I have a very good feeling about this trip and it has come at exactly the right time. The pressures of work are beginning to tell and I am desperate for sunshine, good food and all things ‘Joi de vivre’ that beautiful Greece will offer.
I am particularly excited about the opportunity to observe the Easter traditions in Greece. Despite having travelled to Greece over the last 25 years I have yet to be there to experience this very special festival.
Easter in Greece is a very special affair. Each region has it’s own customs and special way of celebrating so this left me in a real dilemma about choosing where to go.
After conducting some initial research, I finally decided to reach out to the online community for some ideas and feedback. Matt Barrett’s Travel Guides’s website and Facebook Group is just an amazing resource for all questions relating to Greece and Greek travel. My criteria was quite simple – to travel somewhere that I hadn’t been to before and also somewhere that was accessible from Athens as this where I’d already booked the flights to.
The online community was fantastic and after many interesting suggestions and much deliberation, I decided that the Peloponnese would be the focus of the trip and we would be spending Easter in Tyros. I always feel much more comfortable doing a circular route so that towards the end of the trip you are heading towards your departure airport with less chance of getting stranded! The planned trip looks like this.
The draft plan is an overnight stay in Athens, 3 night in Kardamyli, 4 nights in Tyros covering the Easter period, 2 nights in Nafplio, 3 nights on Poros, 3 night in Aegina and 2 nights in Athens.
I don’t often go back to places that I have already visited. However, there are exceptions. Poros has a very special place in my heart as it was the first Greek island I ever visited 24 years ago and this is where the love affair really began.
I have very fond memories of my trip to Poros and I appreciate that there is always the risk that a return visit won’t live up to my expectations. This really isn’t a concern at all. I believe that you shouldn’t embark upon a journey with too many expectations. Just keep your heart and your mind open and you won’t be disappointed.
Travel has changed so much since I first started travelling to Greece all those years ago. At the time it was ‘de rigueur’ to carry a ruck sack in true back packing style. Although my preferred luggage choice nowadays is a suitcase with wheels there are still some handy hints that I picked up from the era of the rucksack that I still utilise today .
When you are only staying in a place for a day or two sometimes it isn’t worth the effort to empty all of your luggage and hang up your clothes. I group clothes by type and separate them into plastic bags i.e. swimwear and underwear in one bag, shorts and skirts in another, tops in another. Trouser and dresses I usually lay flat on top of the bags underneath. When I arrive at the place I am staying I usually hang dresses and trousers and put the various bags on the shelves or leave them in the suitcase – the bags help you to keep things organised.
The downside to this approach is that sometimes your clothes don’t get a good airing and I really don’t like my clothes to smell stale. One way to help alleviate this is that as you pack your clothes into the bags and suitcase, insert tumble dryer sheets between the layers. This really helps to keep clothes smelling fresh.
Another backpacking tip is to roll your clothes. I don’t roll all of my clothes – just things like leggings and clothes that don’t really crease. These can then be used to fill any gaps in the suitcase.
I guess we’ve all opened our suitcases to find that our toiletries have exploded over our clothing thanks to the loving care our luggage is given at the airport. I now take extra precautions and put as many liquids as I can into screw top bottles (the ones you can buy from the £1 shop) and then put them in zip lock bags. This way if your suitcase does get mistreated during the luggage handling process, any explosions are contained. I never carry liquids in hand luggage – they always go into hold. I keep all of my cameras and various bits of technology with me so all I have to focus on going through security is that. I pride myself on being a very organised traveller though really wish I could master the art of packing conservatively!
This evening I will be raising a glass of Prosecco to what I think will be an absolutely epic trip!