A Travellerspoint blog

Greece

Santorini

Squashed Panini

sunny
View Our trip on two_pukeko's travel map.

Awesome to catch up with Gemma and Smit, chasing elusive golden sunsets over the caldera. Chilling out on black sandy beaches and meeting more friendly dogs. Burning around the island in our tiny rental car, and getting stuck up the narrow roads that taper off to footpaths. Heading out for a swim in the 'hot pools' off the crater, which was a 30 metre swim through bitterly cold water to reach the beach that was about 3˚ warmer. Being fed delicious goodies from our hostel lady in preparation for 'Big Week', or Greek Easter. More delicious Greek goodies of pastries baked in ouzo, zucchini balls and tsatsiki, gyros at Lucky's, and of course washed down with raki. Picturesque views everywhere; looking up at village of Thira hanging on the cliff top, the white washed houses making it seem like sugar dusted mountains from a distance; donkey's lining the zigzagging path down to the old port and looking out over belly dropping cliffs. And possibly the most incredible sight ever, watching the mountainside village of Pyrgos being set alight with enormous candles, on the windiest day and fearing slightly for being caught alight.

The rough journey from Crete to Santorini!

Sunset seeking

Sunset seeking


Sunset over Thira

Sunset over Thira


The road to the old port

The road to the old port


Perfect weather for outdoor candles

Perfect weather for outdoor candles


Village of Pyrgos at Easter

Village of Pyrgos at Easter

Leftover shells from shooting an effigy of Judas

Leftover shells from shooting an effigy of Judas

In search of the crater

In search of the crater


Windmills of Oia

Windmills of Oia


Chilling in Oia

Chilling in Oia


Little villages

Little villages


Narrow escapades

Narrow escapades


Narrow escapades

Narrow escapades


Hanging out

Hanging out


Old mate

Old mate


Scaling ridges

Scaling ridges


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A room with a view

A room with a view


The edge of the world

The edge of the world

Posted by two_pukeko 03:32 Archived in Greece Tagged santorini Comments (0)

Exploring Crete

Beautiful beaches and WWII history

sunny 15 °C
View Our trip on two_pukeko's travel map.

Crete was cycling through warm villages past orange groves and hiking through patches of wild oregano in the mountains. Meeting crazy Polski's on their holidays and missioning out to the most picturesque, almost deserted beach, and having a dip because it was too beautiful not too, grinning and bearing the off peak temperatures. Being greeted warmly by every Cretan for our kiwi connection and the NZ effort during WWII. Looking through Stelios' vegetarian kitchen and stuffing ourselves on his creative fare, baked eggplant with balsamic vinegar, raisins and a dash of chilli. Checking out WWII memorabilia, with the history lessons coming thick and fast from our hostel host George. Visiting Knossos, home of the first civilised society ever and the 'maze and the minotaur' legend, being amazed that there was not actual maze (Mostly Michelle). Washing everything down with a shot of raki.

Galatos

Galatos


Goats roaming the hillside

Goats roaming the hillside


Balos beach (with a big NZ in the sand)

Balos beach (with a big NZ in the sand)


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A big ass fortress

A big ass fortress


Eerie caves

Eerie caves


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Unamazing Knossos

Unamazing Knossos

Peacock in the trees

Peacock in the trees


Port of Heraklion

Port of Heraklion

Posted by two_pukeko 01:55 Archived in Greece Tagged crete Comments (0)

Souvlaki & Raki

Onwards to Athens

sunny

After driving from Bansko into Greece past goat herders and dusty olive groves, dreaming of sunny villages we were dropped in the hazy, bustling Thessaloniki to find a massive city with huge apartment buildings bearing over each other, competing for the sunlight. We stayed overnight to recharge our batteries and a have a quick look around. Dinner was at a charming little tavern down the road from our hostel, which our bubbly receptionist gave us a translation of a few of the items on the menu, as no one spoke english down there. The atmosphere with brilliant, charged with Greeks toasting over carafes of raki. We picked out a few dishes of feta, mushrooms and meatballs, everything was delicious for our first taste of Greek food, washed down with the obligatory raki.

We then caught the sleeper train to Athens which we both thought was going to be a nice spacious affair until we realised that seats were allocated, we were in the wrong seats in the wrong cabin, and we were to squeeze in side by side touching knees with the person across from you, AND had to leave our bag in the hallway cos there wasn't enough room. AAAArrrrRggGHhHH!!, worst ride ever!!.

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Arriving just before the sun was coming up we headed for the Acropolis, as we had a bit of time on our hands (two HOURS) before it opened, and wondered around the vicinity, making friends with the local stray dogs. By the time we got to the front gate, we had six dogs following; two scouts, three private guards, and one bringing up the rear. As we approached the Acropolis we saw the no dogs sign, and after a weak effort of gesticulating that they were not ours we waved on through, realising the Greek translation was probably more along the lines of "only local stray dogs, that befriend strangers and chase motorbikes and cars are allowed admittance." Though the dogs were more interested in sunbathing than sightseeing.

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The parthenon was pretty impressive, but almost as impressive was the view of Athens sprawling in every direction and the feeling that you're standing in the very heart of it all. It ran as far as the eye could see in a geometric mess that weaved the city together.

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We spent much of our time in Athens exploring the ruins and snacking on souvlaki, a kebab like snack, filled with fatty meat, chips and a smudge of salad for good measure. As a cheap meal they're brilliant, but we got sick of them pretty quickly.

It gets a little hard to appreciate the ruins after a while as they're absolutely everywhere, and some require a lot of imagination to picture what they used to look like, but there are probably a few archaeologists out there who go crazy for the stuff.

The days were starting to get pretty hot, so we were looking forward to exploring the islands on our return from Egypt. And maybe some more souvlaki & raki.

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Posted by two_pukeko 13:58 Archived in Greece Tagged athens acropolis Comments (0)

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