Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Glorious Greece

I was very surprised when a few of my best traveled and friends said they were "underwhelmed" by Greece, but it helped me go in with low expectations. Thankfully all of my expectations were blown out of the water and I had probably the best trip of my entire time in Europe. 

The view from our hotel the first night, we landed and had a day before we had to meet the boats, so the trip started on the roof with a view. 

And a beer. With the Acropolis in the background. We also went out to grab some food and drinks. Athens is very charming, the streets are hot all night and the restaurants were open late. I love modern cities with an ancient backdrop. 

I obviously couldn't leave the city where the very first marathon happened without going for a run. This is Hadrian's Gate. I also saw the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathenaic Stadium, National Gardens, and Greek Parliament. 

After a shower and some breakfast we went up to the Acropolis. It was so incredibly hot. Like I'm fairly certain the ancient Greeks worshiped there because it was so close to the sun. We downloaded the free Rick Steves guides and stayed long enough to listen to that, then we left and got lemonade.

The beautiful Erechtheion. 

Next we wandered around the Agora, again listening to the Rick Steves guide. This is the ceiling in the church. We also went through the museum, it was kind of small and boring. Outside the Agora we grabbed lunch and I had my first real Greek Salad. If I ever have one with lettuce in it again I'm going to send it back. 

We set sail late in the afternoon, we couldn't make any cool ports so we anchored out at the Cape of Sounion underneath this temple and woke up with this view. 

Our first stop was the island of Serifos. We took a bus most of the way up the hill then took a hike up to the church at the top. 

Gorgeous views everywhere. 

We would get up and have breakfast in the morning, then set sail. Stop and have some lunch and go for a swim at these beautiful and secluded spots, like this one that was full of goats. 

And this one that had a church but no people. 

On Kythnos we rented some bikes and 4 wheelers and went around the island. 

This was the view of the sunset on the way back. Not too bad. 

I woke up early to go for a run in Poros. 

We also stopped in Ermioni. 

In Hydra we had some great gyros. 

And went on a ride to the beach with Harriet's Hydra Horses. 

This was our last night, it was such a beautiful island. Hydra was probably my favorite of all the places we visited. 

On the way back we had some friends!

Our last day in Athens we went on a food tour, part of which included walking up in a neighborhood below the Acropolis and got this view. 

Our last real meal was at 360, started at sunset. 

Finished after dark. 

And so ended the best vacation I've ever had. We did our yachting through a company called Greek Seas and they were fantastic! Paying was super easy and all inclusive, no port fees or gas. We paid for a skipper and a hostess who both went out of their way to make everything easier. Our hostess made us breakfast and lunch every day and I swear it was better than anything we got at a restaurant. I cannot recommend this company enough. 

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