On to Greece. An expensive destination, yes, but the €2.5 gyros make you feel better about it.
Growing up on the east side of Melbourne and being surrounded by kids of Greek ancestry meant that I have for long known some of the ruder words in the Greek language and the basics of a Greek meal. I did not, however, grasp the importance of Greece in the evolution of human civilisations, until taking a few Classics classes. I learned about ancient Greek plays, philosophy, communication and history which inform so much of the world’s current knowledge as well as societal concepts and norms – an experience that cemented a spot for Greece in my top 3 ‘I need to go there’ destinations.
There’s also the standard ‘From where you’d rather be’ posts floating around on Facebook and Instagram of bright white buildings, deep blue seas and random donkeys – mostly posted by holidayers, honeymooners and inexplicably successful bloggers and photographers. I’m not sure whether this adds to, or detracts from, the appeal of Greece as a destination. I think it might be both, because on the one hand it evokes the feeling of ‘wanderlust’, where everyone with a slightly menial occupation is suddenly in desperate need of a holiday. On the other hand, it takes away some of the mystery of the destination that is, in reality far away, but somehow also in the palm of your hand.
What I realised upon arrival is that none of that matters, and my umming and aahing about going to Greece was a waste of time and energy. When a place becomes flooded with tourists, there’s a tendency to dismiss it as crowded or ‘mainstream’ and forget that these places are popular for a reason and what we see on social media doesn’t really do the experience justice anyway, as the experience itself is entirely subjective.
I landed in Athens and spent 3 nights. I didn’t get the best out of it because of the heat, but at least I know I’ll be back.
From Athens I headed to Mykonos. Funny story – I got off the ferry at the wrong island and went looking for my hotel. After asking for directions, eventually showing someone the address I wanted and getting told ’this is not Mykonos’ I sprinted back to my ferry with a red face. Anyway, I decided to explore and eat. Then I beached myself.
I had a short stop at Ios where I beached myself once more. As you can see, all the islands look a little different!
Mykonos to Santorini.
NB: Must be seen to be believed.
NB: Sunset is no joke.
NB: Very lovey dovey.
Santorini to Heraklion on the island of Crete. This is a special one, chosen because I was determined to visit Knossos. Knossos is Europe’s oldest city – oldest city!! – and the centre of a number of ancient Greek plays. Here is where the legend of the Minotaur, son of King Minos, began – a beast half man and half bull who dwelt at the centre of the city’s labyrinth, constructed on the orders of King Minos.
Once again – here is a separate section for all the things I ate.
All this reminiscing is making me so hungry…