Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Greek Islands

Port on the Island of Hyrdra near Athens, Greece

  Ships in the harbor in Hydra So having spent the day in Athens we realized there wasn’t much to do in the city itself. So we decided to head out to the Greek Islands. Apparently getting to the Greek Islands is a lot harder than I thought it would be. The ferries are pretty expensive and some of the Islands are hours away.  Through our hotel we were able to find a tour that would take us on a boat to three nearby islands. It included lunch so it seemed like a pretty good deal.  View from boat … Read More

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The Acropolis

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View of Athens from the Acropolis The first stop on our Thanksgiving vacation was Athens, Greece. We flew overnight, so we arrived early in the morning ready for a full day of sightseeing. Of course, as always, the fist challenge was to find the hotel and check – in. Luckily there was a bus that took us to the city center and from there it was easy to take the metro to a stop near our hotel. This trip actually turned out to be a pretty charmed experience. I’m used to experiencing a Murphy’s Law type of situation where pretty … Read More

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Arequipa

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Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas with El Misti in the background Arequipa in southern Peru is called the White City because of the white stone much of the buildings are made of a white volcanic stone common to the area. Our time in Arequipa was sunny and somewhere warm and I really enjoyed seeing the city. It reminded me of  a city in Europe. We arrived in early afternoon with just enough time to visit two of the cities most famous attractions: the Monastery of Santa Catalina  and Juanita the frozen mummy. Juanita is a very famous well preserved … Read More

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Starship Troopers and Snake Oil Salesmen

I mentioned earlier that our number one mode of transportation on our Peru trip was bus but this seems like a good time to elaborate on our strategy before I get into the most harrowing bus adventure of my life. We had originally bought round trip plane tickets from Lima to Cusco in back, with the intention of splitting our time between the two cities. However, after realizing there wasn’t much to do in Lima, and reading about how cool the rest of southern Peru was, we decided to forfeit half of the round trip ticket and instead take buses … Read More

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Photos of the "Egyptian Spice Market" in Istanbul

Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey

Unfortunately, while I was in Istanbul, the famous Grand Bazaar was closed due to a Muslim holiday, but we were able to visit the “Egyptian Spice Market” which specializes in selling spices, soaps, food, perfumes, etc. Soap for sale   Turkish Viagra – “No Sleep!” ….?    Apparently scarves recommended by Obama.

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Adventure on the high (elevation) seas

Woman on the Floating Islands of Uros in Lake Titicaca

Woman on one of the Uros Islands There isn’t really  much to see in the city of Puno, Peru. Most tourists stay there overnight so that they can explore the many islands on Lake Titicaca, the lake the town sits on.  Lake Titicaca which is between Peru and Bolivia is the lake with the highest elevation in the world. In fact many people get what is known as elevation sickness while visiting this part of Peru. Coco Tea To ward this off, many people drink Coco Tea which is made from the same leaves as the plant where cocaine comes … Read More

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Overnight to Puno

The trip to Puno was our first experience on the infamous Night Buses. Because the bus was overnight, we sprung for one of the nicer, more expensive companies. The bust left from a centeral bus station and we were able to get three seats near each other.  As I mentioned, we were told not to put anything under the bus because it was common for things to get stolen. We all had around the neck, under the shirt puches where we stored our passports and money. Since we had brought sleeping bags specifcally to stay warm on the bus, I … Read More

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