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The second layer of Greece



I don’t often go back to the same place twice because my list of places I want to see in this lifetime is long, but Greece captured my heart back in 2013. That trip was on my way back from working in Kuwait when two of my girlfriends joined me for a fabulous time in Turkey. After they left I spent a few weeks in Greece, solo, or should I say with the Greek men! Now that’s a story I’ll write about later... This trip, this year, was to show my partner Brian the country. We spent 7 weeks on Crete, Corfu, and the Peloponnese Peninsula, during the spring so it was still pretty quiet as the summer crowds had not arrived. We split our time between Athens, coastal beaches and mountainous areas with antiquities.


I love the multitudes of blue and green hues the Mediterranean Sea present as you look across to the horizon, yet down by the shore it is crystal clear. I love that each island has its own personality and the multiculturalism of Athens. I love the sun here. Yet, even though it was a place I was returning to, there were a few surprises:


  • There are mountains everywhere in Greece and being a Colorado girl, I love driving the mountains. Our first car was an “I know a guy” car rented for us by an Airbnb owner that had so many dents already there was no room for additional ones made by us. Our second car was an Enterprise upgrade to a brand new car with no dents. Either way, our full coverage made it so they said “Just bring us back the keys. It doesn’t matter what happens to the car.” Good thing because at the tunnel, the mountain road turned into a single lane controlled by a traffic light. I was at the head of the line of waiting cars so when the light turned green I proceeded into the tunnel. Half way through the tunnel here comes a big delivery truck the other way! We stopped bumper to bumper, headlights to headlights. The driver gets out of his truck and starts waving my chain of cars to back up. Sure that I had entered at a green light I said, “no, you back up”. He was bigger, the man and his truck so he won and waited for the driver behind me to figure out how to put her manual transmission into reverse. So now the light turned green again and I’m thinking another crazy driver might be in the tunnel, so this time I waited for another car to pass me and lead us all into the tunnel.


  • If you see another beach down the coast you want to visit, there will probably not be a coastal road to it. Instead plan on a lovely back up the valley and over a mountain into the next valley. On the way if the driver in front of you drives on the far right, it is your signal to pass. Greeks are so used to driving mopeds and cycles, they can do it while talking on their cell and smoking. I wouldn’t advise this.

  • The Mediterranean water is crystal clear blue, but feels like Lake Superior in the spring. Yikes, too cold for this wimp, but on the last day in Greece I had to get in. Trying to let the clarity of the water distract me from the temperature, I didn’t see the jellyfish brush my arm. The electrical jolt and subsequent welting was intense. All those years of diving and I had never been stung, but diving usually involves a wetsuit. I’ve always wanted a tattoo, now I have one! The locals on Corfu are not happy about this new addition to their marine life, but I guess all open water has its hazards, just understand that clear doesn’t mean lifeless!

  • A Mediterranean diet only helps you lose weight if you don’t eat the oregano potato chips, pastries like orange cake, or other free desserts that are offered by many restaurants. This is impossible because phyllo dough is yummy. Drinking honey, cinnamon roki doesn’t help either.

  • Antiquities in Greece have varying energies to them. Some seem tranquil, some seem in turmoil, some seem confused as they are Greek, but Roman, but Venetian, but Ottoman. They are very much worth visiting; my favorite was Epidurius.


  • You could spend a lifetime exploring the Greek Islands. Just pick a few and go; you won’t be disappointed. Greece is beautiful - the islands, the mountains, the water, and the sun!








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William Hoch
William Hoch
2023年8月03日

Hello ol' friend and fellow traveler!! Great memories came flooding back about Alix's and my first trip to Greece, which started in Athens and focused on the Peloponnese Peninsula - drove all the way around it, clockwise starting in Patras. Absolutely loved Nafplion, the organic olive farm in Sykea, the medieval island fortress of Monemvasia, and Olympia, to recall a few. Crazy amazing Greek ruins everywhere! Glad to hear you're still trotting the globe! Look forward to crossing paths again someday and meeting Bryan. Thanks for the update! Stay safe! Love ya, -Pokey :-)

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William Hoch
William Hoch
2023年8月03日
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You know, this Facebook profile picture was taken in Olympia!

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Nice to see a post and that you are still traveling and having fun!

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