Thursday, July 5, 2012
The day excursions are such a ripoff though! They cost about 60 euro for basically just transportation from the port to some touristy destination on each island. I'm proud to say that we are savvy enough travelers that we just exited the port and found ways to get to places ourselves. That includes from renting a car to taking the bus. So I feel very smart. :D
I think I would agree with the general assessment that Santorini is the most beautiful island - the Oia village in particular, where all the post cards come from. Although Mykonos is very beautiful too and is right on the water vs a cliff. So if I were to go back, those are the two islands I would choose. But of course other than shopping, eating, and generally hanging out, there really isn't much to do on either. I like relaxing vacations but get bored after about 3 days of doing nothing.
Anyway, here are some photos of Mykonos, where it is famous for the windmills. And yes, it was very very windy there! But we watched an amazing sunset.
I also went to Rhodes, Patmos and Crete. I thought Patmos was kind of a waste. There is a monastery on top of a hill and that's it. Rhodes is a very large island where we rented a car and drove about 45 minutes to Lindos, where there is yet another acropolis on top of a hill that you can get to by climbing or a donkey ride for 5 euro. There are so many donkeys in Greece I swear. They are so cute with their big flappy ears! The view on top of Lindos is very pretty, because you can see the beaches underneath.
Back in the town of Rodos, there is an old town which is the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe. It's all full of touristy shops and restaurants now though. So you'd have to imagine what it looked like without all the crap.
We went to see the Knossos palace in Crete which was very exciting because it was Minos in Homer's Odyssey! One of my favorite books in high school. Yeah yeah, I was (am still) a nerd. But of course due to fire and earthquakes throughout the years, what remains today are only the basic foundations of what it used to be. I still found the atmosphere very charming though, since it is situated in a lush green area about 20 minutes outside of the city. We took a bus there for 3 euro round trip per person. :D
Back in Athens, we finally get to relax in a coffee shop. It actually probably only takes a day to see everything in Athens. Before I came, I was warned that Athens is dirty and gross and I would not like it. Well, it is pretty dirty with trash and graffiti everywhere. Not sure if it's due to the current economic condition or what. But when you venture into some less touristy areas, there are nice restaurants and cafes. I guess it is kind of like LA in a way that it's an insider city. You will not like it if you don't know where to go. We just asked different locals working at restaurants or whatnot about their suggestions. But of course a trip to Athens can't be completed without a going to the Acropolis and fighting the crowd.
I've been very happy with the food in Greece. The prices are pretty decent too. Definitely cheaper than I thought. You can get these huge gyros for 2.5 euro just about anywhere.
And almost every restaurant has Greek salad which is amazing. It's so simple too, so I'm totally bringing it home. It's got cucumber, tomato, olives, peppers and feta cheese. Sometimes capers too. It is so so good. I've been eating one everyday so far!
Oh yes, water here is also readily available and cheap. There are all these newspaper/snack stands all over the country on every block, where you can get a 1.5 liter bottle of water for about 1 euro. I need 2 of those a day to stay hydrated!
So my vacation is now pretty much over. I have one more day tomorrow with a day trip to Delphi and then heading home on Sunday! I am never ready to go home at the end of any vacation but I do miss the comforts of being home, with close access to my wardrobe, cell phone service, car, and Whiskey! I guess he's causing havoc at the friend's home he's been staying at. Destroying flower beds, garage doors, and trapping her cats under the bed. He's very high maintenance. Can't wait to see his cute little face though! I hope he hasn't totally forgotten us!