Thursday, April 23, 2009

La Vie Post Spring Break

Hello Blog-Readers
It has been awhile. I miss you.....
my internet has been out since my return from the land of gyro' excuse the lack of life updates. I know you're anxiously awaiting (KATE MARCHETTI...cough....)

Greece was far the most amazing trip I have ever taken. Go there immediately if you have never been! I started my journey in Athens on Friday April 10th. Got into Athens VERY early in the morning...which was good, because it took my group of friends abotu 2 hours to find our hostel. No big deal. Athens is bustling...but not my favorite place on earth. The people were incredibly friendly (I realized I had forgotten and gotten accustomed to relatively unfriendly people) and welcoming. We started our day off with a gyro lunch at an outdoor restaurant in Athens, and then made our way to the Acropolis. The city is a really interesting juxtaposition of new and old...its very odd and kind of cool. We saw the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hardrian's Arch, and then walked up to the Pantheon and everything on the Acropolis. The view from the top was (is) really astounding and beautiful-such a great way to look at the HUGE city. On the way we stopped and some of my friends bought actual grecian sandals....not the steve madden knock-offs. pretty cool stuff. Later that night we had greek pizza for dinner (I love any excuse for mass amounts of kalamata olives....) and then crashed because we were so tired from our long journey (3 hour flight from Paris) and then all of the walking. The following morning we did a bus tour....sort of cheesy....but really interesting and informative. I saw all the government buildings and we walked around a modern agora and saw some pretty amazing knock-off handbags and jewelry....the Greeks seem to love that stuff? Who knew....

Later on Saturday I met up with the rest of my roommates (some had not come to Athens with me and the others I went with) at the airport and we flew out to the island of Santorini. When we got to Santorini it was dark, so we couldn't really see what the island looked like. We settled into our hostel, which by the way...was hardly a hostel. It was BEAUTIFUL and adorable, family owned by an adorable man named Stelios and his wife....and situated literally on the beach in Perissa. They were so welcoming and the place was spotless....had a pool.....a lounge room....everything. It was so nice to travel and not be in a 10 bed-room hostel! We went out to dinner that night (Myself, Roommates Elysha-Jessie-Simon, friend Alyssa) to a cute restaurant right on the beach that had an amazing fish tank....which my dad would have freaked out over. I decided to be semi adventurous and ate an octopus as my appetizer. I was expecting small little octopus-type salad....but was surprised with a HUGE octopus leg. It tasty....I continued to eat this almost daily for the rest of my trip. Afterwards we went to a beach bar and met a lot of people traveling...Americans, British, Australian....the usual mix. It was a young crowd in Perissa Beach and lots of fun.

We woke up the next morning to the most beautiful, and memorable view I have ever seen. Santorini is surrounded by HUMONGOUS volcanic mountains and beautiful beaches. It was really overwhelming. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park....waiting to see a dinosaur walk by with a pina colada or something. The sand of Perissa Beach is black sand....and the water was incredible blue (and cold!). Our first full day we went into the main town, Fira, and walked down 500 stairs (we later learned there were more effective means of traveling down these stairs.....just our luck) and hopped on what looked like the pirate ship ride every amusement park has (that sways back and forth and makes you vomit up your cotton candy and carmel corn) and rode out to a massive volcano. We hiked the volcano for about an hour, and again, witnessed one of the amazing views of sea and sky I have ever seen while in Greece. After the volcano hike our boat took us to another part of the Aegean, where my friends and i bravely jumped into the ocean (Jessie and I went first, screamed incredibly loudly, and everyone on the boat was staring at us.....) and then swam several feet (it was NOT easy) to a calm, shallow hot spring where the water was 80-some degrees. It was really fun....kind of extreme....and I felt semi adventurous. Good times. Later that night we had lunch and went out in Fira...which is a really fun city with a LOT of good fave. The next day in Santorini was basically spent on the beach, working on the tans we all desparately needed (I was starting to turn transparent....). In the evening we went to Ios.

Ios was a little dead. In the summer, it is THE party island in Greece. We got there, and the immediately all of us were just really taken aback byt he view. Our hostel (again, gogeous and not hostel owned and operated and LOVELY--check it out online, Francesco's Hostel in Ios) was situated up on a hill-and the view from the terrace was of the port and surrounding mountains. It was incredible....and by far the best sunset I watched in Greece. We went out that night with everyone from our hostel to the Red Bull Bar, and met the famous George who owns many of the bars and restaurants on the island. We decided though to pack up and go to Mykonos a day early, since there wasn't that much to do in Ios.......lack of mobility there, and none of us drive manual-so we couldnt rent a car to drive up the coast! Dommage.......

Mykonos. Where do I begin? This is where I want to I better start working on that. Kidding. But seriously....Mykonos was out of a postcard. White and blue everything, beautiful views everywhere, crowded compared to Santorini and Ios. GREAT seafood....I ate seafood twice a day every day in Mykonos. I turned into an octopus. We rented ATVs and drove them to Paradise Beach, which was really fun and exciting. I rode behind Jessie, who I trusted to drive since at school she drives a motor scooter. Paradise Beach was beautiful, and the water was literally the bluest water I have ever seen. The windmills in Mykonos were really pictaresque as the sun set, which we watched 2 nights in a row overlooking the port. Met some funny friends along the way, saw some beautiful things, and ate some really good food. Went to the island of Delos for a few hours, which is an island that is essentially an archeological site-with remains from the temple of Apollo and his sister ancient....very cool to experience. Beautiful.

Back in Paris now...and getting readjusted to city-life. I'm a little tanner...more relaxed....and still in vacation mode (which I need to break out of since I have a presentation for a class in an hour). Paris is beautiful...spent yesterday afternoon in the park Place de Vosges drinking wine and eating bread and cheese with friends. I am definitely going to miss this place! But I have 5 weeks left....and planning to take full advantage.

I go to Rome tomorrow for the weekend......and when I return expect pictures from Greece and reports from Italia.

Peace and Love!

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