It’s part three of my European Recap! So far I’ve covered London, Paris, Lucerne, Munich, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome and Pompeii. Now I take you to the highlight of my trip- Greece! I’ve been dreaming of Greece ever since the words Santorini drifted through the air one summer in college. I’m not sure how the topic came up but I’d never heard of Santorini and immediately googled it. I was taken aback by the gorgeous blue water and white washed buildings emerging from a cliff face. From that point on, I knew if I visited Europe I had to make it to Greece. I visited 4 Greek Islands plus a stop in Athens. My absolute favorite island was Santorini. I even extended my trip just to go back to the island. Santorini holds a special place in my heart, which is why it is getting its own post next week!
From Pompeii, Italy, we took a 10-hour ferry across the Ionian sea to Igoumenista then caught another ferry to Corfu. I definitely recommend flying from Rome to Corfu and save yourself the hassle of these ferries. Almost all the pains of travel were forgotten as I approached Corfu with the iconic crystal clear water. The first night we were whisked off to a Greek dinner including dancers in traditional garb, plate breaking and even fire. The next day was one of the best of the entire trip. We boarded “George’s Boat” for a day of inappropriate comments, dancing on the stern and jumping off the boat into the chilly Aegean Sea. The water was so clear I was convinced I could touch the bottom except for the fact it was at least 20 feet deep! Later in the evening, I partied it up at my first of two toga parties of the trip.
The next day it was off to Athens. In Athens I saw the Acropolis, The Erechtheum, remains of Zeus’s temple and the site of the first modern day Olympics. My time in Athens was bittersweet. It meant Greek Island hopping was only a day away, but it also meant saying goodbye to 15 people from our group. We said our goodbyes as we looked around and couldn’t believe only 6 were left from the original 35.
Bright and early the next morning, we met up with our new group and set off to Mykonos via ferry. Mykonos is what you think of when you think of Greece. Every building is white with rounded corners and shutters the color of the sea. My time on the Greek Islands was 180 from the rest of the trip. It was so relaxing after the go-go-go speed of the first leg of my trip. In Mykonos, I saw the iconic windmills, got lost in the narrow streets but always managed to find the way out and feasted on seafood caught in the bay. I shared a whole roasted snapper with my new friends and was even convinced to eat the eyeball! The sun set into a pastel sky and I was on cloud nine.
After three relaxing days in Mykonos, we headed to Santorini. Then from Santorini came Ios, the party island. It definitely lived up to its name. Each night we set off to the “early” bar at 10:30pm and waited for the rest of the town to awaken at midnight. My nights were spent hopping from bar to bar and the days relaxing by the beach. One day we set sail on a pirate ship to a private cove for lunch, snorkeling and sunbathing. I even conquered my fear of heights and jumped off the top deck…Twice! The final day was a sad one to say the least. We said goodbye to our new group as three of us set sail back to Santorini. It was the breakup of the “Original Trio too.”
Corfu (from left to right)
top: My first gyro | View from my hotel | Plate throwing dinner
middle: We’re on a boat | The Original Trio | Swimming in the Aegean
bottom: Gorgeous clear water | Jumped off the boat and swam to those rocks | Toga party time
top: Amazing fried zucchini wedges | Dinner with more traditional dancing | Gazing out to the Acropolis
middle: My roomie and I at the Acropolis | View from the top | The Erechtheum
bottom: Getting a little artistic with the Acropolis | Best zucchini fritters of the trip | 4 of the 6 Island Hoppers
top: Giving the windmill a spin | White buildings, blue shutters | Jump!
middle: Sun-dried octopus | Gazing out at the beautiful water | Sunset at the bay
bottom: Whole red snapper | Sunset at our hotel’s beach | Toga party round two
top: Strawberry daiquiri to kick off beach time | Sunset from our pool | Pirate ship cove
middle: Attempted to snorkel around the cove | Jumping off the pirate ship | Streets of Ios
bottom: Finally a group picture wearing our dirndls from Munich | Sad goodbyes of our original group | The last of the Original Trio
I hope you enjoy the pictures!