Thursday, June 30, 2011

Greece-Mykonos (Day 120)

We got up early to catch our ferry from Rafina to Mykonos.  Luckily, Rick and Linda had gone down to the port the day before to pickup our tickets or we would have needed to get up an hour earlier.  We took the slower ferry for 25 euros each which saved us about 20 euros each at the cost of 3 hours.  Piraeus is the major port of Athens but we’d chose to go from Rafina because it is closer to the airport and less crazy than Piraeus.  Linda and I had made up a 2 week travel plan in December to go Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Patmos, and then Kalymnos.  Our family would leave us on Kalymnos and fly back from there. Once we realized the reality of time constraints and ferry schedules and routes we cut out Crete so our planned route was Mykonos (1 night), Santorini (3), Rhodes (3), Patmos (2), and then Kalymnos (2).


It was a large ship we were on about the size of the one above.


We boarded and stored our luggage.


Then we headed up to the lounge coffee shop area and found 6 seats together.  We had a nice ride talking about family matters, catching up on things going on in the States, and talking about our trip.


Life boats hope we don’t need them.


Views from the front of the boat.


We went through a few other port towns before making it to Mykonos.


We got to Mykonos and it turned out our hotel had a shuttle from the port to the hotel which was great and we all got checked in at the Poseidon Hotel ($80 a night).


We had a problem at first that our room smelled of smoke so we switch quick which was lucky since there is no such thing as “non-smoking” in Greece.  The hotel had a nice pool but it was kind of chilly which surprised us.  First order of business was to pickup our ferry tickets for the next day to go to Santorini.


We got our first lunch in Greece.  We learned here they bring you bread whether you order it or not and charge you for it.  It was the most expensive meal we’d had on our whole trip so we had a little sticker shock at the 15 euro each ($22 each) bill.


After lunch we went for a little walk to find an old church.


We were in the port of Mykonos and it wasn’t that pretty.


We found the church in a cool spot overlooking the ocean.




We thinking about getting some ice cream until we saw the price and this pelican came waddling through the restaurant.


I guess the pink pelican is a famous resident of Santorini and the restaurant owner just let it waddle through.  We found it in an alley on the other side of the restaurant.


My mom petted it.


Anja petted it.


I tried to pet it but it ducked it’s head down and waddled at me.  I wasn’t sure how a pelican bite would feel and didn’t want to find out.


Luckily, I walk faster than a pelican.


Then it walked in a sweets show.  This business owner didn’t really want the pelican in his shop and tried to shoe it out with a broom but it didn’t want to go.


I’d had enough shopping and wondering around and wanted a nap as we’d had about 30 hours of pretty busy traveling without much sleep so we walked to the famous windmills.


My folks came too.  Unfortunately, Rick and Linda didn’t follow us and got lost enroute back to the hotel.  Regardless, we got up and headed to a taverna for sunset.


I again got sticker shock with our 44 euro bar tab for 3 drinks at the taverna.  Greece might be rough on the bank account.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkey-Fly to Greece (Day 119)

It was time to head out.


We grabbed breakfast at our free buffet at 8 am.


I grabbed a picture of our hotel pool.


Then I grabbed a shot of the beach in front of our hotel, Hotel Odile.


Which also included use of these beach chairs.  We headed off to the Antalya airport to fly to Istanbul and then on to Athens on Turkish Airlines.  In Athens we were to meet my parents and Anja’s dad and step mom.  After so many days away we were both a little homesick and very excited to see some of our family. 

The flights were really nice and I enjoyed Turkish Air.  Unfortunately, I’d been warned by my mother that Athens was having so sort of strike and public transit wasn’t running today so we were a little worried about having transportation issues to get to Rafina. When we got to Athens we went through our normal airport routine of luggage, cash, and find transport.  The first two went flawless and we went looking for taxi, bus, or rail info.  We found an airport information desk and said we want to go to Rafina.  She said a bus was leaving in 7 minutes.  We rushed out and found it and got to Rafina for only 3 euro each.  This was going well.  We got dumped at the port and found a taxi to take us to the hotel for 10 euro.


We made it and everyone was there at the hotel waiting for us to show up.  We were so excited!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Turkey-Olympos Cennet (Day 118)

The last climbing area in Olympos we wanted to visit before we left Turkey was Cennet (Jennet).  It looked like the poorest climbing but in the coolest location.


We had to start with another long walk down the beach.  Smile


Then the approach trail took us past Genevoise Castle overlooking the ocean on a cliff.


