Day 1: We arrived around 3:30 pm so this was a free day to explore. We walked around and explored the city, bought souvenirs, and picked up some yummy feta cheese pizza!
Day 2: We woke up at the crack of dawn to set sail aboard the 'flying cat 1' to the Greek islands of Poros and Hydra. These islands were so beautiful and were a lot of fun. Poros is a quaint, less traveled Greek island so its authenticity remains high and few tourists visit. We sipped on the best cappuccinos and gazed out at the beautiful sea for about an hour. Then we went shopping, of course, where I found two divine pillow cases. I am so excited to decorate my apartment next year with the fabulous things I collect throughout my travels! Afterward, we ate a fabulous greek meal, complete with tezaki, hummus, grilled pita, fried zucchini, feta cheese balls, greek salad, and excellent olive oil. The Greek are so hospitable and appear to be extremely joyous and relaxed. Poros definitely had the 'island time' vibe going on and I loved relaxing and exploring. Next, we set sail abroad the 'flying dolphin' to the Greek island of Hydra. Hydra is a more known, touristy area that is special because there is not a single car on the island. Every resident/tourist uses donkeys to navigate around the island. Hydra was the picturesque Greek island with beautiful Mediterranean style villas, blue and white buildings, and fabulous hiking. We hiked around for a bit and found a spot that had about 35 'slum cats' as we called them. They were adorable but were all abandoned and very sick. Afterward, we sat down at a cafe on the water front for a few 'Tiger' beers, which I hadn't had since Vietnam so I was very excited! After a long day of exploring the Greek islands we headed home and went out to a lovely dinner. Our dinner was amazing and we got eight free bottles of wine! The Greek love tourists, especially Americans, and will do anything for their business. That night, I learned that 'Yaimas' means 'cheers' and we used that phrase quite a bit....
Day 3: We woke up again, at the crack of dawn, to pouring rain. I mean torrential down pour...this day was very wet and as a result, I am now sick. Despite the horrifying rain, we saw amazing things and had a great time. The day started off by traveling outside of Athens to see the Mycenae ruins, including the tombs and palaces. It was awesome. We hiked up a mountain to the top of the Mycenae acropolis which was wonderful and had a great view. After this, we went to lunch at a delicious taverna and stuffed our faces. Next, we stopped at this medieval port city called Nafplion that had adorable shops, cafes, and ruins of fortresses and castles. This was so amazing to see! After this, we went to the Amphitheater where Greek plays, chariot rides, and other forms of entertainment began. It was unreal to see where all of this actually took place after learning about it for so many years.
Day 4: Again, we woke up too early, to climb the Athens Acropolis! Even though I was exhausted from the night before, I cannot complain because the Acropolis was so beautiful and had a view of the whole city of Athens. There is not much to describe through words...so here are some photos...
The Acropolis (The Parthenon, The Temple of Athena, etc.)
After the Acropolis, we walked through the Ancient Agora ruins which were incredible. It was essentially, a giant park that was so green and luscious with the Temple of the Gods and various ruins scattered throughout...Here are some photos of that...
Temple of the Gods
After this we ventured to the Olympic Stadium which was entirely built from marble and was used for some of the Olympic games in 2004 in Athens.
After our planned activities we had free time to explore the city, pack, and fly home! Our flight home was a nightmare...it was delayed 4 hours due to maintenance issues which was unfortunate but they took us to another delicious tavern as a result and had probably one of the best meals of the week! I am so happy to be back in Lausanne, even though it is freezing and snowing. I am now preparing for midterms which are the next two weeks and they will drain everything out of me. I look forward to my upcoming travels to Spain in two weeks and for Azzurra and Britt to visit me in Switzerland next weekend!
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone"