Heartlands of Greece

After our herculanean olympian effort to visit the home of the games, it was time to move on. Heheh. Yep, could not help it. Sorry. But you see, how can be pass up on the chance to create a little spin out of it? We had crossed over the tiny strait that separate the pelopponese peninsula from the greek mainland (here).

For the next stop we made was to have our fortunes told. Yep, seers were all powerful intermediaries to the gods (they still are today?). Information. What you don’t know you cannot use. And what better information than about the future? Imagine a seer tells you which stock will skyrocket in price in the next week. What would you do?

Pause for a thought here.

Ok, don’t tell us for only you need to know. For where we headed next is a place for those in search of solitude could find solace. Well north towards the northern frontier of the country is home to previously isolated communities of hermit monks. That isolation was broken many years back as tourism and roads made access to their clifftop abodes easily accessible.

They say you need to be hoisted up to the clifftop monastery in a basket. That would be quite neat wouldn’t it be an experience? Alas, the reality is more conventional methods were used, such as a gas guzzling metallic horse… read all about it here.

Pack rafting. Heard of it yet?

We too were a little dumbfounded when we first came across this term. Rafting we are very familiar with. Pack rafting? Now you have heard about aqueducts right? The structures that the Romans are credited with constructing to transport water to their cities. So that the fountains can sing and the taps never stop grinning.

Heheh. Well not so drama (Singlish) but something close. Not anywhere close to the feature image though…

Some months back, we read this article in the SCMP (here) introducing folks to the adventures of paddling a raft on an aqueduct in northern Wales. Ah you might say! The Romans did not build such structures in Wales. And you will be right. For the Pontcysyllte was constructed in 1805.

While we shall not steal the thunder from the original article by paraphrasing on this post, what we can say is that at 38m above ground, it is definitely not for the faint of heart where height is concerned. But if we were ever to be in the vicinity, we will surely be signing on to raft along the aqueduct and share with you our experience. When we get back to Wales of course!

If you get to Wales, will this be one of the adventures you embark on?

Who loves skiing?

Yeah who? Posting this in the middle of the year when it’s summer (well for the northern hemisphere anyway) seems odd?

For tropical folks facing the sweltering heat every day, sliding on snow and ice is surely not something usual. But you see, some things in life one needs to try out. Even if one is getting on age. Active ageing, yeah that’s it. Of course we weren’t that aged when we first skied, but it was surely not encouraging when we got off the aircraft.

Why? Read all about that here. Btw we actually enrolled in practice classes in Amsterdam before heading out.

And if you should have read the story in the link above, you would have known that we ran out of gas after 3 days of hitting the slopes. The ‘baby’ ones actually. We cannot imagine folks skiing all day for 7 days in a row… too much stress on the knees… moving on! But of all things we had to do was to go sliding down a mountain in the dark. Have you done night tobogganing? Looking back now, darn that was risky.

In winter it gets a little harder to do touristic things. Places open later and close earlier. Accessibility becomes an issue in some cases. But we took that all in stride and had a wonderful time exploring the city of Innsbruck.

Fortunately for us it did not cost an arm or a leg when we were skiing in the mountain sides of Innsbruck. Do you enjoy the exhilaration of skiing?