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Marco Polo
04-22-2011, 02:18 PM
A buddy and I are going to backpack across Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt for two weeks at the end of May/early June. In Greece, we have a free villa to stay at in Athens so we were thinking of taking day trips to Delphi and Olympia, then do an entire day/night at Athens then go to some Greek islands, maybe Mykonos and Santorini before heading to Alexandria, Luxor, then Cairo/Giza.

Has anyone been to those three countries and have any recommendations and tips for a fellow international traveler? :thumb:

vailpass
04-22-2011, 02:20 PM
What is the name of your greek villa, Broke Back Mountain Inn?

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-22-2011, 02:23 PM
How safe is Egypt right now?

Pushead2
04-22-2011, 02:31 PM
How safe is Egypt right now?

how safe are any of those countries right now??

Garcia Bronco
04-22-2011, 02:35 PM
I have a missionary friend who's been in contact with people in Egypt. I would recommend not going there

Valiant
04-22-2011, 02:35 PM
Sounds awesome.. Do you have someone going with you that speaks fluent in those languages??

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-22-2011, 02:40 PM
how safe are any of those countries right now??

I would think Greece is fairly safe.

KurtCobain
04-22-2011, 02:47 PM
You made this up after rainman's poll.

Rain Man
04-22-2011, 02:48 PM
Okay, I'm in. When are we going?



In Egypt, the stuff I'd recommend (in order) is as follows.

Note that I went in May of 2001 when it was merely dangerous. Nowadays you might want to check and see if you need armed guards. Even back then there were places where you had to check in and be accompanied by soldiers.

Also note that any Egyptian offering you anything to buy on the street is planning to rip you off. No exceptions. It's the culture there. They want to rip you off. In the restaurants and stores we actually didn't have a problem with that.

Third note. This is much better than typical third-world travel. They have a strong tourism infrastructure, so it's not a bad place to travel.


Must-see stuff.

Giza. Duh. If you get there early, they let 100 people a day into the Great Pyramid. Make every effort to be among those 100 people. I don't know if it's first-come, first-serve or random. In Cairo, it may be a good idea to hire a guide, which is cheap and can be valuable. Our guide knew how to get us into the pyramid and we otherwise would never have known. The boat museum there is really neat, too.

Saqqara. It's a little ways outside Cairo, but not that far. An absolute must-see. It's not really near anything, so it may be another reason to hire a guide. I think it was as cool as Giza was. The oldest pyramid is there, and it's like discovering an alien civilization. As a bonus, you get to see "real" Egypt driving to and from it.

Valley of the Kings. This is in Luxor, and you have to fly there. Maybe there's a train too, but outside the tourist areas there tend to be people who don't like westerners. People with guns and stuff, so flying is good. Another must-see place. You wander around in a rocky valley and enter the various tombs where you can see how the styles changed over the years. Tut is the big draw, but his tomb is rather plain. Other pharoah tombs are much more elaborate and interesting. You can also wander around the city of Luxor as well, which was the royal seat of power when they switched religions (King Tut's father). The main compound is fantastic, with a big temple complex where every pharoah would add their own unique touch.

Abu Simbel. It's down on the Sudan border, and there's nothing near it. I'm talking nothing. You fly down, take a bus there, and then fly out. But it's worth it. It's the giant warning statues that the Egyptians used to scare the heck out of the Nubians, and it would work. Good upclose Nile River experience too. When they built the Aswan dam, Abu Simbel was going to be underwater, so they moved the whole thing up the hill and it's right on the shore now.

Cool stuff, but not must-see.

Bazaars. Wander around the big bazaar in Cairo and get lost, but it's cool to do. There are smaller ones in other cities.

Egyptian Museum. In any other country it'd be great, but why not walk outside and see even more spectacular stuff? However, Tut's mask and tomb are here, so it might rise to must-see status.

Colossi. I can't remember if they're in Luxor or Cairo. It's two ginormous statues that were originally the entrance to a temple that must've been astounding. Everyone carted away the temple rocks to build their homes, but the Colossi were too big to steal. They're cool.

Temple of Hatshepsut. In any other country it'd be great, but it's pedestrian compared to the must-sees.

Aswan. Our guide recommended that we go there, but I'm not sure why. It was nice, but nothing spectacular. It's more of a resort town than anything.

Boat rides. I can't remember what those little boats with the triangular sails are called, but you can hire one out and do a picnic. Kind of cool. It cost us $10 for half a day in 2001.

City of the Dead. We went here in Cairo. It's basically a big ghetto that's built on a cemetery. If you have a guide they can probably point out some interesting stuff, but on your own it would only scare you.

Stuff I didn't see

There's some valley somewhere that's full of fossilized whale bones that would've been neat to see, I think. It's from back when the area was underwater.

It'd be neat to see one of the western oases, but I'm not sure how safe that is now.

It seemed like we should go to Alexandria, but our guide said it's not that interesting.

There's some resort on the Red Sea that's popular.

They used to have Nile River cruises, but had to stop them because militant peasants would shoot their blunderbusses at the boats. Don't know if they have them again or not, but it doesn't seem like much fun.

scott free
04-22-2011, 03:42 PM
Two Americans wandering around alone on the roads in Egypt?

Make sure you leave a will behind.

Iowanian
04-22-2011, 03:51 PM
Good luck, but I think you should seriously think about the situation in those regions right now.

They're not really even stable for other locals.

AustinChief
04-22-2011, 03:57 PM
A buddy and I are going to backpack across Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt for two weeks at the end of May/early June. In Greece, we have a free villa to stay at in Athens so we were thinking of taking day trips to Delphi and Olympia, then do an entire day/night at Athens then go to some Greek islands, maybe Mykonos and Santorini before heading to Alexandria, Luxor, then Cairo/Giza.

