Global Baby is mesmerized by it.
31 December 2008
Global Baby is mesmerized by it.
30 December 2008
When we left Fribourg, we went away with the Fribourg Fondue mix and some fresh bread for our evening meal.
25 December 2008
23 December 2008
22 December 2008
17 December 2008
14 December 2008
13 December 2008
10 December 2008
09 December 2008
08 December 2008
07 December 2008
06 December 2008
Normally we would be celebrating St. Nicholas Day, a holiday we inherited from the Austrian side of our family.
03 December 2008
Here are the Mamas with their children. Unfortunately, due to illness half the group had to stay home. But those of us who were able to go enjoyed the beautiful weather, exploring the various booths and, of course, the Gluhwein!
Later in the day, Basel-based blogger The Big Finn even made an appearance and kindly guided us back to the train station for our return trip home.
02 December 2008
01 December 2008
29 November 2008
27 November 2008
23 November 2008
20 November 2008
14 November 2008
13 November 2008
11 November 2008
07 November 2008
06 November 2008
05 November 2008
03 November 2008
02 November 2008
31 October 2008
28 October 2008
27 October 2008
20 October 2008
18 October 2008
16 October 2008
This is how we managed to get Global Baby to sleep for 4-5 hours at a time each night. GB is now waking only once during the night for a quick feeding before he usually goes back to sleep. We are praying that trend continues!
15 October 2008
14 October 2008
10 October 2008
08 October 2008
07 October 2008
03 October 2008
01 October 2008
29 September 2008
24 September 2008
20 September 2008
17 September 2008
15 September 2008
14 September 2008
12 September 2008
11 September 2008
06 September 2008
05 September 2008
03 September 2008
What do you think?
02 September 2008
27 August 2008
23 August 2008
20 August 2008
18 August 2008
11 August 2008
We have visitors arriving tomorrow morning. To save time later in the day, I thought I would slow cook some barbecued pork for a quick and easy dinner. The plan is to set it up to cook before I leave for the airport early tomorrow morning.
We also invited an additional guest as well, so I wanted to make certain we had enough. I'd rather have too much than not enough.
In the end, the Swiss Slow Cooker won the draw. Can't cook it if ya can't fit it in the pot, now can ya?
Note: The arrival of guests means the remainder of the travel posts will have to wait until after they are gone.
Mykonos has never been a particularly important island historically speaking. Its inhabitants were primarily sailors and fishermen with a few farmers to supplement the fish. During Ancient Greek times the island would supply the Sanctuaries on Delos with food and building supplies. The Romans and the Venetians used it essentially as a warehouse and it was key to fighting the Turks during the Greek War of Independence in 1812 due to its large fleet of ships and its capable sailors.
After World War I Mykonos became a tourist destination due to its proximity to Delos and the growing interest in visiting ancient ruins among the world's travelers. After World War II tourism became its primary industry and it has been a popular resort island every since.
Our first sight upon arriving on the island was this enormous pelican. We discovered his name is Petros and he has been the island's mascot since 1953.
Of course, this is not the original Petros. He died years ago. Not sure which pelican they are on now. But male or female, they are always named "Petros."
As with every port in Greece, and many in Italy as well, right next to the dock is a chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.
There are numerous other chapels of varying sizes from small to tiny throughout the island. Apparently it was common during storms at sea for sailors to pray to God for help. As part of their prayer they would often would promise to build a chapel on their island if God would but save them from their watery fate. The Mediterranean and Aegean Seas must be very stormy, because there are a lot of little chapels.
And so we continued on to see what the town had to offer us.
There were some lovely homes...
An interesting district called "Little Venice..."
And the iconic windmills on the hill....
But mostly what the town had to offer was shopping.
Other options for activities on the island are to spend your day at the beach and party most of the night.
Since these are not activities either of us are terribly interested in pursuing, we went back to the ship and took advantage of its emptiness by claiming one of the extremely comfortable, and highly prized, double chaises in the shady and breezy area of the deck where we read our books, sipped margaritas and napped the afternoon away.
As others came back from their trips to the beach, we listened to their stories with amusement.
See, most of the people on the ship were Americans. And, obviously, the Mykonos beaches are European. Most Americans are unaccustomed to the nudity at European beaches.
What made it especially shocking, which was all the more amusing for us, is that Mykonos is also known as the Gay Capital of the Mediterranean.
Yep, nude gay guys hanging out together and participating in "public displays of affection."
How do you think the American tourists reacted to that?
Perhaps the ship should have done more to warn them than simply announcing in the daily schedule of events that the beaches on Mykonos are lovely, but tend to be full of young, fun-loving people and are quite liberal.
But that would have ruined our fun. And perhaps the fun of the ship's crew as well!
And what might also be fun is to see how many extra hits I get because of certain words used in this post. Any wagers as to the increase per day?
Unlike the previous day in Santorini where we were joined by six cruise ships, we had Delos to ourselves. Our ship had about 600 passengers, but I would say that only a third of them got off the ship. Which astounded me, because this was such an interesting destination. An island that is nothing but an archaeological site? (Have I mentioned how much I love these things?) But I didn't mind because it meant no issues with crowds.
In Greek mythology, Delos is where Leto went to give birth to Apollo and Artemis after being seduced by Zeus and the island has been a religious sanctuary since the third millennium BC. However, it rose in importance in the 5th century BC as the site of the Delian League. Comprised of several Greek city states united by Athens, the Delian League joined together to defend themselves against the Persians. Delos was selected as a neutral central location for the league members to meet. The common treasury for the Delian League was kept on the island.
Eventually Athens power grew and they became the leaders of the league. At that time the treasury was moved to Athens and all meetings and decisions happened there. However, Delos remained an important religious sanctuary with many cults based there. Especially the ones for Apollo.
During Roman times it's geographic position made it an important port within the Aegean Sea, eventually reaching a population of 25,000 inhabitants. On the darker side, it had one of the largest slave markets in Ancient Roman times, although many tour books choose not to mention this fact.
It began to decline in 88 BC when it was sacked by King Mithridates of Pontus. Eventually it was abandoned. Now it serves only as an archaeological site and museum. But it was never a true "dig." Because of the rocky nature of the island, and the lack of soil, very little was ever covered up.
We explored the site on our own, following a clockwise path through the ruins.
Immediately inside the entrance are three Temples to Apollo. Only three of many on the island.
But don't ask me to tell you which one that is!
Working our way around we came upon the Terrace of the Lions.
Dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos around 600 BC, it originally had 9-12 lions.
Time has diminished the ferociousness of their snarls. (By the way, these are exact replicas. The originals are in the museum located on the island.)
After visiting the original lions and other Delian artifacts in the museum, we continued on our way. We next began to climb Mount Kynthos towards the first sanctuary which was built in a cave around 3000 BC. But it was hot and there is practically no shade anywhere on the island, so we only went as far up as the Temple of Isis (facade with columns pictured below) in the area of the island dedicated to the worship of foreign gods.
We stopped to rest in the one bit of shade we had found anywhere on the island and enjoyed the view.
After a brief rest and a chat with another couple who were working their way around the island in a counter-clockwise pattern, we continued towards the Theater District.
It's the best preserved area on the island, perhaps because it is sheltered from the wind?
And what would a Theater District be without a Theater?
But it also has many houses which were once home to some of the wealthiest of the island's inhabitants. This is from the House of the Dolphins, named for the design in the mosaic floor.
The ship left Delos at 11:30 am for the very short sail to Mykonos where we were scheduled to spend the afternoon and evening.