Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry

Whilst I was in London on my way home from Iceland in January this year, I dedicated some time to family history. Not the family history I plan on committing some time to in the next couple of years, by spending a good month or two in England researching the Lawrence Stephenson line of our family. It is the one arm of our family which I can’t trace back past my great-great-great grandfather Lawrence Stephenson DD with any reliability. That is a story for another time.

The person I spent time researching in London was Cousin Effie. Cousin Effie will be the subject of a series of blog posts as I chronicle her adventures and tales.  She is one person in our family, that I would have dearly loved to have met, however since she was born on the 9th of July 1889 and died on the 12th of September 1976 that was never going to happen was it?

Lillian Florence Euphemia “Effie” Torry is my first cousin three times removed or in other words, she was the first cousin of my great grandfather Lawrence Goldie Stephenson. Cousin Effie and her older brother Arthur James Dashwood Torry were an end of the line for their family. Cousin Effie had no children, nor did she marry. Her brother, Arthur born sometime between April and June 1887, died in aerial combat on 9 October 1917. He was a Lieutenant from the Royal Garrison Artillery that was attached to the Royal Flying Corps 9Sqn and was a recipient of the military cross.

Cousin Effie was the daughter of a Reverend (it was a common profession in our family – you were either military or “of the cloth”), In addition to the death of brother in WW1, they lost both their parents with a few months of each other in 1905 and 1906. Effie was just 16 at this time.

There will be more tales of Effie’s life later but now we are focusing on what I was seeking in London. A few years ago, I did some Googling at some point in time and came across this website – http://maths.dur.ac.uk/~tpcc68/GOP/nft.htm which lists a series of articles that Effie wrote for The Girl’s Own Paper. This was probably after Mum mentioning that Cousin Effie was a journalist or similar.  Well, when I was in London, I spent some time photographing each of these articles at The British Library -> a bit of a different library to what I am used to!!!! I will be publishing these articles for the family and interested parties to read over the coming weeks.

I must say, after reading these articles, I would love at some point in time to retrace her adventures and do a comparison to each of the articles some 100 years on!

So without any further chatter, here is the first article of a series of Effie’s travel adventures!

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Why Not Visit Greece?
By Euphemia Torry

Published in Volume 50 (1928-1929) of the Girl’s Own Annual, pages 46-49
Here you can combine the best in Art, History, Scenery and Climate – and the Expense need not be huge

GREECE would be Italy’s strongest rival as a holiday resort, were it not for the difficulty of reaching the country, for she possesses the twin charms of Italy in a major degree: History and Art combined with wonderful scenery and climate. The minor disadvantages of poor accommodation would melt like snow in the sun of tourist traffic.
In fact, they are already doing so, and the traveller who has the courage to go to Greece will be much more comfortable than she has been led to expect.
Since, out-side Athens, accommodation is still limited, the best party is two interesting countries in the world at women (or two men) only, prepared to share a room. Such a couple, travelling with light suit-cases, can be very mobile in country districts and see much of one of the most interesting countries in the world at very small cost

In planning a holiday the two main considerations are time and money. In the following sketch of a journey round Greece suitable for two women alone. I shall imagine that my travellers have sufficient time, but are careful as to ways and means. The most economical methods will be suggested. When the tourists reach Greece they will find ready to point out more extravagant ways!

The Best Way to Get There!
The most usual way to reach Greece is by sea, either from Marseilles, or from Venice, Trieste or Brindisi. A little known line is the Puglia, which can be taken from Venice, Trieste or Bari. Some of the Puglia boats call at all the Dalmatian ports (ten days’ delightful cruise) and reach only the northern Greek ports, where one must tranship to a Greek coasting steamer to get to Patras. It is well to avoid spending the night on the coasting steamer, but the day’s cruise among the islands is delightful.