Has anyone been to those three countries and have any recommendations and tips for a fellow international traveler? :thumb:

Not to be a dick.. but that's two countries and a city... :D

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 08:41 AM
[quote=Valiant;7584902]Sounds awesome.. Do you have someone going with you that speaks fluent in those languages??[/

From what I read and have spoken to people who live in those countries, basic English is spoken. I'll be in metro areas, and many people know English there. If I were in rural areas, I'd be SOL. I have been brushing up on basic expressions in Arabic.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 08:42 AM
How safe is Egypt right now?

The State Department said that Luxor and Alexandria is fine, but just be careful with Cairo. Cairo has almost twice the number of people as New York City. Tourism is big in Egypt and so I read that Egypt is going out of it's way for security forces around tourist spots.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 08:47 AM
Rain Man, thanks for the post! I've been debating on whether or not to see Abu Simbel, so your narrative helps with me a bit more. I read that food poisoning is prevalent in Egypt and that they recommend eating a fat diet of mostly fried foods to ensure you don't get accidentally poisoned. What was your culinary experience?

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 08:48 AM
Not to be a dick.. but that's two countries and a city... :D

Istanbul is in Turkey, which is a country. But I didn't want to give the perception I'm doing more in Turkey than Istanbul. But.... noted. :p

MIAdragon
04-23-2011, 08:55 AM
how safe are any of those countries right now??

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQeOR6zQSHFV-v_8bKVVUDmJY5u_kMpzP4Aq2jvXYetD_5gad6y&t=1

BigMeatballDave
04-23-2011, 08:58 AM
No way would I be going thru Egypt now. Do you keep up on current events?

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 08:59 AM
A buddy and I are going to backpack across Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt for two weeks at the end of May/early June. In Greece, we have a free villa to stay at in Athens so we were thinking of taking day trips to Delphi and Olympia, then do an entire day/night at Athens then go to some Greek islands, maybe Mykonos and Santorini before heading to Alexandria, Luxor, then Cairo/Giza.

Has anyone been to those three countries and have any recommendations and tips for a fellow international traveler? :thumb:

Been to all three, Greece you must see Santorini. There are no ruins in Greece. 2 rocks on top of one another is a ruins. Spend as much time in Egypt as possible, fantastic ruins (if you have any history appreciation at all), super friendly people (and now they are really wanting visitors) great food. I guarantee you will love it. I'd spend 8-10 days in Egypt 1-2 in Turkey and 2-3 in Greece.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 09:00 AM
No way would I be going thru Egypt now. Do you keep up on current events?

Of course I do.

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 09:00 AM
The State Department said that Luxor and Alexandria is fine, but just be careful with Cairo. Cairo has almost twice the number of people as New York City. Tourism is big in Egypt and so I read that Egypt is going out of it's way for security forces around tourist spots.

The people in Egypt, when I was there are absolutely the best in the world.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 09:01 AM
Been to all three, Greece you must see Santorini. There are no ruins in Greece. 2 rocks on top of one another is a ruins. Spend as much time in Egypt as possible, fantastic ruins (if you have any history appreciation at all), super friendly people (and now they are really wanting visitors) great food. I guarantee you will love it. I'd spend 8-10 days in Egypt 1-2 in Turkey and 2-3 in Greece.

Interesting; thanks for sharing. Have you heard much of Mykonos? We have Mykonos and Santorini planned, but I was thinking of maybe of eliminating Mykonos and spend two days in Santorini to relax since we will be on the go so much.

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 09:04 AM
Yes I have Mykonos doesn't hold a candle to Santorini. You are better to spend two days there and if you want tough back packing you can die there too.

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 09:05 AM
Oh and Delphi is probably worth a trip its mildly interesting. I went to Thermopylae too and was disappointed there was just a statue and nothing else.

BigMeatballDave
04-23-2011, 09:10 AM
Of course I do.
Good luck. Arab countries scare me.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 09:13 AM
Oh and Delphi is probably worth a trip its mildly interesting. I went to Thermopylae too and was disappointed there was just a statue and nothing else.

I was thinking of taking a day trip to Delphi. Did you go to Olympia or Mt. Olympus?

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 09:16 AM
Good luck. Arab countries scare me.

Thank you. I've backpacked in South America and in Europe, so I'm not a typical American that wears a I Love NY t-shirt on. I usually blend in well with my surroundings. We only live life once; I'm not going to be 86 and look back and regret that I didn't take this trip. If something happens, then it'll be doing something I have dreamt of since a child.

MIAdragon
04-23-2011, 09:26 AM
Interesting; thanks for sharing. Have you heard much of Mykonos? We have Mykonos and Santorini planned, but I was thinking of maybe of eliminating Mykonos and spend two days in Santorini to relax since we will be on the go so much.

Chania is a great place to relax and get cozy with the locals. Been there a few times, love it.

Rausch
04-23-2011, 09:37 AM
A buddy and I are going to backpack across Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt for two weeks at the end of May/early June.

You are fucking retarded...

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 09:40 AM
I was thinking of taking a day trip to Delphi. Did you go to Olympia or Mt. Olympus?

No pics I saw of it didn't look to be much there. So I didn't go.

Marco Polo
04-23-2011, 09:44 AM
You are ****ing retarded...

Have fun staying in Jefferson City, brah. Now if you'd like to sit at the big boy's table and have meaningful conversation, you are invited. But personal attacks will keep you at the little boy's table.

