It’s been over a month now since our last post and so much has happened since. We’ve made a few trips: Greece, Italy, and France. But first a quick update on everyday life.
One of the reasons we wanted to live in Europe is to explore the continent and we are trying hard to not waste any opportunity. Before we even considered moving to Zürich we had planned a 10-day holiday (vacation) with our dear friends Noelia and Jose from Seattle, Washington. We chose May because it is considered low season and therefore less crowded with tourists. We visited Athens, Nafplio, Mycenae, Epidavros, Delphi, Hydra, Naxos, Mykonos, and Santorini.
Greece exceeded my expectations by a lot. My jaw drops in astonishment when I hear people complaining about how “old’ everything looks. What do you expect? It is important to do some homework before visiting the country. Otherwise, it is a waste of money if one can not appreciate what is there. The Parthenon was built between 447 and 438 B.C, so yes, that makes it old. As far as Athens been dirty… yes, it is not the cleanest city I’ve been. Even more so when compared to Zürich. But you have to take it for what it is: an ancient city filled with history, amazing food and hospitable locals. The country has endured difficulties and hardships during the last couple of years (and inestability for most of its history). It is a luxury to keep the city sparkling clean. Hosting the Olympics in 2004 did more harm than good (as in every country), and the financial crisis has had significant impact in society. Nonetheless, I was impressed with the Greeks. They have not let any of that bring down their morale. Just take a look at the pillow below.
They are one of the happiest and welcoming people I’ve met. Everywhere we went, we encountered a local willing to share their story with us and maybe even a drink.
The Greeks work hard too. It was very common for us to see the same person that served breakfast, serving dinner and closing the establishment. Always with a smile in their face.
I was also amazed with how late shops close. If is 3am and you realize you need a new pair of glasses, Greece is the place to go. No kidding. Alexis bought a new pair of glasses in Santorini. They can also make the eye exam right there if you forgot the prescription at home.
To sum up, we had an amazing time in Greece and will definitely visit the country again in the future, after all, there are hundreds of islands to explore, right?
Here is my list of the top 10 experiences in Greece:
#10 watch the sunset from Oía (Santorini). Look for a restaurant with a roof top and sip ouzo or wine while enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll see in your life.
#9 rent an ATV and go beach hoping in Mykonos. This is simply a lot of fun.
#8 Go on an eating spree and try as many Greek delicacies as you can eat.
#7 stroll in Naxos. This small island is so charming and romantic. Filled with great cafes, history and awesome frozen Greek yogurt. Do not leave without trying Kitron, the local liquor.
#6 Take a day trip from Athens to the traffic-free island of Hydra
#5 Beach hopping
#4 Rent a car and drive to the Peloponnese (stop in Navplio, Epidavros and Mycenae)
#3 Get an up close encounter with history at the National Archeological Museum in Athens
#2 Do not skip Santorini ...
Bonus: and while you are there taste some local wines and beer
#1 Visit the Parthenon in Athens and do the Free Walking Tour in Athens
Greece is such a fantastic destination. Foodies, history lovers, adventure seekers, romantic couples, party goers... whatever your interest might be, you will find it in Greece