Patras, to Begin With.
In any case, I strongly advise disembarkation at Patras, which boasts an up-to-date hotel.
It would be quite possible to visit Delphi from Patras, taking steamer up the Gulf of Corinth to Itea and motor-bus thence to Delphi, where at least two days should be spent, and then return to Patras.
It is the fashion in Greece to tell tourists that the trains are impossible and that they must motor everywhere. My experience is exactly the contrary, as I dislike bumping on bad roads. Trains are few and far between. They are slow, but they are comfortable and cheap (second class is quite good enough). Nearly all station-masters speak French and are most obliging.

And Then, On to Olympia.
Take train therefore from Patras to Olympia and stay the night there. Sparta can only be reached by car, and this excursion can be made from Olympia or Tripolitsa. From Olympia one can go on by train to Nauplia, an altogether charming sea- side resort whence one can visit Epidaurus (possessing the best – preserved Greek theatre), Tiryns and Argos, the last two by train. Any length of time could be dawdled away in this delightful part of the world with constant excursions to all parts of the Peloponnesus.

Mycenæ should Not be Missed.
Nauplia to Nlycenæ by early train and on to Athens in the evening is a quite possible arrangement. Better to stay at the inn in Mycenæ, which, though tiny, is clean and accustomed to English ways, as the innkeeper has been trained by some members of the British school in Athens, who made their home there awhile. Both the inn and the excavations are some way from the station (no transport available), so only light things should be taken and heavy bags left at the station.
Leaving Mycenæ by the same early train, one could ” stop off ” to see Corinth and proceed to Athens by the evening train. I suggest this rather than sleeping in Corinth, since one hears that all New Corinth, with the hotels, was destroyed in the last earthquake.

Athens —of Course.
In Athens, where even the most hurried traveller will not wish to spend less than a week, it is best to stay near the centre of the town (Place de la Constitution) rather than in one of the group of hotels near the railway station, which, though clean and moderate in price, are most tiresome to reach at midday when sight-seeing.
Trams and motor-buses will take you everywhere in Athens. To the Acropolis, the Theseum, the Temple of Jupiter, the museums, to name only the outstanding sights. One may also make some charming excursions: to Phaleron by tram; to the Bay of Salamis by electric train to the Piræus and then proceeding on foot or by bus; by motor – bus to Eleusis (now called Levsina) ala the Sacred Way. Excursions from Athens for which a car is needed are to Marathon and Cape Sounion. The tourist agencies make up parties so as to reduce expenses.
Leaving Athens at 10 in the morning, one may reach Kitinion (Bralo) at 2.30 and motor thence to Delphi (having arranged with the inn at Delphi to send a car), arriving in time for tea. I dare not begin to write of the beauty of this drive round the lower slopes of Parnassus, nor of the charm of Delphi, for I should not know when to leave off. I can only say: ” Do not miss it if you can possibly afford it.” Two nights at Delphi are the very least that should be allowed. Hence you may return to Patras, via Itea and home again by’ sea.
If a return by train is preferred you can leave Delphi again by the 2.30 train, which soon goes through the Pass of Thermopylæ, of which one has a wonderful view. Those who wish to see the Vale of Tempe by daylight must leave the train at Larissa at about 7 p.m. and spend the night there. (I have no first-hand knowledge of the hotel there, opinions were divided concerning it.) A slow train can be taken to Salonica next day, passing through the famous Vale. If you elect to remain in the Orient Express you will reach Salonica at midnight.

Under Mount Olympus.
There is no particular reason for staying in Salonica (unless, as in our case, you wish to visit the British cemetery), but an afternoon spent rowing about the lovely bay under Mount Olympus, with her snow-clad peaks glistening in the sun, is one of my happiest memories.
At this, the last halt in this circuit of Greece, the question will arise whether to take the Orient Express and get home quickly, or to travel by slow stages, sleeping at different places en route. And here, let the traveller who minds her purse, beware. Tourist agencies sell through tickets which admit travel on express trains. But in Jugo-Slavia much cheaper tickets may be obtained for travel by slow trains. Continuing therefore my itinerary of saving money rather than time, I suggest leaving Salonica at midday and either de-training at Nisch at midnight or spending the night in the train and reaching Belgrade at 6 a.m. The next stage might be to Posthumia, on the Italian frontier, where there are some interesting stalactite caves, and from there, one more hop to Venice again.

