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The bug travelling around in Greece (and maybe even further sometimes?)
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18 February 2007


Fertig aber lustig

Uff, geschafft. Wir haben auch die (grössere) Parade vom Sonntag am Karneval in Patras durchgetanzt. Stimmung war nochmal viel besser als gestern.

Anstrengend ist die Sache schon, drum spannen wir erstmal etwas aus. Heut abend geht es dann mit Party und Feuerwerk weiter.

Posted by betabug at 16:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
27 April 2007

Ναυτική απορία

Sea bound

Είμαι στο δελφίνι για τον Πόρο. Στο δρόμο είδα μια πινακίδα και αναρωτήθηκα: Γιατί λέγεται "Αργοσαρωνικός", αφού φτάνουμε εκεί πολύ γρήγορα;

Posted by betabug at 11:35 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Islands and Lemons

Travelling to Poros and the Peloponnese

It's amazing how far you can get from Athens in a few hours. This morning we woke up slightly later than normal, went down to Pireus and hopped on a flying dolphin. Same as we would take to Hydra, but this time we got off on stop earlier at Poros island.

Poros is right next to the Peloponnese peninsula. Really right next, you could swim over. We took a small boat over, after we had found a room. Then we took a long walk to a lemon grove. They say that there are 30000 lemon trees there.

We walked some while through them, then sat at a (currently closed) restaurant (pic). Went back the same way, then got some souvlaki (hungry from walking!) and took a nap (tired from...). Now we're going to see Poros town by night.

Posted by betabug at 20:50 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
06 May 2007

Some Pictures of the Island of Poros

That was two weeks ago already...

Finally some pictures from our two days excursion to the island of Poros. On the first day we went with a small boat over to the Peloponnese, where we walked to the famous lemon grove (about 40000 lemon trees). We went to eat at a very good restaurant in the evening. On the second day we took it easier. We stayed in town, had coffee, relaxed and went up to the "ρολόι" (roloi), the watch tower that is the symbol of Poros.

2CV wreck

While we were searching for the road to the lemon grove, we came across this sad little 2CV ruin.

View from taverna in lemon grove

There is the view from a taverna in the lemon grove, which was recommended to us (on the road) and which we hoped to provide us with some refreshing drinks and a bite to eat. No such luck, it was closed. But we sat a bit in the shade and enjoyed the view.

Poros as seen from the opposite side

This is another view of Poros, from the way back from the lemon grove.

Heideck's fort on a small island

On one of those little islands in the distance there is a fort, built by the german Heideck.

Tree near Galata

We passed by this huge and beautyful tree on our way to the lemon grove.

Panorama view of Poros, from Galata

The town exactly opposite Poros on the Peloponnese is called Galata. Here we see Poros, as seen from Galata. In the bigger view (click on the image) you can almost make out the watch tower above town.

Poros with watchtower

Up there is the watch tower. We're now standing at the seaside, next thing is to walk up there.

Stairs and flowers in Poros

There are a lot of stairs (to go up or down) and flowers (to make the view enjoyable.

Street on Poros

A little street scene. The waterfront is very touristy, but once you go a little bit into the small streets on the hill, it gets much more relaxed and nice.

A catamaran leaving Poros

While we were standing next to the watch tower and enjoying the view, we saw this catamaran leaving Poros in direction to Pireus.


Posted by betabug at 19:51 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
04 June 2007

Something to write home about

Travelling to Munich and St.Gallen

Saturday morning I woke up early and took the morning flight to Munich. I slept all through the afternoon, then we went to a student party, where everybody talked about music. I declared Montepucci to be my favourite opera composer (that resulted in a bit of confusion) and met some friends of Elenis I had only heard about. Next morning we took the train to Switzerland.

Over here it's nice and green. It rained a couple of times, all the other times the weather can't quite decide if it should give us clouds or sun, cold or warm. We went to see the library of the convent of St.Gallen (Stiftsbibliothek), where they showed us some books that were about 1200 years old. Tomorrow we will make a trip by train to the mountains.

Posted by betabug at 22:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 June 2007

Mountains and a Lake

Grisonia and Lake Constance

Tuesday morning we woke up early and took the train to Grisonia (Graubünden), one of the mountainous cantons of Switzerland. We had thought about getting my fathers car, because the trip would have been a bit shorter. In the end, going by train proved to be a nice idea, much more relaxed and much easier to look out of the window. In Chur (the capital of Grisonia) we changed trains to go to Ilanz, a small city in the mountains with a beautiful old walled city ring. The ride up there through the canyon of the river Rhine is wonderful.

