CYPRUS was a beautiful island and I went to the city of Pafos which was a small harbor town and popular holiday resort. It was the capital of Greece in Hellenisic and Roman times. The House of Dionysos is famous for its mosaics unearthed during excavation.
Turkey obtained part of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion. There are 45,000 Turkish military and 300,000 Turkish residents living in a small part of Cyprus. The Greek side is the Republic of Cyprus and used to be ruled by the British before they got their independence. The are still three large British military bases on the island. I also went to the Tombs of the Kings but I was tired today from my two day tour in Israel so I hung out at the harbor, ate gelato (my favorite ice cream) and visited local shops.
RHODES, GREECE is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands and the city is surrounded by medieval walls with seven gates that leads to the castle. The old town is a maze of cobblestone streets which are lined with shops and restaurants. I just walked the old town today and enjoyed the beautiful weather and sights. The mani pedi in a local shop was relaxing. Only a little English is spoken in this area and everything is very clean.
SANTORINI is an island about 120 miles southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is the remains of an enormous volcanic explosion that led to the creation of the current caldera. The island slopes downward from the cliffs to the surrounding Aegean Sea. The expansion of tourism has resulted in the growth of their economy and population. I took a cable car to the top of the cliff to the town of Fira. Cobblestone streets wind between cafes and shops with spectacular views of the bay below. You could rent dune buggy’s, motor bikes and other 4 wheelers to continue to the next town of Ola, 8.4 miles up hill. (I took a car.) The white washed houses with blue dome roofs against the neighboring islands and seascape make a beautiful picture. I did not take a tour today because it was easy to browse through these towns.
ATHENS is the capital of Greece and our last stop in this beautiful country. We had an afternoon ship tour to Athens, so I took the “Happy Train” around the port city of Piraeus, which is 8 miles outside of Athens for 5 Euros. It is the chief port in Greece and the largest passenger port in Europe.
The marina pictured below with all the sail boats is in the center of Piraeus. Orange trees line the streets.
My ship tour began with the Olympic Stadium where the Olympic games were revived in 1896 and played again in 2004. We then went to the Acropolis constructed in the 5th century BC. The steps were marble and slippery from being polished with so many visitors. A thumbs up for me making the climb. After the big climb we took a tour of the city of Athens.
I finished “Puddy playing with Ella the Elephant in Thailand”. Not much time for painting with these port intensive weeks.