Many of the Greek islands lie closer to Turkey than they do to the Greek mainland and it is common for travelers to jump back and forth from Greece to Turkey as they make their way along the coast. We too followed this same pattern visiting the Greek Islands of Simi and Rhodes before spending more time on the Turkish mainland. In all we visited 20 different Greek islands as well as mainland sites such as Athens, the Corinth Canal and Meteroa.
We had celebrated our 10th anniversary cruising the Greek islands back in 1992 and had been pinned down in one spot for a week by the dreaded Meltimi winds so we were anxious to avoid that problem. In late summer in the Aegean sea the Meltemi can blow 30 knots or more for two weeks straight. Our plan was to visit the Aegean sea island groups of the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and then the Sporades and hopefully be to Athens before mid June when the winds start. This plan worked very well so most of our sailing was in light to moderate winds and we were off to the Greek islands of the Ionian sea before the Meltemi kicked in. In the Ionian sea we retraced the travels of Odysseus from Homer's tale The Odyssey.
Greece proved to be our favorite stop in the Mediterranean. While each island is different they share the same stunning features. Our primary memory of Greece will be entire villages of whitewashed buildings perched on steep cliff sides, punctuated only by blue domed churches and the sparkling blue Mediterranean far below.
In most island cultures around the world the settlements surround the large bays where big ships could anchor and bring trade and supplies; however, in Greece, many of the villages sit precariously on tiny hilltops miles from the coast. From a distance the white villages on the hills remind one of snowcapped mountains. Each village is a rabbit warren of tiny twisting streets and steep steps up and down. The steps make it nearly impossible for any type of wheeled transport so even today the villages are free of any vehicles. In the fanciest part of Santorini just down from the designer boutiques and jewelry stores we saw a modern hotel being constructed and the laborers were moving loads of bricks to the site using donkeys!
After 20 years of making travel films as our profession Rob has mostly enjoyed viewing our sailing travels without having a camera glued to his face and feeling he has to take serious pictures. However, the beauty of Greece was finally too much and Rob broke down and bought his first digital SLR camera. We hope the pictures do justice to the islands. All are beautiful but Rob declared Santorini one of the most picture perfect places in the world. The scenery at every turn is just delightful.
Click on any photo to enlarge it. Then hit your back button to return here.
The art of the Romans was incredibly
detailed. These are sculpted portraits which were common at the time and
if you had known any of these people you would certainly recognize their faces
in the sculpted works.
For more of Greece and beautiful Santorini- click here
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