Rausch
04-23-2011, 09:46 AM
Have fun in Jefferson City, brah.

I'll try not to step on a mine, be stoned, or hit by an rpg...

Dave Lane
04-23-2011, 11:56 AM
I'll try not to step on a mine, be stoned, or hit by an rpg...

Wow things must have really improved in Columbia. Used to be no choice in the matter. I may have to stop next time I'm cruising down I-70

LiveSteam
04-23-2011, 12:03 PM
A buddy and I are going to backpack across Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt for two weeks at the end of May/early June. In Greece, we have a free villa to stay at in Athens so we were thinking of taking day trips to Delphi and Olympia, then do an entire day/night at Athens then go to some Greek islands, maybe Mykonos and Santorini before heading to Alexandria, Luxor, then Cairo/Giza.

Has anyone been to those three countries and have any recommendations and tips for a fellow international traveler? :thumb:

Nice knowing ya. Dont worry. The planet will have a fund raiser in your name.

Brock
04-23-2011, 12:07 PM
Have fun. Pay no attention to the nay sayers.

BigMeatballDave
04-23-2011, 12:16 PM
Have fun. Pay no attention to the nay sayers.Nay

Just Passin' By
04-23-2011, 12:20 PM
Nice knowing ya. Dont worry. The planet will have a fund raiser in your name.

Nominate him for a Darwin award. It'll be cheaper, and times are tough.

WoodDraw
04-23-2011, 12:29 PM
That's a lot for two weeks... I'd sit down with your buddy and start prioritizing everything you want to do, and then be prepared to cut stuff. Just counting every city you listed, you're almost at two weeks and that doesn't count travel time. That's just too much for me, but some people can handle the whirlwind travel.

Have fun though. Make sure you report back on how it all goes. I've always wanted to see Egypt - that should be incredible.

BigRedChief
04-23-2011, 01:52 PM
I've been to Geece several times. Fantastic beaches and historical sites, but not much else.

I've spent a lot of times in Egypt. Rainmans list is a good one.

I just traveled through Istanbul. Rode the "Magic Bus" from Istanbul to Amsterdam. You talk about an extreme experienmce. Lucky I survived that trip. Not recommended. In Istanbul go by the water in the old part of the city. Historical landmarks everywhere.

Needless to say but I will in case you don't come back....you get away from the tourist places you are taking your life into your own hands. lots of people with no money think every American is loaded and want to take it from you.

Watch the hostels, they are a dangerous place sometimes.

Rain Man
04-23-2011, 02:13 PM
Rain Man, thanks for the post! I've been debating on whether or not to see Abu Simbel, so your narrative helps with me a bit more. I read that food poisoning is prevalent in Egypt and that they recommend eating a fat diet of mostly fried foods to ensure you don't get accidentally poisoned. What was your culinary experience?

We debated Abu Simbel pretty hard because it takes a full day and a plane ride to get to, but I'm really glad we did it. It's impressive.

On the food stuff, I was surprised how developed the infrastructure was in the tourist areas. There were safe-looking restaurants all over the place, and we didn't have any problems at all. It was almost more like Europe than a developing country. I somewhat relaxed my general rule in the third world, which is that I generally eat only in nice hotels or western restaurants, and only buy sealed snacks. There were enough nice restaurants that we occasionally just went to a local, but nice, place. (I'm not into that whole "live like the locals" thing.)

That was the other thing the guides were good for. They took us to nice restaurants, and even the nice restaurants were very reasonably priced.

Param
04-23-2011, 03:15 PM
I'd bypass turkey and since people have written the egypt leg I'll go with athens and the islands. With 2 weeks you should start in athens, take the hellenic seaways high speed cat (blue star ferry is too slow, though cheaper but since you're on a time crisis have to take the high speed cats), end in crete after visiting some islands and fly to egypt. There just isn't enough time to bother with turkey. In regards to mykonos, I actually liked the side island of delos (day half trip from mykonos) for visiting some old stones. In regards to santorini, I'd stay on the beach and bus to fira(white buildings on the cliff, you know the great photog pics). While cool to see and visit, I prefer staying by the beach and relaxing. Rent a 4 wheeler if you're up to it otherwise use the bus. While in Fira, stop by Lucky's Soulvakis. Just tasty and quick cheap food. Also I recommend bringing a pair of aqua socks. It's a bitch walking around in the water. Have fun and tell us your itinerary. You don't have to book hotels if you do not want to. There will be hoardes of people as you get off the ferry or high speed cat trying to sell you a room, and will bus you there. It's wild.

The God Hypothesis
04-23-2011, 04:43 PM
I spent a few weeks in Greece (and Crete), and found Athens to be a overrated when compared to Delphi, and especially Greeces underrated second city, Thessoliniki. The walk to the ruins in Delphi is amazing, some of the best views on the planet. I found the Roman Arch of Galarius and the White Tower interesting in Thessoliniki, and never felt at all threatened or unsafe. I actually was engaged at night right there on the Mediterranean (on a boat mofer!!) in front of the White Tower.

Athens has a big New York City feel to it and the Acropolis is impressive especially to a westerner when you consider its the birthplace of democracy. I had a lingering discomfort in Athens though probably caused by the lack of a competent security presence and the anarchy signs spray painted everywhere. Athens just left me with the feeling it was on the cusp of social disorder and chaos.

HonestChieffan
04-23-2011, 08:38 PM
I call dibs on OP's electronics, guns, car.

