Friday, August 31: After enjoying my wine on the terrace of the Acropolis View Hotel, I wander a few blocks down the street to a place recommended by the hotel: The Acropolis Restaurant. I go inside on the first floor and find I am the only patron in the restaurant. I have heard the Greeks usually eat quite late, but as an American, I'm used to eating at an early hour.
Friday, August 31: After asking the hotel clerk for a glass of wine, I use the phone at the bar to call the Egypt Air numbers the woman from the airport gave me. There is no answer at either of the numbers. This is the first and only time I lose it. I hate being a crybaby, but here I am, crying in frustration that I can't get any information about my luggage.
Friday, August 31: After wandering around Plaka, I venture into the new 130-million-euro Acropolis Museum, opened with much fanfare in 2009. Passing outdoor cafes and a peanut vendor, I walk along the southern foothills of the Acropolis itself, to the entrance at Dionysiou Areopagitou Street. Outside the door is something I will see numerous times in Greece: a glassed-over excavation, showcasing an archeological dig.
Friday, August 31: I have a 6 a.m. flight to Athens this morning on Egypt Air. I am anxious about it because I know I have to drive from Nizwa beginning at 2:30 a.m. to get to the airport by 4 a.m., two hours prior. I debate about going to Muscat to spend the night, but even the cheapest hotels in Muscat cost over $50 and I know I am going to be spending a lot already in Greece.
Monday, August 20: Inspired by Lesley on her Bucket List Publications post: What’s Left for Your 2012 Bucket List?, I decided to sit down and list the things I want to complete in 2012 for my Bucket List. Like Lesley says: By writing a new list every year, I have more direction and motivation to implement my perfect life. I spend hours envisioning what I want to accomplish, what’s possible, and what’s maybe a little impossible, and then I find ways to make it happen.
Lesley’s challenge: Stop! Take two minutes to write down 5 things you want to accomplish before the end of 2012. If it is written, you can make it happen! We can all have our dreams come true! Share them with me, share them with others, and watch them happen.
Here’s my list (okay, it’s more than 5. As usual, I’m probably a little overambitious):
- August 31 – Sept 13: Explore Greece: Athens, Crete, Santorini (& possibly Nafplio, Meteora, and Delphi?)
- October 25 – November 1: Visit my State Department friend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- National Holiday (end of November): Take a trip to Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Spend a day at the Chedi in Muscat
- Spend a day at the Shangri-La Resort in Muscat before the end of October (when their special deal ends!)
- Visit ar Rustaq‘s fort and hot springs
- Study Arabic in my book (Chapters 1-4) (One a month)
- Go camping on Masirah Island
- Work on completing my Cairo blog
- Put up more large-scale pictures on my Korea blog.
- Begin saving in earnest to do my Moorish adventure next summer (Spain, Portugal and Morocco!)
- Go snorkeling in Oman
- Read my entire novel, then revise chapters 1-10…..
Saturday, August 18: I was nominated a while ago by Madhu from The Urge to Wander for the Capture the Colour photo competition run by TravelSupermarket.com. The rules entail that I publish a post with five original shots from my travels, each one representing the colours blue, green, yellow, white and red. I then need to tag five other bloggers and link back to TravelSupermarket on Facebook or Twitter (with the tags @travelsupermkt and #capturethecolour).
Here is my world in five colors.
BLUE: THE FAN, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, USA.
Richmond’s Fan District is a lovely residential neighborhood that consists of late-nineteenth and early twentieth century homes. It has beautiful tree-lined avenues, historical monuments and row houses built in Victorian, Edwardian and Revival architectural styles. Many houses are also built in the American Craftsman style. Many of the houses are painted in cheery colors with surprisingly delightful doors. (Richmond’s Fan District)
GREEN: OEDO BOTANIA, GEOJE-SI, SOUTH KOREA.
