Exploring the path to retirement...finding our way
to a new way of living with purpose, meaning and joy.

Helene & Zaf

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Photograph of Vouliagmeni from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


Throughout our travels we made some stops at places – basically a night out, a drive through or a few days stay while we were waiting to fly home. These come to mind as I reflect back to our journey throughout Greece. The best part of being there were the family members we visited with and sharing the experience.

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Photograph of the Beauty in Kalamata


Ever eat those delicious black olives in your Greek salad? This is where they come from. Those olives are called Kalamata Olives, so there you go!

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Photo of Mikro Horio in the Mountains From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


There was no way we would come to Greece and not go to the place where my parents were born and raised. To me, this is where I feel most connected to this land. So we packed up and hit the road.

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Evia Greece Pier


After an overnight ferry ride back from Crete, we drove about an hour and a half north of Athens to the island of Evia. We settled in our hotel outside of Eretria and planned our excursions. This included plenty of down time relaxing around the pool and on the beach as well as hitting up other popular towns, Kavala and Thassos.

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Photo of Cretan Mountain and Beach From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


Majestic.  That is how I described Crete on our previous trip to this island and

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Photograph of Livadia from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


For a complete change of pace from the beautiful Aegean isles, we ferried back to the port of Pireaus, just outside Athens and drove several hours north to Livadia – our second trip there. Entering the city at 10:00pm was quiet and welcoming; happily, next door was a little taverna for our late dinner as we envisioned our trip around Livadia, Arahova, and Galaxidi, Greece.

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Photograph of a Paros beach from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


I was really hesitant to write about the islands of Paros, Naxos, and Antiparos in Greece because I wanted to keep them all to myself! But, I am afraid that the word is already out about the absolute beauty of them so here is my contribution on our visit there.

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A National Road in Lamia


Good Road…this is the one phrase we have heard over and over again here in Greece. It is a wish for your journey ahead. And since we are on our Retirement Journey – it fits right in with how we are kicking off our retirement with a six month stay in Greece.

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Photograph of Siena From The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf

my SECOND DREAM comes true in tuscany

As you all probably know from reading my blog, our first dream was to spend a length of time in Greece. Well, our second dream was to visit Tuscany. I’ve been in love with all things Italian – see my blog: www.retirementexplored.com/stories/all-things-italian since I was a little girl; I’ve been to Italy three times before but never explored the famous vineyards of Tuscany. So off we went for a twelve day tour.

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Photograph of Mystras Castle From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


Mystras is tucked away in the mountainside just outside of Spart (Spartee in Greek). This is our second visit here as we thoroughly enjoyed the coolness of the mountains in a quaint little town.

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Photograph of Kasto steps leading to and from our hotel From the Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf


This former capital of Greece (1821-1834) has retained its charm and beauty over the centuries. 

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