Traps for the Unwary.
A hint as to traps for the unwary may not be amiss. Express trains, notably the Orient Express, do not run every day of the week; and one often has to spend a day less or more in a place in order to fit in with trains.
A second class ticket admits the traveller to the Orient Express in Greece and Jugo-Slavia and she may also have a sleeper thereon, still second class. As soon as the Italian frontier is reached, supplement to first class must be paid.
Beware of leaving the decision as to sleepers until you are on the train, for you then pay 10 per cent. extra, nominally for service.
It is a real advantage to master Greek characters, so as to be able to read the place names. French is a useful language to speak, as post office officials are obliged to know it, so, when in doubt, rush to the post office. In practice, so many people have a smattering of English that even French may be dispensed with. On our journey down the coast Italian was most used and, on the return overland, we found German a common tongue.

In the Hotels.
Hotels in the larger places often provide only rooms and prefer that you should go out to meals, though they will arrange to have morning coffee sent in. Accommodation, with food, will work out at from 10s. to 15s. per day according to the place. Except in Athens and Salonica, there is little choice of hotels; one must take the first that comes. Entrance fees to museums are very moderate and most excavations entirely free.
The real expense of a trip to Greece is the initial one of getting there. Though I have now been three times to Greece, and always by different Greece? routes. I have found no route that will cost less than £11 each direction.

What is the Best Time of Year?
Spring is ideal in Greece, as elsewhere, but, being the is inclined to reduce the already limited accommodation. Autumn (say October) has a charm in all grape- growing countries, and in none more than in the land of Bacchus. Neither mid-summer nor mid-winter is, in my opinion, suitable for a first visit.

What Clothes to Take?
Most essential is a warm coat which may be used as an extra bed-covering.
A light wrap easily carried during the day, to put on after sunset, is most useful. Evening dress is not required at all, and, except that colours should be fadeless, there seems no special advice to give about the light day dresses needed. I never found any difficulty in getting laundry done.
Only let your shoes be strong, for not only are the roads bad, but ruins and excavations are cruel to footwear.

 

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Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry
Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry
Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry
Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry
Why Not Visit Greece? By Euphemia Torry

Hawaii Day 2

Day 2 was all about the Flamingo 🙂

Lots of them and some other animal encounters at the Honolulu Zoo 🙂

Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon

Black Rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros
Look a Fujifilm disposable camera!
Look a Fujifilm disposable camera!
Oh sweet gum
Oh sweet gum
Peach Faced Lovebirds
Peach Faced Lovebirds
Peach Faced Lovebirds
Peach Faced Lovebirds
Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)
Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)
Mosaic Flamingos
Mosaic Flamingos
Slender-tailed Meerkat
Slender-tailed Meerkat
Klipspringer
Klipspringer
Some form of antelope, isn’t that striping on the flank gorgeous?
Some form of antelope
Oh Zeeeeebra!
Oh Zeeeeebra!
Zeebra!
Zeebra!
Hello Giraffe
Hello Girafe
Lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)
lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)

Beach Umbrella … also works an umbrella when an impromptu tropical rain shower appears
Beach Umbrella ...
Indian Elephant and Diamond Head
Indian Elephant and Diamond Head
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
How far to other zoos?
How far to other zoos?
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)


American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
Me and another great mosaic at the zoo
Me and another great mosaic at the zoo

After getting a bit rained out of the Zoo, I headed back to my classy looking hotel for a nap before heading off to Ward Village to have a browse through the shops and area.

