Crete is a very large island and we concentrated on the historic town of Chania. This important port was originally the province of the ancient Minoans. Since then, it has been ruled by the Romans, the Venetians, the Byzantines (twice), the Arab Saracens, and the Ottomans, before becoming a part of unified Greece in 1913. It was bombed by the Germans and under Nazi control until the end of WWII. As you can imagine, this means the architecture is very diverse.
The Orthodox Church was very ornate and rather dark—probably a good idea for the year-round hot weather in Crete!
The Archaeological Museum was small, but breathtaking. These ancient pieces are housed in a former Viennese Franciscan church. The juxtaposition was fascinating.
At the Public Gardens, we saw some krikri (Cretan wild goats, found only on this island) with their distinctive nose-to-tail black stripe.
We walked in the Splantzia Quarter among the beautiful homes, cobblestone streets, and many churches. This Venetian church of St. Nicholas has been repurposed as a mosque, with a minaret in addition to the old bell tower.
We came upon a boutique hotel built around an old monastery. I want to stay here!
We walked a precarious path on the Grand Arsenal toward the Venetian Lighthouse.
The harbor was incredible at dusk. Many cafes and bars lined the harbor and everyone was enjoying the beautiful evening.
I didn’t know anything about Chania before our visit and turned out to be charmed by it.
Where to start on the beautiful island of Santorini? I know it’s a tourist cliché, but it lived up to its hype. Luckily, Edie had been there before and knew to skip the town of Thira (Fira) and go straight to Oia. We took a water taxi around the end of the island and saw Oia in all its glory.
This is the town that sold a million travel posters!
We walked and walked, enjoying this paradise.
We ate lunch at Taberna Santorini-Mou. Edie fell in love with this restaurant on her previous trip. Although there is less partying at lunchtime, the food was fabulous.
It was so difficult to drag ourselves away from Oia that we stopped for gelato to sustain us for the journey!
I want to go back NOW! I want to see the sunrise and sunset. I want to see the lights at night. I want to wander every alley.
Corinth lies an hour west of Athens. Because an earthquake destroyed Corinth in 1858, the new city was built a couple of miles away on the coast. This means that archaeologists have been able to extensively excavate the old city. And what an amazing city it was!
The centerpiece is the Temple to Apollo from the late seventh century BC. Unlike many columns in Greece, these were each made of a single block of stone…probably the only reason they survived the Romans’ destruction of the city in 146 BC.
We saw the bema where St. Paul was tried and acquitted. It is a raised, marble-clad stage in the middle of the ancient marketplace.
The Archaeology Museum is full of treasures unearthed in the area.
One room was full of casts of body parts that had been healed thanks to offerings to the gods. ALL body parts were represented!
Outside the city lies a canal that links the Ionian and Aegean Seas.
We ate at a restaurant on the canal next to a submersible bridge; instead of a drawbridge that lifts up, the bridge sinks down below the water, and then is raised after the boat passes.
Corinth was definitely worth a day trip from Athens!
Athens is amazing! This city of over 3 million inhabitants is densely populated, with ancient ruins everywhere.
Even the Acropolis Museum is built atop an ancient city.
Although it was crowded, the Acropolis is worth it. The mount has several amazing temples.
The Parthenon is nearing the end of a 40-year restoration. I was impressed with the puzzle that archaeologists are reconstructing.
I loved the Porch of the Caryatids on the Erechtheion.
And the Temple to Athena Nike is beautiful.
Can’t wait to return!
Things to see on a return visit:
• National Archaeological Museum
• Acropolis Museum collection
• Ancient Agora
• National Garden w/ Hadrian’s Arch
• Take the funicular up Mt. Lycabettus to St. George’s Chapel (below)
It should be easy to get around; the Metro is clean and efficient.
We drove back to Portland via the Santiam Pass. It was yet another beautiful day and we loved the views.
We got a good look at Mt. Washington:
Next, we walked along Detroit Dam to enjoy the lake.
Can’t wait for the next adventure with Melissa! Thank you to Sami and Sue for being the perfect hosts.
On Sunday, we attended an annual event: a lecture by a “quilt/fabric celebrity” then a tour of their works hung in a beautiful area beneath tall trees. This year, Rob Appell entertained us with his stories. He says he gets his energy from his mom and I’d like to meet her! It was a beautiful day and cool in the shade, thank goodness!
Appell has created patterns that highlight endangered species to raise funds. Our friend, Sue, has completed the tiger wallhanging! It is striking.
That afternoon, we went to the Old Mill area to see quilts hanging in the shops and restaurants. There was a concert going on in the amphitheater and I got a big kick out of the geese hanging out with the paddlers and floaters while the snow-capped peaks looked on.
What a fun Sunday in Central Oregon!
After a lovely visit in Portland with a dear friend, we headed to Central Oregon. Mt. Hood was showing off for us.
We were so excited to see our “quilty” friends and catch up! We spent a fun day crafting outdoors…
…then on Saturday, we hit the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Although it was a blistering hot day, the crowds were there to enjoy the quilts hanging all over the “Wild West” downtown.
I am partial to embellishments and embroidery and had plenty of examples to inspire me.
The showstopper exhibit was a collection of wall hangings inspired by the Lion King. This is a traveling exhibition and we were so excited to see it. These works of art are amazing!
Thank you, Sisters, Oregon, and all the volunteers who make this event happen!