Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Greek Islands - just beautiful

Our next stop in Greece after Athens was the island of Mykonos. The drive from our hotel in the heart of Athens took us into the suburbs.  The port was very crowded and there really was not a system for passengers to load or unload the boat.  Everyone crowded around the entrance to the boat and tried to get on.  There were trucks, cars and motorcycles loading at the same time.  To say it was not safe is an understatement.

The port at Lavrio was very busy. 
This was definitely a safety hazard.
Our trip there was by high-speed boat.  That was interesting. It was a boat for several hundred people and it went really, really fast.  

Unloading on the other end was the same way as loading in Athens.  A big platform came down on the back of the boat and everyone fought to see who could be the first one off.
If you are reading this in an email, you can go to my blog and see a video from the inside of the boat with people fighting to get off. (Videos do not come through in the email.)

Doug and I looked at each other while this was going on and we knew we were thinking the same thing.... Jacobs would not approve.

Luckily we had a special driver waiting for us holding up our name on a sign and it was easy to see our transportation.
Our hotel sat on the edge of a hill and the view was wonderful.
Our hotel had an amazing view. Everywhere the scenery was picturesque. The first night in Mykonos we went to dinner in an area called Little Venice and watched the sunset from the prettiest seaside restaurant.  Again, the food was amazing.

After Mykonos we traveled to the island of Santorini.  Santorini was our favorite location of the entire vacation.  It was spectacular.

As we approached the port, again by high-speed boat, we could tell it was going to be a beautiful location. Cliffs completely surrounded the island.

Our hotel sat on the side of a cliff looking out over a dormant volcano.  The name of the hotel was Volcano View.  And, the view was spectacular. Every time we looked out, we were amazed.  Even Doug was spell bound.  He is not often in awe of a view, but this view really was unbelievable.

There is a video here that was shot at sundown from right in front of our suite.  If you are reading the email of this blog, you will need to go to the blog to see this spectacular view.  :-)

During our stay in Santorini we also had fabulous food.  Every meal was an experience.  Even lunches were unbelievable.  We tried to adopt the "Greecian" way to do things and even drank instant coffee made on our little hot pad in our room.  Instant coffee is THE morning drink in Greece.  YUK!  There are very few Starbucks in Greece.

One day we took a cruise on a catamaran around the island with stops to swim. At one stop we went swimming in volcano thermals.  That was a very unique experience.

At the end of the cruise, we were served a fantastic grilled seafood and lamb dinner and then watched a beautiful sunset from the water looking over the volcano. It was a very special experience.

On our last night, we had wine on our patio overlooking the Aegean Sea.  We toasted a successful vacation and agreed, we would happily come back to Santorini!
Our flight back to Athens was on Aegean Air, a “Southwest” type airline.  Luckily I thought in advance and reserved seats.  Again, it was a fight for who could get to the plane first.

Back in Athens, we spent another wonderful day and night exploring the Athens Flea Market, as well as the Psirri and the Playka districts.  When it came time for dinner, we decided to go back a second time to a restaurant we were at previously in Psirri.  It was just too picturesque and the food was fantastic.

After dinner, Doug decided we needed to experience Ozo at one of the “smoking” bars.  It was late, the drink was very strong.  Doug did not last very long after the first sip.  It was great to see him completely relaxed.  LOL

We are back home now and we have some wonderful memories from a very beautiful part of the world.  Doug and I agree that we would love to go back again.  It was a very unique experience and certainly worth doing a second time.

That is a sure sign of a successful vacation.  We would do it again!



Every sunset was beautiful, right up until the very last Athens night.  CHEERS!

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