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Visit Greece

by vbo Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 08:17:25 AM EST

This photos are not mine but I felt like I would like to share them with you. My daughter just came from Greece (Lefkada, or Leucas or Leucadia or Lefkas or Leukas, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece). It is so beautiful and also very very cheap in this time (they were last group this season). Look at the color of the sea...my daughter was fascinated. Accommodation was more then  decent for the money and Greeks are overly friendly (especially for Serbian women, haha).
Maybe that's the best way to help your fellow Europeans...go and spend your money there.  



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Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 08:18:34 AM EST
Where, how much, and contact information?
by asdf on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 08:12:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is Lefkada and it is an island (there is a bridge)

https:/www.facebook.com/pages/Porto-Katsiki-Lefkas/467911309904638

https:www.facebook.com/pages/Lefk%C3%A1da-Greece/106217179417741

https:/www.facebook.com/pages/Nidri/114694115208635?rf=309701419126365

It was the end of the season but my daughter has paid incredible 85 Euros for accommodation (the duration of 10 days in pretty decent studio in this villa with a pool) and trip from Belgrade by buss included.All together unbelievable 85 Euros.I almost feel sorry for Greeks :(
I think she was going trough this agency located in Belgrade
http://www.argus.rs/
Off course there are other expenses like food and boat tours but it is still all very cheap ( at least from my perspective). But it is gorgeous...




Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Oct 8th, 2013 at 03:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. I feel like an idiot having spent a week in Croatia, comparably gorgeous but basically at near-French prices. On the other hand we drove there and slept in the van; Greece is too far for that. Still, it cost us ten times the budget (for 3), and a lower level of comfort.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Oct 8th, 2013 at 04:33:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I always was under impression that ONLY Adriatic sea has that gorgeous blue color and crystal clear water.But my daughter who has seen Adriatic sea for many years when she was younger told me that this sea was even more blue and clear.She was fascinated.
Weather was great even it was September and it was not so crowded as during the top season.
And you can eat souvlaki (meat meal) for 2.5 Euros
Like this:

Or seafood

<*img src="https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1377087_10151642322170658_1789673435_n.j pg" width="600">

Accommodation was what they presented it to be with photos and totally satisfactory (and more then that for the price).
Honestly here in Australia one can not find half decent accommodation for ONE night for the money of 10 nights there in Greece.
And beaches and coast are simply great.Yes Croatian coast is one of the most beautiful I have seen but this is totally comparable.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Oct 8th, 2013 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a similar impression about the blue of the Adriatic Sea, and this after having been to Greece. I only saw the sea around Greece at the edges of the mainland, though (no island trip), and this was 23 years ago. On your daughter's photos, there isn't much deep blue, but that may be due to the near-shore sand.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 12th, 2013 at 03:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I only saw the sea around Greece at the edges of the mainland, though (no island trip), and this was 23 years ago.  

Same here.Aegean Sea is where I have been then but this where my daughter was is Ionian sea. Also islands seem to be something different and much more beautiful.
And also I do not like that much when coast is flat and no mountains around like where I have been in Greece and also here around Brisbane...maybe because I have those memories of Adriatic coast with mountains and stone everywhere.And honestly I can't forget that pine's smell on Adriatic coast...nowhere else they smell like that I suppose...ah memories :)

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 12th, 2013 at 05:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My daughter told me that Greeks have brand new highway now so the trip by car is much easier and faster because they made a lots of tunnels through the mountains. And also they traveled by brand new modern double buss, air conditioned and with toilet so all tho it took them 13 and 16 hours there and back , it wasn't that bad.  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 05:28:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
having spent a week in Croatia

Where exactly?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Oct 12th, 2013 at 03:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern coast, mostly (the Adriatic coast of Germany) : Velebit and northern Dalmatia.
We arrived through Austria and Slovenia near Rijeka, and visited a couple of islands of the north : Krk (where I managed to leave our passports behind) then Rab, which we liked very much :



Island-hopping :

Then Zadar, which had this interesting solar installation. We didn't stay until night, when it lights up...

