Garrett and Greece were a great combo. We were a little apprehensive going to Greece because they were having trouble and the news was reeling with coverage on their banking crisis. We weren’t even sure we would be able to get money there so made sure to take euros with us. Landing in Athens we were pleasantly surprised. We saw no signs of distress other than some areas that looked like they could use a little TLC. I’m not sure if this was economy driven or just life. We only had a short time in Athens…a day and a half. Garrett was on limited time and he wanted to see Turkey too. Possibly we could have used one more day there but it worked out and we got to see what we wanted.
We made our way to the Historic area of Athens and hiked our way along the ruins. First stop was the temple of Olympian Zeus and then we made our way to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena. It was all stunning and also under heavy renovations. I’ve noticed this with almost all of the ruins. You always see these spectacular sites along with a ton of scaffolding and construction. I guess it has to be this way. The impact of the Acropolis was still felt even through all this maintenance and restoration…it’s magnificence could not be diminished. As Garrett commented, they looked so advanced compared to other ruins we’ve seen. It was incredible what they managed to accomplish in that time period. Everything was so beautiful and classic, well what was left of it:) When you think that some of the world’s greatest philosophers came out of this place and that era it is even more amazing. I also got to see how smart my historian was. Garrett gave me the run down on many things and the history of the place. He explained that Socrates taught Plato who taught Aristotle who then proceeded to teach Alexander the Great. We saw where they had their deep discussions and took stupid pictures of us in the thinkers pose:) The large marbled buildings with their massive columns with their classic corinthian crowns stood large and prominent. The statues of Athena forming columns to hold up the temple were also beautiful. Another benefit of the searing hot uphill hike to get to the Acropolis were the incredible views of Athens once we made it to the top. A huge city situated on the sea with mountains as backdrops.
Garrett and I had enjoyed a full day of seeing the sites in Athens and headed back to our hotel. We got on the bus and after a final stop we realized we were the only ones on the bus and the bus driver was done:) We had no idea where we were. It was de ja vu all over again. This was not our first time in this situation. When Garrett and I had traveled to Italy when he was 15 we did the exact same thing in Naples:) We just looked at each other and cracked up and left to find a taxi as another bus driver was left shaking his head at us.
Next stop Santorini! We had 3 days to spend on the island of Santorini before heading to Turkey…a little respite before we continued our frenzied pace. I had seen photos of the island of Santorini and had always wanted to go there. The white buildings with their startling blue tiled roofs and trim situated on the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea did not disappoint. We also had ended up in the cutest family run hotel ever with a small door to the rooftop that could only be accessed by us. The views were awesome from this roof top and the stars made for great viewing too. We spent our first full day on a boat tour, hiking the volcano, stopping for lunch on a little island and then watching the sunset in Oia. A beautiful picturesque village….though so crowded you could hardly walk through it’s charming narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants. We made a friend who hung with us all day, a young woman from of all places, Denver…small world:)
This excursion for some reason was exhausting, we vowed to spend the next two days on the beach just relaxing…okay this was mostly my idea:) It was great! A beautiful place to relax before we made our way to Turkey. Our excursion to Greece could be described as short and sweet. I hope they work out all their economic woes but honestly we saw no signs of them…maybe the places we went to were too insulated with tourist money. I don’t know but I I wish the Grecians well and hope to maybe make it back someday.
Greece…Blue skies, blue seas, and blue tiles…the only thing not blue was us:)