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                Artwork by Juliana Coles | Website by Lou Ann Granger | Passport Stamps by Traci Bunkers

Itinerary

Day 1 - We arrive in Athens where we are met on arrival at the airport, and whisked away to the 5-star Electra Palace Hotel.  (See lots more great pictures on our Photos page!)  Stepping inside to its spacious luxury lobby, we can catch our breath while we ponder our next move.  We are finally here!  We are central to the Plaka, and can immediately step outside and start wandering it's narrow streets, looking for food or drink or souvenirs or just to be part of the energy and excitement that is Athens.  Or stay within the beautiful hotel, and chill out by the rooftop swimming pool with its beautiful view of the Acropolis.   Tonight there is a welcome cocktail at the rooftop cocktail bar, and we have a chance to meet our fellow distant travelers.  Time to share our adventures and celebrate our arrival.  We'll show our journal or journals that we have chosen for this journey and receive our Handbook for on the spot documentation in a Visual Travelogue.

Drawing of Electra Palace in Athens
Juliana did this journal page of the Electra Palace Hotel in Athens after returning home.  This special hotel is a perfect introduction to Greece and Athens, right in the middle of the Plaka, and wonderful luxurious surroundings.  Even if you're jet-lagged on arrival, you can go to the rooftop and sit at the bar or restaurant or the swimming pool and just stare at the Acropolis, and you know you've already arrived.  When you're ready for the hustle and bustle of the Plaka, it's right outside the door.  A favorite of ours.

Day 2 - This morning we have a private guided walking tour of the Acropolis.  This gives us a special opportunity to ask the questions we have brought with us, to learn about the gods and goddesses of the place, and its history.  In our small group, we have a chance to focus on whatever we find of interest, the Parthenon, the Caryatides, the temple of Nike Athena, Mars Hill, and so much more we may discover during our visit.  Temples, and statues, and amphitheatres and a view of Athens beneath us and stretching out to the Aegean Sea.  In the afternoon, there is time to spend on our own.  There is lots to see in the Plaka, or perhaps the New Acropolis Museum will be opened by now, or even a visit to the National Archaeological Museum.  This evening, there is time for a visual journaling session, and time to start sharing our discoveries with each other.

Day 3 - An early ferry from Piraeus to Mykonos, with one or two stops at other scenic islands along the way, arriving around noon.  Check-in to our special rooms (each with ocean view) at the beautiful hillside Kouros Hotel, a short walking distance to the town of Mykonos, and with a gorgeous view overlooking the Aegean Sea, site of some of the most spectacular sunsets in the Mediterranean.  This is one of our favorite hotels in the whole world, and we are so glad to share it with others.   In this unique hotel, we have a quiet setting for our special retreat, yet within sight of the town and the busy ports, the perfect place to create our personal mythology.  Beautiful architecture, wonderful surroundings, friendly staff, a beautiful swimming pool, and lots of nooks and crannies and places to go off to while contemplating the mysteries.

View of Little Venice in Mykonos
Yes, this IS the place you've seen in so many travel documentaries on Greece, a very unique setting with houses, and restaurants set right up against the water's edge. Next to the famous windmills. We walked to this area several times, and enjoyed shopping, and sitting at a restaurant while watching the sun set. A gorgeous view out to the west, and people applauded just as the sun dipped below the horizon at last.

Day 4 to 9 - Six full days based in Mykonos, a gorgeous island with whitewashed Cycladic houses, a town with many shops along narrow winding streets, fabulous churches, a harbor with colorful fishing boats, seaside restaurants, windmills, and close to many beautiful beaches.  In this wonderful setting, we will have several intensive visual journaling sessions and allow ourselves to soak in the unique Greek island atmosphere. 

We will have a private studio space available to us during our stay, secure and accessible for extended hours.  In this wonderful space, we can spread out our supplies and dive into our guided Visual Journalling sessions with Juliana Coles.  This is our sanctuary, and a safe place where we can unfold our myths in privacy and safety, and uncover the many layers of ourselves. 

During our six days in Mykonos, there may also be sessions held in some of the other wonderful indoor and outdoor spaces in the hotel, perhaps poolside, or on one of the terraces with a view of the Aegean. 

We will visit the nearby archaeological island of Delos, the birthplace of Greek God Apollo and his twin 

Drawing of Electra Palace in Athens
These lions on the Sacred Way on the island of Delos are still guarding the pilgrims to this special place.  No one is allowed to stay overnight on the island, and it still retains the sense of being a sacred place.  The entire island is an archaeological site, and you marvel at the many people who have passed this way before.  Many centuries of pilgrimage, sacred thoughts, sacrifices and entreaties to the gods.  You can still feel that ancient energy.

sister, the Goddess Artemis.  This was the center of power of the Greek world for many centuries, and there will be time to see the ruins, visit the museum, or perhaps climb to the top of Mt Kynthos, the high hill overlooking the island, and from which we can view the many surrounding islands of the Cyclades. 

Delos is special, a place to return to over and over.  A sacred place, even now.  Ruins, and columns, and the Lions of Naxos, and statues, and mosaics, and an amphitheatre, and inscriptions, and ancient harbors, and twisting paths.   Of all the many archaeological sites in Greece, this is perhaps the place where one can most feel the spirits of the many pilgrims who visited over the centuries.  Even today, nobody is allowed to stay on the island overnight, and the place remains a special sanctuary. 

There will be some time on our own in Mykonos, to sit and dream or explore some of its famous beaches or windmills or monasteries (or perchance to shop).  Some of us have rented cars or taken buses to explore the island.  It is welcoming and easy, and we feel more adventurous as we spend a few days here.  We find some wonderful restaurants in the town that we can recommend, and we share them with our new friends and fellow distant travelers.  Special shops with souvenirs and tokens and talismans.  Books, postcards, pictures, papers, tickets, stamps, newspapers, and ????  Of course, as visual journalists, we have lots of ability to view ordinary things in a special light, and so many things might find a place in our journals.  We will have fun sifting through the many intriguing objects and collectibles to find those unique ones that will help us tell our own story and myth.

In the town, there is plenty of excitement and energy during the day and well into the evening.  There are crowds of people from all over the world, and many many narrow streets to explore with shops and boutiques and art galleries and restaurants and tavernas.  When it is time to settle down for quiet contemplation, then we can go back the short distance to the Hotel Kouros, and spend some time to contemplate and absorb our surroundings.  And to happily pour out our treasures from our explorations and our shopping, and recollect the adventures of the day.

Day 10 - An early ferry from Mykonos to the mainland port of Rafina, where we will take a motorcoach for a drive to back to the Electra Palace in Athens.  We check into our hotel, and then conclude with a special sunset trip with private guide to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.  This temple is on a promontory overlooking the Aegean Sea and has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.  This is the temple we have all imagined these many years when we thought of Greece.  This is the perfect place to say goodbye to Greece.   As the sun sets, and evening falls, we have one last chance to hear stories and myths about  gods and goddesses and mortals in the very place where they occurred.

We conclude with a Farewell Dinner at the Electra Palace rooftop restaurant.  With the backdrop of the lighted Acropolis, we have a final chance to share with each other some of our discoveries from this exciting journey.   It is time to collect our treasures, share hugs and exchange addresses and emails, take some final pictures, and prepare for our journey homewards.  We have been forever changed.

Day 11 - Checkout from hotel, and departures back to the US or individual onward touring within Greece.

If you would like to arrange individual onward travel within Greece, we have an excellent travel agent, and will put you in contact to help you with those arrangements.  Lots of great islands to explore, and other sights to see.