Thursday, May 21, 2009


Heidi and I have started to post photos onto a Picasa Web Album. You can see the photos in the form of a slideshow on the right side of the blog. If one of these photos catches your eye, click on it and it will take you to the Picasa site where you can download the photos for yourself.



Update: I added approximately 200 photos this afternoon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Farewell Greece!

Hello again, dedicated followers. This will be our last blog entry for our journey!!

It has been quite an adventure and the experience of a lifetime!! For these last precious days, we were back in Athens. Following our journey back to Athens from the monasteries of Kalambaka, we had a nice combo birthday dinner for our blogger Nikki and fellow traveller Dana, whose birthday was yesterday.

Yesterday, via "Flying Dolphin" we spent the day at Aegina one of the beautiful Greek Islands for some fun in the sun. But before we could reach the beach, we of course visited the Temple for Athena Aphaia and heard some presentations from Randy and Tyler. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the sand, sun, and sea.

Today, our final day abroad :(...we visited the National Museum in Athens and saw many artifacts like pottery, statues, carvings, jewelry, etc. It was a great summary for all we have seen here in Greece.

Well, it has been fun and we appreciate all of you following our trip from the Pyramids of Egypt to the Acropolis of Greece! More pictures to come so keep checking back!!

See you all very soon!
Nicole and Sarah

More pictures to come upon return!

A Flying Dolphin in action!

The Temple of Athena, one of the most complete temples we've visited!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On the road again

These are your fearless leaders checking in. We departed on May 12 for Delphi and saw the Sanctuary of Apollo, followed by lunch/dinner by the sea at Itea. Today we drove to Kalambaka. It is Nikki's birthday and acording to Greek custom she treated us to cookies from the bakery. I am sure she and the others are having a good day in this quaint little town. Tommorow we go early to visit the Byzantine monasteries on top of huge conglomerate pillars dating from the 14th-17th centuries, which were refuges during the Turkish occupation. We will post more photos in a couple of days when we return to Athens.

Heidi and Corey

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Journey back to Athens!

Since we last communicated with all of you, we've finished our whirlwind tour of the Peloponnese! After leaving Pylos, our last location with internet, we hopped on the bus and started making our way to Olympia, home of the historic, ancient Olympics. On our way, we made a pit stop at a beautiful beach, where we had a mid-morning snack and a swim in the sea! The water was a little bit chilly, but that didn't stop some of us from jumping into the waves.

After we dried off and got back on the road, our drive to Olympia didn't last much longer. We arrived in the small village just after lunch, so we went exploring and found some cafes that boasted wonderful gyros for a late lunch! We stayed in the Ilis Hotel, located right on the main street that led us right down into ancient Olympia as we walked down the road of history later that afternoon. We visited the temples of Zeus and Hera, as well as the stadium, where our athletes partook in an Olympic sized race! We also saw the reconstructed scenes that adorned Zeus's temple in the museum, which was very impressive. The figures were at least ten feet tall!

Today, we had a seaside lunch in a beautiful beach town on our way back to Athens. We are in the city for two days, before embarking to Delphi!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there!!!

Sarah and Nicole

More Pictures from the Peloponnese!

The beautiful sunset in Pylos

Striking a pose in front of the Leonides statue in Sparta

A group picture at the Theater in Epidaurus

Pictures from Athens

Day One in Athens, in front of the Parthenon!

Heidi, our fearless leader!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Taking the Peloponnesse by Storm!

Many of us are already planning to move to Greece, we're having so much fun (and learning, of course!)

We left Athens the morning of the 6th, to make our way into the Peloponnesse. Our first stop was the city of Corinth, an ancient center of the Peloponnessian area. We passed over the Isthmas of Corinth, which is 6.5 km long, leaving behind the mainland. We learned a great deal about St. Paul's influence on Corinth and the amazing architecture of the ruins. After Corinth, we ventured to Mycenae, where we saw a cylopean wall that kept out many offenders of the Mycenaens. During our tour, we encountered a thunderstorm, which was thrilling, yet terrifying to witness on top of the fortress.

The rain cleared as we headed to Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing. The main structure that was still in tact was the theater, which if you stand in the very center of the orchestra, you can be heard throughout the 18,000 seating stadium. One of our beloved bloggers, Sarah, tested this assumption by performing "Defying Gravity" in front of all the tourists in the area. A group from Japan even asked for an Encore, and a Brazilian man claimed it was beautiful.

We spent the night in Nauplion, a beautiful harbor town, where we relaxed and enjoyed a free night! We left the next morning for Sparta!

