Sunday, April 29, 2012

Random Post About Greece

I have traveled to Greece twice. Once in late 1996, and again in the summer of 1997. I fell in love with the country, but have not been back since.

My first trip to Greece was a whirlwind cruise with my mother and grandfather. I was probably the youngest person on the ship by a good 20 years, and yet I had a blast. For one thing being a young woman on a cruise of significantly older patrons, made me quite popular with the cruise staff. I was the recipient of a good deal of attention, and I would be lying if I told you that it didn't feel nice. My fondest memory of the trip involves a cheesy dinner at a winery. The evening was created for tourists, older tourists, and involved a single shot of ouzo and some folk dancers. There were not a lot of drinkers in our crowd, so I received more than my share of ouzo shots, and ended up being dragged on stage with a troupe of attractive young male folk dancers. The night got fuzzy after a while, but I remember dry heaving in the shower the next morning. Not so cool. I actually missed touring tha Acropolis because I was too hungover. My grandfather would not let me live that one down.

During that trip we also toured Santorini, that picturesque town of white washed, blue roofed buildings on the seaside. It was lovely. We stopped in Kusadasi a Turkish town, and enjoyed a beer and baklava in an outdoor restaurant as we listened to the traditional call to prayer.

It was my first time out of the United States and it was such an amazing experience. The country was so old and so different. I loved the food, the pungent feta cheese, the salty olives and all of the fresh fish. I loved the small towns we desended upon in our giant tour bus. We would walk through the cobblestone streets stopping to pet the stray cats, and order strong coffee.

The next time I visited I was with my future husband. We were in the midst of a back-pack-through-Europe adventure, and on an extremely tight budget. We stayed in hostels for $7/night and pinched every penny, which was not hard to do in Greece. My favorite memory of that trip was our time on a little island of Ageina. Ageina, is not particularly a tourist destination, but it was close to Athens and cheap to get to. We stayed at a dirt cheap youth hostile which served up delicious iced coffees every morning, along with stale bread and butter. We rented a motor bike and road around the island in our swimsuits, insuring a beautiful tan. We would ride from one end of the island to the other, stopping for seafood dinners, wine and a nap in the sun. With the last name Kargas, my husband made friends easily. We chatted up the locals and were often served free food. It was one of the best times of my life.

Greece may just be the best place I have ever visited. I had hoped to return long before now, and currently it seems like it may never happen again, or at least not for another ten years. By the time I get there I'll probably insist on a helmet while riding a motorbike and will want to stay in a five start hotel. It won't be the same....


  1. Todd and I went to Greece as part of our honeymoon. It was splendid (and romantic). I would love to go back one day.
    PS- love how high your shirt is tied in the first picture!

  2. Come back to the neighborhood and try Axios, our awesome Greek restaurant on Tennyson. My friends and I go there again and again and never get tired of it. So fun, great food, candlelight and great Greek wine, and you feel like you're traveling...just for a few hours.

  3. Oh my husband and I toured around Greece/Turkey and the UK and Thailand just after getting engaged in 2002, Fantastic memories!! and reading your post brought back a lot of the fun of Greece too! (I DID get to see the acropolis though..haha) :)