Some journeys can only be travelled alone.
– Ken Poirot
The last but not the least blogpost for the year and safe to say my 2017 favourite. Not only because I got to visit one of the country at the topmost of my eternally-long-travel-wish-list but also because I finally ticked off solo traveling.
This trip did not only pushed me out of my comfort zone but also pushed me out of the zone of other’s expectations. Although I have been always someone who can be out and about alone, solo traveling was an uncharted territory. Solo travelling made me reflect more and got me (re)acquainted with myself. You see when I am with someone or with my dog, chances are my attention is with my companion. Being on my own and on a foreign land forced me to look beyond what’s right in front of me, tried new things, and looked at people discovering strangers to be incredibly interesting.
It takes a lifetime for someone to discover GREECE, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her – Henry Miller
Athens, the eye of Greece. Visiting the world famous Parthenon in the Acropolis is a must, and I highly recommend getting lost exploring the Plaka. It was my first joining a food tour and it was fun discovering the city including places and food I would have not dared delve into on my own.
It’s easy to understand why Zeus and his fellow Gods choose this part of the world as their base. As they sit on their throne above Mt. Olympus they can look down at the dazzlingly blue Aegean Sea sparkling with the myriad jewels we call islands, scattered as far as the horizon, it is a view fit for Gods.- unknown
What else is there for a wanderer to say about Santorini. Words nor any photo will ever describe this picturesque island. The cliffs, the blue sea, the sunset and whitewashed houses, are not entirely unique to this island, but somehow a totally different experience. Dazzling and romantic all in one. Simply blissful. I was lucky to have joined a tour group headed by an archaeology major. From how the island shed its original and official name Thira to its now famous name, to the guided visit to the excavation site stirring one’s curiosity. It was amazing how this island’s claim as the lost Atlantis really do sound convincing.
Fira – the capital of the Island
Bell tower of Virgin Mary Church in the village of Megalochori. The oldest village if I remember the guide well enough.
Dining and swimming in the Black Beach
…and the Red Beach
This is how the grapes are planted in the island, it thrives through the volcanic soil. How does grapes (tomatoes and capers) survive and taste good in spite of the scarcity of water and harsh weather? “the island is simply blessed by the gods” is all our tour guide could say.
A visit to the ancient Akrotiri displaying a Minoan city destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 1613 BC.
Who is not familiar of the blue dome Santorini post cards? they are from the village of Oia, where sun-worshippers gather to watch the sunset.
If Santorini is the super model island of Greece, Mykonos is the great glamour island that happily flaunts its stylish nightlife. Although I can attest, partying basically starts as soon as you wake up especially in the south beaches. Nope, I was not one of the insatiable revellers. I went all nana and read two books during my stay where some pages of which I spent in the middle of hardcore-beach-bum-party-youngsters (and youngish alike), on a bean bag under a beach umbrella with a cocktail or two facing the water under the turquoise skies.
When you decide to have a break from beach partying or bumming (like in my case!), head to west side of the island, the tiny capital Hora (a.k.a. Mykonos Town). Lose yourself for hours in the enchanting labyrinth of narrow pedestrian streets bedecked with bougainvillea and lined with picture-perfect, tiny churches, restaurants and boutiques.
Do not miss the dining experience in Little Venice with the traditional windmills in view.
DELPHI and METEORA
A quick stop in Delphi archeological site and marvelled at amazing cliff-top monasteries in Meteora.
You know you’re in Greece when you feel a unique, indescribable, out of this world euphoria being there and a deep sadness when you’re leaving. – unknown
28 August – 8 September, 2017