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Santorini, Mykonos, Athens report. May '08

Santorini, Mykonos, Athens report. May '08

May 29th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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It may be a few days, but I will get right on this trip report! You have to keep in mind that the day after I visited Athens, we were in Amsterdam. I think I may have possibly unfairly contrasted those two cities. Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited. While visiting the Acropolis was an amazing experience and worth going into the city, Athens just wasn't my thing.
Becca is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Same for me.
And I don't think having visited 4 museums and a hill was going to make the difference.
ciaony is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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I'm planning a trip to Greece in September so I'm taking in all you have to say and thanks. I'm thinking maybe it would be best to plan one day/night in Athens and then move on to the other islands - that way if you start out in Athens, it gets more impressive, instead of disappointing if Athens is your last stop , I'm thinking

Did anyone go to Delos from Mykonos or Delphi or Corinth?
Mahya2 is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 09:46 PM
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ciaony, I enjoyed your trip report very much, sounds like a lovely time. I definately would not be able to spend as much as you did on hotels etc, but I loved Mykonos and the hole in the wall semi dump we stayed in years and years ago,, you HAVE to get out of town though and hit the beaches in Mykonos, the town is fun ( I personally enjoyed the clubbing etc, but, I was young) , but the beaches are beautiful.

I agree mostly with you about Athens, , my friend and I did not like Athens at all. I am sorry, it is a big dirty city , and we were glad to cut our time there very short and get to the islands( we also did Paros) . Next time we will only stay there the night we arrive and the night before we leave, my hubby and I both want to do the islands, ( Naxos next time) and possilby Santorini .
bozama is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 10:51 PM
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Being greek and living in Athens it's very interesting to read other people's point of view about the city and generally the islands.

The truth is that i find it ugly myself. Every time i go to another capital and i come back i say to myself "we really live in a big, chaotic,ugly, dirty city!!"
BUT... it has its positives that you won't find out by being there for just one or two days!!

As for taxi drivers many of them are really a disgrace. I'm sorry to say that but it's true! Even me being greek and knowing EXACTLY how they should charge me from the airpot to my house, they still ask me for more and try to steal me...

cristine27 is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 03:22 AM
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Thank you for all the good comments.

Bozama, I'm glad you liked my report too. We were able to get to 4 beaches during our stay and you're right, they are all beautiful.

It's nice to have the town, though, to break up the trip and get out of the sun for a while.
There is a surprising variety of some great little shops there, and cafés at the port are a very comfortable place to relax.

Mykonos is great.

In my report, I should have included the story that when my wife and I were in a Little Venice night spot one evening, a young woman from the front desk at Mykonos Grand saw us sitting at a seaside table and had a couple of tasty, fruity cocktails sent over to us.
Eva is good friends with the owners and she wished us a happy anniversary.

Not bad, 'eh?
ciaony is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 03:41 AM
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I hate to redirect to a competitor's site but to see some of our photos from Katikies/Santorini, please go here:
ciaony is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Cristine27, sadly the truth is that most large cities are pretty ugly these days with the high rise apartments and other large concrete structures clogging up the infrastructure. But I love Athens, I suggest maybe Ciaony has no interest in history otherwise they may have sought out more ancient sites to visit or museums, one of the reasons why Athens does it for me apart from the people whom I adore. Plus the south coast is great fun and a visit to Sounio is a must or a day trip to Aegina or Hydra, which are quite different from Mykonos and Santorini.
There have been a number of warnings on here re Athens taxi drivers, they seem to top up their takings by attempts to rip off every passenger they carry, and it does leave a sour taste if you are a victim of these scoundrels.
Give Athens a fair go, it has much to offer.
KathyNZ is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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To understand the look of a city it helps to have some knowledge of history; what it's been through. At the end of WW II, after the barbaric Nazi occupation, Greece was devastated, and citizens flooded into a badly-damaged Athens seeking ways to survive. They were living in the streets and parks everywhere.

To house the vast influx Athens needed an incredible building effort. In many neighborhoods it was filled with small 1-2 family houses. A homeowner agreed to give up a house in return for 2 units (one for self, one for a family member) in the block of flats that would replace the home. The apartment structure was concrete & built for maximum use, not architectural beauty. Thus, so much of Athens looks identical -- one of the costs of war. However, as one writer points out, Athenians did preserve a distinct traditional aspect - the "colonnade" at street level that shelters from the sun, and the small-business shops that line it and provide interest in every block you walk.

