I've had my first real gyro and there's no turning back!

July 19, 2010

So for my quick recap! I HAVE MY LUGGAGE! Ok I’ll stop shouting to you all now! But I have clean clothes, Greece was amazing but…their food was even better!  Also a small disclaimer: I’m going to apologize in advance if you salivate easily because I will be recapping all the delicious food we had!!!

We got into Piraeus, Greece (only about 15 minutes from Athens) early Wednesday morning (the 14th for those land people who keep track of silly things like dates!) and although we were cleared early to leave the ship my friends agreed to stay on the ship until my luggage was safe and sound with me (see post below for way more details!) Anyways, after finally getting my bag and grabbing a quick lunch on the ship, Olyvia, Kelsey, Laura and I made our way off the ship and headed for the ancient city of Athens! Once in Athens we were able to quickly locate the Acropolis which is situated high above the city and from there found the Acropolis museum which is only several years old. After walking through the museum for a couple hours on our own and going on a quick guided tour we then decided we were well enough educated for the real thing and started our climb towards the Acropolis where the Parthenon was located.  Although it was super hot on our way up (our entire time in Greece hovered between 90 and 98 degrees) we were amazed when we reached the top and marveled both at the amazing view of Greece along with the Parthenon and its surrounding buildings as well. It was amazing to stand atop the hill and look at the remains of a building that is almost 2000 years old while thinking that now days we are patting ourselves on the back when a building is still standing only slightly crooked after 30. After wandering around the site for a while and of course taking many pictures we ventured back down the hill in search for our first real Greek meal. Since we were all so hungry we quickly found a restaurant to try and although the food was good we were slightly disappointed in what we thought was Greek food…little did we know though that“if at first you don’t succeed try again and it is guaranteed that great Greek food lies ahead!” (or the quote is something close to that…right!?!?!)

Though we had enjoyed Athens during day one Athens honestly isn’t the prettiest of cities aside from the historical aspect of it so we decided to escape to a little day of paradise for Day 2. Although we didn’t get on a 6 hour ferry and blow tons of money to get to one of the huge party islands we still had a blast spending our day at the small island of Ageana! Ageana is atiny island located off the western cost of Athens and is generally the getaway island for local Athenians making it an even better getaway spot for a group of 10 SAS’ers who wanted their own experiences and to get away from all the tourists! Shortly after arriving to the island we found a small bakery so naturally we had to try something and let me tell you their pastries with spinach inside were delicious and just about melted in your mouth! After our brief encounter with the yummy pastry shop we split into smaller groups and Olyvia, Lex  and I headed inland to explore the island and what we quickly discovered to be their version of countryside; the only difference between the Ageana countryside and Ohio’s; Ageana’s countryside is covered in olive and fig trees instead of corn and beans! After walking around the countryside we headed back to the coast to go for a short swim in the ocean…ok so maybe a three hour swim but the water was fabulous epically when the temperature was hovering around 100 all day! After drying off we headed to dinner where I enjoyed my dish of eggplant with cheese, tomato sauce, and yogurt much more than the view of fresh octopus legs hanging in the window :/ . After dinner we caught the late ferry back to Athens and called it a night around 8 after a full day of sun and swimming!

Friday was a wonderful day; not only because of what we did but also because of the WONDERFUL food we found! Olyvia and I spent the morning walking through the Archeological museum in Athens and as silly as it might sound we were shocked to see how old some of the items in the museum were. When we walked in and saw that they had pots that were over 8,000 years old, made in 6000 AD, we just stood there and stared for a while. Another un suspecting item in the museum was only about 2-3000 years old but none the less I would have never guessed that safety pins were that old! There was no doubt in our minds what they were when we saw them and all we could do was laugh as we started at 3,000 year old clothes pins! After a good 3 hours of exploring the numbers exhibits of the museum we set out in search of some good Greek food and stumbled upon (well I was going to write the restaurant’s name here but my entire bill is in Greek and I’m not quite fluent yet!) but anyways we found an awesome Greek restaurant! After sitting down we realized we couldn’t read anything on the menu so after calling our waiter over and pointing at several tables near us we were finally able to order something we called heaven but was written in the menu as Doner Chicken and let me tell you it was amazing! It was pretty much like a gyro that you eat with a fork and came with pita, grilled chicken, tomato, onion, and of course tzatziki sauce! After more than stuffing ourselves to make sure we didn’t waste any of our “heaven on a plate” we all but rolled through Athens for a couple more hours before heading back to the boat for a good night’s sleep!

Ok so I just realized how long this was so I will stop here for now, allow you a quick bathroom break and time to pop another bag of popcorn and will post my last 2 days of Greece up soon!