Olympia “Over the Rainbow”

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

It was fitting that Zeus, the King of the Greek Gods and more importantly the weather, mixed some rain and sunshine to create a magnificent rainbow. One of the most magnificent temples every built was dedicated to him in Ολυμπία, or Olympia, Greece. It was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The round temple had a large ivory and gold statue of Zeus.

The Archeological sight of Olympia is found outside the port town of Κατάκολο, or Katakolon, Greece. The site was one of the most important religious centers of ancient Greece with its power and influence felt throughout the Greek world. There were temples dedicated to all the prominent Greek gods and goddess in Olympia. Remains of these temples can still be found on the grounds. But the site is perhaps most famous for the athletic contests that were held here every four years.

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Some of the foundations of the temples have seashells embedded in them.  You can also read ancient Greek text engraved in the stones throughout the complex.

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

At the site, there are drawings describing how the site appeared thousands of years ago.  Below is a then and now capture of  the monumental Nymphaion fountain. The fountain was built nearly 2,000 years ago to provide drinking water to those who gathered to watch the games.  The niches above the fountain were adorned with statues including the donor of the fountain Herodes Atticus.

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

The city is famous for the games. Even in modern times the torch begins here before heading off to the host city. There is one tradition that everyone who visits must experience. Walking under the arch leads to the stadium. Here people of all ages run the 600 foot long length of the ancient stadium. Everyone who runs is an Olympian here at the true home of the games–Olympia!

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

Katakolon, Greece - Designerella

The Acropolis in Athens

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Hello from Athens, Greece!  An excellent way to start a trip to Athens is by visiting the marvelous National Archeological Museum. The museum houses many sculptures, gold, and other treasures from antiquity. Displays show how the art evolved through Greek history.

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

The must see in Athens is a trip to the beautiful and marvelous Acropolis.  The Acropolis in Athens is one of world’s greatest treasures. In addition to the Parthenon, there are several other impressive temples on the mount. The small temple of Nike which sits near the gate and the Erechtheum with the six caryatids (column shaped like a person), are two excellently preserved Acropolis temples. The amazing architectural details make these structures truly remarkable.

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Athens, Greece - Designerella

As the Acropolis sits atop one of the hills of Athens, it provides an amazing vantage point of the city. Overlooking this large modern metropolis from this ancient religious site provides a unique perspective of our history.

Athens, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece

The Greek island of Κέρκυρα, or Corfu, is the second largest Ionian island after Cephalonia and is a tourist destination for people of all ages. The island has crystal clear waters, quiet and sandy beaches, hidden coves, mountains and an active nightlife. So the small island of Corfu has something for everyone.

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

In the mountains in the northwest of Corfu is the Monastery Paleokastritsa dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The white washed buildings, the beautiful gardens, and the beautiful sea views make this an excellent location for the monks to reflect. There has been a monastery here since 1228.

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

A visit to Theotoky Estate shows the local countryside. Here a Greek family has been growing grapes and olives to produce wine and olive oil. The trip to the estate takes you through the Greek countryside where you can find many goats, chickens, and horses. At Theotoky Estate a nice spread was prepared with Greek tomato salad, cheese, fresh salami, and of course fabulous wine from the estate. The white wine is so good it is even preferred by James Bond in the movie “For Your Eyes Only” (although I prefer the red).

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

The largest and busiest town on the island is Corfu town also known as Old Town. This is where many people begin and end exploring the island. With many local cafés and shops there is plenty for the tourist to do in this town. Here you can find your favorite knickknack made out of olive wood.

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Corfu, Greece - Designerella

Cephalonia, Greece

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

The turquoise blue waters accent the beautiful landscape on the island of Cephalonia. Κεφαλονιά is the largest of the Ionian islands off the west coast of Greece. After taking port in Σάμη, or in English Sámi, I set off to explore this fascinating island. What I found was remarkably beautiful and nearly inaccessible beaches, bright flowers and a spectacular cave lake.

The world famous Myrtos Beach is located on Cephalonia. To reach the beach, visitors must travel down a terrifying path filled with hairpin turns. From the hills above the beach-goers looked like ants on the mile-long beach.

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

The town of Fiskardo, or in Greek Φισκάρδο, has an amazing waterfront. The streets along the port are lined with coffee shops, tavernas and souvenirs shops.  Here in this charmful little town the flowers were in full bloom, decorating the buildings, shops and restaurants.

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

Melissani Lake, the most spectacular cave lake on the island and was definitely worth the visit. A man-made tunnel was made to allow tourists to reach the shores of the open lake. Once entering the tunnel and reaching the lake, the temperature drops dramatically from outside. When the sun is directly overhead the light pours in and reflects of the white limestone bottom to produce the amazing blue color.

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella

Cefalonia, Greece - Designerella