Friday, January 20, 2017

Free Talk: Art and Religion of the Minoans with Art Historian Roger Dell

Roger Dell has offered to repeat the Talk on the Art and Religion of the Minoans.  The last talk at the Camden Opera House was a full house.  If you were unable to attend the first time, join Roger Dell at the Belfast Free Library, in Belfast Maine, 6:30-8:00 pm on February 7, 2017 .
The talk will provide an introduction to the aesthetic achievements and ritual practices of the Minoans, a prosperous, seafaring, matriarchal, culture that thrived 3500 years ago on the Greek Islands of Crete and Santorini.   Many scholars believe this highly-advanced society, which suddenly disappeared, to be the source of Plato’s Atlantis Myth.
Roger Dell in an art historian, museum educator and former Harvard lecturer residing in Rockland, Maine. For the past several years Roger was the Director of Education at the Farnsworth Museum, from where he retired in 2016.
Many years ago when visitng Santorini for the first time, Roger and his wife Nancy fell in love with the island. They decided to return and lived in Santorini for a year during which time Roger did research on Bronze Age Aegean civilization for a book he was writing.
During the talk on February 7th, Roger will share his insights about the ancient Minoans and some of his experiences living in Greece.
In May 2017, Roger is leading a tour, organized by Eurynome Journeys, to Santorini and Crete, “In Search of Ancient Atlantis Among the Greek Isles.
Belfast Free Library
106 High Street, Belfast, Maine 04915
Telephone: (207) 338-3884
Co-sponsored by Eurynome Journeys and the Belfast Free Library

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Celebrating Woman: International Women's Day and National Women's History Month

Special Guest Anne Chambers, Official Biographer of Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s Pirate Queen Featured in 10th Anniversary Tour to Western Ireland August 2016

In recognition of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, in a year that is focusing on a particular woman vying for a place in US History, Eurynome Journey’s travel itineraries are particularly germane.  Their Ireland tour Wild West of Ireland in Search of Grace O’Malley features special guest Anne Chambers, the official biographer of the Celtic Queen Grace O’Malley.

Ireland’s Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, or Granuaile, the Gealic version, may have been lost forever from the historical record were it not for Anne Chambers. Chambers summered as a child in county Mayo listening to the fantastic tales of Grace O’Malley, a seafaring Pirate Queen of the 16th century. Years later in Dublin, Chambers’ interest in Granuaile was rekindled and she began research to determine if the tales from her childhood were just that – tales.  In her research she uncovered documentation proving many of the legends as factual.  Turns out, Granuaile was real and every bit the force of her childhood tales. She had an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, commanded a fleet of 200 hundred fighting men men; entered into strategic marriages to improve her position of power; and owned and controlled numerous castles. Chambers spent years resurrecting and compiling the history of this O’Malley chieftain and inserting her into her rightful place in the history books and Irish school curriculum. For the first time, Anne's biography drew Ireland's great Pirate Queen in from the vagueness of myth and legend and restored her to the annals of historic record and founded an international interest in a woman centuries ahead of her time, including the WanderWoman connection.

Anne Chambers notes, “On International Women's Day 2016 it is appropriate to remember one of the world's most remarkable female leaders. Fearless leader by land and by sea, political pragmatist and tactician, rebel, pirate, wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch, the 'most notorious woman' of the 16th century, Grace O'Malley challenges and manipulates the turbulent politics of a period of immense social change and political upheaval. Breaching boundaries of gender imbalance and bias, she re-wrote the rules to earn her right to be hailed one of the world's first documented feminist trail-blazers.”

Chambers connection to Eurynome Journeys is kismet. Owner/Founder Erja Lipponen explains, “During my first WanderWoman tour to Ireland in 2000, I discovered Anne Chamber's book Granuaile: The Life and Times of Grace O'Malley c.1530-1603  at a bookstore in Westport, the heart of Grace O’Malley country.   Anne’s approach to telling the story of Granauile is empowering and female affirming.  I was so taken by the story of this Celtic queen that I wanted to do a tour based on her life.  So after returning home and doing some research I decided to contact Anne.  To my delight she said she would be happy to join my WanderWoman group and tour the Clew Bay area with us and she has been a special guest ever since. Anne is brilliant and brings Granuaile to life!”

