05 June, 2013

Adventures in Greece, Part 2

Day 4 of our adventure was wonderfully slow-paced which was much needed. Our weeks in Israel before Greece were fully packed and we jumped right into full, long days in Greece. Though my spirit was willing and excited to explore, my flesh was weak, bruised, and tired.. hahaha. So I thought it was really kind of God to send a rainstorm over Santorini :)

We stayed inside until lunch time. The weather outside was intimidating, but that didn't stop us from going to the Mexican restaurant we found the day before. It was like buried treasure. So.. no lil storm was gonna stop us from going haha. We got on our ATV's and battled the 349574937 mph winds and the slanted rain. The 20 minute rides there and back were hilarious and probably somewhat dangerous haha.

Bryant took this picture of the wind holding me up. Hahahaha

But (thanks God!) we made it safely and enjoyed our first Mexican meal in 2.5 months. It. was. delicious.

We scored some free food and drinks. The owner of the restaurant, Mary, was so kind and so excited to have us there.. she treated us like her children.

She especially loved Bryant. hahaha

We were given great service and were treated so wonderfully there :) the whole experience was great..so much so that we decided we would go back again the next day!! heh

We headed back to our rooms and played games and enjoyed some pb&j's for dinner.

Three of our four nights in Santorini, we went to the 24 hour bakery that was right down the road from our apartments to get some seriously delicious pastries. I wish I could remember the baker's name.. he was the coolest. He always gave us free cookies or bread. I really enjoyed the locals in Santorini.. their lil island lives are so interesting to me haha.

The baker himself! Making some coffee for Lex :)

Another thing worth mentioning here.. is the love and care my travel group showed for me. This picture was actually taken the day before. The island was cold at night, and my body seems to think its cool to be the same temperature as it is outside. I was foolishly underprepared for our hour drive home (at night on an ATV Dani come on!!!!), and my group did everything possible to get me warm enough for the trip back. The result was the infamous Dani-burrito, and during the drive I hid behind Jaden who took the brunt of the cold wind. I think the biggest reason I felt warm on the ride home was because my heart was jus totally beating for these folks. They are so nice to me.

Day 5

Our last day on our beloved island. So we played the "how many things can Lexi stack" game at breakfast :)

We got ready for our day and were greeted by these eager faces. Hahahahaha precious

Blue skies! It was a nice change from yesterday.. only it didn't last too long ;) today was all about visiting anywhere and everywhere we hadn't been yet.

So we made it to the highest part of the island where there is a monastery. 


"What are the odds you eat this plant?" Lex lost. and Taylor just did it for fun hahaha. Good news, they didn't die from mystery plant poisoning!

View from the very top

Annnnd the exploring continued :) we found a cute lil town! I bought some crazy good fresh baked cookies here. 

Next stop.. the beach :) black sand, blue water, and white waves crashing all around us

Three cameras going. Our guys were so nice to us :')

 And of course...we had to take some photos like these... haha

Hahahahaha we couldn't resist!!

I loooooooooove these girls. so much

Then we found our way back to that glorious Mexican restaurant

UNLIMITED SOPAPILLAS. I can't believe how much food I consumed. food baby for dayssssss

Jaden, Taylor, and Bryant were great at finding different spots around the island. We passed some random narrow dirt road, and they decided to turn around and drive down it so we could see what was at the end of it.. it led us to this cool lil place!

Not knowing whether or not our four-wheelers would make it to the top of the steep dirt slope, we headed back to the main road :) 

Again, the guys took us up a random road (I was and still am so thankful for their thirst for exploration and sense of direction heh), and we found an awesome look-out.

Last stop on our wonderful island adventure: Red Beach

As we headed back to our rooms, I found this guy :D!!!! I <3 Greek spongebob (even though he's missing a nose)

We gathered our things and checked out of our apartments. The owner of the hotel, John, gave us a ride to the ferry. Really, the locals made this experience even greater! He dropped us off at the port and we waited for the ship to arrive.
As I stood by the dock and watched, I was scared. The ocean is so powerful and untamed. I began to wonder if the ferry would arrive at all. No doubt that the sunset calmed my heart quite a bit. God is such a remarkable artist.

The ferry arrived in sight and my fear increased. I'm serious like I was sweating and it was freezing outside hahahah. The ship is pretty massive but it was like a lil rowboat out in those waters.. no match for the force of the waves. I had already taken anti-nausea medicine, but I was pretty sure I was going to hurl everywhere (I have serious motion sickness, especially from a dirty sea sway!!!!). The ferry pulled into the port and only a few could be boarded at a time because it kept being pulled back into the ocean by the angry waves. The workers were yelling in Greek and took boarding very seriously so that no one would get hurt from the all the chaos. The second I stepped on that ship, my equilibrium was not happy. Insta-sea sickness. I've never experienced anything like this. We were packed on the the ship like sardines and it rocked from side to side with intensity. I got separated from my group for a little bit and as I made my way up into the ship, I could barely stand or walk straight. Me, Sarah, Jaden, and Elizabeth later found our room and instantly grabbed a bed and prepared for the worst. Taylor came in shortly to claim a bed too. By the way did I mention we were in for a TEN HOUR FERRY RIDE?! hahahahah. But really God had his hand over us because we were somehow able to hold in our vomit and fall asleep. Well at least the rest of my group slept, I couldn't really stay asleep for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm pretty sure I prayed for help for 10 straight hours lol. I think back to this night often and just start laughing. I just remember thinking how in the world am I going to live past this. It was that bad. hahahah.
So, by 5:30am, we made it back to port in Athens. The ship didn't capsize, the room wasn't filled to the brim with barf, and I didn't die. Miracles do happen people.

And the funny thing is that a few of us still felt like we were on the ferry for like three freakin days!!!! No joke, my equilibrium was soooo offended that I would even step foot on that see-saw of a ship. 

Day 6

This is Athens at 6am. It's nice. I didn't feel like I had to have a death-grip on my backpack and camera as much heh.

So we checked into our hotel and rested for a good while. And let me tell you.. it was wonderful to lay down on a bed that wasn't swaying.

Around 11am we left the hotel to go explore Athens :) we stumbled upon a farmers market, ghetto streets, a strip mall, questionable humans, a seriously awful all-things-sea-creature market (the smell was unbearable lol), and plenty of graffitied walls. 

Behold... every kind of anything you need for jewelry making (and a strange indian mannequin to represent it)

After a few miles of walking around and exploring, we found the ancient Acropolis of Athens. The ancient citadel located sits on a high rocky outcrop above the entire city.. so the view up top is pretty spectacular. 

Ancient amphitheater

And the mighty Parthenon! :)

It was time for dinner and Sarah and I shared theee most delicious chicken thing ever. And this guy was for dessert :) SOOO GOOD. I hadn't had a waffle in so long!!

Then we went to a Greek frozen yogurt place. Seriously this stuff is out of control delicious. It's a crime they don't have these in America (or at least that I've seen) because it is pretty much my fav.

Toppings for dayssss

No doubt we were having the time of our lives. Amazing people (I <3 my travel group) and amazing places. The post for the last three days of our adventure is in progress :)