Marco Polo
04-24-2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Rain Man
04-24-2011, 12:18 PM
I'd love to hear the final agenda when you get it planned. I haven't been to Greece or Turkey and would like to go at some point.

patteeu
04-24-2011, 01:29 PM
Thank you. I've backpacked in South America and in Europe, so I'm not a typical American that wears a I Love NY t-shirt on. I usually blend in well with my surroundings. We only live life once; I'm not going to be 86 and look back and regret that I didn't take this trip. If something happens, then it'll be doing something I have dreamt of since a child.

Exactly. Why live to 86 with regrets when you can have your head sawed off at a young age! :p

Third Eye
04-24-2011, 01:56 PM
The State Department said that Luxor and Alexandria is fine, but just be careful with Cairo. Cairo has almost twice the number of people as New York City. Tourism is big in Egypt and so I read that Egypt is going out of it's way for security forces around tourist spots.

Cairo has a larger population density, but New York has a larger population in both city proper and metropolitan terms.

|Zach|
04-24-2011, 02:11 PM
Have fun. Pay no attention to the nay sayers.

Seriously.

Rain Man
04-24-2011, 02:13 PM
Cairo has a larger population density, but New York has a larger population in both city proper and metropolitan terms.

As a bit of interesting trivia, or maybe uninteresting trivia, Cairo actually has a subway system and I rode it at one point. I was advised to be sure not to get on the ladies-only cars, because apparently that'll get you into trouble.

Elwaysux
04-24-2011, 02:29 PM
I was just in Cairo and Alexandria last week. It was fine although I heard there was some trouble around the US Embassy yesterday. People are thrilled to see Westerners because all of the tourism is way off. Some great deals to be had as well.

Third Eye
04-24-2011, 03:23 PM
As a bit of interesting trivia, or maybe uninteresting trivia, Cairo actually has a subway system and I rode it at one point. I was advised to be sure not to get on the ladies-only cars, because apparently that'll get you into trouble.

I would presume that is Arabic women only, as I can't imagine them forcing western couples to split up in such a tourism based economy. Funny though, as I had always pictured Cairo as one of the more progressive Arabic cities.

Rain Man
04-24-2011, 03:25 PM
I would presume that is Arabic women only, as I can't imagine them forcing western couples to split up in such a tourism based economy. Funny though, as I had always pictured Cairo as one of the more progressive Arabic cities.

Yeah, the cars were either coed or ladies only. The cars I rode on had plenty of women on them. They were just the ones who live in the 21st century.

Hog Farmer
04-24-2011, 04:40 PM
When you get to Egypt check out the pigs sty , it's the only place that serves dead men.

bevischief
04-24-2011, 04:46 PM
Have fun and don't drink the local water or brush your teeth with it...

BossChief
04-24-2011, 04:50 PM
have you ever watched hostel?

RJ
04-24-2011, 07:36 PM
Ain't nobody's business but the Turks.

dtebbe
04-25-2011, 06:46 AM
My only advice is to not mention the greeks to the turks or vice-versa.

DT

Marco Polo
04-25-2011, 08:46 AM
I'd love to hear the final agenda when you get it planned. I haven't been to Greece or Turkey and would like to go at some point.

Will do Rain Man!

Marco Polo
04-27-2011, 02:16 PM
I'd love to hear the final agenda when you get it planned. I haven't been to Greece or Turkey and would like to go at some point.

Here's our final itinerary. Due to time restraints, we had to eliminate Mt. Olympus, Mykonos, Rhodes, and Abu Simbel (no more flights directly to Abu Simbel; it would've been a nightmare and required a police escort-no thanks).

We are staying in Athens a lot in Greece because I can stay at my friend's villa, so it's economical and we can also experience more of the nightlife. All flights have been booked and am pretty pleased that all flights combined were less than $2000.

Wed, 5/25 - Travel
Thurs, 5/26 - Travel/Istanbul
Fri, 5/27 - Istanbul/Athens (late night flight)
Sat, 5/28 - Athens (museums and Parthenon)
Sun, 5/29 - Athens/Delphi/Athens
Mon, 5/30 - Athens/Olympia/Athens
Tues, 5/31 - Athens/Santorini/Ios (early morning flight)
Wed, 6/1 - Ios
Thurs, 6/2 - Ios/Santorini/Athens (late night flight)
Fri, 6/3 - Athens/Cairo/Luxor (mid-day flight)
Sat, 6/4 - Luxor
Sun, 6/5 - Luxor/Cairo (mid-evening flight)
Mon, 6/6 - Cairo
Tues, 6/7 - Cairo (late late flight back home)
Wed, 6/8 - Travel

Bewbies
04-27-2011, 02:19 PM
I'd tell you to avoid those areas, but that'd be hypocritical considering my wife and I are heading to Kinshasa later this year. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the DR Congo is far more dangerous than the places you're headed.

Marco Polo
04-27-2011, 02:56 PM
I'd tell you to avoid those areas, but that'd be hypocritical considering my wife and I are heading to Kinshasa later this year. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the DR Congo is far more dangerous than the places you're headed.

Holy cow; why are you going there? I think that's great, just wondering what the purpose is (business/volunteer/vacation, etc).

Rain Man
04-27-2011, 03:02 PM
Here's our final itinerary. Due to time restraints, we had to eliminate Mt. Olympus, Mykonos, Rhodes, and Abu Simbel (no more flights directly to Abu Simbel; it would've been a nightmare and required a police escort-no thanks).

We are staying in Athens a lot in Greece because I can stay at my friend's villa, so it's economical and we can also experience more of the nightlife. All flights have been booked and am pretty pleased that all flights combined were less than $2000.

