Greece Sailing Trip 2014

We returned to Greece to sail the Dodecanese Islands for the second time.  This summer, however, we took off from the port of Kos (instead of Rodos), and traveled north to the islands of Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, and Lipsi.  We took the “road” a little less traveled this year and ended up with a very different experience – it was a little more relaxed, more rustic, and definitely more windy with rougher seas.  Our captain was also younger and drank a little (lot!) less, which made us all feel a little safer aboard. :)    Overall, Greece never disappoints, and I am happy to say my skin is no longer translucent, but instead a speckled light tan color.

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Our 2nd Italian Anniversary

First night on the water

I know I’m a little late, but September 6th marked our 2nd Italian anniversary.  This means we have passed well over the halfway point of Bobby’s Olmsted experience.  Wow!  I’d like to highlight some of our favorite travel spots we were fortunate enough to see this year (see our first year favorites here). First though, we’d like to reiterate to the Olmsted Foundation how incredibly grateful we are for this amazing opportunity.  We never thought we’d get travel like this as a couple, nor have the chance to learn a second language while experiencing the culture first-hand.  We can’t express our gratitude enough – thank you, thank you, thank you!… [Read More]

Dodecanese Islands – Part 2

Overlooking Pali on the island of Nisyros

After sailing from the port of Rhodes and stopping in Symi and the Turkish coast, we spent the rest of the week on four smaller islands – Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki, and Alimia.  Nisyros, known for its volcanic crater, is over over 150,000 years old.  The crater “valley” was pretty impressive, spanning almost two miles wide.  The largest of the craters is called Stefanos and activity is still visible today with its steaming pots and bubbling waters.  Tilos is known for its little port town of Livadia, with a large rocky beach and charming seaside restaurants.  Chalki had perhaps the best village (bearing the same name), where the colorful buildings seem to disappear directly into the water, sort of like the houses and hotels in Venice. It is a popular tourist port in the Dodecanese Islands and we saw everything from small fishing boats to large, multimillion dollar yachts.  Our last, but certainly not least, stop on our seven day sailing trip was the uninhabited island of Alimia.  Alimia, which means “one more” in Greek (it is considered an additional island to Chalki), was the site of a German/Italian WWII post, but is now a peaceful bay where boaters stop to swim on the way back to Rhodes.  We stayed the night in the bay and grilled out on our homemade campfire.

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Dodecanese Islands – Part 1

Muses restaurant

For our anniversary in April, I gifted Bobby a trip to northern Italy to hike the via ferrata, or “iron road,” something that he’s always wanted to do.  We were all set to go during the third week of June.  However, while watching the Giro d’Italia on TV, we saw some legs of the race in the region and we were discouraged by the piles (we’re talking 4-5 feet) of unseasonal snow on the ground. We begrudgingly canceled our trip and were trying to find a warmer vacation to satisfy our desire to hit the road when we received a great offer.  Our Italian friends Tatiana and Francesco invited us to join them on a seven-day sailing trip in the Dodecanese islands.  We couldn’t have been more excited, and quickly agreed.   The Dodecanese are a group of twelve large (plus more than 150 small) Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited.  With some suggestions from Tatiana and Francesco’s friends as well as our captain, we decided on a six island route.  From Rhodes, the port of departure, we sailed to Symi, Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki, Alimia, and even took a pit stop in Turkey during the second leg of the trip for a quick dip.

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Picture-perfect Santorini

Oia, Santorini

After site-seeing in Athens for three days, we hopped down to the Greek island of Santorini.  Santorini is most famous for its white buildings perched on cliffs and blue-domed churches.  Many of our friends have traveled here before, so we had lots of information to go on.  However, we decided to stay out of the main cities (Fira and Oia) and relax at a very tranquil oasis called the Aenaon Villas.  We were incredibly happy we made this choice, as there weren’t a lot of tourists around and the view was outstanding.  We took several days to relax (well, I read several leisurely books and Bobby read lots of articles for his thesis), and then chose to partake in 2 different day activities that I hadn’t done before — sailing on a catamaran and scuba diving.  … [Read More]