Athens & Greece

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by jspillane, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Hi all,

    Through some very fortuitous airfare and scheduling, I'm heading to Athens, Greece for two weeks this December, over Christmas and New Years Holidays.

    Other than flying in and out of Athens, my schedule is very loose, but I'd prefer to pick only one or two other locations to go to and not spend the whole time moving around - I like to soak into places as much as possible. I am figuring Athens is worth at least a week by itself, and am considering where else to go.

    I'm prowling through previous threads here and elsewhere, but I thought I would inquire what the great minds & eyes here think would be the most compelling choices. My wife and I have concluded after years of doing this that prefer where ever there are low volumes of tourists. We're interested in both landscapes and, especially, ruins (I know that it may be hard to find low-tourist ruins, but I'd love to hear of them if they exist).

    Equipment I am sure I will go back and forth on numerous times. Either a Rolleiflex 2.8D or a Spotmatic SP and 50mm 1.4, 35mm 3.5 and 105mm 2.8, I think. A very hard decision. I almost always end up going the Rolleiflex route, but I think it might be fun to have multiple focal lengths for change, plus a higher volume of photographs after the fact... Or if I feel like not packing light, I'll bring a Hasselblad 60mm/120mm or 80mm/250mm, two backs and a monopod. But I am leaning against that, unless we really stay put. Choices, choices...
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    We spent a month in Greece this past May. About four days in Athens. About five days driving to Delphi, Ancient Olympia, and two or three of which in Mycenae based in Nafpilio. We flew to Mykonos with a day at Delos, Crete including Knossos, Thera [Santorini], and Rhodes three days at each on. I took my Hasselblad with the 50mm and 80mm lens and the Hasselblad SWC. The SWC got used the most especially on the narrow streets in the Plaka and the island, next used was the 50mm lens and least used was the 80mm lens.
     
  3. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    Athens is a wonderful destination for photography. Tourist numbers are low in December (or at least that has been my experience). I would suggest getting to the Acropolis as early as possible in the day -you will have the place almost to yourself. Lykavitos Hill is a good walk with fine views. Then there is the Temple of Olympian Zeus (Temple of Jupiter) and a (fairly long) bus ride away the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion (a must IMHO). As to what camera to take well that's up to you but I've only ever taken my 35 mm OM4-Ti and a few lenses. Do not miss the National Museum of Greece for some of the finest sculpture in existence and the Agora (market place). The weather can be really quite warm in December or at least it feels very warm when travelling from the UK -we found it comfortable to sit out and a bit too hot but the locals were wrapped in coats. Sometimes there are temperature inversions and the pollution gets trapped -this can be well seen from the tope of Lykavitos Hill (where there is a monastery).
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Member

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    National Museum of Greece and the Acropolis Museum [no longer on the Acropolis] are must see museums.
     
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    jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    I ended up going with the Rolleiflex 2.8D.

    As with every trip I've brought it on, I never regretted the decision in the slightest. Would love to go back with a tripod and the Hasselblad with some telephoto lenses, but I rarely felt restricted by the 80mm. I need to get my mirror cleaned at some point as there is some internal dust from so many treks, but otherwise it really is the ultimate for me. It was an impulse buy when I got it, with bad coating damage on the taking lens and a Frankenstein'd on late Hasselblad WLF in place of the original Rollei (although I love that about mine - it's a much better and quicker to use finder). Focus always sharp, fall off lovely, and not a thing to complain about in use. It probably deserves a full CLA for all it's hard service...

    Honestly, I think I might just call it a day on 35mm... I don't feel like the weight saved is worth it for me to go with a 35mm camera, and I end up preferring having the "fewer, better" shots I end up with using MF.

    I ended up visting Athens, Syros and Andros. I opted for the latter islands as they are both less heavily trafficked, and more active in the winter than some of the beach-centric islands. Both remarkable in different ways, but I would REALLY urge anyone heading to Greece to try to squeeze in Andros if they can. Remarkably beautiful island, and I'd love to go back and spend a full two or so weeks there trekking.

    The only major regret is that Delos was closed during the time we were on Syros, making a trip impossible. Information is very difficult to find online, but it closes from shortly before Christmas til mid January. Next time (and I am sure there will be one)!
     
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