Wed, 5/25 - Travel
Thurs, 5/26 - Travel/Istanbul
Fri, 5/27 - Istanbul/Athens (late night flight)
Sat, 5/28 - Athens (museums and Parthenon)
Sun, 5/29 - Athens/Delphi/Athens
Mon, 5/30 - Athens/Olympia/Athens
Tues, 5/31 - Athens/Santorini/Ios (early morning flight)
Wed, 6/1 - Ios
Thurs, 6/2 - Ios/Santorini/Athens (late night flight)
Fri, 6/3 - Athens/Cairo/Luxor (mid-day flight)
Sat, 6/4 - Luxor
Sun, 6/5 - Luxor/Cairo (mid-evening flight)
Mon, 6/6 - Cairo
Tues, 6/7 - Cairo (late late flight back home)
Wed, 6/8 - Travel


Looks awesome. Too bad about Abu Simbel, but it looks like you've got a lot of cool stuff planned.

Bewbies
04-27-2011, 03:06 PM
Holy cow; why are you going there? I think that's great, just wondering what the purpose is (business/volunteer/vacation, etc).

We're adopting a baby. :thumb:

From what I've been reading, and have heard from people we know who have been there, Kinshasa is safe. All the trouble is over near Rwanda a long, long way from where we'll be.

Marco Polo
04-27-2011, 03:06 PM
Looks awesome. Too bad about Abu Simbel, but it looks like you've got a lot of cool stuff planned.

Thanks Rain Man for sharing your experiences. I may regret not going to Abu Simbel like I do not going to Pompei when I was in Italy, but two weeks just doesn't give enough time to visit these two historic countries.

Marco Polo
05-30-2011, 05:56 AM
I'm currently in day six of the trip. We have been to Istanbul, Athens, and Delphi thus far. We leave tonight for Ios, which is a prominent party island, and will then stay in Santorini a few days. Everyone here is remarkably friendly (including the women...). Saw our first protest at Syntagma Square today and took a nice one minute clip of that. Police and SWAT were everywhere, but I never felt threatened. Protests are very common here.

Rausch
05-30-2011, 07:29 AM
Has anyone been to those three countries and have any recommendations and tips for a fellow international traveler? :thumb:

Better timing?...

loochy
05-30-2011, 08:30 AM
Istanbul? Or Constantinople?

Why did Constantinople get the works?

*sigh* I guess it's nobody's business but the Turks'.

JD10367
05-30-2011, 01:14 PM
Istanbul? Or Constantinople?

Why did Constantinople get the works?

*sigh* I guess it's nobody's business but the Turks'.

Well, you know, even old New York was once New Amsterdam.

Why they changed it, I can't say. I guess... People liked it better that way.

JD10367
05-30-2011, 01:21 PM
I'm currently in day six of the trip. We have been to Istanbul, Athens, and Delphi thus far. We leave tonight for Ios, which is a prominent party island, and will then stay in Santorini a few days. Everyone here is remarkably friendly (including the women...). Saw our first protest at Syntagma Square today and took a nice one minute clip of that. Police and SWAT were everywhere, but I never felt threatened. Protests are very common here.

It's a European thing. Staying in Barcelona on La Rambla a few Septembers ago, we sat on our tiny hotel's tiny balcony drinking free Stella Artois and watching a protest in the Playa de Catalunya. They blocked traffic at the circle, were yelling through bullhorns, and the police were there. We asked the hotel desk clerk what they were protesting and he said, "I don't know, they do it every Saturday." A few hours later, they all wandered off.

Marco Polo
06-01-2011, 04:24 AM
It's a European thing. Staying in Barcelona on La Rambla a few Septembers ago, we sat on our tiny hotel's tiny balcony drinking free Stella Artois and watching a protest in the Playa de Catalunya. They blocked traffic at the circle, were yelling through bullhorns, and the police were there. We asked the hotel desk clerk what they were protesting and he said, "I don't know, they do it every Saturday." A few hours later, they all wandered off.

We did something similar. We were drinking watching the protests and when I asked the waiter, he said that there is a protest almost everyday.

Stanley Nickels
06-01-2011, 06:13 AM
It's a European thing. Staying in Barcelona on La Rambla a few Septembers ago, we sat on our tiny hotel's tiny balcony drinking free Stella Artois and watching a protest in the Playa de Catalunya. They blocked traffic at the circle, were yelling through bullhorns, and the police were there. We asked the hotel desk clerk what they were protesting and he said, "I don't know, they do it every Saturday." A few hours later, they all wandered off.

Been to Barcelona three times, saws this exact scene three times. Twice they were really small and only lasted a short while. The other time, though, was the day GWB announced the Iraqi war. I still have pictures of the 250,000 people protesting, both roof shots and in the crowd. That was absolutely intense

Hydrae
06-01-2011, 06:29 AM
Well, you know, even old New York was once New Amsterdam.

Why they changed it, I can't say. I guess... People liked it better that way.

I believe this was changed when the Danes turned over the city to the Brits as part of a treaty. It was named after the Duke of York (brother of the king).

Param
06-01-2011, 09:41 AM
Tues, 5/31 - Athens/Santorini/Ios (early morning flight)
Wed, 6/1 - Ios
Thurs, 6/2 - Ios/Santorini/Athens (late night flight)


Damn dude, that is hardcore right there. Along with the Istandbul portion of the trip. Looks like you're bypassing Santorini since you're taking a flight from there to Ios and same on the way back.

I use a convertible Victorinox rolling suitcase/backpack/carry-on. Sounds like you're running the same type of bag with the amount of movement you're doing at least I hope.

Have fun man, but I would've done some things different with the Greece portion of the trip. But, hey we all plan trips our own ways.

I hope you find some pussy to slam.

