Sorry it's been so long since I last blogged - can't exactly say I've been busy, but anyways...
This past March I was lucky enough to go to my #1 travel destination - Greece! I met mom and dad in Athens (after what seemed like a very long flight). Their hotel was literally across from the airport so we went and dropped all my stuff off then went to central Athens in search of a Greek meal. We ended up eating in a covered terrace where a man was playing guitar and later on a typical Greek string instrument. Everyone in the restaurant was getting a little more drunk and singing along with the songs, and eventually one of the men doing traditional dances. The night ended with our waiter doing a shot with us. Very fun night!
|First sightings of the island|
We flew the 35 minutes to Santorini the next day. Very rough landing - I don't usually get nervous on flights because I've flown so much, but my palms were extremely sweaty for that one. I think it was also a combination of not being able to see any land (felt like we were just headed straight into the Aegean Sea). Our hotel was nice, but unfortunately since it wasn't quite tourist season yet the pool wasn't open. It was actually nice being there off-season; I can't imagine what the little, winding streets of Santorini would be like on a hot, busy day! Shoulder-to-shoulder, no doubt.
During our time on the island we did a hike from Fira (where we were staying) to Oia. The hike was fairly tame and paved for the first half, but I'm certain that we got extremely lost for the second half. We ended up hiking to the very top of one of the hills so that we could look down to find the easiest path. And believe me, at the very top of these hills it was very windy! Once we got to Oia we had a well-deserved Mythos. It was a fun day; no matter how lost we got we were never actually lost because you could usually see both sides of the island.
|The easy part of the hike (the city in the background is Oia)|
|Finally in Oia|
Oia was absolutely beautiful. It is supposed to have the best sunsets on Santorini, and we were there for two of them but unfortunately the two we saw were disappointing. Still a quaint town - pretty much exactly what I pictured when I pictured Santorini.
We also went on a tour of a volcanic island and the "hot springs". Wasn't exactly a tour, but it was still pretty fun. We boated to the volcanic island and hiked for a couple of hours looking at the sights and the boulders - very different from any landscape I'd seen before. Then we were boated to the hot springs, which were...a tad different to what we had expected. I guess we had expected it to be a full-blown tourist trap hot springs. What happened was that they boated us near enough to the "hot springs" so that people were having to jump off the pirate ship into the freezing water to swim to the hot springs. We didn't end up doing it (the water was absolutely freezing) and I think it was a good idea that we didn't - the people that came back said it was really muddy and not very warm at all; and having to swim back to the boat in the freezing water was the icing on the cake...
Other than that, Greece was relaxing. We did some more sightseeing and a lot of Greek eating.
Now it's April 17th, I have been finished work for three days. I wasn't expecting last Saturday to be my last day in The Merrion, but turns out it was. It felt like I didn't have time to mentally prepare myself, and I don't think it's fully hit me yet anyways. I have my exit interview tomorrow, and I think when I leave then it'll finally hit home. I hope to still hang out with work friends for the next couple of weeks - unfortunately I've been pretty sick with some sort of throat infection for the past couple of days which has bedridden me. I'm feeling a lot better today though, so I'm going to go for a walk in the sunshine and get some errands done.
Only 12 more days in Ireland! Less than two weeks...don't know how I feel about that...
(Here are some more photos to tide you over)
|That's our town, Fira, in the background|
|Dad and I having little fishies eat dead skin off of our feet|
|Enjoying my first Greek salad in Greece|
|Dad being brave! Riding a donkey up to the town|