Best holiday ever…or was it?

As a kid, I was in awe of Greece. Its vibrant mythology and history had me totally hooked, probably more than anywhere else in the world. Upon finally visiting Greece (Athens and the Peloponnese) a few years back, it did not disappoint. In addition to the incredible archaeological sites, the country itself was beautiful, filled with amazing people and food. It quickly became, and has remained one of my favorite places that I’ve ever visited.

After this 2-week excursion around the country’s islands (Crete, and a few of the Cyclades) I’ve no hesitation in naming this my absolute favorite holiday ever, and the country in general, as my most beloved spot in the world. I love Greece. It has never failed to live up to and usually beyond my expectations.

That being said, I can always find fault somewhere and Greece was no exception. Here are a few of my complaints:

  • “The islands are too brown.” (My very disappointed to response to catching a glimpse of the Cyclades as we flew from Athens to Crete. Clearly, I was expecting Bali in the Aegean or something even though I am well aware of what the Grecian landscape looks like.)
  • “The sun is too bright.” (Sitting at a nice harbor-side bar in Chania before sunset, I had really had enough of that annoying sun being in my face non-stop.)
  • “I’ll try the olives. But I won’t like them.” (Despite the fact I love olive oil – particularly Greek – I hate olives in my food. I thought I’d be generous to Greece and actually try to eat their olives. Result: I still don’t care for them.)
  • “I don’t like when they fold the napkins and put them in.” (THIS style of napkin holder was present at the tavernas and cafes around the islands, and it’s just such a nuisance to get a single napkin out.)
  • “This walk would be better if it were flat. And without rocks.” (About 15 minutes into the Agia Irini gorge walk in Crete.)
  • “Ew. My free booze is too strong.” (You are often served a complementary digestif at tavernas: in this case it was grappa.)
  • “It’s kinda cramped, though.” (Not impressed by the excavated rooms in the home of a prominent/wealthy citizen’s home in the site of Akrotiri.)

And here are some panoramas I quickly snapped with my iPhone. It will probably be a little time until I can get through all of my proper photos and blog up some gibberish to post here.

(click on each to view in much larger size)

the Venetian Harbor in Chania, Crete
Fira, Santorini (see - the sun is too bright!)
Fira and caldera view, Santorini (see – the sun is too bright!)
Perissa black sand beach on Santorini (the site of Ancient Thira lies atop that mountain)
Naxos Chora from the Venetian Castle in the fort
Naxos Chora from the fort’s Venetian Castle. The ruins of a temple to Apollo can be seen on the far right.
On the summit of Mount Zeus on Naxos. The islands of Paros, Little Cyclades, and Mykonos in the distance.
On the summit of Mount Zeus on Naxos. The islands of Paros, Little Cyclades, and Mykonos in the distance.
The mid-day scene at Super Paradise beach – absolutely crazy. (again with the too-bright sun, though)
Sunset from Little Venice in Mykonos Town
Sunset from Little Venice in Mykonos Town

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