First Day of Photo Snapping

April 30, 2010

I do recognize that we are in America and quite simply, Americans just don’t like to read.  Most Americans that is.  Recognizing that, I present you with a few photos from my first day of using my camera.  I was a little unsure how they were coming out because I couldn’t tell with the LCD screen on the camera, but I am really pleased after putting them on my computer and looking at them in high resolution.  Be sure to click on the pictures to view them larger, they look amazing the larger they are.

These are taken with a 75-300mm lens which is typically used to take pictures from a distance, but you can also use it to be creative with close up things where you can blur out things based on where you focus.  I’m waiting for my 18-55mm lens to arrive which is the standard lens that allows you to take pictures of everyday things in the same room as you.


Vietnam: The Vietnam War in Pictures

April 30, 2010

In May 2008 I traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia, also with the Honors Institute at Hillsborough Community College.  It’s going to take some time to get that post done but in the meantime, here’s a good site to check out.  It’s a CNN post that shows the Vietnam War in Pictures and it’s very interesting and informative.  Be sure to read the captions with each photo.

The Vietnam War in Pictures, click here


Greece: FOOD

April 28, 2010

Food:

I found a really good website called Matt Barrett’s Travel Guides in which he has tons of information on different aspects of Greece. His piece on restaurant eating in Greece is very interesting and I am looking forward to their laid-back style of eating.

In Greece you can keep ordering. Its not like you have to sit down and order your appetisers, your main course and that’s it. If you liked something order another one. Try and get the waiter’s name so you can hail him as he passes your table (psssst Yanni, ena beefteki acoma parakalo – pssst John, another beefteki please). If you are drinking wine and just show them the empty carafe they will be right back with more. Greek waiters are very informal. They may even sit down at your table or squeeze your little girl’s cheeks (Greeks love children). They don’t care if you spend hours at your table. Unlike in the USA where they love turnover, in Greece you are expected to eat slowly and eat a long time and linger after a meal, eating fruit, smoking cigarettes and drinking more wine or a coffee. Never feel like you are under pressure to give up the table to someone else.

It is no secret between my friends and I that I do not eat much and I am a slow eater. I enjoy taking my time at a restaurant usually and I’d rather talk while I slowly eat then eat quickly and leave. A big drag to eating at the more commercialized restaurants is that it is very impersonal and they have a burn-and-turn mentality.

In Greece, the foods have most of the same spices as we do here in America and the olive oil they use heavily is very good for you. In one type of restaurant, it is highly encouraged that you go into the kitchen to see what fresh foods are being cooked. You then pick out what looks good and tell the cook or your waiter and it’ll be on your table within minutes. In restaurants that serve fish, it is expected of you to ask to see the fish to make sure that it is fresh. It is suggested that even if you don’t know how to tell if a fish is fresh, just by asking and acting like you know they will not show it to you if it is not fresh. If you’re not quite sold on it by looking it at, you can nod your head and ask the equivalent of “from today” and he will tell you yes or no.

Some things to expect from the restaurant:
–bread comes automatically to the table and will appear on the bill whether it’s eaten or not
–don’t not eat the bread and ask for it to be taken off the bill
–you get bread and it’s on the bill. period.
–carafe of water which is usually tap water but be careful, some restaurants will bring bottled spring water and charge for it

Usually the first guy who comes to your table will bring the silverware, bread and water and he may take your order for drinks. The waiter comes next and you should not be shy about taking him by the hand and showing him what it is you wanted if you can’t find anything that sounds like it on the menu. Some people have an ouzo and an appetiser before beginning and you are under no obligation to order your main course right away. In fact if you like you can sit there all night ordering ouzo and appetisers in most restaurants. When we go to eat I always look at the menu but most people just ask the waiter whats good. In fish restaurants they will tell you the barbounia because they are always good and always expensive, unlike the lobster which are sometimes good and always expensive. But in most restaurants they will push the most popular dishes. Many restaurants are known for something they do particularly well. For example Rolando’s in Kea is known for his technique of frying fish. Saita in the Plaka is known for his wine and his bacalliaro (fried cod). Taverna Psiri is known for their paidakia (grilled lamb-chops). Other restaurants are known for just having decent food, nothing special but everything pretty good for example Plaka, Byzantino, and To Hani in the Plaka.

