Greece Archive

Thursday

13

March 2014

7

COMMENTS

Travel Throwback: Mykonos

Written by , Posted in Travel

Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

August 26, 2011

After an amazing day on Santorini Mike, my brother and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the ship that night and woke up the next day with slight major hangovers. Since walking around in the blazing heat was not appealing in the least, we decided it would be a great day to check out one of the beautiful beaches on Mykonos. My mom headed into Mykonos Town for a little shopping and sightseeing and the rest of us took a bus from the port to Elia Beach.

Lion + Maven | Mykonos

view near Mykonos Town

Elia beach is a short stretch of sand just a quick bus ride away from Mykonos Town. Lounge chairs and umbrellas line the beach and we were easily able to find a chair in what seemed to be a less crowded section. Elia is a very popular beach for the gay crowd as well as those that prefer to sunbathe nude so we found a great mix of people here. The beach was very laid back, most people just relaxing and taking in the sun-at least when we visited there was no loud music and partying like you might find at Paradise or Super Paradise beach. Although I would’ve loved to see more of Mykonos, this ended up being the perfect way for us to relax and enjoy the island-and now I have a reason to return!

Lion + Maven | Mykonos

Lion + Maven | Mykonos

Lion + Maven | Mykonos

Lion + Maven | Mykonos

Thursday

6

March 2014

5

COMMENTS

Travel Throwback: Santorini

Written by , Posted in Travel

Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

August 25, 2011

We finally arrived at one of the most anticipated stops on our cruise-Santorini. Images of the white-washed homes and blue-domed churches are iconic images of Greece and can definitely lead to some major wanderlust, but there is no way they could possibly compare to seeing this stunning island in person. Once you’re gazing out across the caldera at the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean from high on the cliffs of Oia, it’s impossible to think of a more beautiful place in the world.

Lion + Maven | Santorini

There is no port on Santorini that is big enough for a cruise ship, so we took a small tender from the ship to the base of the cliff at the main town of Fira. Here you have two options to get to the top-the more modern option being the cable car, the not-so-modern option being the donkey. We opted for the donkey. (You can also walk up the steps that the donkeys use, but navigating through donkey droppings is definitely not the way I’d like to start or end my day on Santorini!) The cliff is very steep and the cobblestone steps aren’t exactly even, so the ride up is a bit of a nail biter. There are high stone walls that line much of the inside of the path and I was a little nervous because I was wearing shorts; bare legs+stone wall does not equal a good time. However, whenever my donkey got a little too close I pushed off the wall with my feet and was able to steer him closer to the center of the path. When my donkey started wandering towards the outside edge of the path I was definitely holding on for dear life, and I may have let out a yelp or two, but the donkeys knew their way and managed to stay steady (most of the time) as we made our way to the top.

Lion + Maven | Santorini

Lion + Maven | Santorini

Lion + Maven | Santorini

Once we made it to the top we were on a mission to get to the small, picturesque town of Oia. We walked 5 minutes to the public bus stop in Fira and boarded a bus that would get us there for €1.60/person. Keeping with one of the themes of this trip, the bus was packed, and when I say packed I mean really packed-like every seat taken and people standing in the aisle packed. Luckily my mom and I were able to grab a couple seats, but Mike and my brother were not quite as fortunate and they were among the standing. The bus wound it’s way along the narrow streets, barely avoiding all the 4-wheelers and mopeds, and after a 25 minute trip through the surrounding countryside we finally made it to Oia. The streets of Oia were just as packed with tourists as the bus, but once we caught the first glimpse of the caldera we realized that the crazy bus ride and all the crowds were well worth these breathtaking views.

