Tag: souvenirs

The postcard conundrum

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postcard racks on Santorini

Browsing postcard racks at a souvenir shop in Oia village on Santorini

 

Travel tradition: Call me old-fashioned, but I still send postcards to family and friends when we’re vacationing in Greece. I’m talking paper postcards with handwritten messages, stamped and posted at letter collection boxes in Athens or villages on whatever island we happen to visit.  The real deal that recipients can actually hold in their hands, not a fleeting e-card or email greeting that will momentarily flash on their smartphones or computer screens!

For me, sending postcards is a fun part of our Greece travel experience — especially since I write the messages and address the cards while enjoying a glass of wine on our hotel room balcony or at a taverna with a wonderful view.

postcards pay here sign But picking the right card for each particular person on my list can be a bit daunting since the array of postcard choices is so extensive. At some souvenir stands in Athens and on a few of the islands we have visited, the selection has been simply staggering — rack after rack after rack, all packed with dozens if not even hundreds of appealing postcards.

What to choose? Scenes of beaches, mountains, landscapes, churches or villages? Images of monuments, ruins, antiquities or museum artefacts? Photos of cute cats, dogs or donkeys? Pictures of old folks in traditional garb or physically well-endowed young adults clad in skimpy bikinis or Speedos … or wearing nothing at all? (There’s usually even a few “naughty” cards with pictures of ancient pottery bearing images of two or more adults engaged in explicit sex acts.) I usually wind up purchasing more cards than I need, and bring the leftovers home as personal souvenirs.

Santorini postcardsWhat I particularly like about postcard shopping in Greece is the careful way most of the souvenir shop staff handle the cards I’ve decided to buy. They always insert the cards (and any stamps I purchase) inside either a small paper bag or a clear plastic sleeve, so the cards won’t get scuffed or bent before I have a chance to write and post them. It’s touching how some of the shopkeepers appear so grateful and proud that a visitor will be sending postcard pictures of Greece to people around the world.

The only downside to picking postcards is that I inevitably find pictures of spectacular places that I didn’t know about, or didn’t have time to see. But that just means there will always be new sites and attractions to explore on a return visit.

Kokkari postcard shop

This postcard shop in Kokkari village on Samos had the best selection I’ve seen anywhere. Besides the cards displayed outside, the shop had hundreds more to choose from inside!

 

Kokkari postcard shop

Some of the cards displayed outside the Kokkari souvenir shop.

 

Archetype souvenir shop Mykonos

A cat snoozes beneath a postcard display at the Archetype souvenir shop near the Paraportiani church in Mykonos Town

 Archetype Souvenir Shop

Night view of the Archetype souvenir shop in Mykonos Town

 

postcard racks in Mykonos Town

Postcard racks in a narrow lane in Mykonos Town

  Naxos postcards

Postcard display outside a shop on the Naxos Town waterfront

 

postcards in Oia

Postcard racks outside a souvenir shop in Oia village on Santorini

 

Mykonos postcards

Postcards on display in Mykonos Town

 

Mykonos postcards

Postcards at a Mykonos souvenir stand

 

Naxos postcards

A postcard and bookmark display at a shop in Naxos Town

Take home a Mykonos ‘sugar cube’ house!

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Mykonos house souvenirs

Wooden Mykonos houses handcrafted by artist Eugenia Triantopoulou are available at Triciclo Art Shop in Mykonos Town

 

Super souvenirs: Brilliant white “sugar cube” houses with blue doors and window shutters are often the first images that come to mind for many people when someone mentions travelling to Greece.

It’s no surprise, of course, since a substantial proportion of travel guides, posters and tour brochures for Greece feature photos of the cute whitewashed houses as well as white churches with gleaming blue domed roofs — even though that particular style of architecture is found primarily in the Cyclades islands (but also in some villages in the Dodecanese and in a few other parts of the country).

The sight of white cube-shaped buildings clinging to barren brown rock hillsides is one of the features that tourists enjoy most about Mykonos in particular, since it boasts an extensive array of traditional Cycladic architecture both in Mykonos Town (one of the prettiest villages in all of the Greek Islands) and elsewhere on the island.

Mykonos visitors can now take one of the cute “sugar cube” houses home with them as a souvenir.  Local artist Eugenia Triantopoulou has created a collection of charming hand-made wooden houses which are available from Triciclo Art Shop in Mykonos Town.

Triciclo offers a variety of other hand-made gift items from a number of local artists. The shop is located a short walk behind the Mykonos Town Hall at 3 Voinovits Street, which is the lane that leads from one of the most popular restaurants on the island, Niko’s Taverna, to Skandinavian Bar, one of the most famous party clubs in all of Greece.

There’s more information and photos — as well as a map showing how to find the gallery — on the Triciclo Art Shop Facebook page.

 

Greece holiday pic of the day

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mini Greek village souvenir

A Greek village souvenir display at a shop in Fira on Santorini

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