Our final stop on the Euro trip was the sun and sand of Greece, and for those of you who wonder if it’s just like Mamma Mia….it’s pretty close. For real though. We flew into Rhodes and got a cab to our all inclusive resort. Before you think of it all fancy like, remember we are college students on a budget, so it wasn’t the greatest of resorts. But it was nice and right on the beach, so BAM.We spent the first day just relaxing by the pool and soaking up some rays. The next morning, we hopped on a bus to Rhodes Town to explore the old city within the city. I love how they don’t tear down their old ruins, instead, they build around them. Europe keeps its old character, and I can’t accurately express my admiration for that. We explored the beautiful old city, and then found our way to where the Colossus of Rhodes is said to have stood. Where the legs were supposed to be stand two columns, one with a stag and the other with a female deer on top. I saw the location of one of the seven original wonders of the world. Also, the water is so clear and beautiful on the coast. I could literally have stared at the water all day.
The next day we headed to explore the beautiful coast town of Lindos. When you think of a traditional Greek town, you picture Lindos. The white buildings, the clear water, the sandy beaches and the steep hills. It’s all there. We wandered through the streets when we first arrived, and I instantly fell in love with the cobblestone paths. No cars can drive through the roads, so everyone walks or rides donkeys. Yes, donkeys. We happened to see a man leading some donkeys through the paths. It surprised me how well the donkeys could balance on the steep paths, because I almost fell a few times.There is absolutely no way I would have trusted a donkey. We then headed down to the beach and wandered as far as we could into the water without getting our shorts wet. We then headed to visit Seven Springs, this beautiful little area of the island where the springs are clean enough to drink. I also found my new favorite mode of transportation. Readers, meet my horse Jewel. She’s so pretty, just look at her. Awe. The ride back to the resort took us through these really beautiful mountain roads, and we even passed this amazing mansion that was supposed to Mussolini’s home. It was awesome.
Anyway, that was a wonderful day spent exploring Rhodes. The next morning Stu and I headed to Athens where we were going to meet up with Heather and Jackie later in the day. When we first arrived at the hostel, the lady greeted us in traditional Greek style. Let’s just say it was not like anything I’d ever experienced before. We got some lunch at the foot of the Acropolis and then just hung around until the girls arrived.
- There are millions of cats that roam the streets in Greece.
- They really love solar power there, and I love that. GO GREEN!
- People really want you to stop at their restaurant, so they talk to you as you walk down the street.
- You get attached to people. Well, maybe that’s just me. But this one adorable old man was so nice I just wanted people to eat at his restaurant. We did, and it was delicious.
- Gyros (pronounced almost exactly like Euro) are the bomb.com.
- If you get gyros enough times, the guy will recognize you and wish you a good day every time you pass him.
- Tzatziki is so delicious.
- On the contrary to how Disney portrays the Temple of Zeus, you don’t actually climb to the top of a hill. I’m assuming the temple they portray is merely just the staute of Zeus that once stood on Mt. Olympus. I don’t know. I could be wrong.
Anyway, the next morning we climbed to the top of the Acropolis. I love how this just stands in the middle of the city. There is so much to the Acropolis. The whole path to the top is filled with ruins to read about and places to explore. After reaching the top, we headed to the Ancient Agora. The Agora was filled with ancient shops and theatres, and it was amazing to explore this ancient city in the middle of modern Athens. I wanted to see the Temple of Zeus (or what remains of it), but it was closed, so we then went to the Olympic Stadium. Now, I can’t tell you how impressive the Panathenaic Stadium was. It is built entirely out of marble originally in 329 BC, held the 1896 Olympics and most recently the 2004 games. We got to climb the stairs to the top, walk through the tunnel athletes emerge from, run on the track, sit in the Royal seats and appreciate the enormity of this giant stadium. When you walk through the tunnel, you end in a room with all of the posters from the Olympics from 1896 to present day. The Olympic torches also line the walls. I felt so honored to be in the presence of such amazing items.
The next morning we got to see where the Temple of Zeus once stood. Very little of the temple remains, but it was still so amazing to see some of the columns still standing. Again, I appreciate that they conserve pieces of the past. It provides an opportunity to travel to the past and imagine life as it once was. We then headed to the main square and watched the changing of the guard.
The guards are kind of hilarious because they wear these peculiar shoes with pom poms and they stomp around. They made me chuckle. We then waited a few hours for the sun to sink a little bit before we attempted to climb Mount Lycabettus. This Mount is the highest point in Athens, and one tough climb. It took a lot of effort to make it to the top, but once we did, we had a complete view of the entire city. It was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. And that’s how we ended our trip to Athens.
I was thrilled with the entirety of our trip, and I loved exploring the world, but there was no better feeling than hopping on the flight back to London. It felt like I was going home. Now, we’ve come to the part where I only have a week left, and I’m dreading the thought of loving this city that I’ve given my heart to. I’ll write more about my love in a bit. To follow is what happened over the past three weeks. Stay tuned.