Param
06-01-2011, 09:52 AM
It's a European thing. Staying in Barcelona on La Rambla a few Septembers ago, we sat on our tiny hotel's tiny balcony drinking free Stella Artois and watching a protest in the Playa de Catalunya. They blocked traffic at the circle, were yelling through bullhorns, and the police were there. We asked the hotel desk clerk what they were protesting and he said, "I don't know, they do it every Saturday." A few hours later, they all wandered off.

They have been protesting the past few weeks in Spain. The difference is, in Athens things can get ugly.

JD10367
06-01-2011, 10:52 AM
They have been protesting the past few weeks in Spain. The difference is, in Athens things can get ugly.

Don't the Greeks actually have some issues? (No, not those issues. Political/economic ones.) I think in places like Spain, France, and Italy they just protest to protest.

vailpass
06-01-2011, 10:57 AM
Well I've never been to Spain.
But I kinda' like the music.

MahiMike
06-01-2011, 11:01 AM
Spent 2 weeks on the island of Lesbos. Yeah, that's what it means...)
Had a great time. Rented mopeds to get around. Went to concert at castle built in 1600's. Good night life. Nice beaches. Food was very cheap. $1 16 oz Heinekens. What's not to like?

JD10367
06-01-2011, 11:02 AM
Spent 2 weeks on the island of Lesbos. Yeah, that's what it means...)
Had a great time. Rented mopeds to get around. Went to concert at castle built in 1600's. Good night life. Nice beaches. Food was very cheap. $1 16 oz Heinekens. What's not to like?

The good part: lots of hot trim making out with each other.

The bad part: the hot trim has no interest in you. :D

loochy
06-01-2011, 11:04 AM
The good part: lots of hot trim making out with each other.


This is better than normal.


The bad part: the hot trim has no interest in you. :D

This is normal.

Overall, this is better than normal then.

Param
06-01-2011, 11:09 AM
Don't the Greeks actually have some issues? (No, not those issues. Political/economic ones.) I think in places like Spain, France, and Italy they just protest to protest.

That is what is happening in Spain right with the elections and corruption in gov't.

Difference in Athens bullets will fly and all hell breaks loose.

Param
06-01-2011, 11:11 AM
$1 16 oz Heinekens. What's not to like?

Heinekens taste so much better over there. It tastes and smells like shit in America so I never buy.

Param
06-01-2011, 11:14 AM
I'm sure Marco Polo will attest to this and others who have been there, Athens is not a pretty city to visit. It's pretty run down and stuck in a time warp.

dmahurin
06-01-2011, 12:00 PM
If you're going to Greek islands Rhodes is the best. You can see where the Colossus stood, tour the old city, great food. Me and a few buddies went into the tunnels under the old castle walls. There are still areas that haven't been excavated and you can see ancient pottery and artifacts everywhere. It's not really allowed but if you can find an open area with no one around I recommend going in anyways. You can travel from Rhodes to Turkey on a ferry. It's about a 3 hour boat ride and it puts you on the sourthern coast. I'm drawing a blank on the name of the city it lands you in. Instanbul is in northern Turkey and you could see more of the country going that route.

Los Pollos Hermanos
06-01-2011, 12:32 PM
Well I've never been to Spain.
But I kinda' like the music.

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains.

NewChief
06-01-2011, 01:25 PM
Spent a couple of weeks on the isle of Crete, and it's still one of my favorite memories. A bus dropped me off around Sougia. I then spent a few days hiking back along the coastline to Paleochora, camping out next to shepherds and their herds, hiking into remote villages to eat lunch and pick up provisions, then hiking along to another campsite. Once in Paleochora, I enjoyed the nude beaches. Unfortunately, my tent blew away, but a cute German ginger girl put me up in her pension for the rest of my stay.

That went south, eventually, though when she showed up, unexpectedly, on my doorstep 3 months later... in the UNITED STATES.

patteeu
06-01-2011, 02:13 PM
Spent a couple of weeks on the isle of Crete, and it's still one of my favorite memories. A bus dropped me off around Sougia. I then spent a few days hiking back along the coastline to Paleochora, camping out next to shepherds and their herds, hiking into remote villages to eat lunch and pick up provisions, then hiking along to another campsite. Once in Paleochora, I enjoyed the nude beaches. Unfortunately, my tent blew away, but a cute German ginger girl put me up in her pension for the rest of my stay.

That went south, eventually, though when she showed up, unexpectedly, on my doorstep 3 months later... in the UNITED STATES.

And then?

Los Pollos Hermanos
06-01-2011, 02:26 PM
Spent a couple of weeks on the isle of Crete, and it's still one of my favorite memories. A bus dropped me off around Sougia. I then spent a few days hiking back along the coastline to Paleochora, camping out next to shepherds and their herds, hiking into remote villages to eat lunch and pick up provisions, then hiking along to another campsite. Once in Paleochora, I enjoyed the nude beaches. Unfortunately, my tent blew away, but a cute German ginger girl put me up in her pension for the rest of my stay.

That went south, eventually, though when she showed up, unexpectedly, on my doorstep 3 months later... in the UNITED STATES.

I'll bet your wife was pissed.

JD10367
06-01-2011, 02:27 PM
And then?

And then, I think, she cooked his rabbit and hid in the shower with a kitchen knife.

Rain Man
06-01-2011, 02:28 PM
Man, I hate it when cute redheads show up at my door.

Rain Man
06-01-2011, 02:29 PM
And then, I think, she cooked his rabbit and hid in the shower with a kitchen knife.

That's just a German cultural thing. On a positive note, she took over the neighbors and annexed their yard into his property.

