Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Greek Odyssey

It is many, many years since we last visited Greece. We used to fly in regularly when H was the UN's Maritime Affairs Expert; part of his responsibilities involved international laws governing the oceans including pollution and shipping regulations. Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, and shipping has always been a key element of the Greek economy since ancient times. On our last visit George Livanos, billionaire shipping magnate - now deceased, but a great supporter of marine environmental causes, privately took a small group of us on one of his hydrofoils to the island of Paros. He was a pioneer in the use of hydrofoils, which have significantly reduced the travel times to Greece's many islands. We visited the Temple of Panaya before being given a tour of the island. In a restaurant perched by the Aegean, we dined on locally caught fish, whilst watching the dying reflections of the evening sun rippling over the water. Arriving back at the hydrofoil for our return trip to Piraeus, Athens, each one of us discovered that a very large hemp bag full of pistachio nuts had been left for us on our seats - a memory triggered by our recent visit.
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We stayed in northern Greece - Greek Macedonia, and arrived home in the middle of the night. Here is a quick snapshot of some colours and images which give a flavour of Greece. 
Carpobrotus glaucescens - also known as Angular Pigface grows in abundance along the sands edging the coast. They are a plant native to South Africa, but there are also several species in Australia. I too might have some growing here soon!
Thank you for all the very kind comments and wishes left on my previous post. Once I have sorted myself out I will visit your blogs.

60 comments:

  1. Dear Rosemary, welcome back, and what super photos you have to show to us today. The church is stunning, and the blue dome at the top is absolutely my typical Greek fantasy. Never been there, but I live in hope. You are right, that purple pig-face grows very easily in Australia. Maybe I should put some in the dry parts of our neglected garden!

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    1. How lovely to be in touch again Patricia - thank you for your welcome back.
      The Carpobrotus would be a great asset to the neglected dry parts of your garden it is such a glorious spectacle in the sunshine with its florescent daisy like flowers, and it should spread to cover all the ground.

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  2. Hello Rosemary, Your post led me to look up Carpobrotus, which is a very interesting plant. Many parts are edible or otherwise useful, including the fruit, which has the odd property of being salty (I would love to taste one). However, I would do a little research first before planting it, as it has a reputation of becoming invasive.

    Glad you had such a nice trip, and also that you are back.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - The Carpobrotus does spread at an alarming rate in much milder places like Greece where I have seen it tumbling down hight walls - it makes you wonder where it gets it nutrients from. No fear here - I will have it in a pot, and it will have to come into the conservatory during the winter months in order to survive. I have heard the plant spoken about as the 'vagrant's friend'. The stems/leaves are extremely fleshy and full of moisture which is supposed to quench the thirst.
      Thank you for your lovely welcome back.

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  3. Sounds like you had a whale of a time. The views look spectacular from the rooftop over the coastal waters. The image of the sun setting over your meal looks so romantic and that divine pool with the olive tree, you have to drag me away to get me home.
    Welcome back Rosemary.
    Paul

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    1. Thank you Mr. Paul - at the moment I am feeling rather fragile, I do not know how H managed to drive home early this morning without falling asleep at the wheel. It was a very long day and a very long night.
      Lovely to hear from you.

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  4. Gorgeous pictures Rosemary - bringing back memories of my one trip to Greece. The one thing that sticks in my mind is the smell of sardines frying. The last picture is idyllic - I wonder where the olive trees roots go?

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    1. That is a good question re the tree roots Elaine - I do know that they have a very shallow root system which they would need for that spot.

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  5. Everything looks so beautiful! I have never been to Greece, but your pictures make me want to go there one day! I especially love the island in the middle of the swimming pool, I can just imagine sitting there with a cold drink relaxing. Hope that you had as wonderful a time as your pictures look! xx

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    1. One evening they had a bride and her attendants standing on that little island spot - a lovely setting for wedding photos.

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  6. Welcome back Rosemary. What fabulous photographs you brought home with you...one more beautiful than the next. ox, Gina

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    1. Thank you Gina - I am sure that you know how I feel today, I don't know whether to start on the laundry or plant some of the seedlings that have gone mad whilst away. My head feels as if it is somewhere else.

