing mate. Yeah there are still a lot of snaps coming soon. Bit busy with some work in Paris. As soon as I get some time you will see Santorini and Mykonos.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:30   #7
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Souvlaki looks like European biryani mixture & Gyros butter nan filled with veggies & fruits. Looks yummy, would love to eat these.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:41   #8
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Nice writeup and lovely pics to go along with it Dalvi ! As others have mentioned above, cant wait to see the pics of Santorini & Mykonos !
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Old 9th June 2011, 18:29   #9
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Default Re: Discover Greece

Great pics and good write up.

Can you share your itinerary, duration booking etc? or that I am jumping the gun?

I had plans to go to Turkey and Greece buy somehow it fizzled out. Let me see it through your lens.
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Old 10th June 2011, 15:09   #10
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Default Re: Discover Greece

Love the pics...keep 'em coming...have always wanted to go to Greece...love the history of that place...
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Old 13th June 2011, 22:42   #11
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Finally got some time to proceed on my blog. Sorry for the delay.


Santorini:

After 7 hours of journey (as it was a slow ferry), we landed in Santorini. I had read @YetiBog on his Greece travel and he has briefed the island very beautifully.

Santorini is formed of various small towns. Some located over the cliff while other on the southern seashore. The most beautiful place we liked is Oia (pronounced as EEYA, correctly pointed out by @Yeti )

We hired a small car as the roads are narrow and finding a parking place is a common problem. During next four day’s we visited each and every town, the beaches, various churches, wineries & the market places. People are very friendly and jolly and getting along isn’t a problem.

To list some of the places we visited are;

Towns: Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Perissa, Kamari, Pyrgos etc..

Beaches: Red beach, Kamari, Vlychad, Perissa & Perivolos also known as black beaches famous for its black sand.

Wineries: Volcan wines
Churches & chapels: Orthodox cathedral in Fira, Agios Nikolaos Monastry etc..

Last edited by benbsb29 : 14th June 2011 at 14:07. Reason: Merging back-to-back posts. Please use the Edit button if replying within 30 mins of previous post.
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Old 13th June 2011, 23:06   #12
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Here are snaps of Santorini...

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And this was our Hotel...

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View as seen from our hotel...

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Last edited by Jaggu : 13th June 2011 at 23:37. Reason: Back to back posts. Thanks
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Old 14th June 2011, 10:36   #13
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Wow ! Lovely place and lovely pics Dalvi, surely one of the paradises on earth ! Waiting to see more.......
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Old 14th June 2011, 11:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
Wow ! Lovely place and lovely pics Dalvi, surely one of the paradises on earth ! Waiting to see more.......
Thanks Kannan. Yes this place is a paradise on earth. There's still lot of snaps to come. Some more from Santorini and the whole Mykonos is still pending.
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Old 14th June 2011, 16:29   #15
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Last edited by Jaggu : 14th June 2011 at 17:39. Reason: Back to back post, please use EDIT once the posts are approved. Thank
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