20 Touristic Hotspots that I have visited by category

with beautiful pictures of the USA, Europe, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt

Places include Mytilini, Salamina, Oslo Norway, Amsterdam Holland, Malta, Messinia, Ioannina, Madrid Spain, Naxos, Thermopylae, Thesaloniki, Drama, Kavala, Xanthi, Alexandroupolis, Cesme Turkey, Manhattan, New York City, Egypt, Sicily Italy, Naousa, Crete, Vienna Austria, Nafplio, Chios, Sifnos, Greece.


Mytilini, Lesbos Greece
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Mytilini Greece, also known as Lesbos

A windmill on the bay of GeraThe north eastern Island of Mytilini, also known as Lesbos, is another well known Greek destination.

The folklore of Sapho, beautiful beaches with crisp cool water, hills covered by forests and olive trees, and a great selection of ouzo to go with some of the finest fresh fish such of sardines and tuna.

This 5 day trip covered most of the island by car with plenty of time for relaxation.

This trip was in July 2012.


Salamina, Greece
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Salamina, a historic island just outside Piraeus Greece

Greek naval battle of SalaminaWhen you live in the Athens area and you want to go somewhere for a day trip, Salamina is a nice idea because it is close enough to avoid a long drive and anyone can get there by bus.

A short ferry boat from Perama to Paloukia glides across the bay in less than a half hour.

The bay of Salamina is the historic area where the Athenians fought the Persians in an epic naval battle after the famous battle of Thermopylae.

Our trip took us to a lecture on the Antikythera mechanism, some beautiful beaches, a swimmer with some octopuses (in January), a hill with a memorial overlooking the bay of Salamina, and a drive through a forest completing our trip around the island.


Oslo, Norway - Amsterdam, Holland
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Oslo, Norway with a dash of Amsterdam, Holland

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Land of the Vikings, Leif Erickson, and a short stop over in Amsterdam, Holland otherwise known as the Netherlands

We decided to finally take a break from all of the craziness of the European crisis and visit the Scandinavian country of Norway. I have heard so much about the advanced social system that I thought it is time for a look and see while visiting some friends.

Oslo is a very modern city and very technologically advanced compared to most of Europe.
There is a train from the Oslo Airport at Gardermoen to the city and a metro that interconnects with that as well. The buses and the trams operate very smoothly and offer the ability of seeing many of the areas of Oslo using its transportation system with a multi-day transit card. Next stop Oslo (Central Station) Sentralstasjon.

The Norwegian street names are unusual to newcomers.

The people of Oslo speak English and Norwegian which is a great help and appear to be very open to foreigners. Be aware that visiting Scandinavia can be very expensive. I surveyed the cost of living and found it to be on a higher level than that of Europe. What I found disappointing was the bland food with the exception of fish meals and the lack of sweets. Unless you are interested in skiing, the month of August is a good time to visit.

The trip lasted a week and that gave us the opportunity to visit the Royal Palace and its surrounding park with gardens. The park has a variety of sculptures, ponds, and a river that passes through it, and is carpeted with fields of grass. It reminded me of Central Park in NY. Another interesting tourist spot is the Akershus Castle from around 1300 ad with a wonderful view of the port leading out to some of the fjords and some small islands, and a view of the city of Oslo. The Nobel Peace Center is also nearby in the main square near the city hall

In the Norsk Folkemuseum area of Bygdoy just outside Oslo is an interesting area that houses three Viking Ships, replicas of Viking homes, a Stave Church, and homes from the Middle Ages.

Here are the top 20 museums in Oslo.

Amsterdam, Holland

Dutch wooden shoesHopping back on our flight back to Athens, we had the advantage of a six (6) hour stop-over that we used to visit the old area of Amsterdam. As with all airports becoming larger and larger these days, exiting the plane to the train was a brisk 20 minute walk.
Don't forget to leave about 20 minutes to pass through the airport security on your way back if you do this, along with the walk to the gate.

The train ride to the Central Station was approximately 15 minutes.

We traveled from the Schiphol Airport to Central Station that brought us to the historic center allowing us to explore numerous streets and squares crowded with people from everywhere.

I found Amsterdam intriguing as many of the older buildings in NY were built by the Dutch and so there are bits and pieces of architecture that were familiar.

Walking along one of the canals brought us to some barges that hold a spectacular arrangement of tulip bulbs. There tourist attractions include Magna Plaza with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Anne Frank Huis (house), the DAM, the Oude Kerk Church, the Erotic museum, sadly there is much more than can be done within a few hours.
If you want to take a canal trip, there is a hop on-hop off, a variety of short tours, short bus tours, and then there are the bike tours. There is even a Cannabis (marijuana) tour although you might miss your plane home.

The trip was a refreshing break from the August 2011 heat of Athens.

Happy traveling and enjoy the pictures!


Malta
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Malta

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Melita, Valetta, Sliema, Fort Mancel, Fort Tigne, St. Julian's, Gozo, Gigantia, Azure window

In days of old, when knights were bold...

The country that became the center of the knights of the Crusaders.

A beautiful country that is really more like an island to the south of Sicily offers wonderful views of castles, a pre-historic site dating 1000 years before Stonehenge, and tributes to Saint Peter and Saint Paul through a multitude of churches and shrines.

If you ever decide to go there, the Malta Experience is a great audio visual historical that must be seen.

We travelled here for only 4 days at the end of June in 2010 and toured many of the historical sites.


Messinia, Greece
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Messinia Methoni Pylos

Messinia, PeloponneseA beautiful excusion in the Peloponesse of Greece.

