fun4all4 Trip Report: Greece is Great!

Old Jul 24th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Santorini Photos:
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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Great photos. Really nice composition. Love the sunsets - and the dog!

Since we're going in Nov, probably won't get to the islands so your pictures are a great way to see them vicariously.
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Thanks, dfr! I am sorry I forgot to respond to your earlier post. It is so cool that you daughter will be studying in Athens - what an amazing opportunity and how nice that you will be able to visit.
Have you decided where you will be going while in Greece?

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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Hi Fun!

I'm enjoying reading your Santorini trip report as I have my tea this morning -- now you've covered both Naxos and Santorini, two of the places I'll be seeing in September; between your report and the fact that I'm planning on seeing "Mamma Mia" this weekend, I'll be set!

Your pictures are wonderful, and what a photogenic group! (your oldest son's the spitting image of his dad!) Loved them all, but the one of the dog.....awwwwww!


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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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fun4 - besides Athens, we're thinking of the Peloponnese and/or Central Greece. Still trying to decide and reading everything (and every thread) we can. Your detail has been very helpful - thanks. Daughter also would like to spend a few days in either Istanbul or Cairo - so they're on the list as well. Lots of choices.

The chance to study in Greece was too hard to pass up. She's getting a double major in Biology and Greek (go figure), so we hope this will be a great opportunity for her.
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Proably the best alla round pix I've seen on Greece...thank you...great framing, colors and scenes. Simply beautiful family shots!

Sure sounds like you all got along famously...I can't imagine taveling with 2 familes and a total of 10 people, but you guys pulled it off. We have at times traveled with another couple, and it worked out well....but 10? You are each to be commended.

"C"...Thank you so much for sharing the details and the marvelous px. Stirred up some great memories of our long ago Greece trips.

You mentioned "Virtuoso" that your own agency? Where are you located?

Stu T.
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Glad to know folks are still reading!

Melodie- have a great time and don't forget to report back. I have seen Mama Mia on stage, but not sure I am going to see the movie. Let us know if it is good.

dfr- You have too many good choices. Luckily, that means that you cannot go wrong. BTW, amazing double major for your daughter. We are right in the midst of the "college thing" right now. In fact, J and I have several college visit trips planned including a 3 day one starting Sunday.

tower- Wow, Stu! Thanks. You are one of my idols around here so I really appreciate your interest.

First, a disclaimer on the photos. A and I combined our shots so only about 80% of what I posted are mine. The others were taken by A or 17 year old W.

As far as traveling as a group, yes, we did amazingly well. Another dislaimer, we were not perfect although any small issues were mostly with our own kids. Everyone was positive, flexible and easy going most of the time, and we have all traveled a fair amount. We are careful in choosing travel companions, though, because just because someone is a good friend does not mean they are good to travel with. We were confident we were a good match and also discussed issues ahead of time.

Sorry to be unclear about Virtuoso. It is a luxury travel network to which agencies belong. I am an independent consultant affiliated with a medium-sized agency that belongs to Virtuoso. I don't talk about that here because I participate on Fodor's as a passionate traveler. I live in Virginia.

Next... Athens
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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Day 12 Santorini to Athens

Our ride to the airport was on time and we arrived at the airport without incident. Unfortunately, our plane was about an hour late and the day was very windy so the short plane ride was a tad bumpy (no one seemed to mind much except ME since, as much as I love to travel and recognize the safety of airplanes, I hate to fly). Anyway, we arrived in Athens, grabbed cabs and were at our hotel in 30-40 minutes. Athens seemed big and crowded compared to our previous 11 days. Our hotel was the Electra Palace Hotel in the Plaka which is a nice 4* pretty standard larger business/city hotel. The lobby is nice, the breakfast was extensive and there was seating both indoors and in the pretty outdoor courtyard, and the best feature, in my opinion, is the rooftop pool and bar with view of the Acropolis. The location of the hotel is excellent and for the price (decided not to splurge on the Grand Bretagne or the King George), a great choice in Athens. The rooms are fine if standard, and the bathrooms are quite nice.

