This was actually quite a difficult post to write. The biggest part of travel for me is understanding another place’s culture and the people that live there. But Greece was proving to be harder to write about. What can I really say about this place? Greece is so many things and you really only begin to grasp that once you get the heck out of Athens.
Don’t get me wrong. Athens has a lovely sense of history and the ruins there are very impressive. But, like many other major cities, Athens is dirty and crowded. It feels overly tourist directed so you get so real sense of culture there. But, once you begin to venture into the Greek islands, it’s like Greece comes alive.
The water and the sky here are the same color so its hard to even tell where one ends and the other begins. The buildings on the islands tend to be this brilliant white with blue roofs (domes on the churches). I can’t emphasize enough the COLOR that exists here. And its not just the buildings, it’s the people, it’s the food, it’s the history. The Greeks are proud of their heritage and they are proud of what they can offer anyone who comes their way. Seriously the hospitality is superb. Often, you get a free shot of local liquer (ouzo, mastika for example) when you get the check. And sometimes you might even get a free dessert. Just because that just how it rolls around here.
This is going to end up being a shorter post because there really aren’t words to describe this place. You truly have to be here, breathing the same air to really understand. You have to smell air, sea salt mixed with roasting gyro or octopus. You have to walk the winding alleyways of Mykonos Chora or Oia in Santorini preferably with a gelato in hand. You have to listen to the accordion play or the loud laughter of the shopkeepers or locals drinking their frappes. And above all, you need to just open your eyes to all the wonders in this land – from mighty temple ruins to the majestic caldera.
I head home in a couple days. But I’m going to miss being in Greece and the freedom that you experience in this country. Until next time, Opa!