This all got me to thinking about what travel is about. Is it - to stay in a lush resort and spend all the time locked in the confines of only what IT is? Or is it about the flavor of the place you're visiting?
Many years back we traveled to Athens, Greece and as a city - it was a bit overwhelming. We did the normal touristy things - seeing the Parthenon and walking around the streets - but it was too much. Then we caught a ferry out to Paros, a little island out near Naxos... as the ferry approached the dock - there was a group of people standing at the end of the dock holding up pictures of places to stay. Some of which looked like their very own homes. We headed to a place called Hotel Dina in the old city of Parikia on Paros, where we settled in to a second floor room that had two sets of doors out to small balconies - one of which looked out onto the roof of The church of Enangelistria, and the other out onto the rooftop of a restaurant where we would enjoy breakfast the following days. It was quaint, charming and absolutely beautiful.
(These two photos are from the Hotel Dina's website - I didn't take them)It's a modest hotel, fresh and neat - we slept with the doors open and in the morning went to the other balcony to watch an elderly woman with a bucket of whitewash... re-marking the spaces in between the flat rock paving stones on the narrow walkways... life is slow - and I think that's part of the charm - it gives you time to savor the beauty.