"My Road Leads to Greece: Minoan Art and Horses" Greece by vikingrider
Greece Travel Guide: 27,620 reviews and 78,563 photos
A marvelous week on a ride in Greece. The most amazing part for me, was riding on ancient rock roads built by the Ancient Greeks about 2,500 years ago! These rock roads wound through the mountains, the olive groves, into the tiny little villages and then disappear, only to reappear again. The little villages were part of the mountains. They were so old, clinging to the sides of the mountains some, overlooking the sea. The narrow rock road wound through and the white houses seemed to be stacked on each other in tiers on each side of the road. Everything was very close together and each house had a nice patio covered with arbors of grape, kiwi, flowers, etc. The perspective from horseback was great. I could see into houses with their shutters thrown open. I could see the construction of the slate roofs whose layers of rock were threatening to slide off at any moment. But covered with moss, it was apparent they had been there for centuries. Newer homes had red tiled roofs. Everywhere were containers of flowers. Most popular among containers were the large and square several gallon tin olive oil cans. Some of the houses had colorful murals of horses, flowers and patterns painted on them. When we rode thru the villages, the little children would hang out of windows or come out and holler and wave madly at us shouting “Kali Mera! Yasso!” (which means “good morning! Hello!) Then, the little old black-draped ladies would come out and wave at us smiling with their gold filled molars glistening in the sun and wrinkled grins enjoying the diversion.
Sometimes, we would stop in the village square, tie up our horses, and have lunch in the local Taverna (tavern). We ate fried eggplant, stewed sea weed, zucchini, peppers, Greek salad, yogurt with spices called Tzizitsi, bread, butter, beans cooked with spices and olive oil, etc. The carnivores ate goat meat, chicken and fish. Greece has the BEST tomatoes in the world. It was marvelous. Of course, you could drink the water! When we were near no village, we had a picnic lunch in the forest or high on a sunny hilltop. Our horses would be tied to olive trees in a grove nearby.
The horse trip comes to a close and I head to Crete. I’ve always been fascinated by Minoan culture (the civilization before the Ancient Greeks were anything but Neolithic tribes) that existed on Crete over 3,000 years ago. Their art, government, architecture, and religion are fascinating. Here is the purpose of my journey: to discover Minoan civilization for myself!
Now on to a road trip full of marvelous sites, beaches, and adventures!
Exploring Crete and back to Athens:
So much more to see in Crete but must conclude the trip and head for Athens.
Yes, Athens: Not to be missed; Yes, it is more spectacular than even Pericles imagined it; Still after 2,000 years!
I flew to Athens and left my luggage in storage, taking only enough for overnight. It is a bit expensive but all of the luggage is x-rayed. I took bus 95 to Syntaga Square and headed downhill to the Plaka Hotel where I had a reservation. This is a very nice hotel right in the middle of everything. $90 a night but very luxurious with a very good breakfast. I checked in and then walked around in the dark, seeing the incredible view of the Acropolis on the hill, all lit up. At first, I thought it was a sign! It is too perfect to believe it is real.
It is dark now and I walk around many cafes filled with tourists. I cannot imagine what summer is like with the crowds. I have a nice meal at a café with a waiter called Nick. I call it “The restaurant of two Nicholoases” since both waiters are named the same. I had some marvelous smoked eggplant dip, ouzo, a cherry crepe and coffee. Back to the hotel.
- Pros:Can be done on $50 a day!!!!
- Cons:so very far away
- In a nutshell:Perfect people in a perfect paradise
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