Lion + Maven | Oia, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Oia, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Oia, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Oia, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Oia, Santorini

We walked along the marble-lined streets of Oia for a few hours, stopping into a few of the many beautiful shops and taking an obscene amount of photos along the way. Around every corner is another amazing photograph waiting to happen, I just couldn’t help myself! Oia is one of the most popular spots on Santorini to watch the sunset, but unfortunately our boat wasn’t sticking around that long so we took in as much as we could before hopping on the bus and heading back to Fira. As with Rhodes, I did some research on TripAdvisor ahead of time and picked out a popular restaurant in Fira called Mama’s House for lunch. Once again we enjoyed a delicious meal of Greek specialties coupled with cold beers and the warm Mediterranean sun! It was also my mom’s birthday so our server brought us a chocolate lava cake to celebrate!

Lion + Maven | Fira, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Fira, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Fira, Santorini

Lion + Maven | Fira, Santorini

Since it was scary enough coming up the cliffside on the donkeys, we decided it might be best to take the cable car going down. Big downside of the cable car-a longggggg line. Thankfully we had plenty of time to spare before our ship left, but if we had been cutting it close it would have been a pretty stressful situation. The area surrounding the cable car entrance is filled with shops, so I grabbed a couple quick souvenirs as we waited. 45 minutes later we were heading down the cliff (still scary, even in the cable car) and, at least for me, not saying goodbye to Santorini, but saying until we meet again! This was hands down my favorite stop on the cruise and I am intent on making it back very soon!

Lion + Maven | Santorini

Thursday

27

February 2014

0

COMMENTS

Travel Throwback: Rhodes

Written by , Posted in Travel

Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

August 24, 2011

Today we’ve sailed our way back to Greece to begin a quick hop of the Greek Isles, starting with Rhodes. Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and our ship docked in the main city of the same name, Rhodes (Rhodes is a town on the island of Rhodes-confusing, I know). After doing a bit of research before the cruise, we decided it would be best to forgo an excursion and explore the town on our own. The entrance to the Old Town is just a quick walk from the port, so we followed the walls along the outside of the city until we found our entrance through the Gate of the Virgin.

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Besides some very basic research beforehand, none of us knew a whole lot about Rhodes going into the trip. Rhodes Old Town is still completely surrounded by an outer wall and moat and is the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage City. Unfortunately this area can be pretty packed with tourists in the summer months which can get annoying-just be prepared for slow-moving crowds! Exploring Old Town on foot is the best way to go and you’ll find plenty of shopping along with many beautiful (old) buildings within these walls. My tips: wear comfortable shoes, have some euros on hand if you’re looking for souveniers, and get your camera ready for some great photographs!

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

After spending a couple hours exploring Old Town we were all getting a little hangry so we knew it was time for lunch. I found a restaurant on TripAdvisor called Restaurant Agalma that was a short walk from the walls of Old Town and that is where we headed. We arrived very shortly after they opened and were the only people there, besides the servers, which was fine by us! We enjoyed the shade of the outdoor patio along with a few chilly bottles of Mythos beer and waited patiently for our food to arrive. We ordered several different dishes to share and each one was better than the next. Everything just seemed to taste so much better here! Refreshing tomato and cucumber salad with delicious feta cheese, cool tzatziki dip served with hot, buttery pita bread, shrimp saganaki, keftedakia (Greek meatballs), calamari as big as onion rings, moussaka…we were so stuffed by the end but we wanted to try as much as possible!

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

After stuffing ourselves silly we decided to walk down to the water that was visible from the restaurant and return to our ship the long way. Doesn’t it always seem that the unexpected plans yield the best results?! When the beach was in full view we were all in complete awe of the beautiful water. It was like a collection of the most beautiful blue colors you’ve ever seen. We hadn’t worn swimsuits because we weren’t planning on visiting the beach, but you just can’t see water like this and not jump in (plus it was really, really hot out)! So my brother and I decided to go for it and take the plunge! The current was so ridiculous that I spent most of the time attempting to not drown, and I did have to walk about a mile back to the ship with wet shorts, but it was such a fun, random experience and totally worth it!

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

We walked the rest of the way back to the ship along the beach and it was the perfect way to end our time here on Rhodes. Rhodes was never one of the Greek islands that I was dying to see like Santorini or Mykonos, but I really enjoyed our time here and would love to return!

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

Lion + Maven | Rhodes, Greece

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