During the 11-day trip among the places the group visits are Clare Island, Grace O’Malley’s strong hold and the location of a13th century abbey believed to be her final resting place.  There is an opportunity to hike up Croagh Patrick, a scared mountain since pre-Christian times, where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days. At the base of the holy mountain the tour visits Murrish abbey.  Lipponen’s favorite place is the beautiful but rough, wildness of Bunowen Bay where Granuaile started her married life to her first husband Dónal an-Chogaidh O’Flaherty. The group will also explore the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle, built on an old O’Flaherty site and tour Dungaurie Castle, a restored 16th century tower castle. The tour includes other sites associated with the O’Malleys, O’Flaherties, Joyces, Brownes, Bourkes, D’Arcys, Lynches, MacMahons, Martins, and more.

Lipponen’s personal interest in archeology means that most tours explore ancient sites of the region. For Ireland, she has brought in local archaeologist Michael Gibbons. He will accompany the group on an exploration of the archaeology and natural wonders of beautiful Connemara visiting sites associated with Granauile.


Lipponen explains, “It is not unusual for the group to come across human bones exposed by the forces of nature and one very wet year on Omey Island, we had an archaeological discovery. A young woman on the tour spotted a carved pin that was probably from a funerary shroud, which dated to 800 AD!  Exploring archaeological sites with Michael is always fascinating and gives us lots to talk about at the pub when he joins us for a Guinness.”

Traveling with these two special and well-known guests you just never know who you might meet along the way. Lipponen recounts, “Over the years we’ve had the honor to meet former US ambassador Walter Curley. One year he, not just came to say hello to us, but invited us all into his home and gave us a tour. With Michael we ran into Irish author Tim Robinson, in Roundstone. He has written many books about the west of Ireland including, Connemara, the last pool of Darkness. On our very first Grace O’Malley tour we had the privilege of meeting Grace O’Malley's 13th great grandson, Jeremy Browne the Marquess of Sligo, who personally led the group on a tour of his ancestral home, the Westport House.”

The smallness of the group, limited to 8-12 travelers enables these encounters. Wanderwoman selects smaller properties including an award-winning guesthouse, a small Irish-style hotel, and two B-n-Bs with lots of Irish charm and warmth. The pace of the tour is leisurely with time to explore on one’s own to partake in optional activities such as horseback riding or evening concerts. This is a great trip for the first time visitor to Ireland as well as for returning visitors.

For more information on this and other tours:  
email: or call 207-236-0110 office

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Who is to blame for the Greek situation?

Here are a couple of interesting articles about what is going on in Greece and the financial crisis. 

New York Times article Ending Greece's Bleeding by Paul Krugman
Foreigner Affairs  Magazine Article PAIN IN THE Athens by Mark Blyth

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What's up with Greece & what does it mean to travelers?

Greek island have been relatively unaffected the the Crisis
Geia sou (Hello in Greek)!

As you have probably seen in the news, Sunday the Greeks voted NOT to accept the conditions of the bailout by the euro-zone.  This does not necessarily mean that Greece will leave the euro-zone or change their currency.   Even if Greece does exit the euro-zone, I think the worst case scenario for travelers this fall would be the need to bring cash, since euros, US dollars and British pounds would be in high demand if Greece went back to the drachma (the Greek currency before the euro).  Right now there is a restriction of €60 per day Greeks can withdraw from ATMs, but NO limits have been imposed on foreign debit card transactions. So travelers have full access to withdraw cash from ATMs.  However in central Athens expect long lines to withdraw cash.  According to Reuters banks in Greece will remain closed until Thursday.

Throughout the six years of Greece’s economic crisis, I have led more than a dozen trips and have found the islands to be relatively unaffected…life on the islands is a zone of its own.  Most grow their own food and many have an economy based on tourism.  Some of the more remote islands may be more difficult to get to and from, should ferry services be reduced.  So if you are on a schedule you may want to keep to the islands with frequent daily ferry service and an airport with a few flights per day.

I always recommend purchasing travel insurance that includes trip delay and emergency medical evacuation when traveling, especially if traveling to the smaller Greek islands, which do not have hospitals.  Check with your travel insurance provider what is covered and not covered before purchasing.

By fall things are anticipated to be normalized no matter the decisions and outcomes.  We all know the media tends to blow things out of portion, therefore I always find it best to check with my Greek colleagues and friends to hear their firsthand accounts.  So we are a GO for all WanderWoman trips.  I will keep you posted as I learn more.  And of course, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our upcoming trips.

Here are links to recent articles about the situation in Greece and the referendum: 


Erja Lipponen, Owner/Founder
Eurynome Journeys LLC
WanderWoman® Tours & Retreats
go at

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Travel to Egypt November 2016!