Just less than 6 hours from the over heated Athens area by car is a place of relaxation, beautiful beaches, with a history of wars that has left markers over the battles fought for this land.

July 2009


Ioannina, Greece
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Ioannina, Greece

Greek female warriorA Greek Easter trip starting from Athens to Patra then up to Ioannina.

We visited the Byzantine fortification of Ali-Pasha and the island where he lived until he was beheaded. From there we explored the citadel within the city of Ioannina and then the surrounding mountains of Vikos and Zagori.

After leaving Ioannina we continued our journey to the area of Metsovo to enjoy the Greek Easter festivities in Naousa, part of the Greek Macedonian area.

From there we return to Athens via Volos.

The trip is around a 1,000 kilometers of driving over a 10 day period.

April 2009


Madrid, Spain
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Madrid, Spain

where El Greco lived and workedOur trip to Madrid, Spain this past week was fantastic.

Apart from us being there during Christmas week from the 24th until the 28th, we were able to tour by foot, metro, and buses around Madrid and to travel to Toledo without any inconvenience.

These pictures include Toledo because it is only about an hour from Madrid.

December 2008, Hole!


Naxos, Greece
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Naxos, Greece

a traditional Greek castle bedroomProbably my favorite island, Naxos is one of the most relaxing islands of Greece. It has beautiful sandy beaches and offers great sports like wind and kite surfing, scuba diving or just lying around on the beaches.

The islanders are still down-to-earth in their friendly way and I always relax in the calmness of the light wind and sunny skies.

This trip, my fourth time there, was in June 2008.


Cesme, Turkey
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Asia Minor, Cesme, Turkey

Greek architecture of Asia Minor While I have been to various parts of Turkey such as Instanbul (also known as Constantinopoli), Smyrni, Effessos, and other older areas of the Ionian period are easy to get to from the islands of Chios and Mytilini (Lesbos) in Greece.

Cesme is located directly across from the island of Chios and belongs to the area known as Asia Minor.

These pictures were taken by my wife on a trip in September 2007.


Northern, Greece
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Northern, Greece

Greek women from the period of Alexander the GreatThermopylae, Thesaloniki, Drama, Kavala, Xanthi, and Alexandroupolis are areas in northern Greece, also part of Macedonia and was made famous by Alexander the Great.

There can be no doubt as history has left it's own proof as to who the Macedonians really are and I must stand as a witness to those facts.

The upper region of Greece along what is one third of the entire area known as Macedonia that is and always will belong to Greece.

This trip was in August 2007.


Sicily, Italy
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Sicily, southern Italy

the TriskelionSicily is a the most southern area of Italy and very similar in climate to Greece. The link between the history of Sicily and Greece is amazing because it's almost as if the two areas were one long ago.

Italy is one of my favorite destinations as I always enjoy the culture, the food, and the style of the Italians.

This trip was in June 2007.

The Triskelion


Egypt
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A Tour of Egypt

a an Egyptian king or pharaoh in EgyptMy pictures from Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Sharm El Sheik in Egypt.

A fantastic trip including a cruise on the Nile that lasted 11 days and that was still not enough time.

December 2007.


Crete, Greece
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Knossos and areas of Crete

portrait of people from Knossos Crete Crete has three main areas, Chania, Rethymno, and Irakleio. It is the largest of the Greek islands and can be toured by car within a 12 day visit.

The island has an enormous history and apart from it's beautiful beaches and great food, the museums and the people are terrific.

This trip was in July 2006.


Naousa, Greece
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Naoussa, Greece

and the Boules or Janizari or Janissary of NaoussaNaousa is in the northern area of the mainland of Greece. The area is mountainous and has beautiful streams and lakes. While I love the coastal areas and the sea, this is an area worth visiting.

Festival of the Boules or Janizari is during the last two Sundays of the Carnival, masked men and women dance in Naoussa Greece. There are two figures: the Janizari and the Boules.

The original janissaries were soldiers of the Ottoman sultans were of Greek origin taken from their parents by force when they were young and brought up as Muslims.

The Janizari of Naoussa are dressed as traditional Greek warriors wearing the foustanella and tsarouch. The Boules are dressed as brides and both wear masks made of wax and their clothes are covered with gold coins that jingle as they move.

This trip was in August 2006.


Vienna, Austria
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Vienna, Austria

the statue of Europa Vienna is a wonderful city and very easy to tour with trolleys and trains.

Numerous museums will fill the hours with interesting artifacts.

December 2005.


Nafplio, Greece
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Nafplio, Greece

The castle of Bruntzi Nafplio is one of my favorite places on the mainland area known as the Peloponese in Greece. It has quaint little streets with a variety of interesting places and things to see, and an incredible view with the castle on the mountain top above the city and a smaller castle fortress on the water are fantastic.

This trip was in July 2005.


Manhattan, NY
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New York City

Manhattan, New YorkThe big apple is my home away from home. Manhattan, New York is where I was born and grew up.

New York is a unique place and no terrorist can destroy it because it became the center of the world, like the restaurant at the top of the twin towers was appropriately named "TOP OF THE WORLD".

I may not live there anymore but it will always be the first place in my heart known as home.

These photos from this trip were taken from September to November 2005.


Chios, Greece
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Chios, Greece

the historic port of Chios

The island where my father was born. Once a gateway to the area of Asia Minor that was a major trade route to the east, it is today an island with an incredible history.

I have visited Chios numerous times and this trip was in May 2005.


Sifnos, Greece
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The Island of Sifnos

Greek port with fishing vessels and netsOne of many beautiful Greek islands that I vacationed at in October 2004.