The plane that spirited me away from fair Athens spat me out – sleep-deprived – in the merry city of Istanbul/Constantinople/Byzantion/Byzantium.  Baklava here is, empirically better than anywhere else in the world, and the sights are unparalleled. It is, after all, a Roman Greek Turkish European Asian Muslim Christian Jewish Byzantine Ottoman smorgasbord about 2600 years old. […]

Leaving Greece

I lied. This is the penultimate post. I assure you, Amy, I did not mean to swindle you.  It’s just that there’s so much to write, and I didn’t know how to summarize my Greek pilgrimage in so few words and…ah. Well! It felt not so long ago that I was rambling about the newness of […]


Or Fall Break Part II. As I sat down at the boarding gate in Pisa heading to Frankfurt, I wasn’t terribly worried. After that adventure in Assisi friendhunting, karma would afford me a hitchless ride through to Göttingen, from the airport. Not so.  You see, Josh had foolishly booked a Ryanair flight to a minor […]

Giant Trails

Of those at the table in the café where on winter noons a garden of frost glittered on windowpanes I alone survived. -Czeslaw Milosz, Warsaw 1944. Everyone was a little puzzled by my utilization of last week’s long weekend.  Why Poland, of all places?  Besides a smattering of kielbasa jokes, the average global citizen knows fairly […]

Normal Days

It must not be thought, dear reader, that Josh the blogger has been careening from classical ruin to classical ruin, beach to beach, with hardly a paper in between.  In fact, I’m devoting a whole post to demolish this myth, and I lay it here at your feet.  I’ve decided to record my weekday schedule, […]

Mystra in the Mist

Ahoy again! Josh the Wandering Hedgehog has just returned from his field trip in the Peloponnese.  He has been very good at buying postcards, but very bad at budgeting.  I’m very tempted to speak about the Stadium at Olympia -site of the eponymous games, or of my recent trip to Mycenae.  Perhaps I’ll do that […]


My alarm springs to life at 6:30 AM in our windowless cabin.  Our modest cruise ship of sleep-ridden Americans has swept into the ancient harbor of Heraklion, Crete. Κρητη, as it’s known in Greek (Kree-tee).  We have good butter and bad coffee at the little breakfast bar, and tumble into the waiting buses for the […]

Common Courtesy

Once again I resurface like a beluga from beneath the arctic circle, and almost as graceful. Athens has treated me well. The Greeks are, in truth, a remarkably kind and courteous people. Among the elderly there is the slightest suspicion of foreigners, but among the vast majority of folk on the street, I’ve been treated […]