Five Sunsets in Santorini

August 19, 2016 - 8:12 am 1 Comment

The flight over to Santorini offered views of several cute little rocky islands. Santorini is much bigger than the others. Coming in from the east offered a close-up view of the massive peak of Profitis Ilias. Had no idea there were mountains this big out here.

Just outside of the airport was a shuttle bus waiting to take me to Fira (FEE-dah), where my hotel is. They dropped me at the bus station, and after a short walk, I was at Thalia’s Apartments. Thalia herself appeared to greet me and give me the lowdown on her place and the island. She’s very sweet and couldn’t believe I was in my late 30’s. I’m loving it.

In late afternoon, I made my way to the famous Santorini view across the water. Crossing the main street is an adventure, with cars and buses and scooters zipping both ways unpredictably. My walk continued past the souvenir shops and and up the hill and to the edge of the cliff overlooking the water. And then it opens up. The view is immense and breathtaking. No photos can prepare you for that. Cruise ships on the water below are the only thing that give a sense of scale, and they look like toys.

View of Caldera from Fira Read the rest of this entry »

The Last Day in Athens

August 14, 2016 - 5:08 am No Comments

We took a quick flight to Athens and then made our way to our hostel in the middle of the city. Mandy took us out for a walking tour around the city center.

Old Royal Palace Read the rest of this entry »

Corfu: Greece At Last

August 12, 2016 - 4:01 pm No Comments

The stomach bug or whatever that swept through the group has mostly passed, and we’re all starting to feel a bit better. I’ve never seen a stomach bug sweep trough a group so quickly.

The ferry to Corfu was nice and relaxing. The taxi that picked us up at ferry terminal was not, driving like bat out of hell through the narrow and twisty streets of Corfu with a remix of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” blasting on the radio.

Dusk on Garitsa Bay Read the rest of this entry »

Driving Through Albania

August 11, 2016 - 5:01 am 1 Comment

Done with Kotor, we headed southward to Albania and to its capital, Tirana (TEE-raw-nah). Sitting in a minivan for a few hours, conversations turned more crude as we all got to know each other a little better. Matthew taught us the terms “instavomit” and “invagination”, which we have used to humorous effect.

We stopped for lunch at a sketchy restaurant on a river just across the Albanian border. I was craving chicken, but the only chicken item on the menu was chicken penne. I took a chance, and it was completely awful. I half-joked that it was not chicken but one of the many stray cats that wandered around the restaurant as we ate.

On the Drin River Read the rest of this entry »

Two Days in Kotor

August 9, 2016 - 8:54 am 2 Comments

On our way down to Montenegro, I think things are slowly starting to look more Greek. Greenery turned more scrubby, limestone block construction gave way to flat white stucco, and arches began to appear over doorways and windows.

We pulled off the road to take a quick stop at Our Lady of the Rocks Church. A little boat took us over for a quick look-around before getting back in the bus and continuing southward. Compared to Croatia, traffic around these parts seems a little pushy and undisciplined, with cars making their own lanes and their own rules.

Our Lady of the Rocks Church Read the rest of this entry »

Dubrovnik & the New Group

August 7, 2016 - 3:30 am 1 Comment

It was obvious as soon as we arrived that Dubrovnik is the most heavily touristed city in Croatia. Hordes of poorly dressed, camera-toting sightseers fill the old city, which has become even more popular in recent years as the setting for the popular TV show “Game of Thrones”.

Steps of Dubrovnik Read the rest of this entry »

A Fantastic Day in Hvar

August 5, 2016 - 4:48 am 1 Comment

A short ferry ride took us to Hvar, a long, skinny island just off the coast from Split. As we took a quick walk around the marina and tiny old town, sun beamed off the polished white limestone covering the ground. This is a place for sunglasses.

Hvar Marina Read the rest of this entry »


August 3, 2016 - 5:57 pm No Comments

Split is a good sized resort town filled with yachts and cruise ships, surrounded by mountains that make it look a bit like Tucson. A faint sulfur smell from nearby, naturally occurring sources, fills the city.

On our first night in Split, the group of us went to a booming outdoor nightclub near the beach. I’ve gotten much of the group drinking rum and cokes. Gabo and I bonded with some great conversation about the life of a G Adventures CEO and about how one of his best friends is Fredy, the CEO I had for a previous Rome to Madrid G Adventures trip that I took last year. When we discovered that my favorite restaurant in the world, La Cabrera in Buenos Aires, was also his favorite restaurant, we knew we would be friends forever. Then one of the girls knocked over a glass, cracking it and badly cutting Gabo’s hand.

Hat Trick Nightclub in Split Read the rest of this entry »

The Pools & Ponds & Lakes & Streams & Waterfalls of Plitvice

August 3, 2016 - 2:24 pm 1 Comment

We got to Plitvice Lakes National Park in late afternoon, with enough time to hike through about half the park. The skies were cloudy, which made this particular hike a lot more tolerable than they have been.

Scenery is beautiful. Lakes and waterfalls everywhere.

Jeff & Gabo in Plitvice Read the rest of this entry »

Two Days in Zagreb

August 1, 2016 - 10:27 am 2 Comments

Spent a couple of days touring around Zagreb (ZAH-gdib) on my own. With its old world architecture and cobblestone and cafe culture, Zagreb could be almost any other city in Europe. It bears similarities to Budapest and Prague and Vienna. But from a tourist perspective, it doesn’t really seem like there’s a whole lot to do there. I was able to comfortably hit all the highlights in a day and a half.

The Zagreb Cathedral had scaffolding on it, of course. Is it a requirement for all my photo stops to be covered in scaffolding?

Zagreb Cathedral Read the rest of this entry »