Back from Greece. A Dream Destination, Checked!

Submitted by viravira on 15 June 2015   •  Abroad

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   Greece Highlight
Trekking between Oia and Fira, Santorini


We’re back! It’s been two weeks since our last post, the longest break we’ve had on blogging. It’s not that we forgot to, on the contrary we missed blogging so much! But work, crazy deadlines, and me going on a month-long trip to the land of gods, had to be in the way. I didn’t even have time for jet lag! But that’s all over now, I can finally breathe again, go through my Greece photos and share my Greece highlight with you. Here is Hellas, as the Greeks call their land in the archaic time, from my point of view.


  Greece Highlight
I see you thru Kuluri

When I’m writing this, I’m a bit hungry, and I’m thinking of Kuluri. It’s the Greek bun with sesame on it. I had this Kuluri in Gioras Wood Bakery, a family-run bakery in Mykonos, that has been supplying bread and cakes for the towners for 500 years! They bake the bread with wood fire, the only place around that still applies such traditional method. George Vamvakouris, the heir and the main baker has been baking since he was 8 and is still doing it with love. His wife, Cloe Papaioannou, helps in the store and café with her daughter Irini. I had a very long and interesting conversation with Cloe about Greek cultures, among others, and enjoyed the sight of her wearing matching blue and white outfit.


Greece highlight
Pressing my own print of newspaper at Museum of Typography

The Museum of Typography near Chania, the second biggest city on the island, displays a lot of historical press machines. A few are copies, most of them are the real stuff. They even have the oldest printed poster! It’s a very important museum. Students from all over Greece go there for field trips. And it was a very important visit to me, one who adores the art of arranging type. I looked at those printing machines like my niece looks at Disney’s Frozen dolls.


Greece Highlight
With a view like Samaria Gorge, I’d go trekking anytime

Diyan dragged me into hiking a few times in Greece, I ended up loving it. Samaria Gorge in Crete is gorgeous! We hiked down to and walked through the gorge, in total of 12 km, for about 7 hours. At first I thought I wouldn’t make it, but I actually underestimated myself. We did more hiking after this one!


Greece hightlight
Snow on Olympus, in Spring

We hiked up the mythical Olympus Mountain, starting from the 1100 meters ASL to the refugee camp at 2100 meter ASL. We decided not to get to the top because Diyan read that it gets harder to climb after the refugee. Zeus could be waiting for us on the top, but who knows, he could also be going undercover as donkeys or fluffy dogs that we passed by along the way. Even though we only went halfway, the view was godly beautiful. We couldn’t help stopping so often just to admire the scenery – and to catch a breath. A bit of snow was still left coming near the refugee. Diyan was psyched to see his first snow. I was nervous knowing melting snow could be so slippery.


Greece hightlight
Monasteries of Meteora, hundreds of meter on top of cliffs

It’s amazing to visit some monasteries up on the super high cliff in Meteora. But the more amazing view to me was people taking, maybe, hundreds of stair steps to praise the Lord and to learn about Orthodox Christianity, even the really old nuns. And the most amazing of all, is how these stone buildings were built centuries ago on high cliffs, only using simple tools and technology.


Greece Highlight
Greek ballads by the Acropolis

Traveling slow means we could take time just to sit and enjoy the street musicians perform. This was taken on the street right between the Acropolis and the Museum of Acropolis, Athens. We were having our packed dinner when the duo came and started to play. I took my time sketching while Diyan was taking pictures of the surroundings.


Greece Highlight
Overlooking the beach in Hydra Island

A day trip to Hydra Island, a 2-hour boat trip from Athens. No motor vehicle is allowed to operate on the island. The beaches are gorgeous, but seriously, Indonesia is much luckier to have long stretch of sandy beaches. Something I didn’t see in Greece eventhough I went to a couple of beaches.


Greece Highlight
Among other tourists, admiring Parthenon Temple

One of the must-visit and totally touristy places in Athens, the Acropolis ancient complex. This is the ruins of the main temple, Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena. It is the biggest temple in the complex and has gone through so much in history. It is actually a replacement building after the original one was destroyed in the Persian invasion in 5th century BC. Then it was used as a treasury before it became a Christian church, and then functioned as a mosque after the Ottoman conquest. If the Parthenon’s Doric pillars could talk, I can’t imagine how much it would tell. But anyway, I couldn’t believe I was finally there!


Greece Highlight
The blue and white of Mykonos

One of the alleys in Mykonos, selling souvenirs and olive soaps. Mykonos and Santorini islands, the two most prominent islands for tourism, are widely known for their blue-white nuance. Even many of the visitors dress themselves up in blue and white, including yours truly. However, the more I moved around the country, the more colors I see of Greece. They’re not just about blue and white. They’re also red, brown, green, gray, and all colors in the world that you can think of.


Greece Highlight
I’m in cat haven

I could not be happier to see so many cats on the streets of every place we went in Greece. Even the stray cats are cute, fluffy and friendly to human. Wish I could take them home with me.


Greece Highlight
Oia at night

The small – but the most beautiful – town Oia comes more alive at night. We didn’t see much of the town late at night because I was having a sore throat and had to turn in early. Unfortunate, but hey, health comes first! But still, it was one of my Greece highlight moments.


Overall, one month in Greece was one of the greatest months in my life so far. A lot of the activities were tiring and we needed to save up like crazy for the trip, but it was all worth the experience. Choosing photos for this post was hard! It’s like I wanted – correction: needed – to show everything and tell everything. At the same time, I felt like I didn’t take enough photos. So I guess this is how it feels to have actually been to your most dreamed-of destination. It is a really great feeling and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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5 years ago

Keren kak … aku juga pingin kesana, mau leyeh2 di santorini #Halah

5 years ago

wow, incredible tourist travel.. 😀

5 years ago

aaah luar biasa! baru segelintir foto aja udah bikin terkagum-kagum, gue pengen banget trekking-nya ke Olympus dan tebing-tebing itu, gereja yang di puncak bukit itu juga keren! :))))

5 years ago

pemandangannya bikin ternganga, kagum banget gara2 nonton the girl travelling pants apa ya judul buku dan filmnya

Rifqy Faiza Rahman
5 years ago

Ah, blue and white. Colors icon of Greece! When I was at elementary school, I knew Greece was land of God 😀

Velysia Zhang
5 years ago

Oh my god! All pictures were just stunning, love it! I never knew about Mt. Olympus and Meteora, surely in my bucket list now 🙂

5 years ago

Other than the land itself the greek people are also amazing.

They deserve a blog post

4 years ago

I am very happy that you enjoyed the trip to my country. I thank as when traveling in Indonesia!