Friday, July 12, 2019

Travel Notes - Corinth, Spetses, Athens, Greece

To celebrate our younger daughter finishing high school and because our kids are going to be scattered around the world in a few months, we decided to spend 3 weeks as a family traveling through the Balkans.

Here are some details about our time in Greece. Greece is, of course, a travelers destination with lots to see and an incredible amount of places to visit, so you will have to accept the fact that you won't be able to do it all. For us, since we spent a few days in Athens last summer, our goal was to get on an island, see another city and spend some more time in Athens. See part 1 about Venice here and part 2 about Croatia here.

We left Croatia from Dubrovnik and flew into Athens. From there, we picked up a rental car and drove an hour into Corinth, that place from the Bible. We opted to stay one night near ancient Corinth instead of modern Corinth and we were definitely glad. Ancient Corinth is fascinating and the museum there is excellent. Well worth the price of admission. There is also a quaint little town right outside ancient Corinth where we had dinner the night before. Probably the best gyro I have ever had and no ATMs in this little village.

From Corinth, we drove about 2 hours through the mountains to Kosta, a little port. The only thing I know about Kosta is there is a parking lot that you can park your car there for multiple days for cheap. Our goal was to get to Spetses, a tiny island and an easy (!) ten minute boat ride from Kosta. No cars except for delivery vehicles are allowed on the island and there are 4 or 5 different beaches there. Lots of places to eat and hotels to stay in. We spent four nights there and it was beautiful. Our goal for these few days was just to sit and relax and our mission was accomplished. We did take a bus 20 minutes around the island one day to go to a different beach and Katie and I rode [electric] bikes back. Deanna and I also went on a horse drawn carriage ride and every meal we had on the island was excellent. We stayed in a hotel right down the street from the port - convenient because of too much luggage - long story.

As we were sitting on the sea wall watching the sunset one night, there was an older lady fishing with a hook on a line and clumps of bread. The first night, I only saw her catch small fish and she had me and a stray cat as the audience. The second night, I saw the real catch - a squid.

Our hotel, family owned and run, was managed by two brothers. As beautiful as the island was, they said it was dismal in the winter. Cold and rainy with no visitors - the same boring people in the nightclubs every night.

Our time in Athens was centered around hanging with the Streetlights team, although we did see the Acropolis Museum, had our good friend Spyri give a little reflection about the apostle Paul on Mars Hill, and a few of us went all the way up to the top of the Acropolis. The Acropolis is a little expensive but definitely worth it. If you go there with students, people aged 18 and under are free. Like I referred to in this post, 4 Ember students joined us for our time in Athens at the end of this little family excursion. And this excursion, man, this was one for the books.

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