As I mentioned in an earlier post, I originally thought we should go to Turkey and Greece for our honeymoon.
Due to a fairly involved travel schedule in order for us to do everything we wanted, we opted to set that trip aside for another time when we’re on a regular vacation and planned a less stressful trip for our honeymoon.
I will see to it we reschedule that adventure for another time because I would love to travel around the Greek Isles as a trip unto itself. Greece and I have an interesting past– this is the third time I’ve legitimately tried to get there, and at least this third time was partially successful.
The first time was in 2005 while I was studying abroad in Northern Ireland. We were planning out trips for each weekend as well as our extended spring break, and we knew we were going to be in Italy most of our break.
I found all kinds of information about taking a quick trip from Italy to Greece via boat, but I couldn’t get myself to Bari or another port along the coast to make that happen within my budget.
I ended up going to Venice and then joining my friends to see Pisa, Florence and Rome instead, and as many of my family and friends know, the pope died during this time and we were actually in Rome for his funeral. We didn’t get to see much because many things were closed because of the event. Although I was disappointed Greece didn’t work out, being in Rome for the pope’s funeral was certainly a once in a lifetime event I wouldn’t trade for anything.
The second time I tried to visit Greece was in 2007 when my youngest brother and I flew to Europe to backpack for several weeks. We actually had flights booked for Athens, but as we got closer to our departure date we were still inundated with news stories about the whole country being eaten alive by sweeping forest fires, the worst in recent history. They were actually cancelling all flights into the country so we had to change our plans weeks before we were to depart.
We ended up rescheduling our flight from Athens to Warsaw and began our backpacking adventures in Poland. I loved our brief time in Poland and exploring Eastern Europe, but I was determined to someday visit Greece.
Exploring Olympia, Greece
At least this third time I was partially successful–I did in fact set foot on Greek soil for one day, which is more than I can say for my other efforts.
As with every stop on our cruise, we could have spent much more time, but we actually loved the flow of this stop better than most. In the morning we took a bus to Olympia to tour the ruins of the original Olympic training grounds, and then in the afternoon we spent time at an estate listening to traditional music, watching and participating in folk dance and stuffing ourselves full of delicious Greek cuisine. I roamed around the estate taking pictures of some of the vegetation, etc. and it was just beautiful weather and a relaxing and fun time.
We didn’t see much else, but the overall experience was a really wonderful taste of Greece. Here are a few photos from the day: