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Greek isles

September 26, 2011

We just arrived back at Piraeus port this morning in Athens and checked back into our hotel. I can’t believe our trip is almost over! I am sooo sad. =( We are having the most amazing time over here and I am not ready to leave yet. I know I say this about every trip, but really, this one has been one of the best ones yet. Every day has been simply wonderful. We have been so blessed with good weather, minimal crowds, great food, no strikes in Athens on the days we need them to not be striking, etc. =) On Wed they are even closing the airport from like noon till 4pm I think. Thank goodness we are flying out tomorrow morning and not Wed!

We all fell in love with the Greek islands and decided that we must come back someday =) Santorini was my favorite. It’s so hyped up that I really wasn’t expecting it to be anything other than the famous Oia churches you see on all the postcards. But when you sail into the caldera and see the volcanic lava mountain to your left and the sheer cliffs above you and to the right, all topped with little white houses clinging to the top and hillside, it really is breathtaking. And the color of the water in the caldera is simply unreal. It’s the brightest blue I have ever seen as far as water goes and we seriously just wanted to jump from the tender boat and go swimming. I’d love to go back someday and spend more time there.

Anyways, there are so many things I could write…but I’ll just put up a few pictures and see you all in a few days. =)

*One funny moment on the trip: Christy to our waiter: “What’s your name? Oh, Walter?….Oh wait, that says waiter.” We still laugh about that because he was very definitely Middle Eastern and when she “read” his name as Walter I was thinking “he does not look like a Walter.”

And aww a little Greek girl came up to me at our hotel dinner one night and said “you beautiful.” It was so sweet and made me smile. =)

The ancient library at Ephesus

I am so proud of this picture! This is me standing in the doorway of the ancient library at Ephesus with NO other tourists in the picture, yay! We were so happy with the results of this day! Practically everyone else on the ship booked the cruise excursion to Ephesus, which means you pay about 60 Euros to get on a bus with a whole group of others from the ship and be driven to Ephesus where they give you an entrance ticket to Ephesus, and then herd you around as a group. We opted to get off the ship on our own, go find our own taxi, and go on our own. Which meant we only paid 15 Euros each for the taxi, and 10 Euros for the entrance fee, AND we beat ALL the other buses to the site! So the whole time we were wandering, we had nobody else in front of us. It couldn’t have worked out better, and we saved 30 Euros each! Ship excursions are such a rip off. We did everything on our own, with the exception of Santorini because we weren’t 100% sure that we could work it out on our own, and we would have been sad to miss it. Now that we have done it, we know that we could have probably done it on our own and saved a lot. But live and learn.

Sunset at Mykonos

It was sooo crowded here at sunset. The “streets” – such as they are – on Mykonos are so narrow (sometimes only one person can walk at a time) that there was a huge backlog of people trying to get up to the windmills for sunset. I couldn’t even walk any farther and had to watch it from here. Mykonos was our first port of call and I was really worried that every island was going to be just as congested. Thankfully after Mykonos the rest of the islands were much calmer and less congested! The sunsets from the islands really are spectacular. The sun is a huge bright orange or pink orb as it slips “into” the ocean, or behind other islands. It’s fabulous.

Mykonos

Those famous windmills =)

It was soooo windy! Well, I guess it always feels windier if you have long hair that is blowing in your face =)

There are little blue domed churches all over Greece

Windmills after the sun had set

Ephesus, Turkey

There are cats everywhere in Greece

The small ampitheater in Ephesus

Ruins at Ephesus

The ancient Celsus library at Ephesus

I don't know what it is but I thought it was pretty =)

More pretty ruins =)

Well, there are hundreds more photos to upload but that’s all for now. =) Tomorrow we are off to London and then after London we are flying back to California. Usually I am so excited to be going to London, and I am excited, but I am also sad to be leaving Greece. It’s bittersweet =)

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2011 1:20 am

    Wow!!! Sounds like an amazing experience!!! We also want to plan a trip to the greek islands!!! Any tips on which are best to visit? or most beautiful? 🙂 **

    • jenmarie33 permalink*
      September 26, 2011 2:41 am

      It was an amazing experience, we LOVED it! We visited Mykonos, Patmos, Crete and Santorini (and also had a stop in Turkey at Kusadasi). So I can only comment on those. They all were beautiful, but I think my two favorites were Crete and Santorini. Mykonos might be nice if you are there on your own when cruise ships aren’t there, but we were with a cruise and the island was small so it was pretty crowded. Santorini was a bit crowded too (mostly in Oia) , but definitely worth it – especially if you plan to spend a bit more time there after the cruise ships leave. It’s beautiful and romantic and there seems to be more to do there. And the beaches in Crete (at least the one we stopped at) are gorgeous! I wished we’d had time to stop and swim. The color of the water, and the temperature is just fabulous.
      You should definitely go! Mainland Greece is great too. I loved Athens, and the Pelopónisos island (connected to mainland Greece by crossing over the Corinth canal) is also gorgeous! I had no idea Greece was so green and lush! And the views from the top of the acropolis in Mycenae are fabulous. Okay, I guess all of Greece is fabulous. =)
      Thanks for commenting and good luck planning your trip. Let me know if you have any other questions. =)

  2. September 26, 2011 9:18 am

    LOVE the pictures. Awesome that you saved money and skipped the crowds. Can’t wait to talk to you when you get back! I’ve missed you!

  3. October 4, 2011 5:06 pm

    Wow, awesome! I have heard Santorini is just beautiful. And hooray for beating the crowds and saving money!

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