http://www.greecefoods.com/restaurants/index.htm


GREECE: May 11th thru 22nd, 2010

April 27, 2010

I’m going to Greece.  There will be many posts and many stories to tell of Greece, but for now I am using this as my way to go through my itinerary and look things up.  I will be traveling with the Honors Institute of Hillsborough Community College led by Dr. Lydia Lyons.  I’ve traveled with Dr. Lyons twice before in the past three years to Spain, Vietnam, and Cambodia and each trip has been nothing short of amazing.  I figured the two previous trips would be my only trips because I no longer attend HCC, however, she welcomes alumni of the program to attend so I am very thrilled to have the chance to travel with her again.  Greece has been the number one country I have wanted to visit for many years, so these next exactly two weeks will be hell anticipating things.

The past two trips, I never put a whole lot of effort into researching where I was going and I had no clue where the next place we were going would be until it was talked about in the middle of the trip.  This year, however, I want to look some specific things up including the food, the culture, the history of each place, and etc…

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Itinerary:

(click on picture to make it larger)

The first day of our trip will be spent traveling and on the second day, we will wake up in Athens for a full day of tours.  One of the main highlights will be our visit to Acropolis.  Other places we will visit in Athens include the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos and Ancient Agora of Athens.  We will also visit the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, and the Temple Theatre of Dionysos.

Day three will be traveling from Athens to Nafplion (2) with a stop in Mycenae (1) along the way.

Day four we will go from Nafplion to Olympia (3) and then tour the town in which the Olympic Games were held in classical times.  This is still the site where the Olympic flame is lit and then transported by a torch to where the games are held.

Day five we will travel from Olympia to Delphia (7), stopping in the cities of Rion (4), Antirion (5), and Nafpaktos (6).  Upon arriving in Delphia, we will have a guided tour and dinner.

Day six, after visiting a few more small cities along the way (8, 9), we will begin our journey back to Athens where we will conclude the mainland part of our trip.

(click on picture to make it larger)

The second part of the trip will be an island hopping tour.  On Day seven, we will take a ferry from Athens to Santorini.

Day eight, which I’m very much looking forward to, will be a fun day!!!  We will be taking a donkey ride up Skala (pictured below), then a cruise to a volcano for a tour, and then a stop at a hot spring to swim.

On day nine we will travel by ferry to Mykonos (5) with stops at the islands of Ios (2), Paros (3), and Naxos (4).

Day ten will be a free day of leisure, but I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of things to do.

Day eleven we will return to Athens where we will have one last night before we depart home on May 22nd.

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I was going to upload a bunch of pictures of places I’ll be visiting, but I decided to not post many photos and instead I’ll post my own pictures when I make posts about this trip.

NOTE:  So far, no pictures on my page are ones that I’ve taken myself.  I will certainly let it be known when I get my camera up and running.


Very interesting reads…

April 26, 2010

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/04/23/lunatic.express.carl.hoffman/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/04/06/japan.tokyo.biking/index.html

I would love to go to Tokyo.  I had a layover there before but disappointingly it was overcast both times landing and taking off so I couldn’t see the city at all.  Didn’t know until today though that apparently it’s the most expensive city in the world.

NOTE:  So far, no pictures on my page are ones that I’ve taken myself.  I will certainly let it be known when I get my camera up and running.


WordPress

April 25, 2010

Damn, running into some trouble with the formatting of the templates that WordPress uses.  Each one has certain things that can’t be changed or edited and it’s quite annoying sometimes.  The picture at the top that I have, for example, is just a picture of the text already on it that I uploaded as an image.  With the other layout that I had, with all black, you could pick the picture, text, and even color of the text.  So now I want to go and try to change the color of the text to some type of blue, but in order to do so I’d have to change my entire blog back to the other template, change it and then save the picture that it creates.  I also want to have control over how wide the frames are, but with this template it’s not allowed.  To do so you have to know CSS (similar to HTML which I have no clue about) and pay to be able to do so.  Hmmmmm… darn.  This works for now but if anyone has any ideas on things feel free to let me know?!?!


Have you taken the poll yet? DO ITTT

April 25, 2010

Feel free to leave comments here, I wanna know what you have to say?