The same artist, Nikola Bašić, also created the "sea organ" : the waves create sighing bass notes. Nice place to swim, too.

We headed inland to Obrovac in the southern Velebit. We got off the road to sleep, thinking we were far from anyone, but were woken by the jingling bells of a flock of sheep and the presumably caustic remarks of the shepherdess...

There was a monastery marked on the map called Krupa, so we went to have a look. It was obviously a feast day...

I had foolishly presumed that it was a Catholic institution, this being Croatia, but...


In Obrovac and surrounding villages, there were a high proportion of historically recent ruins.

Split was simply splendid:


In the foreground, a recreation of Diocletian's original palace/fortress, which comprises the centre of the city.

Our next stop-off was a worthy site of pilgrimage for renewable-energy freaks : the Krka national park, best visited by boat from Skradin :

is the site of the world's second AC hydro power station, which went into operation in 1895, two days after Niagara. Both were, of course, based on the work of local boy Nikola Tesla.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Oct 12th, 2013 at 04:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for sharing...
This brings so many memories because for decades starting from my childhood toward the days of wars, we have spent almost every single summer on this coast(and mostly on Croatian coast all tho Montenegro coast is as beautiful as this one).
Croatians (and who can blame them) always preferred Germans as guests then us Serbs , because when it comes to accommodation it was different price for them then for us at the time and of course Germans had much more money to spend then us. That's why at some point when it became affordable for us ( prior to wars) we Serbs started to go to Greece. Greeks on the other hand were really , really friendly to us.Also we used this holiday as a shopping tour too so Greeks (especially northern) loved it because business was good too.
Yeah and those cities there in Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar etc.) really have touch of history and that makes them even more interesting.
Last time I visited Belgrade I saw big billboard with add for summer holidays in Croatia. Writing was : " Come and (have a) holiday where your parents used to (have a holiday) holiday". Holiday being a verb in Serbian. Some joker changed the verb holiday to another verb which rimes with holiday and means "fought war". So it was " Come and have a holiday where your parents fought war". Everything become joke with time except for those who lost their lives or their loved ones...
I would like to see Dubrovnik one more time ( my daughter visited it few years ago) but my husband wouldn't step in Croatia ever again so I doubt we will visit ever...Who can blame him...he lost quite a few members of his larger family in these wars...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 12th, 2013 at 09:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn... all places that bring back memories!

  • I was once on a round trip in the Kvarner Gulf by boat, and Rab was indeed the most beautiful stop.
  • On a summer holiday in my childhood, we crossed the Velebit Mountains north-east of Zadar on the old (unpaved) mountain pass road.
  • I spent two years in Zadar as a small child (while my father was working nearby). The closest memory is about a hundred metres to the right from where you made the photo at the Roman ruins: I mistook another adult for my father and got lost, but had the extreme luck that that adult and my family circled the same house block in the opposite direction and met again at the far corner shortly after I realised what happened.
  • I haven1t been to Zadar since the Sea Organ was built, but it's next to where the big cruise ships and the ferries to Italy moored, and we went by ferry on a trip to the long island in the background (Ugljan) several times.
  • Prior to Zadar, we lived for six months in... Obrovac! The town was/is roughly at the Serbo-Croatian ethnic border and was thus at the front between the unrecognised Republic of Serbian Krajina and Croatia. You getting off the road gives me the creeps: Croatian authorities claim that they de-mined the area 100%, but I wouldn't be so sure. (Last time I was there, prior to the completion of the de-mining, there was a forest fire left unchecked because fire-fighters feared the mines.)
  • So the war ruins are still there, but at least a lot of Serbs got back. A few years after the Croatian Reconquista (which involved chasing away the entire population), I saw entire ghost villages in what was Serbian Krajina.
  • I have few memories of Spit, but the more of the Krka National Park! More interesting that that Tesla power plant is what's right behind: Skradinski buk, a series of waterfalls with lush vegetation accessible by paths and staircases, the place I remember liking most in my early childhood. Did you walk in there or have you only seen it from the bottom?