After a swim and shower, each family headed off for dinner on their own. Well, actually, B and I were ready a bit early so we decided to go over to the Grand Bretagne for a drink at their rooftop bar. The hotel, bar and view are glorious and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Still, the bar bill was not for the faint of heart – we each had ONE drink, a gin n’tonic, and the total was 30€. It was worth it, but just know that it is expensive before deciding to go. For dinner, we ate at Event which was recommended by the concierge and was a close walk. We had a very good meal before strolling around the Plaka enjoying the shops and summer evening. DH and I watched the evening game from our hotel room, but the older boys went out to a bar to watch with more ambience.

Day 13 Athens

As part of our arrangements before the trip, we had reserved a ½ day private tour. Our breakfast was excellent and by the time we were finished a bit before 9:00, our guide was waiting for us in the lobby. She really covered an amazing amount in 3 ½ hours both in terms of information/history and places visited. First went to the old Olympic Stadium and Syntagma Square with the Parliament Building, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Park. Next, we paid a visit to one of the metro stations with its artifacts and displays of items found during construction – incredible. Our group then spent a short while at the Temple of Zeus before proceeding to the Acropolis.

Of course, our visit to the Acropolis (with the Parthenon, Erecthion, etc…) was meant to sort of be the crowning sight of our trip. However, it was VERY crowded and filled with cruise ship tours; it was hot, very windy and dusty, and there was a ton of construction going on. The view of the Acropolis at night with the lights on and seen from afar had been breathtaking and inspiring, but the up-close experience was a bit tainted. But, as is often the case when traveling, the biggest things with the highest expectations are not the most special in the end. Still, it was an incredible experience and we would not have missed the visit.

That afternoon, after lunch at a crowded street place recommended by our guide for their gyros, we split up to do some last minute shopping and get some souvenirs (we are not big shoppers on vacation and had purchased virtually nothing – well, not edible or drinkable – the entire trip. So, it was time for t-shirts, postcards and a few little gifts for folks at home. The afternoon ended with the usual naps and pool time as well as organizing for the next day’s departure.

That night, we had a fabulous farewell dinner at Cibu (I think the spelling is correct – it is in the park with acropolis views). Back at the hotel, the kids went off while DH, B , A, and I had a drink at the rooftop pool bar and gazed at the lit-up Acropolis. We all agreed it had been a fabulous trip and shared our gratitude at being able to share such an experience.

Day 13 Athens to Home

We were lucky to have an afternoon flight as many flights depart Athens at an ungodly early morning hour. We slept in, enjoyed a large breakfast, pack and took a taxi to the airport. It was a smooth, if long, day of travel as we retraced our steps ATH to LHR to IAD. Home and in our beds by 1:00 am or so.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Happy Travels, Everyone!
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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Athens photos:
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Hi, fun,

I've really enjoyed reading this.

I'm not sure why we never went back to greece after our first and so far only visit, but having read your report, and watched Francesco [he's coming to Truro in august for a book signing, yippee], touring mainland greece as he retraces the steps of his Venitian ancestors, I'm feeling re-inspired.

not sure when though; i think that central europe is probably higher up on the list.

I've sent you an e-mail re SA, so fire away.

regards, ann
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Old Jul 25th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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I just played the Santorini slideshow for a friend who will be in Greece in about 10 days and got very jealous.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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fun4 - again, an enjoyable and very useful report (and still liked the pictures - no matter who took them). Really appreciated all your detail.

And good luck on the college visits - so glad we're finished with that adventure.

One question: from what I've read, most people seem to think about 3 days is enough for Athens. Looks like you spent a little less than 2. Did you feel that was enough or would you have preferred longer? If so, what did you feel like you missed?

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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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You did a great job with your trip report and photos.
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 06:46 PM
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I am working on a trip this summer partly inspired by your trip report. I believe I have followed behind you on another trip or two in the past. WOuld love to ask you a question or two if you're still checking in on this. Thanks.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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Hi KimiG,
It is great to know people may still be finding this report helpful! Sorry for the slow schedule doesn't allow to spend as much time here as I used to here. If I am not too late, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 08:51 PM
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I am going with my daughters in May and havent gotten "concrete" plans yet (except I have bought airplane tickets Loved reading this-Thanks!! I will be there 3 weeks so if you know anything special we should do let me know
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:34 AM
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Thank you - I missed this first time round so it will be good to get an up to date trip report from thioose who are following in fun4all4's footsteps
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