Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Greece, how do you REALLY feel about us?!

I am not sure I even know where to begin with my trip to Greece. It was an experience I will never forget thats for sure!

Michelle, Jess, Amanda and myself all went to Greece for four days total until we split up and went into different directions with our vacation time. We arrived in Athens around 11 am on the 14 of April. We decided to just tour Athens during the day and carry our luggage so we would not have to pay for a hostel and then just take the night fairy to Ios, a nearby Greek island for a couple of days!

Athens our first day was great! We got so much touring done it was amazing! We saw the Acropolis, Arc of Hadrian, The National Garden, Theater of Herodes Atticus, the Zappeion, Panathinaikon Stadium (where the first ever Olympics were taken place in 1896), the Temple of Olympic Zeus, Lycabetous Hill as well as just touring the city! Considering we were all carrying packs were were pretty impressed by how much we saw in about 6 hours!

After touring we decided to go to lunch/dinner before we had to catch our boat to Ios. Linner was amazing and just as we were about to leave I went to the bathroom and I guess between the five minutes I was gone there was a couple that came and sat next to my friends, order some drinks, stole the money out of my friends purse, pay for their drinks, pay and leave all before I got back!! I was so confused when I go back because I guess the guy played it off like her wallet dropped on the ground and he was picking up for her, not the case! Just as we were saying we had such an amazing day we had Amanda got over 200 euros stolen (around $300)!!

As shitty as it was for Amanda to get her wallet stolen we were trying to look on the bright side because she luckily still had all her credit cards, passport and identification! We continued our adventure to our boat and bought Amanda Linner as well as an ice cream bar right before we all got to the port.

Our boat looked just like out of the movies! It was huge with multiple levels and grand old decks with emergency boats hanging from wires! Also there were a bunch of cars and moto bikes pulling into the boat to bring to Ios! It was so exciting at the time because I have never been on a boat this large, and we were off to a beautiful tropical island in Greece! We explored the boat for a little bit but settled at some couches, played some cards and ended up going to bed a little early considering we arrived at Ios at 5:30 am.

We were all so tired when we arrived in Ios thank god our hotel had a van waiting for us to take us right back to bed! We passed out until about noon and awoke to a beautiful day! I talked the girls into renting mopeds to tour the island because they were so cheap, only 19 euros a moped and we put two people on each! We technically had to "lie" to get the mopeds because they said they would only rent them to us if we had driven them before, which we clearly said we had, that will soon bite us in the butt!

Our first stop was the beach, we figured since it was around 2pm we should check out the beach and the water to see how nice it was. Of course it was amazing, the water was a little chilly, though the girls I was with, being from Canada, thought the water was not that cold. Just as we were about to leave the beach Jess wanted to test the moped to make sure she could drive it since I drove to the beach. Her test drives were great but just as she was making a u-turn in the road she took it too sharply and the moped fell over and she broke the left mirror off!! At that instance she said she would pay for it and I was the driver of our moped from then on!

We went all the way to the other side of the island and saw so many great views, it is impossible to retell how gorgeous it actually was!!! Our moped was acting up on the way back and so a couple hills Jess had to get off so we could make it up, but overall it was not bad. We went to the city center before going home to go to the "cheaper" grocery store but since it was conveniently located next to the moped rental place we did not want to tell them quit yet that we were missing a mirror so we decided to go back up the hill to our hotel where there was another grocery store near by. We were coming up to a stop sign and there was a truck coming in the distance and Jess and myself were yelling to keep going after we stopped cause our moped turns off if we don't keep going. Amanda thought the truck was going to hit her, it did not look close from my angle, and so she sped up to beat it and lost control and she could not turn and crashed the moped straight in between a tree and a wall! I thought at least she broke her jaw cause I saw what it looked like to be her chin smashing into the tree! I was driving the moped behind her and my first instinct was to jump off our moped and see if Amanda and Michelle were alright. I guess in the process I accelerated a little and Jess was on getting off I think as our bike started to go and she got scrapped up, possibly a broken toe, trying to stop our bike and it got scratched when it fell over. When I got the girls they were alright just stunned from the accident. Thank god we were all wearing helmets otherwise I don't know what happened!

The guy who rented us the bikes was so upset with us for crashing them! He had no reason to be, sure it sucks but thats a risk you take by renting bikes! I quickly made up a story as to why we were missing a mirror and the scratches were because "we through the bike down to see if our friends were still alive" which is basically what happened. 46 euros later on our bike and 133 euros later on Amanda and Michelle's bike we were scooterless, for the better I assume.

We were all banged up and were a little sore so the rental place gave us a ride back to our hostel and on an island of 1,784 people we felt like everyone knew!

We went out that night, my only night in Ios because I had to catch a fairy the next night! I am not sure why but I felt the need to do the worm on the ground in the bar about 4 times!! I wish I hadn't cause 1) it was embarrassing 2) my knees are all bruised up and they are in so much pain! We had a few cocktails and Jess and myself decided to go back and when we got to the hotel we realized we did not have a key! I passed out in the chair and Jess on the ledge of the patio until our friends got back! I wake up to Michelle screaming and seeing Jess roll off the edge of the patio while she was sleeping, about a 8-13 foot drop! She was instantly saying that she was fine, though she had leaves and twigs in her hair! It was a sight!

The next day we all decided to lay low! We were considered the four girls on the island we were not looking for a reputation! We laid out at the beach for a while and then went to dinner before it was time for me to catch my fairy.

The fairy was a long ride cause it was cold and I forgot to get some Dramamine from Amanda for my sea sickness! The boat was so nice though, it had an escalator and everything inside!

I finally got to my hotel which had great location but I somehow could not find it. It was around 8 am but I could not check in until 11 so I slept in a chair with my head on a table in the garden area where everyone was eating breakfast for about 3.5 hours. It was really classy!

I put my stuff in my room and headed over to the Archeology Museum. The museum was great, there were a lot of really old statues, jewelery, headstones and many other artifacts. After the museum I walked around town a little looking for a place for lunch and found a cute little restaurant that had the best squid I ever had in my life! It was grilled with a light lemon sauce and was a WHOLE squid and was tender, but chewy! IT WAS GREAT!

The rest of my day was consumed by either walking around Athens or going to the beach. I wanted to go to the zoo but my hostel guy did not even know Athens had a zoo and he told me to go to the beach instead. His English was not that good and he was like "you mean the place with monkeys, you want to see that?" HaHa I was like YES, but thats alright. The beach was nice, really dirty though, I would recommend the islands as far as beaches go!

I went to a little bar near our hotel on the way back called Brettos. I recognized it from pictures from many students from my school in Minnesota who have gone on the Greece trip with Basal, a professor from Greece, each spring break. It is actually the second oldest bar in Europe!!

My travel back from Greece back to Paris went just as planned. Overall I loved Greece and I would go back in a heartbeat! The city was a little dirty but other than that it was great! I hope Greece will like me a little more next time....



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