Athens proved to be a great jumping off point into not only the Greek Islands but also Greece’s history. We started our first day by racing the clock up to the Acropolis in order to beat the crowds and the heat (but not a tortoise). We arrived at the top at roughly 9am and were greeted with the sight of the Parthenon and the beautiful Erechtheion. After many happy snaps and much eavesdropping onto random tours, we slowly made our way down the hill past the Theatre of Dionysos and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We then spent the better part of the afternoon wandering Plaka and tasting our first (of many) gyros. After lunch we spent a few hours exploring the much revered (yet, controversial) Acropolis Museum. Where we learnt that we needn’t have left London to see the best artefacts of Greece, most of which are held at the British Museum thanks to Lord Elgin.
The next day we rose bring and early and headed to the port for our ferry into the Cyclades, to visit our first Greek Island: Mykonos. Mykonos is what you picture in your mind when you think of the Greek Islands – a labyrinthine of whitewashed houses tipped with blue roofs and doors hopelessly and shamelessly surviving on tourism. Every street is filled with a souvenir shop, gyros vendor and the port is full of little old ladies jostling each other for your business as soon as you step off the boat. After finding our lady, our next stop on the tourist track was reuniting Jarratt with his favourite gyros shop. Only to be outdone a few days later by a better one, found by Bec. The days spent at Mykonos are a haze of drinking too much, eating too much and sunning ourselves FAR too much. Before we knew it we were waving goodbye to our beloved windmill tipped island and heading onto the next, Ios.
Ios, renowned as the party island, turned into an intimate party for two. We dipped into the savings to splash out and stay not in Hora (the town), but the upmarket suburb of Ormos, just outside the port. The next two days were spent lazing by the pool, moonlit balcony drinking sessions and a few memorable dinners, where Bec managed to break most things within reach. Before we knew it, the buzzer was ringing and we were off to Santorini.
Santorini is an island with a violent volcanic past, viewed from our ferry into port we were encircled by steep lava-layered cliffs with cliff top towns that look like icing sugar sprinkled on top of a doughnut. During our time at Santorini we hired a scooter and explored much of the island including Fira town, Oia and other sights all for 12 euro, cheering! We also spent as much time at the beach as we could tolerate as the meltemi (a regular fierce north-easterly wind) went about blowing the hot black volcanic sand all over us. Our last days in Greece were spent returning to the mainland to catch up with some deer friends and sleeping in one of the most comfortable beds yet! Cheers Nic, Mr Toast and Chicken Little!
We’re currently in Italy but will update you on that soon enough.
Not long now!