Monday, June 11, 2007

Getting It Together

Surprise! Here I am with an out-of-the-blue trip to plan and a travelogue to create and update. After much (apparently effective) prodding, Ben announced to me three days ago that he'd purchased tickets for us to rendezvous in Greece in celebration of our 5-day holiday in July. (IlovemynewcompanyIlovemynewcompany!) We're out of town for 10 days and I only have to take 3 days of vacation. How awesome is that?

Greece! Coolness! I totally pulled the idea of Greece out of my butt one day while chatting with Ben, as we rounded the construction on that building in Columbus Circle, the one that's going to become the new Museum of Art and Design someday. Who knew Ben was even listening? Who knew he was interested in Greece? Lesson learned, happiness ensues, but now I'd better figure out what Greece is all about. Like...where exactly to visit...where to stay, you know, all that little stuff.

If you have insight, please insight me! I ordered Fodor's Greece (but there are no photos! Ack! Need better book!) and some book about Greece on a budget that I haven't even cracked yet. I've gotten totally lost in this site and can't figure out if it's more of a travel review, a blog or advertising.

Ben has "0" interest in helping me plan our itinerary ~ which is just fine by me. I like this sort of thing.

We pretty much have nine days in Greece, flying in and out of Athens. Here are the places I think we should go (in no particular order):

Athens. Of course.
Daytrip to Delphi
Mykonos Island
Daytrip to Delios Island
Hydra Island

The first problem I'm having now with logistics is how to get to Meteora. Meteora is for me, the site where the monasteries perch on precarious ledges in a place as rural as can be and entirely photogenic. It's about 4 hours from Athens by road. The private taxi tour quote was 600 euros. WHAT? Say that again, WHAT?? That doesn't even include lodging! No, no thanks, Mr. Taxi Guy; this strange recommendation from that site I mentioned above is what leads me to believe that it might just be a gilded advertisement, because that's ridiculous.

Since driving in Greece requires in International Driver's License (how long would that take to get?) and I can't even manage to replace my US license after seven months, let's dismiss the notion of a rental car at once.

I've contacted a tour company about what appears to be a private 2 or 3 day guided tour of Meteora, just for the two of us at a much more palatable price. But Hellas had better contact me back soon or I'm just going to have to figure out the train system.

Anyone have hints about trains in Greece?

As you see, I'm trying to plan for some time on the Islands. I know some people go to Greece just for the islands, but we're not those people. Mykonos is reputed to be the Party Place, the go-to island for drinking heavily, sunburning and meeting other tourists in various states of undress. Ben would never forgive me if we missed that; monasteries for me; check! topless beaches for Ben; check!

Delios appears to be a big batch of ruins and rocks, perfect for a day trip on a boat. I'm hoping for a really scroungy, kinda smelly fishing boat. No, really! The leakier the better; it makes for superior blog fodder.

Hydra is the donkey island (no cars allowed!) and sounds like a prime post-Mykonos hangover antidote. And my life will not be complete until I ride a Greek donkey.

Delphi is where the ancient oracle sat. Maybe she can offer some advice on this grad school stuff.

I don't know how we're going to fit it all in, but keep clicking over and we'll find out. Suggestions are highly appreciated!

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