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Trip to Greece and possible reluctant mom

Trip to Greece and possible reluctant mom

Old Sep 6th, 2013, 07:40 AM
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Trip to Greece and possible reluctant mom

Hey all! I have a bit of a dilemma here, but first some back story. In 2010, my sister and I took our mom to Paris, then in 2011 we took her to Zurich. Last year I went to Japan by myself (had always wanted to go and finally had the chance). This year it was a staycation for me as I'm working on a photo project and need all the extra time (i.e. vacation days) to burn through it.

The last time I was in Greece (Athens / Mykonos) was 2001. This brings me to 2014 and the vacation for that year. A few weeks ago while talking with my mom about events happening next year, she said that for 2014 she wanted to go somewhere to relax on a beach and not rush around to see various points of interest as in a big city. Fortunately enough, I had started to plan a trip to Greece back in 2011, so all I had to do was dust off the spreadsheet, update a few things and it's now ready to go.

When I was talking to my sister last night, she played Devil's advocate and said, "What if she doesn't want to go to Greece with all that's happening in that area right now?" (by this I think she means anything in or around Syria) I argued that Greece was fairly well removed from all the current problems and that I did not see going to Greece would be of much concern. Next weekend we plan on presenting our mom with the idea of going to Greece (Athens / Mykonos). Now, if she were to say "no", what could I say to convince her otherwise? If there really is no persuasive answer in getting her to change her mind in going to Greece, what other part of the world (excluding the U.S.) has nice beaches and a fairly exotic location? Ideas? Suggestions?
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Well, I'm here in Cyprus which is a heck of a lot closer to Syria than any where in Greece, and no one seems to be too worried. Get thee to Greece. It's gorgeous.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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What has Greece to do with Syria? Geographically they are far apart..... ( they are not in the same part of the world !!!)

If Syria is the issue here, then why not go to Portugal or Spain?
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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How about Mexico? Oh, whoops, I forgot about the drug cartels! ;-)

Syria is on a different continent, separated from Greece by a large sea. What makes your sister think your mom will object?
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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>

If the OP is from the US, people here seem to think there is rioting all over Greece. I mentioned to a few people that I was thinking of visiting Greece next spring and every one of them asked if I was concerned about going there.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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There's probably nothing you can say to your mother to convince her to go to Greece if her mind is set. (FWIW, I was just in Greece last month and had a lovely time. My kids were in Greece 2 years ago when there were demonstrations in Syntagma Square and they also had a lovely time.)

But, if you are looking for a warm beach in a fairly exotic location, why not go to Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. Although it is winter in June, July and August in Australia, Port Douglas is so far north (nearer equator) that it's perfect beach weather then. The days are warm enough to stay on the beach while the nights are pleasantly cool. Plus, there's lots to see and do other than a beach--snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, explore the World Heritage rainforest in Daintree National Park, ride over the tops of trees on the Skyrail to Kuranda, etc.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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I cannot imagine any reasonable person saying that Greece is unsafe due to the events in Syria.

If she nixes Greece for any reason please consider Madeira. It is an island belonging to Portugal and it's about 500 miles off the Portugese coast. There are flowers galore everywhere you look as well as crystal blue water. I like Greece very much but I would go for Madeira over Greece.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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I also think along the line of longhorn55. I don't think much of personal decisions are made on the basis of available factual data in view of the relevant goals at hand analyzed by the person making the decision. I don't know how old is your mother. As my parents and in-laws got older, only things they believe are what their trusted friends say. Relevant facts, such as geographical or cultural differences no longer matter. If the friends say it is not safe, it becomes not safe.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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If this trip is to please her, why would you want to force her to go somewhere she doesn't want to go? Why not just propose the trip to her and take it from there instead of worrying about something that may not exist. This is easy to find out quickly, and you ought to know her well enough to have an idea of her attitudes. I just don't see the point of worrying about something that may not occur or spending any time trying to plan alternate trips when you don't even know if she will object.

If your mom has given so little input into this that she just wants to "relax on a beach" I wouldn't knock myself out planning anything, as it sounds like she doesn't really care that much and just doesn't want to do anything. She didn't even say anything about wanting someplace exotic from what you said.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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The OP didn't actually say her mother thought Greece is unsafe — it was her sister saying "what if?". Hopefully mom will think it's a good idea, but if not, I agree it will be difficult to change her mind.

I repeat: What makes your sister think your mom will object?
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Hi all! Thank you for your opinions, comments, etc. I am U.S. based. As I said, my sister was playing Devil's advocate and even though Syria is far, far, far removed from Greece, I think what my sister was trying to get at was the geography to the east and south of Greece is not very stable at the moment. I have absolutely NO hesitation to go to Greece and feel that what she's feeling is a bit unfounded - I was just presenting a "what if" scenario with my mom via my sister's thoughts.