Treasures Past and Present

14 nights/ 15 days fully escorted women’s small group tour

We are going back to Egypt November 2016!
If you would like to join us- email me

Come visit Egypt on a small group women-only trip. Tour sacred sites and temples, cruise the Nile River upon which Cleopatra sailed, explore ancient mysteries and the lives of ancient Egyptian queens (and pharaohs too). Meet local women and learn about life in modern Egypt.

Click here to view itienrary.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Looking for deals on Travel to Russia!

With the devaluation of the ruble, low airfares, and tourism to Russia down, this is a good time to find deals on travel Russia.   Let us know if you are interested in visiting Russia this Summer...

White Nights, Royal Palaces, Art Treasures & Caviar!
Moscow, Medieval Towns of Russia's Golden Ring, and St Petersburg: Proposed date: July 10-20
Tour Russia in grand style! Explore Russia's rich art, history, and culture. Discover the epic role of women in creating the grandeur of the Russian Empire.  We begin in our journey in Moscow the capital of Russia. Tour the Kremlin, Red Square, and St Basils Cathedral.  Next to the Golden Ring of Russia to explore beautiful countryside villages and towns, dating back to medieval times, with magnificent onion domed monasteries and charming wooden churches. Travel by train to St Petersburg. Visit the opulent summer palaces of Russian royalty. Enjoy a special, privately guided, pre-opening hours tour of the amazing Hermitage Museum, which was founded by Catherine the Great.

If you are interested in visiting Russia this summer, please email me at

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Women's travel to Turkey

Turkish Treasures and the Turquoise Coast (aka the Turkish Riviera)

September 10-21, 2015

Join our WanderWoman® small group women-only tour to Turkey.  Visit Istanbul, Ephesus, and cruise the Turkish Riviera on a luxury Gulet.  Stay 2 nights at a boutique hotel in the old city of Istanbul, 2 nights in an ottoman-style hotel in a village near Ephesus, and seven nights aboard a luxury gulet cruising the turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera and explore traditional villages, archaeological sites, and the natural beauty of Turkey.

Tour is limited to approximately 9 travelers.  The gulet has 5 double-bedded rooms available for single occupancy and two twin-bedded rooms for double occupancy.

Early booking price $3599.00 plus flight to Istanbul. NEW PRICE!
Single Supplement: $899.00

For more information email go@

Tour itinerary: 

Day 1 Arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) and transfer to our hotel, a boutique property in the old town.  This vibrant city, which straddles Europe and Asia, has been known as Byzantium and Constantinople and has been the key city of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.  Our hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shops ad points of interest.  After a chance to rest, we will gather for a welcome dinner of local specialties. (D)

Day 2 Today you will explore Istanbul’s rich history and fascinating sights on a full day walking tour with our local guide visiting the famed Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sofia which was built as a church and then converted into a mosque and now is a UNESCO world heritage site.  We’ll tour Topkapi Palace, built in between 1466 and 1478 by the sultan Mehmet II.  The palace was the political center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries.  Today it houses magnificent treasures from the Ottoman period. (B, L, D)

Day 3 In the morning there will be time to meander about the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, and if time permits we’ll peek into the quaint little Rüstem Paşa Mosque tucked away behind the market with our guide.  Enjoy a different perspective of this historic city on a small boat cruise on the Bosphorus. Stop for lunch and in the afternoon we’ll fly to Izmir and transfer to our Ottoman-style hotel near the ancient site of Ephesus.  Enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Today you will discover the spectacular monuments of the archaeological site of Ephesus.  Perhaps best know in antiquity for it’s Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, first built in the 6th century BCE to venerate the virgin goddess.  It was rebuilt in the 2nd century BCE.  Unfortunately today only the foundation and a few fragmented columns remain.   The library of Celsus, erected in 117 A.D., was and is one of the most beautiful architectural structures at Ephesus.  It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia, by his son. On top of the grave of Celsus stood a statue of Athena the goddess of wisdom.  This spectacular library was third is richness of ancient times after the libraries of Alexandra and Pergamum. The Great Theater built in the Hellenistic period with a capacity of 25,000, where St Paul preached can still be seen as one enters the site from the south entrance.  Farther down the street is are of ruins of a brothel and public lavatories as well as numerous temples and public buildings(B, L)

