We'll start with two days and one night in Paris. We'll have all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday (which means we'll get to go to Sunday morning mass at Notre Dame, I cannot wait). We're staying in the Marais at a sweet little hotel called Hotel le Relais du Marais:
Then Sunday evening we'll fly to Athens, where we'll spend a couple of nights -- allowing me to see the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Plaka, oh my heart. We're just staying in a little not-such-a-big-deal hotel called Hotel Evripides. It's convenient and primarily a place to sleep:
Just after lunch on Tuesday we'll fly from Athens to the island of Santorini, where we'll stay at a beautiful little place in Imerovigli called Villa Lukas. It overlooks the caldera, and we are so excited about this beautiful place. Santorini is the island characterized by whitewashed buildings with blue domed roofs the color of the Mediterranean (and in fact it's the picture in the masthead, above):
To get to Crete a few days later, we are taking a high-speed catamaran ferry. The thrilling part (I mean, aside from everything) is that the ferry will leave Santorini around 6pm and get us to Crete at 7:30pm; we'll be on the Mediterranean in a boat around sunset. Every single trip we take, we are in a boat at some point, so that's what this little piece of the journey will be for us. Our time on a boat. At sunset. In the Mediterranean. En route to CRETE.
When we get to Crete we're renting a car (we'll do the same thing in Santorini), but instead of driving after dark from Heraklion to Rethymnon, we decided to flop in Heraklion for a night at the Hotel Kronos. The hotel is fine, but again it's a place to sleep.
We'll get up and visit the Palace at Knossos. Knossos was sung of by Homer in his Odyssey: “Among their cities is the great city of Cnosus, where Minos reigned when nine years old, he that held converse with great Zeus.” King Minos, famous for his wisdom and, later, one of the three judges of the dead in the underworld, gave his name to the people of Knossos and, by extension, the ancient civilization of Crete: the Minoan. WOWIE. I can't wait. After we wander around the ancient palace, we'll drive west to Rethymnon:
In Rethymnon we're staying at a beautiful place called Casa dei Delfini (and yeah, this is our room):
After a couple of days and nights in Rethymnon, we'll drive further east to Chania and stay at Mama Nena, a beautiful old place on the harbor.
After two nights there, we'll drive east again into the mountainous center of the island, to a small village called Zaros. Funny enough, the place we're staying is the top-ranked B&B in all of Greece, Eleonas Cottages.
We're there for three nights, and then we take the long journey back, drive to Heraklion, fly to Dusseldorf and then on to New York City, back there the evening of June 1.
We aren't European travelers. Obviously we usually go to SE Asia, a place we love with all our hearts and return to as often as we possibly can. So this European trip is unusual for us, but for me, anyway, it's a trip to my own deep heart, to Paris that I love so much, to Greece that always means Homer, Odysseus, journeys home. And together once more, with joy.