This port seemed to go by especially fast. We ported in Piraeus, Greece just about 30 minutes outside of Athens. My first reaction of Piraeus/Athens was less than endearing. In fact, I was disgusted. The city can be dirty, gross, and uninviting if simply taken in at face value, but if you give it a chance and emerge yourself into it it becomes a thoroughly entertaining place. After spending time in the city, discovering the best cafes and coffee shops, and walking the docks and local marina, the town has sort of grown on me.
I spent one day visiting the Acropolis, shopping the endless flea markets, and eating everything Greek, from gyros, to hummus, to falafels. Another day I had the opportunity to visit a vineyard/winery in the mountains outside of Athens with my friend Maddie and other Semester at Sea students/staff. Such a beautiful business and enriching atmosphere! We walked the vineyards, explored the cellar, and even sampled seven different house wines.
For the final portion of my time in Greece I flew out of Athens to Santorini with a group of friends. Santorini has always been a dream destination for me, a bucket list item I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to cross off. Yes, it is just as beautiful as the internet and Mama Mia make it seem. It was absolutely fantastic!
We stayed in a perfect little villa on the caldera, strolled the stone streets, shopped a bit too much, and ate meals at fancy places with incredible views. In fact I’d argue that every single restaurant has a view, there’s no such thing as a bad view in Santorini.
After catching the sunset over the caldera we were heading back to our villa for the evening when we passed by a fish pedicure spa, a shop filled with large leather seats each with their own fish tank at the base. Curiosity got the best of us and in a matter of fifteen minutes I found myself sitting in a chair with my feet in a tank of small fish eating away at my toes. It was both horrifying and exciting. I still haven’t decided whether or not I hated it, but I’m definitely glad I did it and grateful to have friends who are just as spontaneous and adventurous as I am.
Waking up in Santorini was the best part of my time in Greece. By far.
I woke up in a queen sized bed cozily snuggled between three of my closest girlfriends (yes, we squeezed four girls into one bed. This is how college students afford to travel in Santorini). The sun was pouring through little blue shutters and the warm morning air made the white curtains float. I headed downstairs and opened the door to our back patio. Everything was beautiful. Clear blue skies met crystal blue waters, only separated by an occasional scattered piece of island.
A perfect breakfast was served to us containing breads and jams, fruits and juices, delicious coffee cake, and the most amazing Greek yogurt with fruit and honey. We woke up sat and ate together and it was just beautiful!
That was my favorite moment in Greece. It’s the little things I guess.
So long for now Greece.
Four school days at sea, then porting in Spain. Still cannot believe this is real life.