I've never been to Portugal or Spain and I do realize that both have nice coast lines for relaxing on the beach, but my familiarity with Greece pulls me to there more than it would Portugal or Spain. My mom and sister have been to Mexico and the beaches there (via a cruise) and to be honest, I don't see going to Mexico as going to an exotic location.

@P_M - interesting idea of Madeira (Funchal), but a couple of years ago my mom and sister did this repositioning cruise from Spain to Galveston, TX and I believe they stopped there. I will have to ask my sister to reconfirm this and if they did, try to find out what their overall impression was.

@Heimdall - I think my sister's opinion that my mom will object is, as I previously stated, a bit unfounded, but I'm trying to have a Plan B in case she says 'no' for whatever reason.

I am hoping that my mom (she's 73 now) will say 'yes' because I think it would be a great opportunity to see some of the classical Greek architecture, see a bit of history and have a nice relaxing time without running around.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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How about Costa Rica? It's cheap, tropical, and doesn't even have a military
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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And if you do go to Costa Rica, I suggest the Westin Playa Conchal. Expensive but fabulous.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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Hi trafaelwyr,

That's what I thought, and I think you should pursue your idea of going to Greece. From what I've read, foreign tourism in Greece was up by 10% in the first six months of this year, and is expected to grow even more next year. That must be a vote of confidence! I can't think of a safer place in the world to be than the Greek Islands, where your biggest danger is sunburn. I hope your mother will see it that way too.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Oh, and I like longhorn55's suggestion of Port Douglas, Queensland, an area with beautiful beaches:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdal...57627749731924

It's far from the troubles of the Middle East, and your biggest dangers are likely to be this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdal...57627749731924 and this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdal...57627749731924. All three of those photos were taken on beaches near Port Douglas. ;-)
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Aside from all the plus factors of Greece, it should be noted that Australia is TWICE as far from the US as Greece ... And even setting aside the flight-expense factor, the shortest flight time from US East Coast to Athens is 9+ hours, so a nonstop to Australia wold be 2x that. And speaking as a retiree, the stress, fatigue (and the thrombosis risk) for flights of that length merit consideration.

If people keep thinking Greece is in the Middle East, rational facts will not convince them. But I think the best way to convince them is to give them a visual overview. I find this website is the quickest visual overview of the beauty of the Greek islands --- http://www.greek-islands.us/ -- Besides Mykonos, look at Sifnos, Naxos, Antiparos, Folegandros, Amorgos, Milos ... ALL of thse have the famous "blue and white" buildings the Cyclades are famous for.

BTW, an island like Sifnos may be closer to a "dream beach holiday" for your mother than Mykonos, if she likes beautiful vistas and unspoiled beaches a bit more than late-night clubbing and daily crowds off huge cruise ships. YOu have plenty of time to explore options.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I'd forget about Madeira, lovely though it is - no beaches to speak of.

lovely beaches in Italy, Malta, Spain, Portugal, the UK [we've got some corkers here in Cornwall] France, Croatia, Belgium, and yes, Greece. the Balearic Islands [Mallorca etc] off spain are terrific.

I'd look at ease of getting there - direct flights, connections to the place/s you want to go, etc. obviously you know your way round Greece, but what about for your plan B?
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 12:18 AM
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Travelerjan took the suggestion of Australia, seriously, lol! At any rate there are no nonstop flights to a destination that far away. Many people break up the trip with a few days layover when they stop to change flights.
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Again, thanks everyone for your ideas and input!

@annhig - I am going to come up with some sort of Plan B this week, I just need to brainstorm a bit.
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 07:08 PM
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Greece is the best choice.
There is no place on the Globe which combines Beaches, Architecture, History, and Food like Greece. There is an island which is made just for you, everyone finds his own island in Greece and falls in love with it. If your Mom or your sister tells you it is dangerous, just remindher that Greece is part of the European Union, Eurozone and the 24th best standard of living in the world, right under UK. She is not going on Kenya, we are talking for an absolute European Country, it is very safe. I live in Greece and believe me, there is not a single riot for the past 1.5 years. And even if Riots took place their would be in Athens, The Capital not on an island. If she wants to relax at the beach and enjoy food and Gorgeous Architecture off the crowds, sent her to Symi or in Megisti. These are THE places to relax, the most relaxing on Europe for me. Just Google them. Don't let them make you doubt about Greece, for reasons which simply DO NOT EXIST.
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