I will be writing about our trip to Greece in much more detail. But I wanted to give a kind of overview now. It was an amazing trip!
Greece was more and less than I expected at the same time. The country is beautiful and the people are the nicest I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Even the people we stopped in the train to ask directions (keep in mind we are also speaking English in a Greek speaking country haha) were so nice and so kind. More than once we had someone stop what they were doing and instead of giving us directions, they just walked us to our destination.
The food was probably the best I have ever had! But going out to eat is actually exhausting! Eating is a full on event in Greece!
No matter where you eat or how much you order, they will still bring you dessert at the end, and then they will bring you liquor. Most of the time just a shot, but sometimes a freaking bottle. Poor Billy… he had to drink it all. In most of Greece it seems to be Ouz0, but on Crete… it was Raki. Raki is made from the leftover parts of the grape AFTER it has been made into wine and it can be up to 80% alcohol. I took a tiny taste of it each time and it was just bad… Billy thinks he could learn to like it. Good thing since he had to drink mine too (because I didn’t want to be rude). As amazing as the food was, its kind of nice to have a peaceful relaxed meal at home now. (But I do miss the food.)
We went during the off season. Everywhere else I have been in my traveling during off season it means just a lot less people… in Greece it is way more drastic. There were NO other tourists. The very very few other travelers we ran into were either just other Greeks, or people traveling for work. Most of the places we went we were actually the ONLY people there. It was a strange feeling, but also really nice. It kind of felt like we had our own private tour everywhere.
The only downside is a lot of places actually completely close up shop for the entire winter or have shortened hours. Most of these are touristy shops and eateries, so it didn’t really effect us except for trying to rent a scooter (they don’t keep insurance in the winter). It did make the state of the Greek economy more noticeable though. I never thought of Greece as being a poor country (I know their government has its money issues), but it is surprisingly so. We didn’t go north or west (but we want to go back to visit the other parts of the country and maybe an island in the summer) so I don’t know about that part of the country. But in the many places we went there was a surprising amount of poverty and vandalism. It was really quite sad.
But, on with the trip. Here is a break down. I will be writing more detailed posts of each part of the trip : )
The trip started out with an early morning drive to Nuremberg. And when I say early, I mean we left that house at 03:30… yikes. We parked our car at the airport and then waited two hours for our flight like responsible travelers. (Yeah, I made sure we got there early – don’t want to miss our flight!) We flew from Nuremberg to Zurich and had about an hour layover there. This was NOT a very good start to the trip though. The flight was absolutely gorgeous – we flew over the alps and it was amazing!
The bad side… there were about four or five screaming children in the small confined cabin all surrounding us in a circle of screeching torture – and they didn’t stop the entire hour. So we both had headaches by the time we got to Zurich. But the next flight, which was longer, was nice and peaceful. And they gave us lots of Swiss chocolate. We flew with Swiss air and aside from the screaming children it was very nice and I would love to fly with them again.
We landed in Athens and figured out what train we needed to be on to get to the center of town. It was about 45 min and then we walked a few blocks to our hotel. We stayed here for the night and had a full day to explore for our first full day in Greece. Then that night we had to take the train to the Piraeus port south of Athens to take the boat over night to Crete. We departed at 21:00 slept on the boat and arrived in Heraklion on Crete at 06:00 in the morning.
From Heraklion we took the most beautiful bus ride ever to Rethymnon.
We checked into our hotel in Rethymnon and stayed here for 2 nights. This was our favorite location. It was magical.
After our two nights in Rethymnon we set out to Chania – had an amazing dinner – to catch the boat back to Piraeus for one more night in Athens. So we had the rough overnight ride back again. Sleeping on the boat wasn’t easy, but it was worth it to get to the island.
We spent our last full day in Greece taking another train ride from Athens to Ancient Corinth where we got to explore some more ruins.
The trip home was long, but it was very laid back without any rush. We didnt have to be at the airport in Athens until around 12:00 (which again, was 2 hours before we would take off). Our flight ended up being delayed an hour but we had a VERY long layover in Zurich this time, so it actually helped break up the time nicely. We left Zurich on time at 21:00, landed in Nuremberg, got our car, and drove home where I had a very happy pointer dog ready to great me and give lots of snuggles!!
Stay tuned for more detailed and photo heavy posts (most of these are just from my phone)!
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