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Tails From the Vienna Woods

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Greece

The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Postcards

All the best from the digital cutting floor.

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The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Part III

Who knew olive oil is a “Dangerous Good?”

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The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Part II

Here’s the thing. Up until Anna Grace decided she could spare a few days of her autumn break on holiday (heavy IB load), I could never find the love for Athens, and I do not know why. There are other places I feel similarly about, as well, like Lisbon and California and Iceland and the whole of South America. Yet, Athens kept coming up as an autumn city break destination, and so the flights were purchased. By the time I had slogged past all “epic” and “ultimate” trip reports and blogs I came across during travel research to concentrate on the remaining writings by travelers with vocabularies, I was smitten. Funny how these things happen.

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The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Part I

Let the Games Begin!

We flew on Aegean Airlines, Vienna to/from Athens.  Our first experience with Aegean was about 18 months ago en route to Cairo, and we fell in love. Legroom!  Delicious Food! (No, really!) Gorgeous Greek scenery on the monitors to inspire and entertain us. In fact, we were so inspired that Tony and I booked a short getaway to Corfu a couple of months later, albeit on the horrible and thankfully now-defunct NIKI.

But the romance was short-lived. Rather than the delicious, almost-business class quality food we recalled, the outbound delicacy was a lukewarm Tiropita and a Fitness granola bar. And all we had for entertainment was the map on the monitor, ticking away the kilometers the plane had flown. But we had legroom, the key to travel happiness for my tall family members.

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Corfu, Greece, Day Four: The Grand Finale

Living in Vienna, I am certain our residency cards would have been revoked upon return had we not visited Achilleion, the Hapsburg Empress Elizabeth’s favorite destination.  And so our last day on the island began with a visit to her Pompeian style palace.  Truth be, once I reached the upper terraces and gazed out over the waters, it was only when Tony reminded me that we were both heading to a beach in the afternoon and that I could sit in the gardens at Schloss Schönbrunn all summer if I wanted, did I move along.

Corfu, Greece, Day Three: More of the (Spectacular) Same

Completely won over the day before by the beach scene, the plan for this day was to do a little local sightseeing before heading to a beach.  Our morning began with a walk through the Fiaker parking lot en route to the fortress, the horses munching hay and otherwise prepping for the work day.

The Old Fortress is Venetian, with a Byzantine foundation, and has served as barracks for the British (during occupation) as well as a prison for Corfu’s Jews prior to deportation during WWII. Oh, and was even featured in the Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only.

Corfu, Greece, Day Two: Yes, Corfu was a Grand Idea!

Determined not to let tour buses ruin our holiday, we wound up the little Peugeot early and headed back to the Northwest coast in order to enjoy the itinerary we had scrapped the day before. Our plan was genius.

Beyond Palaiokastritsas lies Lakones, one of the many small villages with lanes so narrow that there exists a traffic light at both ends of the village to manage the traffic flow!  Consequently, the menacing motor coaches can not reach the village. We found a small space to park and wandered around, taking in what some guide books refer to as among the top ten “old spirt” villages in Europe. All of this is ever debatable, of course, though we were captivated by the friendly people and their charming village.

Corfu, Greece, Day One: Learning the Ropes, and, YaiYais are Everywhere!

Our first morning on Corfu, like all of the others, dawned welcomingly sunny and warm. We dressed and presented for breakfast in the wisteria-shaded garden of the hotel.

Corfu, Greece: First Impressions

Tony and I just returned from four sun-kissed, blissful days on the northernmost Ionian island of Greece, Corfu, and Aegean Air is entirely to thank. You see, Anna Grace and I flew to Cairo via an Aegean Air connection in Athens earlier this year. The carrier is top rate for its inflight services (the food is spectacular; the legroom, designed for Tony!), including its clever PR video of Greece that serves as the only inflight entertainment.  I was mesmerized by Corfu.

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