It was about a 45 minute walk from the hotel to the cliff.


We started off on Deja Vu 5.9 which was a little sharp but was ok otherwise.


Then we got on Kur Kur 5.10d (6b) which was listed as two pitches but only 27 meters total so we did it just as one pitch.  Anja was able to do it clean but I got shutdown but a thin crimpy section at the first bolt of the “second pitch” and had to hang.

P5103371 The views from the top of this cliff and especially from the top of Kur Kur were just epic!


I’d read about a nice “crack” route on the far left named Tutsunami 5.10a so went over.  It wasn’t much of a crack but it was really fun with good finger tip jugs of sorts with almost no footholds which required kind of cool toe hooking to the left the crack as I went up.


I was feeling strong and good after the “crack" so I gave Bloody 5.11a a try.  Oh it was way too hard up I struggled up it hanging at about every other bolt.


We’d climbed everything on the left and headed back to a route we’d seen on the way in called Bismillah 5.10b/c.  It was a great route steep with nice holds, not too sharp, and just difficult enough or easy enough for me.


I then jumped on Wicked Game 5.9+ which was nice and cruiser.


Then 657 5.9+.


It got a little thin and balancy.

To round out the day we climbed Angel 5.8 which was pretty mundane.


This photo is out of order because we were sitting at this restaurant waiting for our food we had just ordered and Anja wanted to take a picture of something and asked me for the camera. I replied “you’ve had the camera all day.  I don’t have it”  “Uh Oh”.  I quickly put my shoes back on and went for a run.  I checked the last climb we did it wasn’t there because we hadn’t taken a picture of it.  I checked the climb we did before that but not there either. Last, I checked where Anja had packed up her bag and it was there sitting on a rock.


I grabbed a couple of shots of the sunset as I ran back.




I got back to the restaurant and the waiter had seen me run out and stopped our food order until I got back.


Anja was happy I found the camera.


We we got back to our room we had a guest just outside our door a wild hedgehog.  Well everyone who’s know me a long time knows I lived with a hedgehog that my college girlfriend often carried in her purse.  That is a long story but this guy saw us and hunkered to the ground but I asked Anja if she had ever seen one ball up? 


Luckily, I had a beer bottle so I flipped the hedgehog over and it balled up.  Oddly, it wasn’t to pissed off with me.  Trust me when I say I know what a pissed off hedgehog looks like and I’m sure this one would have bit me if I put my finger near it but didn’t seem too upset.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Turkey-Olympos Horguc Magara (Day 117)

We found a little more motivation to go for a longer walk and headed over to Olympos Canyon to climb at Hörgüç Magara (Horguch Cave).


The approach was arduous.  First we had to hike down the beach for like 15 minutes.


Then we had to hike through the ancient town of Olympos which dates back to the 2nd century BC.


Walking through town.


Horguc Magara and Horguc Ghetto is the little cave high on the right.


We started in the back of the cave on Oyuncak Dünya 5.10c which was nice but had a hard clip to the anchor.


Above I’m on Manik Depresif 5.10c right where it got hard and it was even before the anchors.


Anja then of course had to try the tufa climb of Die Another Day 5.11a just to the right which was pretty cool left slanting tufa to some tufa columns.  Tufas are just one of the coolest things to climb.  I still love it.

We were out of climbs we could do in the cave so I wanted to head up to the Horguc Getto just five minutes up the trail below the cliff.


I got on Seniorenfalle 5.10b I struggled about halfway up on this cool overhang that was well above my last bolt. 


I went up and down trying the moves and trying to find a better hold to be able to progress upward to the reach the next bolt but just couldn’t find any thing. Finally I tried to the right of the bolt which looked like so much less fun on delicate crimping hold and found some and went for it. No problem then it was cruiser to the top. Of course Anja just floated up it.


After the previous route going up and down I felt wiped but Anja wanted more so we got on Auf Dem Holzweg 5.10b a steep route just to the right of the previous route.  It was pretty fun on big holds so Anja cruised it and I struggled up it.


Heading back down the trail we came across Biricik 5.10b which looked ok from the ground so I headed up it.  I absolutely loved this climb.  I can’t exactly say why but it was a cool mixture of jugs to balancy moves and stemming.  It was just a climb that required a little bit of every technic.


The view down to new Olympos town.  Not a place I’d want to stay.  There are lots of hostels and cheaper accommodations here but it is really packed in and just didn’t seem as relaxed as Cirali.


Back down the beach at sunset.  This place is just soo crowded.  Smile