Our time in Greece was really relaxing. We had grand plans to visit a lot of the countryside and go out to some of the islands but instead we ended up hanging out in Athens, enjoying the food, going to the ancient sights, and watching the protests.
Going to the 4th of July event was probably the best experience we had. We’ve been gone for 11 months and it was fun to watch fireworks, eat hot dogs, and hang out with Americans. Generally it is not enjoyable to come across a lot of Americans in a group while traveling but the 4th of July event was very good and we were happy to go!
We were really surprised by the food. It was pretty much nothing like Greek food in the US. Even the things we thought would be the same, like gyros, had French fries inside the wrap! We really enjoyed the flavors and all the offerings. There was a little restaurant next to where we were staying and I would go there to get a gyro pretty much every day. Soon enough they recognized me and then I noticed my gyros were getting bigger and bigger! Another real treat was finding baklava. Normally baklava is pretty expensive in the US, like $4 for a very small slice. I found a bakery near us that sold pie sized baklava for about $11, that’s a steal, so I bought two!
The ancient sights were really neat. We weren’t staying too far from them so we’d visit in the afternoon when the sun started to go down and the crowds cleared out. It’s rather amazing what people thousands of years ago could build!
We watched a lot of protests while we were in Greece. I happened to walk through the main square where people protest and was there when the voting results were announced. Like all the other protests, everyone was really laid back, it was calm, and it felt more like the State Fair in Minnesota. It now appears as though things will get much worse for the Greeks before they get better. That said, as tourists we were nearly unaffected; had we not been scrambling to get euros like everyone else when the banks first closed we would not have even realized Greece had issues.
We had a really good time in Greece. We arrived on a Saturday and the banks were closed that Monday; left on a Thursday and the banks re-opened the next Monday. Seems like we brought the bad luck for the Greeks :).
Enjoy the photos!