by, 05-31-2012 at 04:13 AM (817 Views)
We just returned from Greece. What a trip. I haven't been there since the 80's. Because I am part Greek, I cherished going back to my grandparents land.
We had a direct flight from Philadelphia to Athens. In Athens, we had a 5.5 hour layover so headed to the Sofitel on airport grounds. We relaxed by the pool. After the relaxation, we headed to the comfy benches outside the airport.....We fell asleep on the benches and got our first tan! We had an easy flight on Aegean to Rhodes. We stayed for five nights at the Melenos Lindos (an LL property and our winning auction.) This was STUNNING!!! We were in superior suite room 3 overlooking the bay. We loved the room and terrace and hated to leave! We enjoyed the magnificent view. (of course, the wine the provided was also welcome!). Maria, the manager, arranged everything for us. She gave us so many wonderful tips. We had a car for three of the days and drove around the island. It isn't large however, it can be quite tricky with the mountains. We went to Rhodes Town but only spent about an hour because of the tourists and cruise ships. It was crazy compared to our village of Lindos! The southern part of Rhodes is peaceful and so traditional. The Melenos is absolutely perfect; great food, great scenary, and so perfectly located! Thanks LL for showing us this option!
We then flew to Crete on Olympic Air. We rented a car at the airport and drove over the mountains at dusk....very scary!! We stayed at a small guest house, Niriida, about 2km from the Libyan Sea. Niriida has three stand alone houses each with a rooftop viewing deck. Oh my goodness!!! View to the snow covered mountains one way and the Libyan Sea the other. We were so pleased!! We were in a small traditional village where we just sat and ate!! Food was never ending!!! On Crete, we mostly drove the car to small villages and monasteries. It was a pleasure. Our last night was in Heraklion. We stayed at the Galaxy Hotel. It was quite nice and about a 15 minute walk to the sea and the fortress. Heraklion was crazy compared to the peaceful nature of the rest of the trip. We had so many people all over....it felt overwhelming to us. We realized how we appreciated the peaceful nature of the earlier part of the trip.
So, we are home and sad to be out of Greece. Our biggest experience was the food. We ate and ate and ate! Everyone kept giving us more and more. Many hadn't had American tourists in their area. We came home quite fat but happy.......Can't wait to return!!!!