Up there we met with friends and family, enjoyed stories, food and drink. We went on by car to Laax to visit with more family. On the way back we took that ages-old traditional transport, the swiss postal coach (Postauto), then we went back by train down the Rhine's wide valley.

Public transport in Switzerland is very nice - if it weren't for the prices. If you live there, you can buy a pass that is valid for a year and cuts prices in half. But for a visitor, the prices are truly breathtaking.

On Wednesday we did a bit of chocolate shopping in St.Gallen, said good bye to everybody and went on the train back to Munich. We left the train again in Lindau on Lake Constance (Bodensee). Lindau is the bavarian stronghold on the lake. The oldest part of the city is built on an island in the lake (connected with dams and bridges for trains and cars). We had a stroll around and a good look at the lake. The weather was very sticky and warm, even though it was mostly cloudy. After our little excursion we took the train to Munich where we arrived just in time to shop for dinner and for todays food (since today is public holiday where shops are closed).

Posted by betabug at 14:14 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 June 2007

Bier im Zug

Alkoholismus oder so?

Einer der Eindrücke, die bei mir während meiner Reise nach Deutschland am stärksten eingeschlagen haben, war die Szene in einem Regionalzug irgendwo zwischen Lindau und München. Der Zug hatte sich an jedem Halt erneut gefüllt und überfüllt. Des öfteren stiegen Leute ein, die Bier mit sich führten. Letzten November als ich in München war, hatte mich schon beeindruckt, wie junge Männer in der Strassenbahn Bier tranken, etwas was man sich zuhause in Athen gar nicht vorstellen könnte. In diesen Regionalzug war jetzt ein junger Mann eingestiegen, der neben seiner Tasche noch drei grosse Bierdosen balancierte. Niemand hatte komisch geschaut. Etwas weiter hatte ein anderer junger Mann vier Bierflaschen in der Tasche, er selber trank zwei, sein Mitfahrer machte nach einer Schluss.

Es war kurz nach vier Uhr Nachmittags. Etwas weiter sah ich dann mit Erstaunen, wie auch ein Grüppchen älterer Zusteiger je eine Bierflasche in den Zug getragen hatte. Der ganze Zug schien zu saufen, ich könnte noch mehr Fahrgäste aufzählen. Ich glaube jeder kennt die Statistiken, die aussagen, dass Deutschland den höchsten Pro-Kopf-Konsum an Bier hat. Da bin ich also im Zug gesessen und sah die Statistik in "real time" aufblinken.

Die Art wie die Leute ihr Bier in den Zug getragen haben beeindruckte mich auch. Es war weder die Aussage von "ich bin ja so ein böser Junge, ich trinke hier Bier", noch "Bier trinken ist ja so cool", für mich hatte es mehr nach einem alltäglichen Alkoholismus ausgesehen. Die Aussage war für mich "mein Leben funktioniert immer nur leicht angetrunken; wenn ich in diesem lauten, ungemütlichen Zug zwei Stunden verbringen muss, muss ich trinken".

Posted by betabug at 14:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 June 2007

Smoke Booth

Inject substance here
smokers booth in Munich airport

No, pictured in this mellow photo are no phone booths. What you see here, is the smokers corner in the Munich airport gate area (notice the "cigarette sign" on top?). Each nicotine addicted person is entitled to their own glass cage, probably well separated from each other, as not to raise any mistaken ideas of social behavior.

The cabins must have ventilation or some kind of vacuum cleaner sucking up the fumes. Still I noticed them from the cold smoke smell while walking by. No ventilation can be good enough. Good that I am a non-smoker.

Posted by betabug at 09:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 July 2007

Clear Water

Easy Island

This morning I started on a surprise daytrip to Hydra. Get out of the hot city, quiet down, and - the real reason - show my father around who is vacationing here now. I'm envious.

Already went for a swim. Saying that "the water is cristal clear" is such a cliche. But its true. I was happy to have brought my swimming glasses: I saw for what seemed 30m under water, small fish, and the rocks dropping down under me to the deep blue. I was tempted to dive all the way down. Instead I took many small dives, to marvel at the sunlight streaming through the surface as I came up.

Posted by betabug at 15:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 August 2007

Deep Blue on Hydra

Beach vacation

We have arrived on Hydra island, got our room, then had a long good walk along the coast (beautyful path) and now we are on the beach.

