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Your Vacation Location

Huntn

Misty Mountains Envoy
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Chupacabra wrestling in Tejas
From March 2022: Hawaii The Big Volcanic Island
Left at 3am, got in to the hotel Hilton Waikoloa 20 hours later. Flights went smoothly, I’ve non-stopped, 1 stop, but as the first time on Kona, 2 stops Salt Lake, L.A. with a total of 6 hour layovers, and I’ll do my damnest never to do that again. The worst was when about an hour before leaving LA Dekta makes this announcement about COVID bracelets that you get by logging into the Hawaiian Travel site, create an account, and give them you life’s history including the dates of your COVID vaccines, and an uploaded image of your card shot. I was pissed, because this should have been mentioned before then And there was no way for me to get this done 45min prior to boarding for me and my wife,

So then I’m thinking, we’ll just show our COVID cards when we get there, and be on our way. Nope, we and about 60 other passengers had to sit in the airport for about an hour and enroll at the Hawaii Safe Travel flight. I coukd if done this at home at my leisure if something had been said in advance.


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Hawaii Big Island D2-
Got a better look at the island, leaving Waikoloa on the West side and driving South on the West cost around the bottom to Punalu’s Black Sand Beach.

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Lots of people in the distance

Overall it was a nice drive, but I’ll be frank, from about the Kona Airport to Waikoloa Village about 25 mile stretch of old lava fields is ugly, desolate, relatively barren, reminiscent of the moon with some grass ;), and the resort we are staying at is right in the middle of it, however there is a nice swath of green the surrounds the resort and the resort is very nice.

That said when we got past Honalo and the road started rising above sea level we got into what I expected to see in Hawaii, nice, lush vegetation, those big glorious trees, walls of philodendrons cascading down embankments, and small picturesque villages. Tomorrow we will explore North and West, maybe take the Saddle road up between the two volcanoes.

Now, these lava fields, something curious about them, sections are undisturbed lava flows, where you can see how it flowed before cooling, but other huge sections look like a lot of bulldozers went at the lava breaking and churning it up with the dirt underneath, mikes and miles, far into the distance of the climbing terrain to the volcano. So I looked up “lava field restoration/recovery, but not a peep I have found.

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I am strongly suspecting for tourism neither the The State, nor the Resorts are going to be advertising their lava fields as a great feature. They are interesting in a bleak scientific way, and fortunately there are the green belts of what you expect to see. Even the woman we met on the plane who lives here unsolicited said, Hawaii is not the prettyist Hawaiian Island, but there are fun things to do.

Not said as a critique, just an observation, everything is expensive, breakfast at the resort was $60 for 2 egg and bacon breakfast, for 2 of us. I was expecting that, off resort is usually always better. Gas for the car is running $5.09 per gallon. I know, by European standards that’s a huge bargain. ;)

As of today, subject to change having been to Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii, for natural beauty I’d rank Oahu No. 1, but Honolulu is a congested mess, Maui No.2, Hawaii No.3. Maui has some nice enchanted locals. Both Maui and Hawaii with so few people living on them, they feel more like the frontier in a way and that’s good too.

Hawaii Big Island D3- Drove from Waikoloa on Saddle Road over to Hilo (1.5 hrs approx 70 miles) The exterior of the island is mostly dry moonscape with grasses, lava flows or bulldozed up lava flows, no one lives there, and now that I’ve seen it, no surprise. Pretty in a stark way. ;) Who wants to live between 2 volcanoes on a lava strewn plain?

I just never pictured a great portion of the island looking like this. And from what I’ve seen so far there are primarily 2 coastal strips down both sides where most residents live.

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Black dots are goats which are all over the island.
Hilo is nice and quaint. If we ever make a return visit it will be to fly into Hilo. And we found one of the island’s magic spots, a tropical rainforest biome North of Hilo on the coast, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Tropical Bioreserve and Garden. The place is amazing although my wife tweaked her back, so walking was out, and we mostly drove around the vicinity and took pictures.

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Not my image

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This is a slice of heaven that aI would move here in a heartbeat if I could afford it, and there were no pesky volcanos to consider. :)

Best Of Hawaii | Learn | Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden​


Heading North up the East Coast to Honoka’a, we past large stands of Eucalyptus trees, I believe imported to help the island’s forests, a pretty area. The roads on this side of the island are nice and minimally curvy so you can make nice time as compared to the West coast road which has stretches of very curvy, low speed roads.

