Thursday, June 28, 2012

Greece

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A few weeks ago, we had a fantastic trip to a place I've wanted to go for a long time--Greece.  When we knew we'd be moving to Europe we figured there would be no easier time to go.  It also just so happened that the best time to go was in June so it made for a great way to celebrate ten years together.

Since our flight was early on Thursday morning, we decided to go ahead and take the train into Frankfurt Wednesday night.  It was nice to get into the city early and we enjoyed a relaxed evening at a hostel close to the train station and a traditional hostel meal of pasta :-)

We left for the airport early in the morning and caught our flight to Athens.  Once in Athens, we took a second flight to the island of Crete, the largest and most populous Greek isle.  We arrived at the Iraklion airport and took a bus to Chania.  After dropping our stuff at the hotel, we changed and headed out to explore the town and shop.  I was in heaven with the shopping--the clothes, the jewelry, the dishes and other souvenirs...so great.  I even got a great napkin ring.  We headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and then looked for a good restaurant.  We found a great one by the waterfront and enjoyed a nice sunset and great meal.  Perfect.

Friday morning we enjoyed a great breakfast at the hotel and then set out for the beach.  We stopped to buy a lunch of fruit and nuts, some sunscreen (airport security threw ours away!), and a beach towel.  We found a nice inlet where the water was warm and there were only a handful of people and enjoyed that before settling into a regular beach for the rest of the day.  We had another great dinner by the waterfront that night.

Saturday morning we took the bus from Chania back to Iraklion.  After checking into our hotel we caught another bus to the Palace of Knossos, a Minoan palace dating from around 1900 BC.  It was interesting and pretty amazing to think about how old it was.  We later returned to the city and explored the town before getting ready for dinner.  We found yet another great waterfront restaurant with a good sunset and great Greek food.

Sunday morning we took a morning ferry to Santorini.  We checked into a gorgeous hotel right in the middle of all those beautiful blue and white buildings you see in pictures.  It was quite a warm day but we took the foot path into town, doing some shopping and then grabbing some great gelato (so much better in Greece than in Germany!).  We spent the afternoon relaxing at the hotel by the pool, enjoying the view, reading, and napping.  Hoping to walk back when it was cooler, we took a bus up to Oia to see the sunset and have dinner.  We weren't the only ones with this idea, but we did get a great spot and it was beautiful.  Then we did a little more shopping (I finally found my Greece ornament) and had dinner.

Monday morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and made our way to the ferry by bus.  Arriving in Mykonos in the early afternoon, we checked into our hotel and just relaxed on the beach and at the pool all day.  We had romantic dinner on the beach at a Trip Advisor award restaurant with these great little Greek doughnuts for dessert.

We spent Tuesday morning relaxing on the beach and having a piece of Baklava.  We took the ferry back to Athens in the afternoon, arriving in the evening.  We found another recommended restaurant, Gods' Restaurant, near the Acropolis, and had yet another great dinner.  Greek food is the best :-)

Restoring a piece with laser technology
In the morning we got an early start and began at the Acropolis.  From there we headed to the Roman Agora, Ancient Agora, Hadrian's Arch, the Temple of Zeus, and ended up at the Acropolis Museum to cool off.  The museum is pretty cool; it's built over a BC community excavation site that you can see through the floor and contains the original statues and pieces from the Acropolis so they can be protected.  After that we took a closer look at the Theatre of Dionysus, enjoyed a final helping of gelato, and headed to the airport.

It was an absolutely fabulous trip and we decided our first night we needed to return someday.

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