🇬🇷 ANNE IN GREECE, 2019
A 12-day walking tour in the Greek Islands, 5 - 17 May, organised by the Blue Walk, offered an attractive alternative to the art tours with French Escapade which Anne has been on before. But she did have the pleasure of the company of her friend Laura from California, with whom she has shared some of those trips. Anne's itinerary started on Thursday, 25 April, with Qantas QF1 to London via Singapore; 5 days in London; and then BA on Wednesday 1 May to Athens, where she was joined by Laura, who had the journey from hell getting there from the US.
The tour proper started on the Sunday evening, 5 May, spending the first night in Athens before setting off by ferry for the islands of Amorgos, followed by Naxos and then Santorini, from where they flew back on Friday, 17 May to Athens, and Anne came home on Emirates via Dubai, arriving late evening on Saturday, 18 May, election night, to the wonderful news that our local MP, Tony Abbott, had been deposed by Zali Steggall.
Not entirely by coincidence, Anne's choice of the Knightsbridge Hotel was conveniently close to Harrods, and also to the V & A Museum, the Natural History Museum, Brompton Oratory, and other such landmarks. It is also handy for some of the main bus routes, which we have come to favour over the tube for getting around London. Quite a few of these photos feature a Mary Quant exhibition which was on at the V & A.
Canal locks are something we both find fascinating, emanating as they do the ethos of the English industrial revolution. We watched them in Manchester too, when we were there in 2016.
Anne and Laura had four nights at the Electra Metropolis Hotel, although Laura needed time to recover from a flight which involved a couple of missed connections (not her fault!), a long stop-over in Paris, and then arriving at Athens to discover that her case had been left behind in Paris. It eventually turned up, damaged, but at least with the contents intact. This gave them an opportunity to see something of Athens, knowing that the Blue Walk tour would be spending barely 24 hours in the city, staying at another Electra Hotel.
Six nights were scheduled at the Aegialis Hotel & Spa, counting the first night which involved getting to bed about 2.00am because of the ferry timetable. Then for some unknown reason the itinerary was changed to include an extra night at a different hotel elsewhere on the island, and then a 6.00am ferry departure to Naxos.
So Naxos was reduced to one night, spent at the Naxos Resort Beach Hotel. But at least the ferry onward to Santorini the next day left at a civilised hour around midday. Named World Champion Jet, this ferry was built in Perth, Western Australia, and at one stage appeared (under its then name of Villum Clausen) in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's fastest ferry.
Santorini was a 3-night stay at the Anatoli Hotel. Like Naxos, Santorini was much more "touristy" than Amorgos, as the cruise liners will show. But the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which houses finds from the excavations at Akrotiri, was amazing. During the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), a sizeable settlement was founded at Akrotiri, and in the Middle and early Late Bronze Age (ca. 20th-17th centuries BC) it was extended and gradually developed into one of the main urban centres and ports of the Aegean.