Kalimera – Good morning from Athens!
The clear blue waters and mountainous surroundings were breathtaking as we made our way to our hotel in Sivota. It felt as though we had stepped off the ferry into a perfect painting. One of our first stops was at a local store, so that trip members could pick up different water toys to play with while in Greece. With boogie boards and beach balls in hand, we headed to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
Afterward, we made our way into the small coastal town of Parga. Pausing for pictures, Trip Members vocalized how beautiful the scenery was, standing along the boardwalk with the ocean behind them.
The following day, we set off to go sea kayaking with our guides from Trekking Hellas. Paddling in groups of two, we set off to a secluded beach where we stopped for a short break of swimming and snack on some refreshing watermelon. Later that afternoon, we met with our guide to go ocean water tubing. In teams of six, Trip Members were so excited as the tube was quickly pulled through the bay.
Monodendri was next on our trip. High up in the mountains, Trip Members remarked on how quickly the landscape changed! We met up with Trekking Hellas and our guide to walk through a mountainous area on a well-known path, which is rich in history and bridges. The gorges were created over 3 million years of melting glaciers and streams of water. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world. On our second day in Monodendri, we all went river tubing in the Voidomatis river and explored the Papingo rock pools.
Onto the birthplace of the Olympic games, we arrived in Olympia to explore the ancient ruins and learn about the mythological gods and goddesses. Our guide, Niki showed us around the site and told us her name means victory! The word gymnasium (or as we say in North America, high school) comes from the olympic games which promoted both physical and mental strength. The ancient Greeks believed you couldn’t have one without the other. Unfortunately, Olympia was destroyed and covered in a thick layer of dirt which explains much of the damage. Did you know the Olympic fire is lit here before it makes its way around the world?
The following day, we made our way to Nafplio. Walking into the reception area of our hotel we could hear the Trip Members commenting on the stunning view over the city.
On our second day, we went to Mycenae, Agamemnon’s tomb, a citadel, and an Amphitheater. The location of the Amphitheatre was used as a healing centre with springs, exercise, areas to read, and even where surgeries are performed. For our last day in Nafplio, we went into the mountains with Trekking Hellas to go white water rafting, which was so exciting for all of us! We then got to explore a beautiful castle that had a beautiful panoramic view, and spent some time on the beach near the hotel before we left for Athens.
After we dropped off our bags, we went to Adriano’s Restaurant, where we ate delicious Greek food while listening to local music. At the end of our meal, we broke plates, a belief held that this fools spirits and keeps them at bay!
On our second day in Athens, we explored the Acropolis with our guide. The expansive historical site was constructed over 2600 years ago and is visited by millions of people from all over the world! We began walking up the marble steps to the entrance, where we were met with a spectacular view of the city of Athens! The light shone down onto the buildings below, which made the city sparkle!
Our color competition ended in Athens with a lip sync battle for the ages! Teams chose one Beyonce song, decided on outfits, and created their own choreography. After 3 impressive performances, team three won! We’re so excited for our last 10 days and adventures to come in the Greek Isles.
The Westcoast Blogger