We have moved on to the second half of our trip–Greece! I feel like Greece is everyone’s dream vacation spot…and for good reason! Lovely beaches, clear water, perfect weather, blue roofed buildings, Greek cuisine, you name it….it all sounds wonderful. And it is wonderful….but for me it loses a bit of it’s appeal when everyone else in the world is trying to to experience the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Greece…but the more I experience in my travels, the more I tend to fall in love with the unique experiences that are off the beaten path than the typical tourist attractions. Greece felt to me like one big tourist trap, minus those few places we were able to sneak away to that hadn’t been overly publicized to the rest of the world.
So we’ve arrived in Greece. It’s a whole different world than Norway. We started out in Athens, to experience some of the culture and history before island hopping. Although it took us a while to find, the airbnb home we stayed in in Athens was fantastic. The room was beautiful, it had a big balcony overlooking the city with a view of the Parthenon, and it was right in the middle of the city. Of course by the time we were ready to explore, the clouds rolled in and it started pouring down rain (seems to be the trend for our vacation). However, we’d been awake since 4 am and hadn’t had an actual meal yet so we trekked through the rain to a great restaurant called “God’s restaurant” (recommended by Rick Steves). We both got giant sandwiches and plates full of salad big enough for 3 meals and ate every last bite. Then on top of all that, the restaurant brings you a plate full of watermelon for after your meal so we ate that too. By the time we were done feasting, the rain had let up a little so we went to explore the ruins.
If you decide to go around to all the ruins, be sure to go to the Parthenon first. Your ticket from that gets you in to several other sites around the city (versus paying separately at every location). I felt like for the most part, most things were either completely gone or just in crumbled piles, but there was still a cool arch of some god and some pillars beyond that (My high school Latin teacher and my college Greek mythology teacher would be so ashamed that I don’t remember the names of the gods who’s ancient ruins I saw).
Inside the Acropolis, there is the Parthenon which is pretty cool to see and some amphitheaters which were also awesome. There was a group of dancers practicing for a performance in one of them, which is great that they still get used today. After the Acropolis, we continued to wander around and look at ruins but unless you are really into history or Greek mythology, it probably won’t excite you too much. It was cool to see, and may have been even cooler if I would have refreshed myself on my knowledge of Greek history.
Also, it had started raining again which made us less likely to linger at each site. We walked around to a few of the shops and bought some Greek wine and went back to our airbnb room and had wine and some Denmark chocolates I had bought from the airport (The company was called Peter Beier and it was the BEST chocolate) for dinner while looking at the Parthenon all lit up and watching the colors from the sunset change the sky beyond the town.
Our day here was cut kind of short, but for me personally it was plenty of time. Crumpled ruins that you can’t tell what they ever were don’t excite me as much as some things about traveling, but it was still cool to see.