Day 5 After breakfast we’ll have time to shop for local handcrafts, before boarding our minibus for the road trip to Marmaris (approx. 4 hours), the yachting center of Turkey, on the scenic coast of the Aegean Sea. En route we’ll stop in a village for a traditional Turkish lunch. Upon arrival in Marmaris, we’ll be welcomed to our gulet by our guide Anne, who lives in Turkey, but is originally from the UK.  She will introduce us to the Captain and crew of a cook and sailor (all males). After settling into our cabins we will visit the local Hamam (Turkish Bath) for a massage. There will be some free time in Marmaris port before dinner onboard our gulet. (B, L, D)

Day 6  In the morning we’ll start with a lovely traditional Turkish breakfast of local cheese, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, jams, bread and lashings of hot Turkish tea, there’s coffee too. Once our port formalities are completed we shall take a short cruise to the aptly named Paradise Island where we’ll hike for a couple of hours to the impressive Nimara cave, a goddess worshipping site from 20,000 BC. When we return to the boat you’ll have your first opportunity to swim before our first delicious lunch onboard. We’ll then cruise from the calm Aegean Sea for a couple of hours before dropping anchor in a small tranquil bay, plenty of time for swimming and relaxation before afternoon tea and dinner.  (B, L, AT, D)

Day 7 A wonderful day packed full of natural beauty, ancient sites and interesting people. We’ll take a riverboat and take a meandering cruise through the reed beds passing Lycian tombs carved high into the cliff face before stopping at the ancient city of Kaunos, which dates back to the 10th century B.C.E.  A short hike of approximately 1 hour will take us through the ancient ruins and onto a small village where we will visit a nomad family and eat freshly prepared gozleme, a traditional pancake. We’ll find ourselves back on the riverboat after an hour’s walk back through Kaunos. (B, L, AT, D)

Day 8 Plenty of time for relaxation as we take a long early morning cruise into the Mediterranean Sea to the area famed for the Gocek Islands. There will be an opportunity to swim around the ruins of “Cleopatra’s Bath,” which legend says was built for the Egyptian queen by her lover Mark Anthony.  Overnight on anchor in a bay. (B,L,AT,D)

Day 9 This morning we will cruise into Fethiye. We’ll be taken by a/c coach the short journey to Kayakoy which was abandoned in 1923 after the Greco-Turkish war. We will be able to wander around this interesting village with its ruined houses, churches and schools and take lunch in a delightful restaurant. We’ll return to Fethiye late afternoon where you’ll have free time to explore before dinner on board. (B ,L, AT, D)

Day 10 A leisurely morning for reading, swimming, conversation and contemplation. Today we will enjoy a fun hands-on cooking class/ demonstration with the guidance of a villager.  Using the freshest of local produce and spices we’ll discover the secrets creating the wonderful flavors of Turkish food. (B, L, AT, D)

Day 11 After breakfast we’ll cruise back into the Aegean with plenty of time to swim before we return to Marmaris port at teatime. Enjoy a special farewell dinner on board with local wine.  Overnight in port.  (B, L, AT, D)

Day 12 After breakfast transfer to Dalaman Airport (DLM) for flight to Istanbul in time for international flight leaving at 1 pm or later from IST.

Optional Additional nights in Istanbul
If you would like to arrive a day or two early or stay extra nights in Istanbul, we can arrange additional nights at our hotel in Istanbul and transfers to and from the airport. Rates available upon request.

WHAT TO EXPECT                                                                                                                       Archaeology, Culture, History, Hiking, Swimming, and Relaxing. This small group tour for women is limited to approximately 9 participants allowing you to experience Turkey through local culture, small traditional-style family-owned hotels, and wonderful local restaurants. We will spend fours nights is smaller hotels with local character and seven nights on a traditional gulet.  Gulets are similar to schooners with cabins  that are larger than on a typical sailing yacht.  As with all of our WanderWoman® tours, the pace of the itinerary is leisurely with ample time to relax or to explore the uniqueness of each destination. Our travel groups are NOT motorcoach tours and require walking to fully participate. The hiking tours are leisurely ranging from 2 to 6 hours on uneven terrain and climbing stairs. The hikes are easy to moderate in difficulty.  This is an active trip, and thus is NOT suitable for those with limited mobility. A knowledgeable WanderWoman® group escort will accompany the tour group to attend to details to ensure you a stress-free vacation.

NOTE: Eurynome Journeys, LLC reserves the right to change the itinerary and make substitutions at anytime to ensure the safety and comfort of the group or as deemed necessary by the tour director and/or Captain. Although the tour has been carefully planned, local circumstances may require changes to the itinerary.  All group meals and group activities are smoke-free