On the road to Sparta, we took some interesting detours and hiked many mountains. During our visit Mystras, it started pouring rain as soon as we reached the top, so the trek down was very treacherous. Luckily, our wonderful tour guide Heidi, treated us to hot chocolate to warm us back up. We stayed right in Sparta at the Apollon Hotel, where some of us had to fix the plumbing!

Today, we set out for a beautiful scenic tour of the western edge of the Peloponnesse, going through many little Greek villages overlooking the sea. We enjoyed fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee during the morning, and had lunch by the beach in Kalamata, the place of the famous olives! Our hotel we are currently at in Pylos is right on the harbor, and we found a small beach to spend the afternoon floating in the surf. All in all, a wonderful day!

Tomorrow, we set off to Olympia and Delphi as we make our way back to the mainland!

Sarah and Nicole

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom!!!! Love, Sarah

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Welcome to Greece!!!

Hello from Athens, Greece!!

Our last two days in Cairo were spent wrapping up our time in Egypt by visiting the Museum in Cairo and having a Egyptian Folklore dinner out on the Nile complete with the Whirling Dervish, singing, and bellydancing. By visiting the Museum in Cairo, we laid eyes upon some of the most royal mummies and the treasures of King Tut, like his famous headdress. Later that day, some of us opted to visit Islamic avenue for a look at Islamic architecture. Before we departed, we had a farewell dinner with Amr, our tour director, and the fellow travellers on the Go Ahead tours. We will miss them!!

Lucky for us, we left Cairo at 4:30am to arrive at Athens International Airport at about 6am to secure a full day in Athens. We drove to our hotel, Pan Hotel, to drop off our bags before beginning our Greek exploration. We had a brief brunch and walking tour while we waited for our room to get to know the city. Then we had some much needed rest before our first Greek dinner! (Which was delicious and quite a change from the Egyptian cuisine!)

Today, our historical tour of Greece began here in Athens. We visited the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, the 1896 Olympic Arena, the Acropolis (including the Parthenon and Theater of Dionysos), and the Agora. It was amazing to see the iconic Acropolis, where we learned a lot of the differences in architecture such as Doric and Ionic columns by observing the superior structure of the Parthenon.

We covered much of Athens by 3pm. From there, some of us climbed (or gondala-ed) up the Hill at Lykavittos for a magnificent view of Athens (pictures to come). Tonight we ventured our separate ways to enjoy small dinners, shopping, and more exploring.

Tomorrow, we head to Corinth to begin our tour of the Peloponnesse. We will be staying at a hotel overlooking a we are in for some good seafood and scenery!

Keep checking back for pictures and updates!

Sarah and Nicole

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some Pictures for Your Viewing Pleasure!

The group at Abu Simbel

At the perfumery in Aswan

A Felucca, like the one we sailed the Nile on.

At Isis's Temple on Angelina Island (earlier today)

Temples Galore!!!

Hello, avid readers, long time, no talk! For the past few nights, we have been at sea aboard the HS Moondance, floating down the Nile! Since we last informed you of our journeys, we have explored the Valley of the Nobles, Hatshepsut's Temple, Valley of the Kings, the Temple at Edfu, Kom Ombo Temple, the Temple of Isis, and many more exciting sites. As you can see, we have been extremely busy!

We have had the opportunity for some down time on our cruise ship, soaking in some Egyptian sun. The boat's crew hosted an Egyptian night, with a themed dinner with authentic Egyptian cuisine, and a galabiya party (a special dress worn by many of the locals). We purchased many of these outfits at the vendors' shops at the Temple at Edfu. We danced to traditional Egyptian music, as well as the YMCA and the Macarena (which we taught to the Spanish passengers on the boat).

We also have spent some time at local craft shops, including the Papyrus Museum, a handmade alabaster carver's store, a jewelry store, and an oil and perfumery shop. We have experienced many of the traditional skills that the ancients have passed down.

To commemorate our last night on the boat, we took a Felucca out around Aswan's islands, such as Elephantine Island, for a nice sunset sail. Today, we took a motor boat out to Angelina Island, which is the home of the Temple of Isis, the Mother Goddess of ancient Egypt. The Temples of Horus and Isis are Hellenistic temples, dating from after the time of Alexander and the Greek influence. Because they are only 2000 years old, these temples are considered modern compared to the others we have visited!

For tonight, we are staying at the Basma Hotel in Aswan before flying back at 5:30 am to Cairo for some more sightseeing. The farther south we go, the hotter it seems to get, so some much needed rest and pool time are in order!

We will keep you posted when we reach our next internet accessible location!

Sarah and Nicole