Thursday, May 10, 2018

Our First Week in Greece

After 4 days in Athens, which was plenty of time to see & do all we wanted to see & do, we headed out in our rental car to traverse 1,000 miles in Central Greece and the Peloponnese.

With just one small twitch of the GPS, it headed us over the mountains instead of taking the highway.  We are one of those little roads that you see here......

I'm pretty sure we took them by surprise as we blasted through this little tiny mountain village.  They'll be talking for weeks to come about those "white people" in the rented BMW who came blazing through their little town -- obviously lost, what on earth, don't they have maps where they come from, good thing they didn't stop to ask directions, glad they didn't think somebody would serve them lunch.....what if they had run out of fuel, I'm sure they didn't speak Greek, what were they thinking......

One overnight in a little coast town of Galaxidi, so that we could stop at Delphi.  As in "The Oracles of Delphi", the Temple of Apollo.   Great old ruins, I loved the fact that they let you wander so freely on the grounds.  

They do the "stacking" of old stones here, as we've seen in Athens.  Basically, it's "We found these great rocks, we don't really know where they fit into the puzzle, but we're just going to stockpile them here until we get it figured out".

But that's a whole 'nother article.......

Our next couple of days were the Monasteries of Meteora ~ these are breathtaking ~ both because they are picturesque, and because hiking to the top (many many stairs) will (literally) take your breath away.  I can personally vouch for this.

Mr. C has been pretty careful to monitor me, since my recent "cardio event" (see Hawaii Hospital Adventures).  We are (both) trying to take it easy on me for the moment, just to be sure I can make it back to blog about our adventures.

The big "ooops" was this one ~ the Holy Trinity.  At the top, he pauses to check with Trip Advisor (to be sure we haven't missed anything), where the first comment is:  This is the most difficult of the 6 Monasteries.  Big "ooops".  

But she did it.  Someone please let my cardiologist know that I'm back to full activity while I take a moment to catch my breath.  

There were as many as 23 at one time; but there's an in-depth blog story coming up on these 6 remaining Monasteries.

Now we're off to a day or two at the coast, with lots of old ancient stuff in Central / Western Greece to see, plus the Peloponnese, which is "the kernal from which the modern Greek state grew", according to Eyewitness Travel. 

We've enjoyed our Greek food, we find it to be very similar to how we eat at home.  Meat & potatoes, minus the potatoes.  Lots of fresh salads and good cooked vegetables.  Their yogurt is to die for, it's like nothing I've ever had at home, no matter whether it was labeled "Greek Yogurt" or no.  They refer to our Yoplait's as "Dessert Yogurt's", 'cause they have so much sugar in them.  Hard to argue with that.  Can't imagine good Tzatziki made with that sweet stuff!  I told Mr. C we might be eating this way for most of the summer.....

So far the Greek people have been warm and wonderful.  Many speak a smattering of English, we've had no problem communicating.  Most are very pleased when we love their food, or their archeological sights, or just the fact that we came all the way to see their homeland.  They are home-bodies, the Greeks.  Some talk of travel, but most we've spoken to love their homeland so much "Why would we go somewhere else that might not be as nice?!" is the prevailing thought.

Why indeed......

So this is my view tonight from my balcony, in our lovely little boutique hotel in Parga, on the Western shore of the Ionian Sea.  I can hear the waves lapping the shore ~ just like at home in Hawaii.  It's peaceful and restful and very satisfying to be in this place, in this moment.  I am grateful for the travel life that I love, and for my Mr. C, who maps out our path.  Many get to see what we see, but many are not so fortunate to experience what we experience.  

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