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After Ward Village, I headed through Ala Moana where I stumbled across this most wonderful reproduction dress on display in Bloomingdales. This dress is part of the Alii Gown Reproduction Project which is been run by the Friends of Iolani Palace. This dress is a reproduction of Queen Kapiolani’s lei hulu (feather lei) gown which she wore to Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1887. I have lightened the darks a bit in the below photo to try to show the exquisite detail in the bodice. The dress is the most beautiful black velvet with yellow feather embellishments. I would love a dress like this, the detail, the fabric, the cut, the train, the drape, everything! I spent a good time walking round the dress soaking it all up. Refer to this article for more detail.

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On the walk back to my hotel, I went past this the Tradewinds Hotel and was totally in love with their breezeblock entry way 😀
The Tradewinds Hotel
And well you can’t have a visit to the USA with out some blueberry pancakes from IHOP 😀
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And with a very full stomach, it was back to the hotel and that was Day 2 of Hawaii 😀

Hawaii Day 1

The Easter long weekend normally means a trip somewhere, or kind of somewhere

last year it was a trip to the spare room as I prepped for a CA Capstone workshop the following weekend.

the year before it was ?????????

the year before that it was Penang

This year it was Hawaii with two of my friends from uni days Sam and Justin. We flew with Hawaiian Airlines because well 2 x 32kg bags ….vs 1 x 23kg with Jetstar.  Ok so that last bit was more something I was excited about than the others and that may only be because well I brought home some groceries … ok really I bought home a whole bunch of pop tarts, like a lot.

Hawaiian does a cracker of a flight out of Brisbane to Honolulu, a perfect flight for an after work escape on a plane to the middle of the Pacific. Why is it a cracker? Well because the departure time is 9:45pm. Thank you very much HA444. That not too late but not too early flight which means you can leave work at 5pm, go home finish packing, grab a bite to eat and make it to the airport in time.  Ok so that dinner might only be a jaffle but still … and anyway you will get some sort of snack on the plane once it takes off. The flight takes about 9hrs so again a pretty perfect after work flight because you know that halfway through the first movie you will be fast asleep albeit not in pyjamas and not curled up in your own bed but still you know that when you wake up, you will be a whole lot closer to those islands in the middle of the Pacific, HAWAII!

….. Fast forward 9 hours and some somewhat not the nicest plane food … Cue a little bit of food poisoning for me… Aside from that. This is what you see when the wheels hit the tarmac and how can you not love those mountains? That glorious haze/volcanic fog creating the perfect graduation of colours 😀

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Once I had my bags and the passport stamped it was out into the real world. Shuttle found, I was of course going to be the last person to be dropped off at my hotel. We went via some of the fancy ones, some of the middle ones and then we get to mine and the driver is like  mmmmm.

I had two nights in Honolulu before  Sam and Justin to arrive  (perfect for me to relax and recover from that food poisoning) and had booked myself in to this little place – The Holiday Surf. Ok so I may have ended up picking this place because of the Whale mural painted on the front of the building and hey my room certainly did not disappoint in the mural department because my ceiling looked a bit like this.

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But hey, I did have a view up the mountains from my balcony.

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In saying that, double glazed windows or some form of soundproofing would have been  nice because well that road in that photo? Well that is one of the main drags in Waikiki and well the traffic does not really stop ….

After enjoying the view from the balcony it was time to sleep/recover/watch C-Span.

Then it was time to explore and explore I did.

And these are some of the things that I found 🙂

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Jamba Juice! So many OC memories 🙂 and actually I have to say that I like their drinks better than Boost, they didn’t taste anywhere near as sweet.

 

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Oh look! A Kate Spade store! The Kate Spade Cupcake sure did like that 🙂 I wonder what we might find inside???

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Kate Spade and many other retailers release Hawaii exclusive products, mainly to cater to the Asian tourist market but hey this Aussie was not complaining because Pineapples!!!!

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Or Hula dancers on a Maise bag?

