Time for Round Two of my two part series highlighting our recent trip to Europe. If you missed it, I talked about our first half of our trip to Italy in this post. But today, it’s time for Greece!! To be honest, we spent the majority of our time planning and thinking about Italy, while Greece kind of became a second thought. I’m not really sure why, because Greece was just as lovely. And, more importantly, had just as good of food. :) I actually liked how we went about planning for this two week trip of ours. We did enough planning to have a rough itinerary made up and to have all of our transportation figured out ahead of time, but what made up our activities for several of the days, we decided on the spot and didn’t get stressed out about seeing all the things!
In Greece, we spent a short bit of time in Athens and then concluded our trip with a relaxing few days in Santorini, one of the most popular and beautiful Greek islands. It was the perfect way to cap off our time in Europe.
I suppose we might as well start the slideshow ;)…A recap of our time in Greece:
We were only in Athens for one and a half days (which is sad, because our Airbnb in Athens was the best we had on the whole trip!) and I was surprised at how much I loved the city! It was a place Philip wanted to visit because of his love for Greek mythology, but it wasn’t necessarily high on my destinations to visit…I mostly just wanted to experience Mediterranean and Greek food! :) Athens was a great way to soak up the culture of Greece, see the ancient landmarks (so old!!), and just have fun wandering around a city where I literally knew none of the language. Talk about humbling! We felt like we had just enough time to see the main highlights and enjoy some really good gyros, kebabs, Greek salads, and baklava. Yum!
This is a view from our Airbnb: A perfect view of the Acropolis. At night, the Parthenon is lit up and it looked even more majestic from our apartment view that had floor to ceiling windows. My only regret is that we didn’t have a longer stay simply so we could be in our Airbnb for a couple more nights.
We visited the Parthenon and several of the other ruins around the area on our full day in Athens. If you’re ever in Europe and want to go on any free, self-guided tours, I’d highly recommend Rick Steves Audio. We downloaded an app and had a perfect hour long tour of the Parthenon.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Built in 161 AD. *jaw drop* It was used then and is still used today. Unreal.
The Temple of Athena Nike. Circa 425 B.C. Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know this, but Nike is Greek for victory. Athena Nike was worshipped in this temple for bringing victory to Athens.
Each marble pillar was rolled in by these column drums and then stacked on top of each other to make the large columns. How these men constructed such masterpieces with just manpower alone boggles my mind.
I learned something on this trip…Philip knows a lot about Greek mythology! It was fun for me to see him having so much fun…did that make any sense?
The food! Gah, it was so good. This was a selection of various dips with pita bread. The tzatziki there was on point!
Baklava became an instant favorite for Philip. I think he tried baklava at almost every restaurant we visited in Greece. This one was one of our favorites and was a different take on the traditional baklava.
Freshly squeezed orange juice at a cafe near our apartment. So good! In the 48 hours we were in Athens, we visited this cafe three times. We couldn’t get enough of their food and drinks.
This was the morning we discovered Greek coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker, but if I had access to this every morning, I may become one. Finely ground coffee is boiled with water and a little sugar and poured into these cute little cups. Let the grounds settle to the bottom and sip to your heart’s content. :) As many times as Philip enjoyed his baklava, I enjoyed this coffee.
Can you tell I was obsessed with this cafe? Yep, still here. Do you see the color of that yolk?! #nofilter
Temple of Olympian Zeus. Everything seems so much bigger up close. :)
*forever memory* This is my excited face. :D We visited the Panathenaic Stadium, the only stadium made entirely out of marble (seriously, is everything made of marble in Europe?), where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 (and again in 1906 and 2004), and where the very first marathon finished. Standing where so many great athletes and runners have competed and getting to run around the track may have been one of the coolest things.
I can pretend, right?
After Athens, we took a quick 45 minute plane ride to Santorini. Santorini was a beautiful and relaxing way to conclude our trip. It has the classic white buildings with blue roof tops that you usually picture when you think of Greece. Philip and I wondered how it came to be that all the buildings were white with blue rooftops. We joked that either it’s one large homeowners association on the island or the paint store only sells blue and white. ;) This was probably one of my favorite destinations simply because of the great time Philip and I had connecting with one another (over Greek coffee, naturally :)) and having a beautiful sunset to watch every.single.night doesn’t hurt either.
We arrived to Santorini to this. Similar to Praiano in Italy, this town has streets that are stairs and zig-zagging walk ways. How residents find things around here is beyond me. Since you couldn’t reach our apartment by car, a donkey is the next best solution. Haha.
Blue skies, clear waters. Every.single.day.
Another meal outside, another gorgeous view. I could have gotten used to that.
I had several favorite food finds on this trip, but yogurt in Greece was one I wasn’t expecting. Their yogurt is not like our Greek yogurt. Unsweetened and amazingly smooth and creamy, it’s often topped with a heavy drizzle of honey and plenty of fresh fruit. Yum!
Hike #3 on our trip. This time we hiked from Oia (where we were staying) to Fira (the only other major town on the island). By the end of our stay, we pretty much had touched and seen every part of this island. Haha.
Our reward at the end of our hike. I’ll take it!
*forever memory* For the few days we were in Santorini, it became the norm to walk into town, order coffee, and sit for hours enjoying the view, drinks, and conversation. Any three of those components would have been lovely on their own, but combined it made the moment extra special.
The only thing planned in Santorini was our sunset boat ride dinner tour. Windy, but beautiful!
During our boat tour, we stopped at a volcano. I can now say I’ve walked on a volcano and looked into the multiple craters formed over the years of activity. Don’t worry, it’s not expected to erupt again for another 15 years. Eek!
Yep, he’s mine. *heart-eye emoji*
Our last day in Santorini ended with this view…where we stayed all afternoon. Oh, and in true Santorini style, another sunset, naturally. :)
That’s a wrap! The next day we headed out for our 24 hour travel day. Phew! We came back rested, restored, and thankful for our own beds. So many memories were made on this trip of a lifetime and I’m so thankful for each one. Thanks for following along with me!