Of course this is irrelevant to people who prefer a resort approach to their Greek visit.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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In fact, not only Athens but much of Greece is meaningless to people who have no sense of history -- yes its beaches are wonderful, and its luxe resorts are enjoyable. But much the same can be found in the Caribbean, at a great savings of travel time and expense.

Travelers like Ciaony do not want real contact with another culture except for the "intereractions with the locals" they approved of in the islands (read = good service from resort staff). Many of us would prefer that persons with this outlook would go elsewhere in their pursuit of "Top Resorts of the World." That will leave Greece to the rest of us, who cherish its mountains, its villages, its energetic and quirky citizens, its history and its beauty... nothing to do with size of bathrooms or whether fellow diners are sufficiently stylish.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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kmadsen is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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Wow - i'm a bit amazed - "the Plaka the place to be"? "full of prostitutes"? Hardly. We spent an amazing week in Athens and are looking forward to our return - It may not be the prettiest city, but it is full of history and culture, great food and much more. Personally if all I wanted were beaches, I'd save my money and head to Mexico, not Santorini or Mykonos (neither of which, IMHO, are truly "Greek" - the places described in the trip report are hardly representative of this amazing country.)
During my time in Athens I was fortunate to discover plenty to fill my week - the Benaki, the Museum of Cycladic Art, spent an amazing evening in a neighborhood taverna in Pagrati with live music and NO tourists, the farmers markets with tomatoes unlike any I've tasted elsewhere, strolling to Gazi, eating freshly baked donut like pastries in the wee hours of the morning in Psirri ... the sunset at the Temple of Poseidon surpassed any I saw in Santorini.
Obviously ciaony has different interests than I, and of course a different opinion, but my advice if you are from the US and looking for a beach resort and pampering, save your money and head south - Greece is about history and culture, her beaches are a nice bonus, but hardly worth the time and expense of the transatlantic airfare if that is all you are after.

As an aside, travelerjan, I stayed behind the Marble Stadium in a lovely neighborhood, and many of the buildings were built as you described, with walkways lined with small businesses - each morning I'd see the shopowners sweeping in front of their stores, chatting with one another or having coffee - it was such a throwback to another time for me --
hskol is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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travelerjan, I think what you posted was mega judgmental and harsh, ha, people think I can be nasty on these boards and then I read posts like yours proclaiming tha other travellers are not worthy of certain destinations since they do not see or do things your way. What a nerve. I bet you figure you are a "traveller" not a mere " tourist" like others, but , by judging ciaonys trip style as unworthy, you are showing something about yourself, and its nots complimentary.

You don't know ciaony and spouse so you have no business deciding what they appreciated, other then yes they were able to stay in lux places and enjoyed them, doesn't mean they didn't apprieciate the culture or people.

We all travel differently and one way is not better then the other, if you are doing what you enjoy in life. You think they are missing out on something you place value on, but guess what, maybe they think you are missing out on something they value.

I wish I could travel at that level, but I am thrilled and happy that I was able to shave another 10 euros off my hotel room in Paris for this summers trip( from 130 down to 120 now) ,, but would I stay at a 500 euro a night place,,hell yes, if you paid,, but would I stay in a 50 euro room just to save money, hell no, I want air conditioning and a mini fridge. To each there own.
bozama is offline  
Jun 9th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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I do not mind at all that people enjoy luxury accommodations -- but if that is all they comment upon and value, why go all that way. And what gives them the experience to say that a city with 4,000 years of history is a "one-trick pony"?

I wonder if Ciao - NY would say that NYC is a one-trick pony. I wonder whether ciao knows much NYC history ... perhaps not, especially if a "native". I lived there for 35 years and avidly sought out both its famous and little-known sights. By contrast, many acquaintances of mine who grew up in Brooklyn, Queens or The Bronx had very little knowledge of their amazing city, and little interest in exploring, aside from prestige places and celebrity-sightings.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 10th, 2008, 02:36 AM
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Travelerjan, you're making a lot of assumptions about me.

The bottom line is I didn't care for Athens.
I can certainly say I'm glad I went, even though I was advised to skip it by several of my fellow NYC friends who travel, but I just didn't like it.
You know, London was nearly destroyed in WWII, also, but that’s a big beautiful city.

I posted about my accommodations because that's the nature of a travel forum's function.

Hskol, if you’re going to quote someone, it should be to reference phrases the poster actually used: close enough about Plaka, but I never said “full of prostitutes”.
ciaony is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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FYI: I hear N'ammos is becoming VERY popular and reservations are becoming more and more necessary.

Keep this in mind, I guess, if you plan to go.
ciaony is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Jan, time for more roughage again!!
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