I should visit these places again soon... but it's difficult without a car.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 10:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


... note the Venetian lion.

... and also of the Skradinski Buk, which we did walk around (also the excellent ecomuseum). But I had forgotten to charge the battery of my camera so I have frustratingly few photos :



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 06:13:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for these! Do you also have a photo near the bridge in Obrovac (in the opposite direction from your riverside photo)? (We lived in another four-level apartment building near there, and there was a small restaurant just below it across the street.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Oct 14th, 2013 at 06:00:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've got a couple more looking over the river



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Oct 16th, 2013 at 05:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our apartment is unfortunately just outside your first photo. But thanks anyway: we saw this same river curve from the balcony (only from the opposite direction).

When we lived there, I was a small child. We lived on the top floor, and I used to throw toys down the balcony... don't remember why. I loved the river (the Zrmanja), which was used by medium-size ships and which runs in a canyon both before and after the town. One of my very first memories is a family trip upriver by inflatable boat(!).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 22nd, 2013 at 04:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we were in the area in order to go down the river in an inflatable boat... with a rafting outfit that runs two-seater pneumatic canoes in summer when the water is lower. The four-hour trip involved a lot of paddling on flat water, but also a lot of white-water amusement, walking around one major waterfall, and shooting over another with about a four-meter drop.

No photos of course, but I really ought to dig up the email of a German guy who did the trip with us, his teenage son had a strap-on adventure video camera which I would like to get the results from.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Oct 28th, 2013 at 07:01:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to try again.
I do not know why some photos are deformed...



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Oct 8th, 2013 at 05:21:35 AM EST
Some more tempting photos...

<*img src="http://oi40.tinypic.com/2ykdwck.jpg" width="600">

And just to get a picture of type of accommodation ( studio) here (I had to delete person here so it's a little deformed)



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 09:09:19 PM EST
And again...sorry



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 09:12:56 PM EST
And one more...it's breathtaking...



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Oct 9th, 2013 at 10:44:07 PM EST
I was in Greece all summer and tried to hit Lefkada, but because my family was spending the entire summer, we found it a bit too expensive. Believe it or not, Santorini was less expensive than Lefkada, so we rented a house there for July. We spent 3 weeks in June on Milos (an island I had never been to, it was full of Greeks and Italians, the most beautiful beaches I'd ever seen in Greece), and it was cheaper than both Santorini and Lefkada. Finally, we had planned on spending the first 2 weeks in Athens, and had even prepaid our hotel (I won't get into why) but left after the first day (I am a big fan of Athens, and loved staying there in the past, but found it hard this time) and instead drove around the mainland to the central countryside and mountains.
by Upstate NY on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 07:49:03 PM EST
I put up pictures of our trip starting with my daughter in the ruined window of my father's fallen childhood home high up in the mountains of Evrytania.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41920297@N06/9424510794/

It was just my immediate family, wife and two daughters, we visited with relatives too.

by Upstate NY on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 07:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GREAT photos and GREAT family!
Thank you for sharing.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 10:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and about fallen homes of our ancestors ...
5 years ago while I visited Serbia with my granddaughter we visited fallen home of my grand grandmother (she was a widow so we call it her home all tho it was my grand grandfather's home too) high up in the mountains of East Serbia.Actually the whole village is fallen and does not exist any more. It's such a sad and spooky picture to see.Makes you think about material stuff not really be very important in the end...Even castles are going to be abandoned and ruined once...Here is my photo
 

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 11:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine you had the same sentimental rush of emotions when you visited your grandmother's old home. I ran into 3 elderly people sitting on a bench next to a mountain spring fountain. One was swatting away bees. I went over and spoke to them and spent a half hour there. They knew practically everything about my family though we haven't had a family member in the village for decades. My father now has Alzheimer's and he is no longer a source for tying family relations, but the woman sitting there told me her sister had married my father's cousin (no surprise in these mountain villages) and moved to the USA. I hadn't been to that village since I was 7 years old, and we wouldn't have gone this time were it not for the shabbiness of Athens.

