Greece is known for their healthy food and for the prolific number of cats.  Cats were everywhere in the streets of Athens & on the Greek islands.  Sometimes I felt the cats outnumbered the people. Oddly, all of the cats looked clean, well fed and groomed. For you cat people here are many cat photos although I probably.  My favorite is the last photo where you see just two paws trying to steal some food off of the table.

We also ate very healthy as every meal whether it be at restaurants or at the open market carts seemed to have tomatoes, spinach, olives and vegetables. We ate octopus many times and it was delicious.


Expedition Team: Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller               Expedition Date:  April 2018

We flew from the island of Rhodes to Athens, Greece & on to Istanbul, Turkey.  Stayed at a bed & breakfast four blocks from the Blue Mosque & Hagia Sofia Mosques. Arriving in evening we walked to see the mosques, the Topkapi presidential palace & Gulhane Park (Photo#7) which had an incredible rose garden display.

The Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an Ottoman era mosque built between 1609 and 1616.  It has 6 minarets and 13 domes. The exterior is made of hand painted blue tiles which are bathed in blue light at night (Photo #1,#2,#6).

The Hagia Sophia Mosque (Photos#3- #5) was built in 537AD as a cathedral. It was the largest Christian Church of the Eastern Roman Empire and the had the world’s largest interior at that time. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 it became a mosque.

Gulhane Park overlooked the Bosphorous Pass (Photo#8), a strip of water separating Europe from Asia.

We ate dinner at Doy Doy Restaurant (Photos#9-#11) & had beef kabob with Turkish vegetables. We passed on taking a  Turkish Bath at the nearby spa.  Hearing the Muslim prayers blasted everywhere out of speakers in Turkish language was eerie & made us feel a little uneasy but also it was exciting being in a foreign country.


Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miler                  Expedition Date:  April 2018

Jacque & I took a boat from the island of Rhodes to the small island of Symi (population 2,100).  When the town’s economy was based on the ship building and sponge industries it had a population of 22,000.  Today, the economy is driven by tourism.

After docking and visiting the beautiful Monastery of  the Archangel Michael, we drove over a small mountain with an incredible view of Symi, with hundreds of colorful houses.  The Municipal Clock tower was built circa 1880 (Photo#4). We walked through the village and visited World War II ruins (Photo#6) that still have not been repaired, churches and shops.

For lunch I had a healthy octopus salad.  Cats were everywhere especially at the restaurant begging for food (Photo#9 & #10).  Jacque took a refreshing swim in the harbor.  Nearby an old man repairing a fishing net seemed so “old Greece”. A statue of a boy pointing overlooks the bay. The beautiful, bright colored houses of the city created outstanding photos.

ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller                                                                                  Expedition Date:   April 2018

Jacque & I traveled 55 miles south to Lindos & visited St. Pauls Bay & the Church of Apostle Paul, where St. Paul landed to preach the word of Christ. Next to the bay on a large hill is the Acropolis of Lindos & the Temple of Athena (400AD).

We rode donkeys (Photo#3) up to the summit and toured the ruins.  The relief of a Rhodian trirame (warship) carved in the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the Acropolis (Photo#5).

The Acropolis of Lindos (Photo#2 & #4) is a natural citadel fortified by Greeks, Romans and others who once occupied it.  The Temple of Athena (Photo#7 & #8) dates back to 300BC.  The columns are remains of a Helenistic stoa (Photo#9 & #10) built around 200BC.

We stopped on the way back at Seven Springs Restaurant & had lunch outdoors in a shady, comfortable dining area next to a spring feed creek.  Several ducks kept begging and interrupting Jacque’s lunch.

RHODES TOWN Rhodes, Greece

Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller                                                                                  Expedition Date:   April 2018

We flew 460 kilometers from Athens to the Greek island of Rhodes or Rodos in the Aegean Sea just 18 kilometers off the southern part of Turkey. When we walked into our hotel there were police everywhere. The President of Greece was just leaving a meeting and we snapped his photo in the lobby (Photo #1).  I am surprised Jacque didn’t rush him for an autograph.  We had a magnificant view of the Aegean Sea from our hotel room (Photo#2).

The city of Rhodes Town was established in 408 BC. Rhodes has been famous for thousands of years as it was the home of the Colossus of Rhodes one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Built around 300BC, the Colossus was a giant statue of the Sun God Helios and overlooked the harbor. An earthquake destroyed it.

The main part of downtown is a walled city with a medieval town within called the Citadel of Rhodes, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. There are 11 gates to enter the city (Photos#3-#5).  We visited an old castle called the Palace of the Grand Master (Photos#6 & #7), the Rhodes Archeology Museum (Photos #8 & #9), the Avenue of the Knights (Photo #10), the tight corridors within the medieval town (Photo #11 & #12) and many shops.

Being a Moraine Rotary Club member, we met several Rhodes Rotarians at a local restaurant where they treated Jacque to a huge piece of chocolate cake. I was able to exchange club flags.  Rhodes Rotary flag had the Colossus of Rhodes on it.


Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller                                                                               Expedition Date:  April 2018

Jacque and I boarded a bus for the 170 mile trip from Athens to the Sanctuary of Delphi on the southwest slope of Mt. Parnassus.  The last couple of villages before we reached Delphi had one lane streets and the bus came so close to hitting other cars (Photo#2). 

Greeks at Delphi, called “The Oracles”, specialized in predicting the future. Leaders came from near and far to consult with the Oracles about important decisions.  Modern  scientists determined these “Oracles” didn’t really have special powers to proficize  the future but were actually “high” from gas fumes leaking from openings in the mountain.