Swimming, laying lazy in the sun. For an hour or so there was a cloudy sky, but now we're back to the regular frying program.

It's not as rocky on this beach. The water is nice, but I like the deeper blue of the rocky swimming place in the main town.

Posted by betabug at 13:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
09 August 2007

Two Island Days, Summer in the City

Never long enough

We spent two days on Hydra. It was wonderful again. Went swimming in that place near the town, where the water is deep and blue, and the children jump in from the rocks 3 or 4 meters up high. With the swimming goggles, I could see the bubbles underwater, as they dove in. We walked around a bit more, and I took a lot of pictures (watch this space).

Now we're back in Athens. We're showing my father and Ruth around. We take good care in dealing with the heat. Even though it's significantly cooler than the heat wave days, the city is a hot place in August. No wonder everybody flees it whenever they can. A lot of restaurants are closed (not in the tourist areas of course). We had good luck that our friend Panos recommended Το Φασόλι (to fasoli, the bean) in Exarheia. A deviation of the traditional Greek foods that our guests had lived on. The "bean" has a fusion of modern and traditional Greek dishes, a very nice ambiente and friendly service. They will be closing for their summer vacation this Friday too (and we'd say "well deserved!", we will come back). For ourselves... we'll be soon out of the city heat for a bit longer too.

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
14 August 2007

Bridge Tourism

Relaxing at Rio
betabug on the bridge of Rio

Here I am, standing on the foot walk of the big bridge from Rio to Antirio (from the Peloponisos peninsula to the mainland of Greece). Last Saturday I had set out to visit Panos (libero of HelMUG fame) and friends on their family house near Patras. Their place is wonderful. An old stone house, with thick walls, wooden floors, an enchanted garden (in which I had a great afternoon nap). Great company too, we had lots of talks about football and Switzerland.

Saturday evening Panos and me went for a walk on the bridge. We walked to the half point, then turned around. Took lots of great pictures (no time to assemble them yet). Some scary moments, when we had to walk over a metal grille, looking through on the sea a big, big plunge below. Windy too. On Sunday I had to leave, to get Eleni from the airport. Back to Athens again, but soon to leave on further travels.

Posted by betabug at 09:31 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
15 August 2007

The Boat

Water vacation

Here I am, on the next hop of my vacation. I'm on the island of Skopelos, on the Kaïki (a boat shaped like the greek sailingboats) of friends.

There isn't much space, it's most of the time too hot or too cold... but it is just wonderful. We're moored in a little gulf, so to take a swim we just jump overboard.

The boat has been reworked lovingly to be a hobby boat. Unlike most kaïkia it still has a sail.

Posted by betabug at 18:35 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
18 August 2007

Island Hopping

Moving along

After 3 days of staying moored and enjoying to go to swim 3 times a day, we hopped over to a small, almost unhabitated island next to Allonisos.

Travelling with the small boat was nice. At noon we waited close to Skopelos for the wind to calm down.

Over here it's very quiet: No shops, no restaurants, no electricity.

Posted by betabug at 19:35 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
23 August 2007

Home Again

Back in Athens

We're back home. Athens is hot again, especially after having breathed the cool air near the sea so long. Also especially after the f$%# air condition in the bus from Agios Constantinos harbor - the bus driver was determined to deliver his passengers deep frozen. Tonight I won't do anything more.

Posted by betabug at 22:16 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
17 November 2007

The Duets - Brubeck and Desmond

Music at the Airport

So I'm early for my flight to wintery Munich today, wandering around the airport here. Boredom has me and I flip through the CD racks at the airport CD store. My eyes fall on a CD labelled "1975: The Duets - Brubeck & Desmond". It's about 7 Euro only (!) so I grab it. Digitizing it while waiting for my boarding to start... who needs plastic coasters anyway. Though the printed inlet is nice. And the music?

The music is just wonderful. Relaxed and dreamy, Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck get along very well. I'm a longtime Brubeck fan, even seen the man play life with his band, which is an experience. Desmond describes these duets in the inlet text as

"...kind of mind-blowing. With just the two of us playing, an almost eerie feeling of freedom occured, which seldom happens when there are other instruments to be considered."

This feeling certainly is there to listen to in the recording. It's a record to play when you want to relax and flow away. I'm not yet at the point where I can distinguish the songs really, except maybe for "Koto Song" (which I also have on "Late Night Brubeck") and "You Go To My Head", which was recorded life on the cruise ship where the duet idea was born.

Posted by betabug at 14:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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