Welcome to my first post! I wanted to start this blog on a positive note, so what better way then to talk about my recent excrusion in Greece?
Greece is a beautiful country, and I am so thankful to have finally crossed it off my travel bucket list. From the great, tradiional greek food, to the beautiful scenery, and meeting new people, I am counting down the days until I return!
- The first day we arrived in Athens, we had a wonderful guy named Nikos picks us up at the airport to bring us to our hostel. He gave us a quick rundown of Greece, and the cool places to check out while we were sailing to different islands. I am genuinely surprised at how friendly everyone in Greece was, and we never ran into a language barrier. We arrived at the hostel to meet with the sailing group and put our luggage into a room. My friend, Sam and I, were placed in the dungeon of the hostel aka the basement. At first we were a little skeptical sharing a room with 9 other girls, but it turns out we had the best spot in the whole place since it was cool down there. Did I forget to mention that Athens was roughly 105 degrees? Sam and I ventured around town after putting our bags down. We found a nice little restaurant for drinks and food. We could not get enough of the fresh tzatziki sauce. By the end of the trip, I am convinced our bodies were made up of 95% tzatiki sauce. Due to the heat, the acropolis was closed but we took a walking tour with our hostel group to check out other sites. We got to explore the town, the subway system, the Parliament and Temple of Olympian Zues. Greece is also home to stray cats, so you better believe I tried to pet every single one of them! We ended up going to bed early in Athens so we could wake up for our 7:30 am ferry ride to Mykonos.
- Prior to boarding the ferry, I realized I misplaced my ticket so I tried to reprint one at the kiosk. Unfortunately, the company could not locate my name in their system so I had to purchase a first-class ticket on the ferry. Luckily, it was only 50 euro. Sam upgraded and we were both pleasantly surprised! The chairs were much bigger and more comfortable, and we had a nice little cafe in the area to eat breakfast. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ferry. My luck it could have been a small, dingy ferry and the person sitting next to me was a farmer with his goat. The ferry ride to Athens was roughly 5 hours, but we didn’t mind it. Once we arrived to Mykonos, we were told to meet at a local bar where we would meet the rest of our group and hosts. We sat there for a couple of hours, mingling and waiting for the hosts to arrive with our boat.We took a bus ride over to our boats and saw them for the first time at Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach is a big party spot. I recommend checking it out at least once. We learned a lot about the boats (like be careful climbing boat to boat because someone died when he fell between them). I got my room assignment and was split up from Sam and had to bunk with 3 Australian guys. Mykonos was a great party town, and we had a great time swimming and partying! Since the cabins were too hot to sleep in, we wound up sleeping on the deck cushions on the front of the boat. Even though it got to be a hassle, the first couple of nights were awesome, falling asleep under the stars.
- Early in the morning, we set sail for Paros. We had to leave due to weather. Sam and I rented a quad with the group and toured around the island! We made a few stops on the way to swim and eat. The restaurant we stopped at had great food and we tried a traditional Greek plate, Greek Baked Feta Cheese in Phyllo and Honey- it was delicious!We quickly returned to the boats because they were setting sail for Ios. The trip from Paros to Ios was a bit choppy, so I read while the boat sailed. We arrived in Ios and the port was super cold! It was very windy and most of us had to sweatshirts in the port for the remainder of the trip. When we arrived the hosts told us we had 10 minutes to get ready for a bar crawl. Instead, we took our time and met up with everyone later. We hopped from bar to bar for the majority of the night and headed back to the boat for some much needed rest.
- The Americans on board certainly celebrated in style.
- The days started to blur together, as we were stuck in Ios for a couple of days; however I wasn’t upset about it. There were so many beautiful things to see! We went swimming on the other side of the island and checked out an awesome restaurant called Harmony, which serves Mexican food. The weather was drastically different on the other side of the island, warm and no wind!If you get the chance to travel to Ios, I recommend a couple of things: definitely check out the sunset at Pathos Bar. It has an infinity pool, exotic drinks and a DJ that plays music timed with the sunset.I also recommend paying for a water activity at the beach. We rented a private boat for only 120 Euros and got to go cliff jumping, snorkeling a shipwreck and explore caves.
- After some miscommunication (you will read about it in my second post) we said goodbye to the boat, captains and crewmembers and jumped on a ferry to Santorini. After all, we were not going to miss the iconic Santorini. A group of us rented a car to get around the island (which I definitely do not recommend due to the narrow streets. Stick to a quad) and we went to the black sand beach, the Santos Winery with amazing views of the island, and to Oia (white structures with blue roofs).
- We had to say goodbye to some of our friends and catch the 8-hour ferry back to Athens. It was Sam’s birthday that day, so we celebrated by drinking on the ferry and playing Uno with friends.
- We stayed in the hostel and woke up early to see the Acropolis before the Athens heat took over. We lined up before the Acropolis opened and waited in line. I recommend going early in the morning since the cruise ships come in around 9 am and make it difficult to get around. We explored the Parthenon and even saw a proposal!All in all, we had a great time and I cannot wait to go back. I am biased because, after all, it was one of the top destinations on my bucket list. I made beautiful friends and had a great time exploring the country!