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  7. Hello Rosemary,

    What a tantalising glimpse into Greece these delicious images give us. We talk so much about going there but have not arrived yet. Indeed, friends of ours lived there and built their own house over the course of many years and we have been endlessly fascinated by their stories of what seems to be a particularly Greek way of life!

    We look forward to hearing more. Welcome back!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - thank you for your kind welcome back. We did not do as much on this holiday as we normally do. Spent a more relaxed time, enjoyed the sunshine, and caught up with our current reading.

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  8. I went to a different Greek island every year for about 12 years but that was a long time ago. After seeing your beautiful photos the memories have come flooding back and I long to return. The Mr and I did talk about it earlier this year but in the end we settled on a favourite part of Italy again! Maybe next year.

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    1. Italy always has a top spot in my heart too - I think that it is time I returned again soon.

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  9. Oh Rosemary what great you are back. And I hope you have lot's of photo's to share with us from Greece. The strange thing is when I am in Greece it feels like coming home and I am not Greek at all. For us two weeks before we fly to Zakynthos.
    Have a wonderful day and good luck with the laundry (lol)

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    1. Dear Marijke - how lovely that you are off to Zakynthos soon - hope that you have a wonderful trip.
      I think that you have read my mind re: the laundry - should I get it all washed and on the line or plant out some seedlings that have gone mad whilst away.

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  10. Dear Rosemary,

    That first image looks as though you were at the top of the world, and one can easily see how the ancient Greeks would have imagined that the gods looked down at mortals as though into a bowl. Welcome back (I sort myself out every morning!).

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    1. Dear Mark - I enjoyed your comment about the gods looking down at mortals as though into a bowl - an image to conjure with.
      Sorting myself out seems to take longer as each year passes, I am pleased that I am not alone.

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  11. Lovely photos Rosemary. The last one I really like :)
    We have many Greek people living in Australia, they have the most wonderful weddings.
    Welcome back to blogging.

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    1. It is lovely to see a wedding when travelling abroad and to notice whether things are done differently. Weddings always put a smile on peoples faces - this one had some lovely little bridesmaids.

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  12. My dearest Rosemary ,welcome back at home ! As always your photos look very beautiful . When you look at your map the last south place ,is my home town and you know the place that we live .I hope that you had wonderful time and I wait for the following pictures .

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    1. Dear Olympia - Thank you for your welcome back. We arrived home in the early hours of this morning so I am now nearly ready for bed - tiredness is setting in. Glad that you enjoyed the photos, and hope that you will enjoy some more when I have sorted myself out.

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  13. Welcome back dear Rosemary!!I'm so glad you enjoyed your vacations in Greece!Gorgeous pictures!!!You must be at Chalkidiki,its a nice area ,i hope the weather was good!Waiting to see more of your beautiful photos!Wish you a happy week!
    Dimi....

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    1. Dear Dimi - yes, you are right that is the area we were in. Thank you for your kind welcome back and for saying that you enjoyed the photos. When I have recovered from all the travelling I shall do a couple more posts.

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  14. Oh that looks idyllic. Look forward to hearing more about it.
    In the meantime.. get a good night's sleep! Welcome home.

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    1. Thank you Jessica - gosh! I needed that night's sleep, feeling more revived now.

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  15. Some great macro shots.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  16. Gorgeous photos beautifully presented!

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    1. Thank you Marie - hope that the sun is now shinning on you.

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  17. Wonderful photos that capture Greece in all it's glory , welcome back Rosemary !

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    1. Thank you for the kind welcome back Jane - I do hope that your exhibition in Paris was a great success.

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  18. I long to visit Greece - have for years. Perhaps next year. In the meantime, your photos are a treat and an inspiration.

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    1. There are so many lovely places in the world to visit - time, of course, is of the essence. It is lovely to hear from you, you have been missed.

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  19. Lovely photos ! I can't wait to see the following post :) Welcome back, Rosemary !

