Welcome back to Madison from Madison! I hope you had the absolute best week and were able to spend time outside and/or with friends and family. I am finally getting to posting all about my family's recent trip to Greece. I apologize that this post comes so late in the week and late at night, my week has been absolutely packed but I NEEDED to get this post done!
Recently my family traveled to Greece for a summer vacation. We visited Athens and the island of Santorini. This trip was an absolute blast! It has almost been difficult to adjust back to our busy life in Middleton. Nonetheless, I decided to roundup some of my favorite photos from our trip and write all about our memories from the adventure. I hope you enjoy!
The View from our Place in Athens:
We completely lucked out with the location of our VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) in Athens! We stayed at a woman's large apartment which was wonderfully furnished with antique furniture and comfortably fit all of us. Right below our place were tons of restaurants serving delicious Greek food and many with a plethora of gelato flavors. The best part of this place however, was the view of the patio. The photos above show exactly this view. In the first image, the ancient Acropolis is atop the hill in the background. One of our days in Athens was spent on a walking tour and we got to walk all the way up and around the Acropolis. The bottom image shows the Acropolis at four in the morning on the day we flew out to Santorini!
Athens Walking Tour:
These are photos are from the highlights of our Athens walking tour. We got to see the Parliament House and its changing of the guard, the National Garden, the Zappeion Palace, the Acropolis, and more. It was a long, hot day but seeing these historical sights was breathtaking. The opportunity to learn details and backstories from someone who lives in Athens was unbelievable.
Our Favorite Restaurant:
Our favorite restaurant (or at least mine) was Smile. This was a family restaurant very close to our place and we ate there twice! Both times I had a gyro with lamb meat which was AMAZING. It had french fries and the traditional sauce inside. We got to know the kind owner of the restaurant and even left our mark by decorating a rock with the Badger motion W to add to their collection.
First Views of Santorini:
We arrived in the Greek island of Santorini ready for adventure! The only unfortunate part of this day was the fact that we landed in Santorini early in the morning and then couldn't move into our place there until the late afternoon. In the horribly hot weather (Greece was experiencing a once in a long time heat wave while we were there) this was a little more difficult. We made do by wandering around our town, called Imerovigli, eating at a bakery, and eventually boarding a bus to the town of Oia to see the views and walk around the shops. The middle photo shows the place we stayed in in Santorini. It was a quaint little cave dwelling (most of the homes in that area are built into the volcanic rock).
The above photos were some of my favorites from this mini-trip. The buildings were so unique and colorful. Additionally, I couldn't keep my eyes off of the views!
On another day we walked from our town to the capitol city, Fira. This walk was long, but filled with adorable homes and the prettiest flowers. I stopped often just to capture photos of cute doors and windows. Once we made it to the city, we took a bus to a black sand beach where we soaked up the sun and nearly burnt our feet off because the ground was so hot!
Just like we had in Italy last summer, we became obsessed with gelato while in Greece. I loved trying out tons of different flavors such as watermelon, chocolate cappuccino, and stracciatella. We used gelato as a method of relaxation and as a way to cool down. I am already missing having so many gelato places each with so many flavors close by.
My Favorite Day (Maybe Ever):
On one of our last days in Santorini we went on a catamaran trip in the caldera. We were bused out to the ports where 13 of us boarded a large catamaran and took off. We got to snorkel in three different spots, one being in the hot springs produced by the volcanos, and the crew allowed us to go in without any lifejackets. It was a blast being able to swim freely and see all of the marine life. When we weren't snorkeling, we were able to completely relax on the catamaran. I sunbathed and lounged on the nets at the front of the boat. In the middle of the trip the three crew members cooked us a large authentic Greek meal aboard the boat. We had Greek salad, a rice dish, chicken, sausage, seafood, and different sauces. The food was absolutely delicious. The excursion was made extra fun by the four Australian girls that were in the group with us. It was a blast getting to know them and hear all about their travels. I would go back on this trip and eat this meal again in a heartbeat.
As the sun began to set in Santorini, the views became even better. We made sure to find great spots to watch the sun set and this seemed to be an activity that was built into the culture. People crowded around just to catch a glimpse. It was beautiful. So many of the moments on this trip reminded me of just how powerful, creative, and amazing God is. I was left with no words multiple times.
My sister made an amazing video with clips from our whole trip! Check it out to see our days in more detail (and definitely watch the bloopers, they are terrible, but so so funny).
Overall this trip was such an awesome getaway and so so much fun! I feel so lucky to have been able to go on a trip such as this with my family. I will definitely not forget all of the memories we made while traveling, snorkeling, shopping, eating gelato, touring, and dying in the heat together. This trip made me so excited for any and all traveling that the future holds for me whether with friends or family!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this recap of my trip to Greece!