Greek Island Living

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Feb 20, 2014


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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Sunday, June 19, 2011

I've had a very relaxing, enjoyable and interesting 8 days on the Greek Islands. I write this as I sit on the 8 hr ferry ride back to Athens. I fought my way to a seat with a power outlet and am defending it with passion. The ferries are MASSIVE. I was expecting more like the Sydney harbour public ferries. I still can’t believe that I am writing this as I look out over the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve grouped the Island component of the Greece trip into one entry. Lots of photos, but I’ve tried to whittle down the best of the best. We had 2 nights on each island.

Mykonos

Morning came early with a 515am wake-up call in Athens. Then aboard a bus to the Port to catch the 5.5 hr ferry to Mykonos. This is known as the party/gay island. Our hotel was out of central town; Required a bus (old style school bus) anywhere or a taxi (all seem to be Mercedes). But very close to the beach and that’s what we cared about at this point. The water was FREEZING. I’d swim for 5 minutes then have to get out and lay on the beach (5 euro for a lazy-boy bed thingo with umbrella if u bought drinks from the restaurant that owned them). 1st night was Tequila night, where TopDeck take us out and buy rounds of tequila shots with intent to get us mega drunk...naturally, I obliged to this. Went to a couple of bars/clubs and got to know everyone. Good group, but definitely a divide between the <24 yo and >24 yo. 9 Australians, 2 USA, 1 Canadian, 2 Chinese and 2 Kiwi.

Next morning was a rough start, but I forced myself up so I could get along to the Optional Paid Tour to Delos. I was glad that I went. It is the birthplace of the God Apollo and used to be home to 30,000 and is now a maze of relics and historic buildings. Fascinating place where it is hard to believe that people built a civilisation thousands of yrs ago.

More drinks and partying on the 2nd night at Paradise Beach, but I woke up feeling fine even tho I shouldn’t have. There was another TopDeck tour group in Mykonos on the same night, big group with lots of partying people. I do feel like I would’ve been better in that group. But I’m not bothered.

Paros

Paros is much more relaxed and a lowly populated fishing island. Not much excitement, but a good break from the partying of Mykonos. No one went on the Optional Tour because it was not good value. Instead most people hired 4-wheelers or scooters to check out the island. I joined up with the kiwis and Canadian by hiring a jeep for the day. So good. Quick way to see the island. I didn’t drive (RHS) so it was good to just take in the sights without fear of maiming myself.

The food on my Greece tour has been sketchy. Most times I have not enjoyed what I ordered. Even my Greek Salad was oily, onion filled and gooey. Everyone else is raving about the food as if it is what they travel for. I have realised this trip that food is not my motivation and I would be happier with a Whopper meal with onion rings and a chocolate thickshake than any cuisine that the world chefs could serve me. I do love feta tho and that is Greek, so I’ve been lapping that up!

Santorini

Without question, this is my favourite island that we visited. A very unique place where the houses are perched atop a cliff (formed by the eruption of the volcano a thousand or so yrs ago). The only active volcano in the area is off the coast and a particular highlight. The Optional Tour was taken up by everyone and involved a boat trip out to the Volcano and then a swim in the warm springs where we lathered the volcano mud all over us. So much fun, but seemingly stuck to sections of my body for the next couple of months. The tour ended by riding a Mule/donkey up the 586 steps from the old Port to the centre of Fira, the main town. An incredibly unique experience that I’ll never forget. The afternoon was free time (lots of free time in general on this tour) and I wandered the streets of Fira where I bought an awesome chess set (Mum, I’ve shipped it to u so pls look out for it in 3-4 wks...) and Bri I bought u a belated bday present of volcanic lava jewellery (super awesome).

The evening involved a trip to the town of Oia to watch the sunset. Apparently a famous place to watch the sunset and a moment where marriage proposals are common. I didn’t see any engagements, but the sunset was good (I think people go gaga over sunsets over the ocean, whereas this rarity is lost on me because I’m from WA) and A LOT of people were crammed around the cliffs to watch. Finally ate a nice dinner (2 entrees this time and no main) and I was keen to party in one of the many bars/clubs, but everyone else piked about 1230am (dinners start at 9pm and finish about 1130pm). Probably a good thing, because I wanted to feel good for the next day.

We didn’t have to meet until 2pm for the ferry back to Athens, so I grouped up with some others to go to the Red Beach. Such an incredible place and I’m glad I made the effort to taxi there. It felt like swimming on Mars. There are black beaches too. Santorini is somewhere I would return if the opportunity arose. I’m told that Brad and Angelina have a place here, so I might just visit them someday ;-)

Half way thru the ferry trip. I have some plans for tomorrow morning in Athens and then need to get myself on a bus to Olympia. It will be good to be back in my own room, but I’ve enjoyed travelling with a group and there have been no issues along the way.
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