JD10367
06-01-2011, 02:29 PM
That's just a German cultural thing. On a positive note, she took over the neighbors and annexed their yard into his property.

Probably into S&M, while Wagner's "Ride Of The Valkyries" played at a loud volume.

patteeu
06-01-2011, 02:39 PM
That's just a German cultural thing. On a positive note, she took over the neighbors and annexed their yard into his property.

:LOL:

JD10367
06-01-2011, 02:51 PM
And I bet the French neighbor built a high stone wall, but she just annexed the house next to it and went through their flimsy wooden fence to get to the Frenchie's yard.

Dave Lane
06-01-2011, 02:57 PM
And I bet the French neighbor built a high stone wall, but she just annexed the house next to it and went through their flimsy wooden fence to get to the Frenchie's yard.

No he built a massive stone wall with no door in it. But only on one side. And she went through the other neighbors yard.

Reaper16
06-01-2011, 04:06 PM
Spent a couple of weeks on the isle of Crete, and it's still one of my favorite memories. A bus dropped me off around Sougia. I then spent a few days hiking back along the coastline to Paleochora, camping out next to shepherds and their herds, hiking into remote villages to eat lunch and pick up provisions, then hiking along to another campsite. Once in Paleochora, I enjoyed the nude beaches. Unfortunately, my tent blew away, but a cute German ginger girl put me up in her pension for the rest of my stay.

That went south, eventually, though when she showed up, unexpectedly, on my doorstep 3 months later... in the UNITED STATES.
MOAR STOREE

Crush
06-01-2011, 04:13 PM
ROFL

I love how NewChief just cuts us off.

NewChief
06-02-2011, 04:37 AM
Sorry sorry. I've been limited to my phone to post on, so I didn't get to reply.


Anyway, this chick and I, despite her broken English, hit it off pretty well and were together nonstop for 3 days prior to me catching a ferry off the island. When I got back to the States, we wrote letters back and forth, and that's when things got disturbing. I started getting like 4-5 letters a week. I was a pretty free spirit back in those days, and I was a little freaked out by commitment, attachment, or even strong emotion. So I bailed. On top of that, I was involved in the hippie scene which had blossomed in Fayetteville. Evidently I wasn't the only one feeling the free spirit vibe, as the women were willing. I enjoyed the free love aspect of the neo-hippie jamband movement very much.

So as I start to pull back from this "relationship" this chick gets more and more insistent. She starts mentioning coming to the States to see me to rebuild our magic and other such nonsense. My reaction was to basically ignore her letters (poor choice on my part). So I remembered her mentioning that she might come visit soon, but I just sort of pretended she didn't say it.

Fast forward two weeks. I'm starting graduate school. My mom is up visiting to help me get settled into a new rental house. We go out to lunch, and she's bringing me back to my rental. On the front step (this is all pre cellphones being very common) is this random, red-headed German chick. Try explaining that one to your Southern Baptist mom. (Hi Mom. This is Erica. I met her in Germany, and it looks like she's going to be living with me for the next... how long did you say you were going to be here... oh... a month? Wow. For the next month. Yes, mom. I know it's all a little weird. I think so, too).

So yeah, that got things off to a bad start for our romantic reunion. We hooked up a couple of times while she was at my house, but it was just awkward. I completely lucked out, though, because a good girl friend of mine was just finishing up her undergraduate degree at Stephens and hanging out in Eureka Springs for a few months. Her and Erica met at a party and hit it off. My friend agreed to take her off my hands for a while (I was starting graduate school for god's sakes, and my time was limited). So the two of them traveled around and had a good time together.

It was really an awkward situation for which I still feel bad. I don't know exactly why I ended up pulling back and getting so freaked out by her. I think it might have been because she had weird toes.

Marco Polo
06-02-2011, 11:17 AM
Athens was a dirty city but met a cute local blonde and she took us to some really cool bar neighborhoods (Giza was my favorite; no, that's not the same Giza in Egypt) over a couple-day period. I just spent the last three days in Ios (huge party island) and Santorini; flying out of Santorini late tonight and then flying to Luxor tomorrow via Athens and Cairo. Ios was great, partied it up with a ton of Australians, mostly very young (20-22) but since I have a baby face, it was all good. I think some of the most genuine people I have met come from Australia and Canada; damn good people who know how to have a good time. Not really expecting ANY kind of party scene in Luxor and Cairo, but we'll see what happens.

One thing that sickens me about the States....everyone in Europe is skinny and in shape. A butter face in Europe is probably better than the majority of Americans. Any obese person you see is probably an American. Just trying to imagine that much more pool of talent available if there were just more skinny women back in the States. On that note, talk to you guys in Egypt!

Hydrae
06-02-2011, 11:46 AM
Stay safe!

Param
07-08-2011, 01:29 AM
Marco Polo, so how was the rest of the trip?

ChiefsNow
07-08-2011, 01:41 AM
Its all greek to me

Param
07-08-2011, 01:49 AM
Its all greek to me

There's a $525 RT out of DC(straight flight), i'm thinking of going to Istanbul.

ChiefsNow
07-08-2011, 01:54 AM
There's a $525 RT out of DC(straight flight), i'm thinking of going to Istanbul.

I love spur of the moment shit like that. Go for it, You will probably have the time of your life.

Param
07-08-2011, 02:00 AM
I love spur of the moment shit like that. Go for it, You will probably have the time of your life.

Yep. I think I will jump on this. It's via Turkish Airlines.

ChiefsNow
07-08-2011, 02:07 AM
Yep. I think I will jump on this. It's via Turkish Airlines.

I went to Costa Rica the same way. Just decided all the sudden and went. Ended up buying property there.

Marco Polo
07-08-2011, 08:16 AM
Marco Polo, so how was the rest of the trip?

Luxor and Cairo was a giant educational trip of history, religion, and culture. Luxor used to average 6000 tourists a day before the revolution; now just 800. Meanwhile you have the same number of "workers" that rely on tourism, the people that sell you the trinkets, water, camel rides, etc, so you have that many people swarming you for things. It's annoying but when you look at it from that perspective, it's a bit easier to put up with.

When we were in Luxor, we were the only Westerners we saw on the entire trip. Everyone we met was extremely kind to us (with the lack of tourists, mostly everyone is wanting to project an image of peace) and the costs of items were ridiculously cheap (my hotel in both cities were around $8 a night and included airport pickup and breakfast). Karnak Temple in Luxor was my favorite part in Egypt, surprisingly.

Cairo is an extremely large and dirty city. We stayed near Tahrir Square and never felt threatened. Unfortunately it seems like their whole tourism industry, which is a large part of their economy, is completely unorganized. In the antiquities museum that holds over 100,000 artifacts, the majority of them are unmarked and no translation. At the Pyramids, we had to ask five people where we need to go to get tickets to go inside the Great Pyramid. There were people riding camels everywhere and it just didn't seem organized and felt they could make a lot more money if there was structure. Lastly, Egypt would not allow you to take pictures inside any museums or tombs. I would've taken hundreds of more pictures. In Greece, they let you take pictures of anything, just no flash.

The good side (if you want to call it that) of the post-revolution tourism is that it enabled me to have a more intimate view of the historical monuments. I was in the nicest tomb at the Valley of the Kings all by myself and the workers allowed me to go back and actually touch parts of the tomb. When I climbed inside the Great Pyramid, my buddy and I were the only ones inside for about 15 minutes. Having that opportunity without a swarm of tourists is a memory that is priceless.

Overall it was a wonderful journey, I never once felt threatened, and if you are ever on the fence on traveling, lean towards the side of living and new adventures! :thumb:

Param
07-08-2011, 11:32 AM
Very cool my man! Sometimes the best time to travel are after disasters(Fukushima) or in your case, a revolution. Tourism is the first thing that plummets and as a result prices drop dramatically.

"Overall it was a wonderful journey, I never once felt threatened, and if you are ever on the fence on traveling, lean towards the side of living and new adventures!"

I agree:thumb:

JD10367
07-08-2011, 11:36 AM
Overall it was a wonderful journey, I never once felt threatened, and if you are ever on the fence on traveling, lean towards the side of living and new adventures! :thumb:

I had never been out of the U.S. until recently. Since the wife and I took up cruising in the past few years, we've taken two international trips: one out of Barcelona to Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Palermo; and another out of Oslo to Amsterdam and Bruges (Belgium). They were both easily the highlights of my life so far. I strongly urge everyone to go abroad. Somewhere.

Rain Man
07-08-2011, 11:43 AM
Luxor and Cairo was a giant educational trip of history, religion, and culture. Luxor used to average 6000 tourists a day before the revolution; now just 800. Meanwhile you have the same number of "workers" that rely on tourism, the people that sell you the trinkets, water, camel rides, etc, so you have that many people swarming you for things. It's annoying but when you look at it from that perspective, it's a bit easier to put up with.

I think that's a normal third-world thing, though the Egyptians are particularly pesky.

When we were in Luxor, we were the only Westerners we saw on the entire trip. Everyone we met was extremely kind to us (with the lack of tourists, mostly everyone is wanting to project an image of peace) and the costs of items were ridiculously cheap (my hotel in both cities were around $8 a night and included airport pickup and breakfast). Karnak Temple in Luxor was my favorite part in Egypt, surprisingly.

Holy cow. $8? What type of hotel? We stayed at the Mercure or something like that, and I think it was $60 or so even back in 2001.

Cairo is an extremely large and dirty city. We stayed near Tahrir Square and never felt threatened. Unfortunately it seems like their whole tourism industry, which is a large part of their economy, is completely unorganized. In the antiquities museum that holds over 100,000 artifacts, the majority of them are unmarked and no translation. At the Pyramids, we had to ask five people where we need to go to get tickets to go inside the Great Pyramid. There were people riding camels everywhere and it just didn't seem organized and felt they could make a lot more money if there was structure. Lastly, Egypt would not allow you to take pictures inside any museums or tombs. I would've taken hundreds of more pictures. In Greece, they let you take pictures of anything, just no flash.

The good side (if you want to call it that) of the post-revolution tourism is that it enabled me to have a more intimate view of the historical monuments. I was in the nicest tomb at the Valley of the Kings all by myself and the workers allowed me to go back and actually touch parts of the tomb. When I climbed inside the Great Pyramid, my buddy and I were the only ones inside for about 15 minutes. Having that opportunity without a swarm of tourists is a memory that is priceless.

You got to go in the pyramid? Awesome. It's not like there's a lot of decorative stuff to look at, but wasn't it amazing to see how all of the stones fit together on the inside? Going up that big ramp, I had no concept of how they fit that enormous ceiling stone in there.

Egypt is a place that everyone should see at some point in their life. I think it's the most incredible place I've ever visited.

Overall it was a wonderful journey, I never once felt threatened, and if you are ever on the fence on traveling, lean towards the side of living and new adventures! :thumb:

Other than a few obviously hostile places where the government or other power structure doesn't like Americans (e.g., Iraq, Iran), I think the dangers of international travel are overestimated.

Congrats to you on a great trip.