The Aegean Journey

May 17, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — B @ 4:38 pm

We have failed pretty badly at blogging on this trip. A combination of bad Internet access, being busy, and just plain not feeling like it I suppose. Anyway, I’ve finally included at least a few photos, which you’ll find linked throughout the below.

Amy mentioned the issues with our flights to get to Europe. I discovered there is actually a pretty big silver lining to this. Under this EU law, we are each entitled to 400 euros in cash compensation. Nice. The airlines hope you don’t know this, and certainly don’t offer, but the law is the law!

So, the trip. Amy mentioned Athens. After Athens, we boarded our three day Greek isles cruise. I was most looking forward to the less-touristed island of Patmos, famous for where John was in exile when he received the visions that resulted in the book of Revelation. We opted against the cruise-led excursion and instead walked an old path from the port to the so-called “Cave of the Apocalypse,” where John was supposedly when he received the visions. Pretty cool that we possibly made the same path John did from shore. I am sure Amy will talk more about this as I know it was one of her highlights.

I was a little less excited about some of the really touristy islands, since I knew that being on a cruise meant it would be nigh impossible to avoid the super-crowded times, mainly the times when cruise passengers go ashore. Indeed, Santorini was just absolutely overrun. It was still beautiful, but a bit claustrophobic. That said, Mykonos really impressed me. It is known as one of the main “party islands” of Greece, but I was struck by how it was beautiful in a similar way to Santorini - white buildings and blue-domed churches - but far less crowded, or at least it felt that way. It was easier to get off the main roads and away from the crowds. Here’s a photo. This was one of the highlights of the cruise for me. One of the most idyllic beautiful places I have been. We saw lots of other great things (the ruins of Ephesus, the Minoan palace of Knossos), but Mykonos surprisingly stood out. The other highlight was the buffet on the last night, which was all Greek food. Delicious.

After the cruise, we headed out on our own, flying to Turkey (we’ll be back to Greece at the end of the trip). In Turkey, we visited two of the most incredible places I have ever been. They were: Cappadocia and Pamukkale.

Cappadocia is a large region in central Turkey known for its surreal geologic formations. Here is just one photo to give a sense of it.. We could have spent much more time here, but the time we did was unbelievable. We went hiking out in different parts of the region, all with very different scenery. We also visited an underground city, lots of old Byzantine churches with intact frescoes, and stayed in a beautiful cave hotel. In the town where we were staying, you could walk out to the terrace in front of our room and see the rock formations just throughout the town. Amazing.

The other place in Turkey we visited in Pamukkale, a beautiful series of cascading travertines. I’ll just post a picture and leave it there, so I can get to bed. We arrived tonight in Istanbul, where we will spend a long time. We should really get to feel at home in the city for the length of our time here. Anyway, a photo of Pamukkale. It’s worth noting that these beautiful azure pools of water also cascade along the ridge where you can see people walking, so we could wactually walk to and through and into pools very similar to the ones you see. Hopefully more to come soon, and hopefully more from Amy. She’s the better writer. Hopefully I’ll also have a chance to go through some more photos during our long stay in Istanbul, but hopefully the above gives at least a little taste of the beautiful places we have been. Cheers!

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