Last Stop in Europe...Greece
Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
14Trip End Mar 18, 2013
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We definitely ended our European trip on a high note. We LOVE GREECE. This is definitely a country I want to come back and visit again. We had beautiful weather, an extreme lack of tourists, and the hospitality was amazing.
We started our journey to Greece by taking a ferry from Italy. It took 2 trains from Naples to have us arrive at the port of Bari in Southern Italy. This ferry was very massive and is meant to take people, cars, and very large trucks for imports/exports. When booking you have an option to book a room since it's an overnight ferry, but being the cheap backpackers we are, we chose the "airplane seats" section, so it meant that we at least have a spot to ourselves, not knowing how crowded the ferry would get
We arrived in the port town of Patra at 12:30pm the next day and found the Bus to Athens. We ran into 2 American girls who had been traveling throughout Europe as well and it was nice to share similar experiences and issues. The bus ride to Athens had phenomenal views of the ocean and the mountains. We found our hotel and after searching for food we rested up after a few long days of travel.
The next day we woke up and took the train to the Airport. We were on our way to Mykonos! With a super short flight (30 min) we arrived on the island! We were picked up by Kristina, the woman we were renting the townhouse from. She made it very clear that tourists do not visit Mykonos in the winter months and that we were most likely the only tourists on the island
We couldn’t help but compare Mykonos to Bar Harbor. It is super busy in the summer, and then everything closes up in the winter. There were numerous places to rent scooters, but in the winter every one of them is closed. We had a hard time finding any souvenir shops opens and the locals definitely knew we were tourists since they know everyone who lives on the island. We didn’t let any of this bother us. We had amazing weather while we were there and took many walks around the town and water. Unfortunately without a scooter, we weren’t able to find the resort beaches that are so popular in the summer months. We ate dinner both nights at the same local restaurant. We had amazing dishes that included Lamb, Chicken and Pork Souvlaki, Greek Pasta, Greek Salads, Calamari and many more dishes along with Greek Beer and Baklava! Yum! The owners of the restaurant were so happy with our business that they treated us to an after dinner shot. So nice of them.
So to sum up Mykonos, we had a very relaxing few days filled with long walks, beautiful ocean views, amazing sunsets, and great food. I will definitely be coming back to Mykonos in the summer time!
Back in Athens we found our next hotel. Unfortunately it was in a very dirty and busy part of town. This first impression didn’t lead me to think I’d like Athens, but the next day that all changed. We visited the Acroplis, the Parthenon, many ruins and other standing temples. Since it was a sunny day we found a nice spot for lunch outside in the Plaka area of the city. We indulged again in greek salads, grilled octopus, stuffed peppers, salmon, and Baklava! We definitely ate our fair share of great food.
Sunday, Matt’s last day with us, we had a slow day around town. I unfortunately came down with a terrible cold that day that would last the rest of the time Jessie and I were in Athens. We visited the National Archaeology Museum which was fantastic! We then saw the remains of the Temples of Zeus and Hardrian’s Arch. After taking a stroll through the National Garden and seeing the Change of the Guard outside Parliament we spent the evening drinking and eating. Jess enjoyed the local drink Ouzo, and Matt the beer, while I drank hot tea nursing my cold.
We were sad the next day to see Matt go, but that only meant that the next two legs of our journey had begun! Jess and I spent our final two days in a new Hotel (in a much safer part of the city) and prepared for our trip to India. We visited the New Acroplis Museum on a cloudy afternoon and it was so great! We really enjoyed this museum. And both those days we relaxed and spent over 8 hours sitting outside restaurants talking, drinking coffee or wine, and eating lots of food. Both the restaurants we went to were extremely hospitable. We were given free desserts, wine, and ouzo. We loved being the only tourists!
We were sad to say goodbye to Europe after a great month of travel but ready to move onto something new. India here we come!