Showing posts with label easy walks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy walks. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ios Island: History, Homer and Easy Hikers

On the island of Ios, with its hilly, rocky landscape, a history that dates back some 500 million years and a population of less than 2,000, is where we find ourselves this week. 

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Tucked away between the more well-known Mykonos and Santorini in the white-washed Cycladic Islands of Greece, this island has an ‘in-season’ reputation of being a rocking, late night party place – a magnet for young travelers. In this off-season time it is quiet here – many stores and restaurants have yet to open  and its narrow streets are relatively empty – making it a delightful place to explore.

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The pathway to Homer's Tomb
Ios (pronounced EE-ohs) holds the distinction of  being Homer’s final resting place. His tomb is atop the wind-swept hill pictured above. He’s the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey back in the 8th Century, in case you’ve forgotten your Ancient Literature teachings. His resting place was documented by 5th Century writer  Heridotus, who traveled these lands and is considered ‘the father of history’. It is a ‘must visit’ on this island!

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From Left: Thomas, Christos, Jackie, Marlys, Michael and Joel

We decided on a whim to come here last week and where pleased to learn that travel’s serendipity was bringing two of our long-time favorite France-based bloggers, Michael and Marlys Schuermann of Easy Hiker to the island at the same time.  As an added bonus we met blogger Thomas Dowson, also from France who writes Archaeology Travel.

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For at least two years I’ve read Easy Hiker and been inspired to take so many of their recommended hikes, but never in a million years did I think I would ever do one with them. . .well, until yesterday when they invited us to join them. They were headed up that hill pictured above to visit those churches. So off we went and what a wonderful hike  climb, it was:

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Ios is known for its churches – there are 365 on this island, one for each day of the year (some speculate there are more). Half of them are open to the public but most are private chapels – as were these four – and are open by invitation only.  As the other three writers were guests of the municipality, the invitation had been extended to look inside. The pathway though is open to the public.

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It was a series of paved steps that led up the hill and not as difficult as it had looked from below.

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So we all did what any travel blogger/tourist would do: snapped photos like crazy and exclaimed over the stunning vistas:

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It was one of those travel days that we’ll file away in the extra special file because it was filled with the best that travel has to offer: new friends, old treasures and great adventures.

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In case you are wondering, we did make it to the top, this photo is of the upper most church. The final portion of the climb was over open grass and dirt. . .

Thanks again to our fellow bloggers for including us on their outing. And thanks too, to Christos, who was the Municipality’s tourism representative who led us up the hill.  (He’s 72 years old, by the way!)
Linking up today with Budget Travelers Sandbox, Travel Photo Thursday.  As always the time you spend with us is most appreciated! Hope you join us this weekend when we will be. . .(check back to find out ;-)!)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

WAWeekend: Seattle Sidewalk Tours

I spent several days of our perfect summer being a ‘tourist in my own town’.  I’d catch the METRO bus in Kirkland and a 20 minute ride later, I was in downtown Seattle.

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The award-winning Central Public Library Building
Each day, for a week, I’d set out in a new direction to experience the city just as tourists might: on foot. I was researching an article for the Seattle Times. 

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The Giant Wheel that towers over Elliott Bayy
I have to say that our “Emerald City” does sparkle in the summer. I was again reminded of many of its amazing features and its quirky ones, as I hiked up and down its hills on sidewalks that lead from city center to Elliott Bay. 
Along my travels, I visited. . .
the International District’s Panama Hotel, made famous in the book, 
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
the longest continuously operating restaurant in town in Pioneer Square ~
I strolled through parks that stretched along the waterfront ~
I wandered through the vendor stalls at the iconic Pike Place Market.
I took a Public Art walk tour through the heart of town and the Central Library
and, oh so much, more!

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Close up view of "The Gum Wall" - yes, it really is a chewed gum wall!
I scribbled notes and drew maps keeping track of where I’d been. Those same hand-drawn maps, when turned over to the creative talents of the newspaper’s production staff were turned into the maps used in the article.

Last Sunday, when the article appeared, we were in Sydney, Australia. A friend’s email alerted me to its publication and thanks to technology I read it while “Down Under”. 

Summer2013 024Many of you followed my summer travels as I did the research, so for those who didn’t see the link on TravelnWrite’s FB page, here’s a link to the article:  Seattle Walks.

By the way, if you get to Seattle and need an enthusiastic tour guide, just give me a call!

Have a great week ~ hope you'll come back soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Walk in the Woods ~ Near the Sea

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul. . .then I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as I can.”                  
-- Ishmael, in Moby Dick

Finding ourselves in that state of mind, we headed to the sea – and the woods one morning on Washington State's  Copalis Beach. . .

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At low tide we walked to the water’s edge on hard-packed sand that  glistened like an ice skating rink.

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A twisted and coiled a piece of seaweed  -- or was it a sea demon ready to strike?

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The sea had turned this driftwood into a sea sculpture. . .

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A beach deserted but for a lone sea gull; Copalis Rock in the distance.

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Our path to the beach led us through a coastal forest where trees wore coats of moss.

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Then back to the comfort of our cabin to reflect on the wonders that surrounded us. . .

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Ever taken a walk in the woods. . .by the sea? What treasures did you discover? 

These photos were taken while we were guests of Iron Springs Resort overlooking  Copalis Beach.  For more Travel Photo Thursday photos click the link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Victoria, British Columbia - a quick getaway

Victoria B.C. is known for its pedestrian friendliness. We were reminded of that fact last week during a quick two-day getaway to our neighbor to the north. We hopped the Victoria Clipper ( in Seattle and less than three hours later were tucked away in our hotel overlooking Victoria's Inner Harbor.
By taking an early boat up and a late boat back, using a AAA travel rate, booking over the internet we got a rate of $80 per person (small fuel charge was tacked on - no changes or cancellations allowed).

Exploring the Inner Harbor Neighborhood

A easy walk – one that we do each trip – takes us two blocks behind the Empress Hotel to 835 Humbolt Street where the one-time convent and girl’s school. St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site, (, 250-953-8829) is located. Level pathways bisect the 6.3-acre heritage garden and orchards with 100-year-old cherry trees. Grounds are open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk. The interpretive center has seasonal hours, self-guided tours are free, donations encouraged.

Café Mela, on the street level of the Belvedere condos, 784 Humbolt St. (250-383-0288) a European-style Café, has become a favorite coffee and pastry stop. Next time we’ll try its Mela’s Tearoom, next door at 792 Humboldt St.,(reservations, 250-382-8528), an off-shoot of the café. Afternoon Tea featuring tall towers of pastries, sandwiches and fruit is served inside an art gallery (Winchester Galleries). During this visit, sidewalk tables at both the tea room and café were busy.


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