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    1. Thank you for your kind welcome back Dani - after a good nights sleep, now feeling refreshed, but the garden is calling for my attention.

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  20. Welcome back, Rosemary! Wonderful photos. We love Greece almost as much as Italy and would love to go back if we were not so involved with trips to Italy. Our girls talk of when we went to Corfu at a time when our holiday co-incided with the Easter religious festivities. We stayed in a very unspoilt part and still remember the olive groves and wild flowers with nostalgia hoping that the area has remained in the same state since then and not overly developed. Looking forward to seeing more of your trip to the northern Greece.

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    1. A lovely dilemma to have Linda, but I do know exactly what you mean - Italy is always right up high at the top for me.
      I am sure that you would find that Corfu does remain pretty much the same, the wild flowers were also exquisite with us too.

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  21. Welcome back, Rosemary. This post is a magically wonderful photographic prelude to the following travelogue to Greek. Your photos are breathtaking as always. I understand why you wanted to return Greece.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - you always make the most lovely comments which I appreciate so much - thank you.
      I am slowly recovering from the journey, it seems to take me much long the older I get!

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  22. Welcome back Rosemary! The job your husband used to have sounds really interesting. I worked for an international organisation for a while as well, which was great fun!

    Your trip to Greece looks lovely! The blue skies, the white houses, the flowers, the sea....absolutely perfect in every way :-) You must have come home totally relaxed!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

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    1. Dear Madelief - Thank you for your kind welcome back. You are right, we are totally relaxed following our trip, but tired too. A few good nights sleep should be the answer.

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  23. Verry beautiful photo's Rosemary...the first and the last...so nice.
    I hope youre holiday was verry good...it is such a beautiful country.
    Have a nice week.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Thank you Inge - the holiday was very good, but now I need to catch up with the garden again, it has grown like 'topsy' since we have been away.

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  24. Absolutely stunning images. The blues could not be bluer except in Greece. The flowers are gorgeous too. Hugs, Olive

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    1. Whenever I think of Greece it is always the colour blue. I think that it is possible to associate most countries with a particular colour or colours.

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  25. Such a beautiful post Rosemary.
    The hills and the flowers ....the blue blue sea.
    Greece and its culture and history are fascinating.
    So pleased you had a lovely holiday Rosemary.
    Mr. H will have many stories to tell of his travels to Greece.
    Wishing you a happy May day.
    Been in the garden most of the day.
    I will have lots to do when i return from my travels..
    val xxxx

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Val and do hope that you have a wonderful trip to Switzerland???

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  26. Wonderful photos. I'm delighted that you enjoyed your holiday after such a long time since your last visit.

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    1. Dear Suzie - I was surprised when I recollected our last trip that it was so many years ago, where oh where does the time vanish to?

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  27. I've always wanted to go to Greece but I've never been there sofar, as is the case with so many destinations: Italy, the South of France, Venice, Greece, Vienna, Australia, New York... all places I really, really want to visit once but in the meantime, I'll enjoy your pictures here on the internet of your many, many travels. I love to visit many things when I travel but to relax in one of those chairs in your last picture must be divine, for a while at least ;)
    Marian

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    1. It is a very difficult choice to make, do you take a holiday to relax and take it easy or do you try and see as much as you can whilst visiting a new destination? It is the travelling there and back that I find most tiring.
      Those chairs were not for me - too low!

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  28. Welcome home and hope you a have now recovered from your journey home! The imagd es from Greece look fantastic it makae have been a fantastic holiday. Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - Thank you for your kind welcome home - slowly recovering, I think I picked up a bug on the plane as I have a bad chest, but hopefully on the mend now.

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  29. Some lovely images of Greece, Rosemary. It is a country I've loved to visit. Paros is one of the islands I remember most.
    I hope you enjoyed your break!

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    1. Dear Wendy - I have only been to Paros so my knowledge of the islands is very limited - I am pleased that Paros is an island that you remember too.

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  30. Gorgeous images of a country I have yet to visit, Rosemary, so I look forward to further posts on the subject.

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    1. Thank you Perpetua - You know me, I think - there are still several more posts tucked away in drafts

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