Friday, July 3, 2015

Juin 2015

June 2015
Happy 4th of July

This has been an incredible month.

Today, 3 of July it is a little hot!! The temperatures this week has been hovering around 100°. And it is humid here too.
We are under a weather warning, or heat warning. In France a heat wave is called a "la canicule". Looking at the forecast, there does not appear to be an end in site!

At the beginning of the month I went for a few walks in the woods. I organized one walk for photos of flowers. Also worked on another window dressing for the Office de Tourisme in Gevrey for the Assoc. The theme was the old train that was called the "Tacot".

Here are a few photos of flowers.
Ancolie commune
Walking up the hillside

Limodore (rare orchid)
Then Keith and I packed our bags and headed to Greece. We took 11 days and picked Athens, Olympia and Delphi. There was an extra day and we stopped at Loutraki.
I am at a loss for words, the tumble back in time and history is amazing, mind-blowing, incredible....

To see things that are 5,000 years old, to see the site where the oracle spoke, where the Olympian games were played, where the Trojan war was started; the experience can not be put into words. And even though we went to these sites, we saw so little of what Greece has to offer.

We started in Athens, and of course the first thing that comes to mind is the Parthenon. Of course this was the "wrong" season to go because of the crowds, but who knew it was going to be so bad. From the ticket place, you have to climb up more. Here we were herded like cattle! Thick crowd all moving up, and you pass a few structures, but you can not stop!! Once we were on top of the Acropolis, it was not bad, it is a huge space.

 We visited other sites and museums! Other sites were not crowded at all. Of course a few cruise ships had come into port and the Acropolis is probably the only site they see. The National museum is fantastic. Some of the pieces there are truly amazing. I had not heard of the Antikythera mechanism, but there is was, not totally whole, but it has been x-rayed and studied for years (analog computer designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes from about 200 BC)! Also, a helmet from the Persian war at Marathon (Keith corrected me and this is at the museum in Olympia)!

Theater of Dionysus (large photo much clearer)

Temple of  Hephaistion

Evening at the Monastriraki place.. Acropolis in the background
 As we walked around this plaza, there were vendors selling fruits, vegetables and trinkets of every kind, and restaurants, coffee shops and ice cream vendors. On the balcony of the building on the right, suddenly a scene from the opera Carmen broke out. What a treat! The soprano was excellent.

Tomb of the Unknown soldier

After Athens, we rented a car (with GPS ) and head to the Peloponesse. It took forever to exit Athens. I knew there were mountains, but only one passage brought me to my knees. The road was hardly wide enough for goats!!( OK a little exagerated- but just a little). It is listed as a passage through one of the prettiest villages, but I have no tales to tell. A tear in my eye, lump in my throat and Keith drove on with in spite of my moaning! It was about 30 minutes of terror. After that the other mountain road were a piece of cake!

Finally we arrived at Olympia. Our hotel (Best Western Europa) was spectacular! It was up from the village, so we ate dinner there under the olive trees. Gorgeous view and wonderful setting, who could ask for more!
Dinner with a view

We visited the historic site, and it is huge. There is the site and then the museum. It takes a good couple of hours for each. So we had a lunch break in between.
The Olympian stadium....600 feet exactly. We walked it, did
not attempt to run it! It could hold 40,000 people sitting on the
hill side (men only were allowed). The line you see if
the starting line. On the right midway are the judges seats.
Not much has changed
Athena from the temple of Apollo

Olympia_Hermes Carrying the Infant Dionysus
by Praxiteles_ 4th century BC
After Olympia, we went to Delphi. The oracle was not there unfortunately, I had so many questions!
Delphi is perched on the side of a mountain. In fact all of these sites demand a lot of walking, and many add climbing.
Temple of Apollo
Delphi mountain view

Looking down from further up the hill..

Delphi_ sunset view from restaurant
This was about the end of our explorations. Sunday night we stayed in Loutraki at a seaside hotel.
Then we had a night near Athens so we could fly out early Tuesday morning. Since we had time on Monday, we went to Mycenae.
Mycenae looking towards Argos and a view of the sea.
Did Helen launch 1000 ships?
It was here, Agamemnon lived, brother to Menelaus.
Menelaus was the husband to Helen.
Ah , Homer
Probably too many trip photos already. It can be a bore, so I tried to keep it to a minimum. I took over 600 photos!! I do have 58 photos here if interested ...some are the same of course.
Flickr :

So that is how the month ended. It was our anniversary and it was a special way to celebrate.

Recipe of the Month

I made this the other night for chicken on the grill. It was very good! For 2 chicken breasts, I halved the recipe.


YIELD 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion


  1.  Mix together all the marinade ingredients, I used the small chopper/blender so it was almost a paste.
  2. Rubbed on the chicken breasts that I had cut to open (butterfly style and flattened) and let set for 2 plus hours. The chicken was thin, so about 7 minutes on a hot grill.

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