Bottom line, the coastal strips are nice, but not in the NW unless you are on a resort and the East South East area seems iffy too. It seems that although it‘s the biggest Hawaiian Island, it has a really limited area where people would want to live. Just telling it like I see it, but we have no regrets visiting here on vacation, because today was a good day and the sights were really good
 
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You’ll presumably not object if I just pointed out that your pictures make me extremely jealous!
 
The nice thing about the Big Island is it's a lot less touristy than say, Ohahu. Hawi, the Northern point of the island has an artsy/hippie/bohemian feel. A dear friend of mine has lived there for over 30 years. Hilo is like old Hawaii and has a wonderful farmers market for savoring the local fare of the island. If you're into micro climates, the Big Island is home to at least 8. You can drive 10-15 miles and suddenly it's a completely different world of atmosphere.

Be respectful of the land and people and you should greatly enjoy your stay. If hiking, avoid trespassing on private property, it's easy to accidentally do and the natives are extremely sensitive to it.

See if you can make it to Akaka Falls State Park. Not all of the Big Rock is barren and piles of lava rock. Some is home to the lush tropical plants and waterfalls most associate Hawaii as having.

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Have you come across any of their colorful geckos yet?

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Enjoy every nanosecond! I would give anything to be there right now!
 
Hawaii Big Island D2-
Got a better look at the island, leaving Waikoloa on the West side and driving South on the West cost around the bottom to Punalu’s Black Sand Beach.

73AD5F6A-1F19-4434-9046-8A458A5C79AD.jpeg
When we were there in 2012, we were staying on Oahu, but took a day trip over to fly over the volcanoes. Sadly they weren't as active as they were in 1994 when we were there. Any way, my mom promised her friend that we would bring some black sand back. So we drove all the way down there to get a baggie full of the stuff. No idea why she wanted it and I had forgotten about it until I saw your pic.
 
The nice thing about the Big Island is it's a lot less touristy than say, Ohahu. Hawi, the Northern point of the island has an artsy/hippie/bohemian feel. A dear friend of mine has lived there for over 30 years. Hilo is like old Hawaii and has a wonderful farmers market for savoring the local fare of the island. If you're into micro climates, the Big Island is home to at least 8. You can drive 10-15 miles and suddenly it's a completely different world of atmosphere.

Be respectful of the land and people and you should greatly enjoy your stay. If hiking, avoid trespassing on private property, it's easy to accidentally do and the natives are extremely sensitive to it.

See if you can make it to Akaka Falls State Park. Not all of the Big Rock is barren and piles of lava rock. Some is home to the lush tropical plants and waterfalls most associate Hawaii as having.

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Have you come across any of their colorful geckos yet?

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Enjoy every nanosecond! I would give anything to be there right now!
I’ve been to 3 Hawaiian Islands, having not been there yet, I assume Kauai is the crowned jewel. The Big Island is deceptive because although it has the most land mass, most of that land mass is barren, volcanic, and not the tropical paradise I imagined. However, the Rain Forest biome on the South Eastern shore was small but wonderful. :)
 
Traditionally my vacation spot has been Hilton Head Island, but after being there repeatedly we’re looking for something different like Destin.
 
I highly recommend Costa Rica. Especially if you enjoy zip lining and white water river rafting. Beautiful country. Just watch out for the crocodiles the size of Volkswagen busses.
 
Current location: Aegina, Greece


Ferry from Piraeus awaits…
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Arriving in Aegina Town
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Dropped the bags and off to the beach.
32°C in the shade…
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Feet up on the balcony of our AirBnB…
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End of the first day…
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Gorgeous, @Arkitect, just gorgeous.

The colours, (I love the shot of the stretching cat, languid in the sun, and that of the boat), the food, the culture, the heat and warmth of the sun....

My mother (who loved Greece, the colours, culture, climate, cuisine, history, heat, the glorious sunsets,.....she especially thrilled to that wall of warmth that hits you as you proceed to disembark from the plane....), also loved their (modern traditional) music, preferring (for example) by far the music of Manos Hadjidakis to that of Mikis Theodorakis, (as was recommended to her by enthusiastic locals who were surprised and very pleased by her interest in aspects of their culture) and used to seek it out - always asking for local suggestions and recommendations - on her visits, returning with tapes and CDs which were played to death (especially on sunny days).

The haunting soundtrack to (the TV series) Who Pays The Ferryman by Yannis Markopoulos is also worth a listen.
 
Just got home from our ”vacation” in Minnesota. I’m thinking about the quoted term. This maybe my last long road trip. I tolerated it, but did not enjoy the long days driving, really don’t want to make it 3 days driving, and the price of gas sucks.* Minnesota was beautiful though.

*I realize I get no sympathy from our European forum members. A nice dose of reality, and another reason (partially) to love Russia. (/s)
Current location: Aegina, Greece


Ferry from Piraeus awaits…
View attachment 320

Arriving in Aegina Town
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Dropped the bags and off to the beach.
32°C in the shade…
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Feet up on the balcony of our AirBnB…
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End of the first day…
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Beautiful! we have a trip planned for Greece at the end of Dec.
 
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Preparing to fly out on Thursday for Athens, Greece for a Viking Cruise from there up the Aegean Sea to Istanbul. Part of that prep is that I get up an hour earlier every day to better acclimate to local time although Greece is 8 hours ahead. :oops:
 
Preparing to fly out on Thursday for Athens, Greece for a Viking Cruise from there up the Aegean Sea to Istanbul. Part of that prep is that I get up an hour earlier every day to better acclimate to local time although Greece is 8 hours ahead. :oops:

Ah, wonderful.

Those countries should be superb at this time of year (and, remember, too, that an incredible array of delicious citrus fruits are in season just now - and will be locally sourced, i.e. locally grown in both countries - and seasonally available until late February, early/mid March), and are both incredibly interesting, with absolutely fascinating history and cultures, not least the cuisine.

Travelling up the Bosphorus and arriving in Istanbul by sea should be an unforgettable experience and an extraordinary sight.

Turkey does both tea and coffee superbly well, and, if you like lentil soup, there is none better to be found on the planet than in Turkey.

How long is your trip scheduled to last?

Sounds absolutely amazing; do enjoy.
 
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Athens appears to be a city with a nice downtown. New Years in Athens Syntagma Square was crowded and fun.

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We are doing a pre-excursion for several days before the boat departs. About 45km West of Athens, we visited the ruin of Mycenae, a Bronze age (est 1700BC) settlement fortress.

Most interesting is how much is accurately known about the rulers and history of this area. Some (much?) of its history is based on Greek Mythology, not that a name like the fabled city of Homer’s King Agamemnon and near the ruin, an impressive tomb that was rediscovered by a German archeologist in the late 19th Century, who coined this The Tomb of Agamemnon could be accurate. My impression is that the issue, if it is to be described as such is confirmation or lack there of.

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March of the Ancient Ones ;)

As acknowledged by the tour guide and by reading some articles online, the name itself could be a case of idealized naming history. They know when the area was settled, but much of its history exists as Mythology, folk tales passed forward.

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A pretty area…

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On 2Jan, we drove 2.5 hours to Temple of Apollo (Delphi) in central Greece on the Southern slopes of Mt. Parnassus, high near the Gods. An intriguing location if you like Oracles. :D There were many locations devoted to Apollo, god of music, harmony, light, healing. Oracles occupied the most important and prominent position in the Delphic Panhellenic Sanctuary.

This site dates to the 20th century BC. Pythia, a positional title, the high priestess of the Sanctuary, “emerged pre-eminent by the end of the 7th century BC and continued to be consulted until the late 4th century AD. During this period, the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks, and she was among the most powerful women of the classical world”, who breathed vapors from a rock chasm and while possessed by Apollo, possibly experiencing epileptic seizures, possibly speaking gibberish that had to be interpreted by other priestesses, spoke enigmatic (enigma- puzzle, riddle, mysterious) prophecies, glimpses of the future, some of them true, such as the reported prediction of the Trojan War.

My favorite Oracle was in the Matrix and told a false prophecy while baking cookies. ;)

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Before

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After, mostly foundations

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My image​


3Jan, visited the Acropolis and Parthenon, both good sight seeing and we had a friendly and knowledgeable guide.

Of interest, I always wondered why many old statutes of people were missing their noses. Turns out there are several reasons and in this case a reason was when Christians showed up, thought these “Pagan” statues were blasphemous so disfigured them including crosses carved in their foreheads. Also when fig leaves started appearing, covering private parts.

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Interesting camera glitch, an Oracle Photo? ;)


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Temple of Athena, Acropolis​
 
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