Months have passed since our trip to Greece last summer, but a part of us still wish to wake up to the smell of frappes every morning. Here are some recommendations and a photo diary of our Greece trip:
First and foremost, rent a car. Greek drivers are one of the rashest in the world, but driving through the countryside is an experience not to be missed. We drove via a scenic sea-side highway from Athens to catch the sunset at the Temple of Poseidon. Having a car (instead of an ATV) helped us to discover the Boutari vineyard as well as cover the whole of Santorini on a rainy day!
In Oia, we took a day trip from Almoudi bay to the volcano and the hot springs on the nearby isles. Unless, you a nerd who enjoys seeing sulfur gases oozing out of volcanic rocks, completely avoid this! Instead spend a day climbing the thousand steps to the bay from Oia! A daunting task at first, it soon turned into a leisurely stroll as we hopped in and out of shops selling a multitude of things (for souvenirs), bougainvillea lined cafes (with handsome waiters) and cute bookshops (eg. Atlantis Books) that line the way; besides stopping for pics outside random blue doors. We even bumped into a lot many donkeys carrying people and merchandise alike along the way. In Rethymnon, we vroomed around in Vespas, until a freak accident encouraged us to stop pushing our driving skills to the limits in the busy roads.
We stayed at the City Circus Athens near the Monastiraki square. In this well-maintained hostel located in a blink-and-you-will-miss-it street, we came across fellow Indians from the Caribbean. At Santorini, we stayed at the Olympic Villas in Oia, which offered us a beautiful view of the caldera. If you have a lot of spare Euros, you can look for your own part of the world at the nearby Ikies, which was completely booked out. In Crete, we stayed at this sweet little hotel Yakinthos owned by a Greek lady whose daughter helped us to discover some local watering holes in the Old Harbor area.
Food-wise, we struck carb-gold with ‘Pasta Napolitana’ which we had by a café (name since forgotten) in a small back-lane with a beautiful view of the lit-up Acropolis at midnight. The more traditional dishes – the Souvlaki, Mousakka amongst others, stood nowhere near the pasta! A close second was the fried white aubergine at Santorini. We loved the coffee at most street side cafes. The Greeks really do know how to cook their pasta and whip up their frappes! The rare cases, where we could not find pasta, we munched on some yummy gyros!
Photos by Sonam
1,3. A bougainvillea-lined cafe in Oia, 2. Caldera Views at Oia, 4. View from our hotel at Oia, 5,23. A street-side cafe in Athens, 6,7. Sunsets views at the Temple of Poseidon at Sunio, 8. Seaside highway view on the way to Sunio, 9. Graffity in Sarri street near our hostel at Athens, 10. Shilpa posing in front of random houses near the Agora, 11,24. Sonam (our official photographer) making a rare appearance in front of the camera , 12-17. Views of and from the Acropolis, 18. Shilpa at the Monastiraki Square, 19. Us looking for directions to the Acropolis, 20-22. on the way to the Acropolis.