I've seen people mention using trekking poles when visiting some of the sites in Greece, i.e. Delphi. Does anyone have experience with this? I don't want to look like an idiot, but I also know that the footing can be uneven and somewhat unstable.
I'm just over 60 and not particularly fit or sporty. I've never felt the need for trekking poles on any of the sites I've visited. Most, including Delphi, have a fairly good path through them.
I've seen the occasional person with poles but they certainly aren't common on sites. I'd assumed they were people who had particular mobility problems.
You know best how good your footing is but, unless you have some specific problem, I would guess you'll be fine.
Patty, the answer is "It all depends." What's your age range? Ever have problem with a "dicky knee"?? What inclines are you going up/down? I'm a retiree, with a left knee that aches sometimes --- but an Ace knee-elastic (the small kind) under my cropped pants-leg has been a BIG help in my 11 Greece trips. However, when I hiked down Imbros Gorge in Crete, the footing was all rocks & boulders... from softball size to soccer-ball size! Just keeping balance was a challenge ... If I had not grabbed a crooked tree branch at the start I would have tumbled!! Ditto for some other hikes. A stick is more for balance on rough footing. This year I was going with 4 younger, super-active companions, taking them up Acropolis, up Mycenae, Tiryns, etc etc - and decided a trekking-pole was a good idea. I got just ONE, the folding kind (be SURE to measure the INSIDE of your roll-aboard bag to insure that when collapsed it will fit in). It helped a lot on steep slopes (and yes, Delphi qualifies). And it gives a Sporty Look, unlike a cane.
I've used a single trekking pole when hiking in Scotland. Funnily, I just mentioned that I should have used when I walked from 58th to 45th st. on Second Avenue in NYC a few weeks ago after a snow storm. :) I have a recently wonky knee and I experienced a lot of bad sidewalk. If I walk to work tomorrow in NYC, I'll probably give it a whirl. So, the issue really is if you think I might make your trip safer. You can get one that can fold up. It can have rubber tip or the point.
I have used a cane for "site"-seeing for about 10 years. I was very grateful for it when climbing up to the Parthenon, around the sites in Crete, Sicily etc. The Ancients did not use handrails! Anyone who has issues with balance and/or weak joints and who doesn't use an assist of some sort is just asking for trouble.
So we are both in our 60s. We 're fairly athletic, but my husband has one knee replacement and the good one isn't great. Recently, one of my knees has started to act up, so I wear a sports wrap when I do aerobics. Also, I have progressive lenses which can occasionally give me a hiccup going downhill.
I'm thinking a collapsible pole for each of us - any recommendations?
If you bring poles, be sure to bring rubber tips to cover the metal tips. Some Greek sites don't allow trekking poles unless they have rubber tips.
We are a fit 60's couple who have used trekking poles in Greece, Turkey Croatia, France depending on the site. I have a hip problem and find using the poles puts less stress on my hips when climbing steep hills and lots of stairs especially the uneven ones at many of the sites in Greece and Turkey.
They are great for maintaining balance on the uneven surfaces especially when you are climbing back down from some of the less well maintained historic sites. They are also great for powering up many of the steep hills.
You won't look like an idiot. We have encountered lots of othersusing them as well.
First of all, I meant to thank you all for taking the time to pass along your advice.I 'd been poking around on my own trying to get some definitive answers and wasn't having much luck. You have given me what I need, especially the advice about the rubber tips. The issue for us is usually the going down part rather than the going up. We will look for a collapsible pole for each of us that will fit our suitcase. The RS tours prefers the carry-on baggage size, so the poles really have to collapse.
Thanks to Patty for asking this question and to all who have answered it. I asked about hiking boots for a trip we will be taking to Istanbul and Greece in the fall, but I never thought about trekking poles. My husband got some after a trip to the Alps a couple of years ago. I just checked, and "mine" may not fit in my 22" spinner even diagonally, so I may need to get a different one that collapses more. "His" will fit diagonally in his RS backpack I think. They are 26" long collapsed and both have rubber tips.
Just a thought about poles that don't fit into the suitcases. You might call the airline and tell them you have a collapsible pole that you use as a cane, ask if it's OK that you can use it to aid your walking when boarding the aircraft ... I never see a person with a cane being forced to put it in a suitcase. (Of course, this may force you to fake a limp, or at least wear a pained expression in the boarding line -- BUT, on the other hand, it might get you promoted to early boarding "for those with children or requiring assistance" ... Lots of options, LOL.