Oedo Botania is an island that’s been cultivated since 1963 by Korean couple Lee Changho and Choi Hosook; it’s the first island in Korea ever to be owned and developed by an individual. Every inch of this island is abloom with gardens and punctuated by statues. I walk along the pathways with hundreds of other Koreans who have taken boats from other locations in Geoje. I check out the cactus garden, the Venus garden, the flower garden, the bamboo road, the Hope of the World garden, the Dreaming Heights, the Stairway to Heaven, and the Eden Garden. It’s like a fairy-tale land bursting with beauty. The island itself is gorgeous with gardens, but the view of the surrounding ocean doesn’t hurt it one bit. Most definitely, Korea does nature right! (geoje: rough seas & caressing grasses (& random thoughts on memory, sensuality & friendship))
YELLOW: THE ROYAL PALACE, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA.The Royal Palace is a complex of buildings that serves as the royal residence of the King of Cambodia. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1866, except during the tumultuous period of the Khmer Rouge. The Royal Palace is lovely, all yellow buildings with curlicue roofs, in classic Khmer architecture. (phnom penh: wats, royal palaces, & killing fields)
WHITE: OMANI MEN WITH RIFLES, NIZWA, OMAN.
As I walk down toward Nizwa souq, I see a large group of older men affectionately handling, inspecting and playing around with rifles. Some are sitting on a bench around a tree and I ask if I can take a picture of them. They are friendly enough to let me do so. But when I try to ask them questions about their rifles and what they are doing here, it becomes obvious that, first, no one speaks English, and second, I am an interloper among these men. Still. They are an easy-going brotherhood, having a good time and laughing, a kind of Sunday social hour. (exploring the backroad to nizwa souq)
RED: TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, HANOI, VIETNAM.
The Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, was later established as a university for the education of mandarins. It has 5 courtyards, with a serene reflecting pool in the front courtyard, roofed gateways, and low-eaved buildings. (hanoi: city of motorbikes, enthusiastic buddhists & ho chi minh)
And here are my 5 nominees. I know time is running out, as the contest ends August 29, but I hope they’ll still participate.
Miranda from My Own Horizons
Finola of travelola.org
Lynne of On the Go with Lynne
Wednesday, August 1: Tomorrow morning I’m flying back to Virginia for nearly a month. I probably won’t post much on my Oman blog, but I invite all my readers to join me in my home state of Virginia: catbird in america. I’d love to have you visit.
I have lived in Virginia for most of my life. I was born in Petersburg (where my father’s family is from); I grew up in Newport News and Yorktown (the Tidewater area), and as an adult, I lived in Gloucester County, Matthews County, Richmond, and Vienna & Oakton (both in Fairfax County). I earned a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg and an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in Arlington. The only times I have lived away from Virginia were when I lived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for 4 1/2 years from 1980-1984, when I lived in Daegu, South Korea from February 2010-March 2011, and while living in Oman from September 2011 until now.
Here are some little tidbits and quotes about Virginia.
Virginia is officially the Commonwealth of Virgina and is nicknamed the “Old Dominion.” It is sometimes called the “Mother of Presidents” because of the 8 U.S. Presidents that were born there.
Virginia is in the South Atlantic region of the United States of America. The capital is Richmond, the most populous city is Virginia Beach and the most populous political subdivision is Fairfax County, with over 1 million residents. My daughter lives in Richmond, her father lives in Virginia Beach, and my house is in Fairfax County, which is really a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Virginia’s population is over 8 million, nearly three times as large as the entire population of Oman. Virginia is the 35th largest state in the USA.
Virginia is primarily Christian and Protestant, with Baptists making up 27% of the population.
Virginia was one of the thirteen colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy (the losing side) in the American Civil War. Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy.
Virginia’s economy is based on agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley, federal agencies in Northern Virginia (where I live), and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the region’s main seaport. Computer chips are the state’s leading export.
The Virginia state tree is the dogwood, the bird is the cardinal, and its slogan is “Virginia is for Lovers.”
Virginia has many historical monuments, the Blue Ridge Mountains, multitudes of rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, rolling hills, and plateaus. Forests cover 65% of the state, primarily with deciduous, broad leaf trees.
“To be a Virginian either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one’s Mother’s side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from Above.”—Anonymous
“By Birth” ~ That’s me!!
All facts and figures about Virginia are from Wikipedia: Virginia.
And here’s some Virginia tourist information, from the Virginia Tourism Corporation: Virginia Is For Lovers.
I hope you’ll join me on my visit home!