Recently, I discovered the Mormon Genealogical Archives online. They are truly committing an act of cultural heroism with the archives, even if the stated intention is the after-death conversion of people to Mormonism by Baptism. I found records of 3 men from my mother's village with her same last name that came to the USA in the 1890s. My mother checked with an older relative who confirmed the men were my grandfather's cousins and one uncle. Would have never known had it not been for the Mormon archives.

by Upstate NY on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 08:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes...but I am thinking...is it actually really good to know too much about our ancestors, ha-ha ;)
Honestly what they never told us maybe shouldn't be told at all...I don't know.
As I am getting older I am curious to know more about them and I am even writing a sort of novel for my grandchildren so they may know more once. Obviously it is easier to write about others and especially about those that are not present any more, ha-ha.
My aunty that was last one in my immediate family (on my mother's side) who could tell us more, just died...I am planning to do more serous research  if I ever go back to Serbia to spend more time...seems like there are a lot of secrets that no one was willing to tell...especially details...
During my visit to my grand grandmother's (on my father's side) ruined home and non-existing village (photo here) I found some relatives in nearby town that I never knew existed...and they showed me a photo of my late grand grandfather. I saw his face for the first time in my life. Where the hell they found photographer in this part of the country and this God forgotten village a hundred years ago is above me...
It is all so sentimental...and interesting...
There is a program on TV here where kind of celebrities are searching for their family history, with a help obviously for the purpose of this program. It goes back to Europe because that's where most of them came from (a lot of them as convicts so some are really surprised with who their ancestors were actually). They are searching archives, historians are helping too. Very interesting stuff...    


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 09:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recently, I discovered the Mormon Genealogical Archives online.

I knew about it earlier but discovered that it is freely accessible nearly a year ago. I used it to complement one particularly interesting branch of my family tree in the period between 1750 and 1850 (a work done over multiple months). But I got to curse at both sloppy church record keepers and idiotic naming traditions (firstborn after father/mother, next after uncles etc...): some village pastors entered rather scant data, thus it was impossible to separate the lineage of several people with the same name and surname who lived in the same village.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 10:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are very enthusiastic about collecting data, but their vetting process is questionable. It's more important for them to have a list of people to baptize than it is to have strict accuracy. And it's hard in any case because the records get pretty lousy pretty fast.
by asdf on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 12:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Believe it or not, Santorini was less expensive than Lefkada

Sounds unbelievable (but of course I believe you) because Santorini is such a famous place and I can't say that I have heard of Lefkada before.The prices must be very different during summer and they said that Lefkada is totally crowded then.But weather is also great in September so why not take advantage and have a cheap holiday then.
I used to holiday in Greece few summers while I lived in Serbia (around 1980)but it was always up there north (Platamon, around Thessaloniki)...And I have spent 8 days in Athens during and on my trip to New Zealand when we emigrated there but I was not in tourist's mood and wasn't that much fascinated with Athens probably for those personal emotional reasons :(
Anyway I like Greece a lot...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 11:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We were ranting a home for the month and we paid 120 euros a night on the cliff in Oia in Santorini, while in Lefkada we were looking at 130 euros a night for a home, and that was inland (which was fine) but nothing so spectacular as the cliff in Oia.
by Upstate NY on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 08:44:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Renting!
by Upstate NY on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 at 08:44:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... when time and funds permit.

I've nothing but good memories of Greece and the Greeks in general.

by Wanda on Tue Oct 22nd, 2013 at 08:53:50 AM EST


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