Now I Know Why The Romans Stole The Greek gods
Greece, once only known for it’s gods, is the hidden gem of Europe. I guess I can say that because at this current time I’m writing this, I have only been to Italy besides Greece, but it is still the gem. You don’t hear many people ranting and raving about visiting Greece unless they are talking about Santorini, but let me warn you! If you EVER get a chance to go…. GO!!!!!
From Athens to the Greek Islands, Greece has a lot of beauty and culture to offer. The birthplace of the Greek gods (if you’re into mythology), Olympics, and can’t leave out the Gyro!!! When I say, you haven’t had a gyro until you experienced it in Greece I MEAN it! Greece totally blew my mind, partially because I underestimated it just like most people.
Now lets take a brief recap of my trip!
You can never regret gaining more knowledge while connecting the dots of things you learned in middle school. Ancient Olympia was one of those wow moments in my life. It was the original location of the Olympics. From the marble starting blocks of the original racetrack to the original torch bowl, it was amazing!
Ancient Olympia was once covered with a ton of residue from the nearby river, but finally discovered and reconstructed to the best it could be. It was home to the Statue of Zeus, one of the ancient 7 wonders of the world. The story has it that one of the Roman Emperors requested all Greek god statues to be beheaded and replaced with his. He must have had napoleon complex. Today, all that is left is a reconstructed column on the platform, with broken blocks of marble lying around.
Before I end the Ancient Olympia recap, I can’t go without talking about how these people were running the full length of the original track in this unbearable heat! I was nearly about to past out just watching them. I needed water just walking around, but respect to those who actually FINISHED it. Most of the people ran halfway and realized they were not athletes.
This Greek capital might be the most underrated city in Europe. I can say that, because the main reason we cruised to all these locations instead of flying was because I didn’t want to stay in Athens. I never heard anything spectacular about it. I didn’t feel it was worth the overnight stay just to get to Santorini. But man was I wrong, this city offers way more than people expect. First, the architecture of the buildings and statues around the entire city is just one reason to step foot here. Plus, who knew Athens was actually on the water?!? If you are a fan of the blog, you know I love beaches!!! Then you definitely can’t forget about Acropolis!
Acropolis is home to the famous Parthenon. That alone is the main reason why most people visit Greece, but what you don’t know is you can see the ENTIRE city from Acropolis. Plus if you a fan of marble, you would love it cause you definitely can tip toe on A LOT of marble floors here (had to throw a Rick Ross joke in… PS I have one left for later). Craziest thing I seen from Acropolis, was the marble mountains across the city from it. Also Acropolis is more than just the Parthenon, it is also home to Erechthelon, Temple of Athena Nike, and a couple other Greek monuments.
Athens also is home to the original Olympic coliseum, where the Olympic torch relay starts before heading to the host city of the games. Fun fact: Did you know the marathon was originated in Athens?!? When the Greeks defeated the Persians, the messenger ran from Marathon to Athens, which is approximately 22-25 miles. With a host of other historic sites to see, I would definitely add Athens to my travel list. Plus let’s not act like it’s not the home of the Greek Freak!
So it was definitely on my wife’s bucket list, I had no choice but to take her one-day. On top of that, I was tired of seeing pictures of white buildings and everyone enjoying themselves on Instragram travel pages. Plus most of you definitely have Santorini on your list.
With that in mind, I feel like I don’t even have to hype Santorini any more, so I’m just going to give a recap of my time there. We took a tender boat from the cruise ship to the port of Fira. The port was at the bottom of a huge hill to the town of Fira. They actually have air carts that take you up a mountain to the town, or you can walk up a thousand steps or take a donkey ride up for a slight price. KEEP IN MIND, donkey poop is all over these steps. Instead we paid for a water taxi to take us to the town of Oia.
Oia is where most of the famous people you see on social media taking pictures, and of course where Rick Ross shot his video for Santorini. Told you it was coming, but didn’t say it was a joke… did I? It definitely was worth the boat ride, and what seemed like a marathon walk up a LONG hill. We stopped by a rooftop restaurant, and had an amazing lunch and Greek beers. From there we hopped on a bus and headed back to Fira. The bus was included in our water taxi bill.
Once back in Fira, we rented a 4-wheeler!!! We drove it all the way to the other side of the island to Kamari Beach. Santorini is known for it’s “black sand” beaches, but what I will inform you they should be called black rock beaches!!! Definitely bring your water shoes if you want to enjoy time in the water. I lasted all but 2 minutes! If you laughed you’re perverted. The beach was very relaxing and not as crowded as expected. The beach lies next to a huge mountain cliff, which hosts Perissa beach on the other end.
On the way back to Fira, we literally rode the 4-wheeler through local Santorini residential areas. If you haven’t seen pictures, let me tell you I was scared we were going to get stuck from how tight of space the alleyways were. Once back in Fira before heading back to the ship, I definitely stopped by McDonalds and enjoyed the Greek Mac! It was basically a Big Mac with tzatziki sauce on a pita, and it was delicious.
So do you remember the air cart from earlier? If you ever take a cruise into Fira and don’t want to walk down those thousand steps, make sure you get back to the ship early! We literally stood in line for the cart for 45 minutes! People were about to fight of course because people decided to skip the line. But the ride down literally felt like roller coaster!
Now I knew you probably thought I would end the post talking about the infamous Santorini, but you are WRONG! My favorite spot of the trip was definitely Mykonos! Being a beach lover, it trumps Santorini. We docked at a port that was not close to Mykonos town and instead of catching a taxi; we opted for the water taxi again. No better way to transport than by boat in the summer!
Once we docked into town, we had a ton of options for souvenir shopping and eating. The town of Mykonos hosts many shops and literally feels like a maze!!! Mykonos was definitely a beach day for us. We headed straight to the local bus station. I know you are thinking what?!? Definitely cheaper than paying for an excursion, plus all the buses were charter buses! We paid around $2-4 US per person for a ride to Paradise Beach.
I’m getting excited just thinking about Paradise Beach! It was absolutely amazing. We beat the crowd there, so we had free choice at beach chairs. You could tell the bar was going to be crazy, as I walked in I seen a party flyer for “Twerkfest”. It definitely was a beach bar with over 30 different alcoholic slush drinks. Also along the beach, was a number of different restaurants.
The best part of Paradise Beach was the water!!! It was literally crystal clear. Fish were swimming around my legs, and an underwater reef was in swimming distance. With the reef being there or maybe it’s just the Mediterranean Sea, but there were no waves! I literally swam in the water for hours! Just to come back and get beach waiter service. Felt like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and ironically it was the first time we listened to their “Everything is Love” album.
But don’t let me forget to mention, Paradise Beach was definitely a nude beach! As always, feel free to comment below!!! All comments welcomed, whether you want to dido my list, or totally debate me on another destination! And subscribe for more!!!