Back to Athens

Trip Start Jun 05, 2006
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21
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Trip End Aug 01, 2006


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Friday, July 7, 2006

Here now, we find ourselves once again in a place of comparitive familiarity. Odd that we could ever consider Athens, Greece familiar, and yet... So anyway, plans changed somewhat in the course of our travels in the Cyclades (the archipelago in which Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete lie). Our intended plans had been to stay in Santorini a couple nights, then Scott and Adam would go to Crete for 2 more, while I met up with Jon and the others in Mykonos, and we (Scott, Adam and I) would meet back in Athens to stay at the Backpacker Hostel, then take the same early flight to Milan, where we would part ways and I would take a train to rejoin the party of 7 in Nice, France. The only major departure from that plan is that we 3 spent all four nights in Santorini, because all island-hopping ferries were canceled due to inclement winds (in spite of absolutely gorgeous weather.) So I missed out on Mykonos, which, based on emails from Robert and Jill, was a blast, and Scott and Adam wasted their flight from Crete to Athens. But all is well, and we got to explore Santorini more thoroughly and had a fantastic time! Santorini really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, if a bit more idyllic than Mykonos.

From the ingratiating and sincere welcome we got right off the boat by a rotund Santorinian who goaded us with promises of good rooms, beach access, and good times into a van to drive precarious roads up a cliffside to Perissa-- to the bookstore run by a kid our age from Memphis who decided to open shop after a holiday trip to the island-- to the wife of our welcoming friend and innkeeper, who greeted us jovially each morning we had intended to leave the island, telling us smilingly our ferry had been canceled, but we should not worry, our island stay was very enjoyable. In fact, we found it tempting, yet confoundingly difficult to worry about our plans (be they trip-related or other) while on that island, riding rented bikes to secluded beaches; navigating impossibly meandering hillside streets to discover incredible ocean views; laying out on (literally) scalding black lava-sand in the afternoons; and cooling off with a beer at a local bar, watching Italy and France trounce their respective opponents, to move forward to the World Cup Final. All in all, it was an amAZING, and much needed slow, after a fast-paced race across northern Europe. And I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with Scott, who I've been friends with since middle school, even though it meant less time living it up on Mykonos with my other travel companions. But I shall be back with them in a day or two. Well, I hope you all are doing well, and I miss you, sappy as that is, especially because its true.

ciao,
matt
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