"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thinking of Paris

me and Moises at Versailles 2002
My heart goes out to all the people around the world who lost somebody in the terrible tragedies in Paris this week. No words can begin to describe what we are all feeling - anger, shock, disbelief. I remember our one and only trip to Paris in 2002. We have not been back, as I was sure we could never recreate such a fairy tale trip. It was our most romantic vacation.

me at the Hotel California

Younger and much thinner then, Moises took a photo of me in the lobby of our hotel. Between all the amazing architecture and the Louvre, we were so impressed. And we loved the people of Paris. They were amazing. Now understand my husband speaks five languages, which goes a long way in Paris. We never once found anyone rude or abrupt. I have a harder time navigating the streets of New York. They aren't really rude, just always in a hurry. 

One of the architectural wonders of Paris
Stay safe, get well and hope to see you again one day. Take care, dear friends of France, and I really hope things get back to normal soon. The world has gone crazy. Let's hope we can right these troubled times.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Walk in the Plaka

My favorite little angel
On my walk in the Plaka in June, I could feel the fear and anticipation in the air. We were only weeks from the default of the Greek government in the eurozone. In the end, they got an extension - but things only got worse after I left. Banks had their doors closed, hotels only accepted cash, even Greeks in other parts of the world traveling had their credit cards refused as the banks had no funds to cover it. But that day I walked the Plaka, an amazing thing happened. I connected with a young boy playing his accordion in a doorway. He was like a little angel to me. I will never forget it. It has become the photo on my Facebook page, and one I remember with such joy and spirituality. Thank you, young man, for making my day!

the Plaka in Athens

We have a marvelous walk in the Plaka. I remembered it from 2009 as an amazing place, but I enjoyed it even more this time. 

Motos and more motos

Our group from the Holland America Zuiderdam

Greek olives ... yum!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Athens' Ancient Agora

Ancent Agora at Athens

One of my favorite stops on the Greek Med cruise this past June was the stop at Athens. I had been there before on a land trip in 2009, and I hadn't liked it nearly as much as I did this time. I arrived in 2009 right in time for Greek Easter, so the place was deserted. This time around, I decided to take an organized tour with the ship. I loved it.

Ancient Agora Ruins

We went to the Ancient Agora, then a walk in the Plaka and finally to a great restaurant for snacks. The food was wonderful and the service terrific.
Lovely restaurant at the Plaka, Athens

As it was a very hot day, I was grateful to be walking the almost deserted Agora or marketplace, instead of dealing with the crowds at the Acropolis. I had adored the Acropolis in 2009, but I had arrived at 8am and walked all the way up long before most of the people arrived. But midday, I was on my way back down.

I even met a friend for the day, can't remember her name but here is a few photos of her. We had a great time together.

If you find yourself in Athens and have already done the Acropolis, then think about this lovely walk through time at the Ancient Agora. More information can be found here.