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On Naxos

On Naxos

Our time on Naxos was structured as a sequence of day-long excursions. One of those was a chauffeured private tour around the island, with stops at several points of interest. Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades archipelago and is relatively sparsely populated (the number of permanent residents here…

Naxos, Chora

Naxos, Chora

If we fell in love with one place in Greece, it was Naxos. Although it is not exactly unknown, it does not attract as many visitors as some other Aegean islands. That is partially due to its relative un-flashiness and in large part due to the fact that it does…

On Santorini

On Santorini

The village of Oia enjoys incontestable top billing among Santorini sights – to the point that some travel publications caption a photograph of Oia as simply “Santorini” – but we took time to explore other parts of the island. Our intent to take a closer look at the main town…

Oia

Oia

Oia – pronounced EE-yah, the O is silent – is one of the most recognizable destinations in the world and a place that always features on the first-time itineraries of the Aegean island-hopping. The blue-domed white churches are Oia’s calling card, regularly appearing in travel publications and social media adverts.…

Sunset on Santorini

Sunset on Santorini

The terrace of our apartment on Santorini was facing west and we were able to add a pretty sunset to the incredible sunrise that we saw on Crete. In fact, the activity of sunset-watching turns the western side of the village of Oia into a madhouse, with most paths and…

Crete: Psychro Cave

Crete: Psychro Cave

This last point of interest that we explored while on Crete deserves its own blog entry in part because of the insanely beautiful mountain road that took us there. We climbed significant heights along the way, driving on an uneven one-lane road that looked deserted for miles on end. In…

On Crete

On Crete

Crete is a huge island, impossible to cover in much detail in less than a week’s time. We did not attempt anything of the kind. Our time on Crete was planned with a slant towards beach-going, with only a few of hours of sightseeing on any given day (including a…

Heraklion

Heraklion

The capital of Crete does not offer much in terms of must-see sights (Knossos Palace, by any measure near the top of the list of Crete attractions, has the name of Heraklion region in its address and is located a few minutes’ drive beyond the city boundaries). We budgeted only a couple…

Crete: Minoan Palaces

Crete: Minoan Palaces

In our two-plus weeks in Greece this past summer, we have purposefully visited 8 archaeological sites and probably saw just as many in passing. That should not be surprising to anyone, as there are few countries in the world as firmly associated with ancient civilizations as Greece. Crete was the…

Sunrise on Crete

Sunrise on Crete

You may have seen this view before, as my lovely spouse, who is significantly more active on social media than yours truly, posted her versions literally as the sun was still coming up. Me, I had to follow my usual process of deliberate cull and development, delaying this post by…

France wrap-up

France wrap-up

I have now reached the end of photographic narrative for our springtime trip to the French department of Dordogne and then to Paris. For those who are interested, a couple of Flickr albums have been created to consolidate the pictures from the trip, including some that I did not pick…

Paris, again

Paris, again

One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Woody Allen’s ode to the French capital: That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me. Which is a bit ironic, because as much as we love Paris, we happen…

A few more from Dordogne

A few more from Dordogne

As we are leaving Dordogne, let’s take a look at a small selection of photographs that did not have enough collective mass to support a featured essay. Actually, I might be doing Domain de Monrecour an injustice by saying that. This fantastic hotel is anchored by an eye-catching landmark of…

St-Jean-de-Côle

Saint-Jean-de-Côle

There are 10 Les Plus Beaux Villages de France in Dordogne, more than in any other French department. We have already seen 9. The persistent drizzle that accompanied our stop in Brantôme at the start of our last day in Dordogne kept telling us to wrap it up and drive…

Brantôme

Brantôme

The historical province of Périgord, which roughly corresponds to the modern Dordogne department, is informally divided into 4 “colors”. Our base was in the southeastern Black Périgord, where the flow of the Dordogne river is the most picturesque, and the places like Sarlat, Beynac, La Roque-Gageac, Belvès, and others are…

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is practically a clone of Beynac-et-Cazenac – a riverside village running up the steep hill with an imposing castle as the crown. In fact, the château is said to have been erected specifically for the purposes of rivaling Château de Beynac. The village holds membership in the Prettiest Villages…

Château des Milandes

Château des Milandes

Once you’ve been to a certain number of castles, you begin to realize that aside from architectural grandiosity the ones that leave the most lasting impression are those that look livable. No matter the historical significance or the commanding position, barren walls and a sense of abandonment will render any…