My Camino: Day 29 – This Is Making Me Sick

Well this sucks to high heaven.

There I was enjoying my little stroll here on the Camino Frances about 30 miles from Santiago de Compostela, enjoying a great conversation with George and Mark, a couple from Cape Cod, when all of a sudden I needed alone time.

Like now!

Like, not to be rude, but I need you to leave me alone right now because …..

Barffff

Right there on the holiest of holy trails.

Yep, I puked my brains out on The Way.

Lucky for me, my wonderful husband is here along for the adventure IN A CAR!!!!

“Lou, I need you to find me on Find Friends, and get me right now, I’m really sick!”

“Be there in a flash.”

And he was. As he always is! He’s always there for me. He’s always there for our family – and I couldn’t be happier.

Lou has become a bit of a celebrity here on the Camino. When I introduce myself to people, invariably I’m asked, “Oh, is your husband the one who’s driving the Camino?”

Figures, I’m walking the walk and he’s cruising the trail in a Mercedes, and he’s the talk of the walk.

And I’m so glad he’s here.

Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t come to my rescue. Within minutes he picked me up, got me to a hotel, and I was in bed – sleeping off a case of food poisoning, or a 24-hour Camino bug. I’m sure it was one of things in life that happen just to keep me from getting too cocky and too excited that I’m sooooo flippin close to the end.

Copenhagen: A Fairy Tale Walking Tour

“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” ― Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid

If you’re looking for something different to do and something that will engage, entertain and even educate the kids, take a walking tour of Copenhagen with Hans Christian Andersen.

Copenhagen walking tours

Hans Christian Andersen brings history to life in Copenhagen

American Richard Karpen decked out in top hat and traditional long coat, guides you through the Old City in full character channeling Denmark’s beloved fairy tale author.

Along the way “Hans” introduces you to Danish life and customs, pointing out architectural highlights all while bringing to life some of his most famous and beloved tales.

“Hans” is enchanting, simply enchanting. His tales of history and of life in Copenhagen in the days of the real Hans Christian Andersen cast  a magic spell over his clients (young and old) who tail along like little ducklings eager to hear more.

Copenhagen

Hitting the streets of Copenhagen with Hans Christian Andersen

A familiar sight on the streets of Copenhagen, no one takes a second look at “Hans” as he winds his way through the streets and through Denmark’s history. Walking along side him, the day’s hustle and bustle melt away as you’re transported back to the 1800’s.

I’m not kidding, “Hans” never breaks character! The kids and you will truly believe you’re spending 90-minutes with the man who wrote “The Little Mermaid”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and so many more classic tales.

My kids were so enthralled with the tour that once it was over, they demanded we go straight to the nearest bookstore so they could buy the complete works of Hans Christian Andersen!

When was the last time a tour-guide inspired your kids like that??!!

Walking Tours of Copenhagen

Hans Christian Andersen brings history to life on his walking tours of Copenhagen

Been there/Done that

The walking tours meet inside the Tourist Information Office daily at 10:30 AM from mid-May to mid-September. “Hans” is easy to spot ‘cuz he’ll be decked out in his top hat and long coat. All tours are in English and last 90-minutes. “Hans” gets it – he will stop for breaks, snacks or nature calls as often as you want or need. He’s a real crowd pleaser.

The Tourist Information Office is located near the intersection of Bernstorffsgade and Vesterbrogade streets, near the Main Train Station and next to the Tivoli Gardens. The ticket price for the walking tours is 75 Danish Kroner (12 US dollars/10 euros).

Don’t forget to bring your camera, wear comfortable shoes and carry a sweater/light jacket even in the hottest months, Copenhagen’s weather can be cool.

Click here for full details about the Hans Christian Andersen Walking Tour of Copenhagen

Click here to see a map of Copenhagen

Time to crash

tired 2

Here’s the thing, sometimes despite your very best efforts, your very best planning, your very best threats – they reach their limit. The kids just pass out – zonkers like. Doesn’t matter to them that they’re in Venice – the most beautiful/most romantic/most scenic place on earth – they’re shattered.

tired

So let ’em rest, let ’em soak up the sun, let ’em catch some zzzzz’s. Grab a gelato, or a glass of wine and grab your camera! Give ’em their 40 winks and they’ll fine and so will you.

Day Trip to Delos

Why go tilting at windmills???

According to Greek Mythology, Mykonos is where Hercules buried the Giants after a fierce battle. Another version – ‘cuz there’s always another version in Greeks Mythology – the island was named after Mykonos, son of the King of Delos who was the son of Apollo.

The whitewashed windmills of Mykonos

From as early as the 16th century one of the most recognized landmarks of Mykonos have been these whitewashed windmills.