The main temple of Apollo temple ruins (Photo #3 & #4) was beautiful overlooking the valley below. The first temple was built in 600BC. As we continued to hike up the “sacred way” path we came upon an old amphitheater (Photo#5) built in 400BC.  Further up the mountainside was a stadium (Photo#6) where the Pythian Games took place.  These athletic contests, held every four years were a sort of early Olympic Games.  The stadium could hold 6,500 spectators.

Other ruins included a Treasury Building (Photo#7) built in 490BC and the infamous sacred Omphalos Stone or the “Navel of the World” (Photo#8) . As the story goes, God Zeus wanted to locate the center of the world. He sent two eagles out each flying in different directions. When the eagles eventually met, Zeus dropped a stone at that location.  The stone landed in Delphi marking it as the center of the world.

 Most people don’t realize that Greece has over 300 mountains with 80% of the country being hills or mountains. 



Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller                                                                                  Expedition Date:   April 2018

While visiting Athens, Jacque & I visited the Athens Parliament Building. She loved the Enzone Guards who marched in unique choreographed steps in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Afterwards, we leisurely strolled through town enjoying the stores and open air food carts.


Expedition Team:  Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller                                                                              Expedition Date:  April 2018

On the Athens trail of Apostle Paul. Paul brought Christianity to the learned Greeks. He preached from Areopagus or Mars Hill (Photos#1-3), a prominent outcropping located just northeast of the Acropolis. He preached in Greek because Greek was the international language. 

Apostle Paul also preached briefly on the Island of Rhodes where a small church called the Church of Apostle Paul (Photo#4) was built next to beautiful St. Paul’s Bay (Photo”5) where Paul landed. In the upper left had corner of Photo #5 on top of the hill is the Acropolis of Lindos and the Temple of Athena.


KING TUT’S TOMB Luxor, Egypt

Expedition Team:  Jacque Miller, Dave Miller

Expedition Date:  March 26, 2009

After two days sailing on an Egyptian Felucca sail boat on the Nile River including camping out one night on the boat, we arrived in Luxor. I was accompanied by dashing and bold explorer Jacqueline Miller. We spent the evening at the Flobater Hotel in Luxor just north of the town of Karnak. The first photo is a view from the hotel roof looking across the Nile River to the town of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings. We awoke early the next morning, took a ferry boat across the Nile and climbed aboard donkeys for the 45 minute burro ride. Temperature was 85 degrees in the day and 47 degrees at night.

The third photo is the Valley of the Kings, the “Worlds Greatest Open Air Museum”, the royal cemetery for 62 pharaohs (they had just discovered tomb 63 and were working on it while we were there). The tombs in the valley ranged from a simple pit (KV 54) to a tomb with over 121 chambers and corridors (KV 5).

Photo 4 and 5 show my daughter and me at the entrance to King Tut’s tomb and a sign showing the tombs layout. King Tutankhamun reigned from 1336 to 1327 BC and died at age 18. British explorer Howard Carter discovered King Tuts tomb in November of 1922. It is famous because it is the only pharaohs tomb in the Valley of the Kings that was not robbed. 98% of Tut’s artifacts are in the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo which we visited but that is an adventure we will tell another time.

It was eerie entering and making our way down the steps into King Tut’s Tomb. The boy King’s mummified body is resting in a temperature controlled, clear glass enclosure (see photo) in the burial chamber. To the right and below in a separate antechamber is a beautiful multi-colored, gold plated sarcophagus and gold funerary mask. Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting picture stories lined the walls. This was a fantastic adventure.


Expedition Team: Jacque Miller, Dave Miller
Expedition Date:  March 22, 2009

Leaving Cairo by bus, my daughter and I headed through the crowded downtown to the southwest suburb of Giza. There is a reason why 90% of Egypt’s population lives within 10 miles of the Nile River. Where there is water, there is life. Where the city ended, the Libyan Desert and endless sand took over. We left the bus, hired two camels and for many hours explored the Great Pyramid and the surrounding pyramids (six total in the complex). We could see the Sphinx in the distance.

THE GREAT PYRAMID OF KHUFU: built by Khufu, 2nd Pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty (2566BC), it was built over a period of 23 years, consists of over 2 million cut limestone blocks each weighing at least 2.5 tons. This was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. It is located 5 miles from the Nile River.

We wanted to explore inside a pyramid. Next to the Great Pyramid was the smaller Pyramid of Queen Hetepheres, who ruled in the fourth dynasty around 2600BC. Although the pyramid above ground was badly eroded, we were allowed to enter the pyramid’s underground room.  We climbed down a long ladder to a small room that was extremely hot and humid. Photo#1 shows the only photo I took in the square, rock room.

ENTERING THE HETP-HERES PYRAMID: Leaving the 87 degree desert heat, we descending over 85 feet down dimly lit steep stone steps, turned right and proceeded down a tunnel within the pyramid. We eventually entered a lighted room about 50 feet in length with white masonry limestone walls. The walls were mostly blank with only a few hieroglyphs. The temperature inside the pyramid was much cooler than the outside surface. We learned that Queen Hetp-Heres was the mother of King Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid. It was an eerie feeling being in this inner room far underground.

SAD NEWS: After the Arab uprising in 2011, tourism in Egypt collapsed. When Jacque and I visited, 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt that year. In 2016, 4 million tourists visited. With the tourism decline, many Egyptians who made their living providing camel rides to tourists around the pyramids had to sell their camels for meat. Some could not afford to feed them, worked the camels until they collapsed from exhaustion and unceremoniously tossed the carcasses in nearby sand dunes.