Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yasa! Our week long exploration of Greece is over, but will not be forgotten. Our long journey home got off to a great start when we landed in Athens last Sunday. Exploring the city which brought us everything from Gyros to Democracy was a blast. Graffiti and roaming bands of youth selling knock off designer bags and purses was the only hint of lawlessness that we saw. The police presence in central Athens was very strong as protests continue on a daily basis because of the faltering economy, but nothing arose during our time there.

We toured the Acropolis and were amazed by the enormity of the different buildings. The Parthenon and surroundings temples are undergoing renovation, but this did not deter from the beauty of the place. A side trip to Hadrians Gate and the Parliament also impressed us. Ancients Agora's (marketplace) and numerous ruins dot the city were always fun to stop at and speculate what the function was. We also spent an afternoon at the Archeological Museum of Athens and walked out of there with a significant understanding the many people's and cultures that have shaped Greece over the centuries. We worked Athens over pretty good in two days, but definitely took some time to enjoy a peaceful park and lots of Greek food!

Life was moving so fast that we just had to head to an island to slow the trip down (poor us, right?). On Wednesday we took a ferry from Athens to the Santorini, better known as postcard island. If you have seen pictures of Greece you have probably seen Santorini. Bright white buildings, blue chapels dotted amongst them and a beautiful sea that surrounds it all. Well, the postcards are spot on in the landscape that they capture. This is one of the most beautiful places we have seen in our travels. The island was split up by a huge volcanic eruption a few centuries squared ago and a Caldera was formed. Basically the middle of the island sank into the ocean and you can walk around the ring. Its a spectacular site.

The island is just starting to wake up for the tourist crush that comes in April and we are glad to have been here during a quiet time. We stayed on far south of the island, home to the black and red sand beaches. One day was spent wandering the small towns and beaches near our hotel and just enjoying the quiet crash of the Aegean Sea. We also tackled two big hikes during our time. One was more of a climb up a 600 meter mountain that our hotel is at the base of. At the top is the ancient town of Thira or at least whats left of it. It was a great climb and having ruins and the top of the mountain to ourselves on a beautiful day was made all the better by the great loaf of cheese bread we had for lunch. The bread was purchased from a small bakery that we found our first night and literally have gone to everyday for treats of all sorts. One night we had Backlava and Cheesecake for dinner, no joke and no regrets!

Our other big walk was from the main town of Fira to the postcard perfect town of Oia. It was a 13km hike and took us all of 3 hours to do. It was the best hike we have done to date. We were tired, but grateful for the delicious Gyro and Mythos beers at the end and it was all topped off by a beautiful sunset over the crater of the volcano.

We decided and needed (blisters and sore calves) to take it easy our last day. Renting a 4 wheeler seemed like the best way to see the remaining parts of the island and drive around we did! It was a blast to visit some of the remote beaches and to cruise the roads of Santorini at blistering speed of 20mph. The day ended with our 5th gyro of the trip and another beautiful sunset that was hopefully captured appropriately in one of the 1,004 pictures we took!

We are off to Rome now and will be there until Friday. One thing is for certain, Greece has not seen the last of the Wronka's and our bet is that Italy will soon make that list as well!

1 comment:

  1. Yay for Rome!!! It's an amazing city. Enjoy. Can't wait to hear about it.