Sunday, April 24, 2005


SUNDAY. I just have breakfast with my friend Ingrid, and we were making phase one of our trip plans, and as of today, the count-down begins.

Mainly today we discussed our proposed hike from Cheptsow, Wales to Tintern Abbey on the Wye Valley Walk, possibly returning via the Offa's Dyke Path. I've done both before and it is spectacular! Our plan is to arrive in Chepstow early Friday morning, May 27 and proceed from there up the trail which goes through the old-growth forests, over fields and stiles along the River Wye to the beautiful ruins of Tintern Abbey. The next day, we'll go on to Caerphilly where my cousins live and spend a day rambling around the old castle there. (There is also a castle in Chepstow which is interesting.)

We are meeting up with our friend M.J. in London on May 24. Just imagine the three of us loose in London! Whooeee! It's all familiar ground to me as I've been many, many times, but this is Ingrid's first trip to Europe so she is very excited about it.

The second phase of our trip is to Greece, May 30. Of course I am very excited about that as it is a return to my 'second home'. Today we discussed going to Hydra Is. for a day trip as that's where the Canadian poet Leonard Cohen used to live during the '70's. Again I will be Ingrid's tour guide around Greece and we have some intresting destinations planned (her choices).
For one thing we are going to Kefalonia and Ithaka. There are some villages on Kefalonia I have not visited (been there twice before) and in particular I'd like to see a small village where Lord Byron used to stay. I believe they even have a plaque on the house he stayed in. I've been to a lot of Byron sites in Greece and thought I might do a little travel article on that theme.
So perhaps we'll get in a day-trip to Mesallonghi, the town where he died, as there is a little museum in his honour there. (Byron is an icon in Greece!)

It just occured to me that between the Tintern-Wye Valley Walk (Wordsworth), visiting Hydra (Cohen) and Kefalonia (Byron) and Ithaka (Homer) this will be a poet's journey. An interesting focus for our trip!

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