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Greece, Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Dreaming in Santorini

Dreaming-in-santorini-copy

Dream Trip 2009 is well under way! For inspiration, here's a new entry that caught our eye:

Is it possible to take a bad picture in Santorini? The Greek island, famed for its blocky white houses and blue-domed churches nestled on cliffs encircling a flooded caldera, is one of the most photogenic spots in the world. It's also a popular European cruise ship port of call.

Today's Photo of the Day, Dreaming in Santorini, doesn't show the classic church tops or any of the familiar doorways framing views of the sea. Instead, it displays a simple flat rooftop, a makeshift bed for a napping pup. The cruise ship plying the Aegean waters in the distance hints at the tourist busy-ness nearby.

"On Santorini, even the stray dogs live the good life," writes Dream Trip entrant ahenry333 about the memory of capturing the image. "Strolling through the village of Oia, I came upon this juxtaposition of dog and boat."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

Greece, Preparation, STUNTS

A Word About Travel Specialists

gvmelissa:  Good question. A lot of people don't like spending money on a guide, but nothing can heighten the experience of a foreign place like a cultural--not to mention linguistic--interpreter. The best way to find a guide is to go through a travel specialist that you trust--I tend to find travel specialists in the pages of Conde Nast Traveler. When you find someone, call them. Ask them as many difficult questions as you can think of. If they can't--or don't want to--answer you questions, hang up and call someone else. In the case of northern Greece and Papingo, I used Hellenic Adventures. A full list of travel specialists will be appearing in the August issue of Conde Nast Traveler.  In the meantime you can review the magazine's interactive travel specialist finder as well as their FAQ on which type of trip requires a specialist's help, and which doesn't.

Greece, STUNTS

Trolling the Docks of Igoumenitsa

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Still waiting for their ship to come in

When it comes to long drives, Greece would seem to be a country of happy endings. Like the drive to Papingo, the drive to the port town of Igoumenitsa climaxes with a soul-stirring views. This is due to the fact that Igoumenitsa is a port town, which is exactly the reason that most Greek people will tell you not to visit the place. If you tell them there's no time to visit Iouannina because you have to make a ferry in Igoumenitsa, they will say, "You must come back, then." If you ask them if Igoumenitsa is a nice town, they will say no. If you ask them why, you'll get the following answer: "It's a port town."

Continue reading "Trolling the Docks of Igoumenitsa" »

Greece, STUNTS

The Grand Canyon of Greece

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The roofs of Papingo, Greece

We shall now turn our attention to the matter of roofs.

Roofs say a lot about a place. I'm not sure exactly what it is they say, because the quality and beauty of roofs, which tend to go hand-in-hand, as it happens, turns out to be almost impossible to predict. But roofs say a lot.

Take the USA as an example. The USA is considered by many to be the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, and yet most of the time the roofs are made out of tar shingles. Tar shingles are ugly, bad for the environment, and they don't last long. But they are cheap. Now take China. The roofs in China are made from fired clay tiles. They are beautiful to look at and their lifespan is measured in decades. David Spindler finds intact clay roof tiles on the Great Wall that are hundreds of years old. Water's Head village, which has a median income of $40/month and is among the poorer villages you're likely to find in China, has nicer and better roofs than New Jersey. Go figure.

Continue reading "The Grand Canyon of Greece" »

Greece, STUNTS, Turkey

Train to Greece

Traintogreece_80days Can't sleep. It is two in the morning and I am on a train lying a bed that is three inches shorter than I would like it to be. We are somewhere between Istanbul and Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, where, in a few hours, I will be setting off on a five-hour drive across mountains. The air smells of sewage and rotten fish. I hope it is the fecund aroma of the sea and not actual sewage and rotten fish. I drank too much coffee today. I had grown too used to the mild stimulation of tea-drinking culture. The coffee is hitting me hard.


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