If your Mediterranean cruise stops in Mykonos – get it out of your head that you have to spend the entire day on Mykonos, there’s real history, real adventure and real lions to see just a short boat ride away.

Most likely your cruise will sail into Mykonos early in the morning and you’ll be in port until 4ish which is more than enough time to 1) Stroll the quaint port village, 2) Grab a coffee and pastry while watching the fishermen clean and sell their daily catch, 3) Wind through the lovely alleyways lined with white-washed houses and 4) Wander down to the beach where you can see the famed windmills; take your photos and then head back to the dock to set sail for a real adventure.

Tell the kids you’re off to Delos, “The Sacred Island” where two Greek gods were born and where a street is lined with lions. (Click here to see Delos on the map)

Posing on Delos

Our own Greek Goddess on Delos, the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.

Delos: Gods, Lions and Pirates!

Take a short boat trip over to the uninhabited island of Delos which is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece as it is the birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis.

Excursion boats leave at 10 o’clock and there are three scheduled returns 12:30, 1:30 and 3 o’clock. The ride takes about 30 minutes and costs about €18 per person. The boats are air-conditioned and there’s plenty of room on the deck so you can sun yourself and fantasize you’re on your own private yacht. Sighhhhhhhhhhhh

One Angry Wife

In a nutshell here’s the story about Delos:

According to Greek Mythology Leto had an affair with Zeus and got pregnant. When his wife Hera found out…all hell broke loose!

Beyond furious, Hera banished Leto from earth. Poseidon took pity on Leto and created Delos as her her own private island/maternity ward.

On Delos, Leto gave birth to not one love child – but to two: Artemis and her twin brother Apollo, the newborn god.

And what a god – Apollo is God of music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge! Artemis was no slacker either – she’s the Goddess of the Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon, Archery.

Can you even imagine Leto’s bumper sticker!

Since 426 BC, there have been no deaths or births on Delos after the good folks of Athens “purified” the island by removing all the bones and other remains.

But purified doesn’t mean off-limits!

In 88 B.C the army of Mithridates destroyed the island’s monuments, temples, and slaughtered its 20,000 inhabitants. After that, the island was under constant attack by pirates – that’s right kiddies – we’re talking PIRATES – Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Family posing in Delos

Posin’ in Paradise – here we are in Delos.

Seeking Sanctuary

The pirates are gone replaced now by tourists and archaeologists.

As the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, Delos was a major sacred site for the ancient Greeks, second in importance only to Delphi. At its height, the sacred island was covered in a variety of temples and sanctuaries dedicated to numerous gods.

The Sanctuary lies at the heart of the ancient remains. Here you’ll find the Precinct of Apollo and the Precinct of Artemis, together with the Sacred Way.

Loads of Lions

The famous Terrace of the Lions is THE signature image of Delos.

Located across the road and facing the Sacred Lake, these imposing massive cats with their mouths wide open as if roaring, stand guard over the site where Apollo was born. Lined up in a row, these posing felines sit atop pillars of brick and rubble creating a monumental avenue comparable to Egypt’s Avenues of Sphinxes.

The Terrace of the Lions

Having fun with one of the beautiful cats that line the Terrace of the Lions

Dating back to around 600 BC,  there were a dozen of these guardian cats lining the Sacred Way but today, only seven remain and these cats are marble replicas since the originals are under protection (from man and nature) in the island’s museum which is just  a short walk east of the terrace near the visitor pavilion.

If you’re feeling energetic you can climb the to the top of Mount Kythnos for wonderful views of Delos and the surrounding islands. Note it’s about a 400 foot climb and while that doesn’t sound far, keep it real – if it’s hot and the kids are tired, it’s just not worth it.  It’ll take you about an hour to hike up and back but once you reach the summit you’ll have a great view.

Posing in Delos

Welcome to Delos! There’s not a photo op we can avoid

Been there/done that

It’s going to be HOT! Bring water, slather on that sunscreen, wear hats, wear good walking shoes/sneakers and wear cool/comfortable clothing. Don’t rush – let the kids wander, let their imagination wander and just soak up the scenery. Oh, and don’t forget the cameras!!!

Don’t be intimidated by Delos – it’s small. Located in the heart of the Cyclades, it’s just  5km (3miles) long by 1.3km (0.8miles) wide, and is basically just a lump of rock in the Aegean Sea.

WARNINGS: Remember the last boat leaves Delos at 3pm. The last boat tends to be crowed as no one is allowed to stay overnight on the island.  The site is closed on Mondays.

Bookings: You can book your excursion to Delos online. Below are a couple links get you started. You can also book a guided tour of Delos that takes about 3 hours, but if you’re like us traveling with kids, skip the tour and just enjoy yourselves and let them roam free. Good luck,  have fun and share your photos!

Delos Tours

Mykonos Accommodation Center

Viator