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Or what is this????? Red, white, tropical leaf print Harmony bag???? and it is on sale??? and this is the same style bag as my black work hand bag …. Well I think it is safe to say that this bag came home to Australia with me isn’t it???? As we were heading over to the Big Island once Sam and Justin arrive, the shop girls very kindly stored the bag for at the shop and I picked it up when we returned to Oahu 🙂

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How gorgeous are these tights from Breathe by Body Glove??? If I had not just spent $$ on a handbag, was flat out tired and really didn’t feel like trying on clothes, these would have been tried on and probably taken home with me 🙂

After a decent while walking through the Ala Moana Center it was time to start walking back to my ceiling mural and C-SPAN but first 🙂

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Oh look a selfie!

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Palm trees! Beach! People! Sunset! But wait for it ….

 

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A very nice Art Deco entrance portal into the Ala Moana Beach Park. These entrance portals along with the canal bridges and pavilions were designed by Harry Sims Bent who was the park architect for the City and County of Honolulu in the mid 1930’s. You can read more about the park in this very interesting scan of a book – Ala Moana The People’s Park

But what is this?

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This girl who has hung about in Penang can spot an Ernest Zacharevic piece of street art from a distance 🙂 This piece was painted as part of Pow! Wow! 2015

and for a little photo that really summed up how I was feeling about  Hawaii after less than 12 hours was this installation in the Kate Spade concession in Bloomingdales.

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Yep, you sure did have me at aloha 😀

Karl and I on the jetty

A cold, cold walk on Christmas Day

It has become somewhat of a tradition in our family to go for a walk or a stroll after lunch on Christmas Day.

This year, Karl and I took Stella for a walk round town. Christmas Day was mighty cold for Reykjavik, the weather bureau recorded -9.7°C at noon on Christmas Day! A vast difference to the 25.4°C or so that was observed in Brisbane at noon on the 25th.

We went down to the harbour and then strolled back through the “west side” home to get ready for Christmas Day dinner with Kata’s paternal family.

As it was Christmas Day we wore Santa Hats for the walk, sadly the Santa Hats were not wool or super fleecy so did not really provide optimum warmth :/
Karl and I on the jetty
Karl and I on the jetty

Karl and Stella at the end of the jetty
Karl and Stella at the end of the jetty

Love the ice patterns on the jetty
Love the ice patterns on the jetty

I loved how the ice had formed on the timbers of the jetty, the bevel that formed on the edge of the timbers was ice free as were the screw/nails holding the jetty together.  You can see in the above photo of Karl and Stella how the ice looked from a different angle on the jetty timbers.

I saw a few more than three ships on Christmas Day
I saw a few more than three ships on Christmas Day

There was quite a few ships docked for the holidays, I wish I had got a photo of just three ships so I could have said “I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas Day”

Rocks frozen into the sand
Rocks frozen into the sand

These rocks were mostly frozen into the sand/gravel as when the tide went out leaving behind wet sand/gravel it promptly froze.

Looking out from the slips
Looking out from the slips

It was a very low tide so we were able to go the slips at the bottom of the dry docks to attempt to scavenge for treasures.

Ice starting to form on the harbour
Ice starting to form on the harbour

It was so cold that ice was starting to form on the still parts of the harbour! That was pretty cool to see.

Frozen seaweed
Frozen seaweed

I loved the ice edges on the seaweed 🙂

The snow is very pretty on the mountains
The snow is very pretty on the mountains

Obligatory shot of snowy mountains.

Art
Art

 

 

Sam Strawberry Man
Sam Strawberry Man

Some newish art on one of the doors of Vallarstræti

Aníta Hinriksdóttir out sprint training on Christmas Day
Aníta Hinriksdóttir out sprint training on Christmas Day

I saw these two running up the street and thought that they might be tourists out of run for something to do on Christmas Day when not much is open. When they reached the top and turned around to walk down and repeat the hill sprints, Karl recognised the girl as a champion Icelandic middle-distance runner who has been breaking more than a few records in the past years.

The sun starts to set
The sun starts to set

Then it was time to head back home to get a bit warmer and dressed to go to dinner.

 

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Yes, it has been a whopping 255 days since my last post. I have written a few drafts in that time but I’ve just never pressed the publish button. Here is to hopefully a few more posts appearing shortly.

H