Greece

weekly photo challenge: reward

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Back in 2006, we worked over 60 hours per week (for 6-months) so we could afford a 4-month trip around Europe. Every time, we travel – the experiences we have are our rewards for all the hard work leading up to make it happen.

One of our earliest memories of that Europe trip was witnessing a Santorini sunset – famous for a reason 🙂

What photo would you share to show reward? See other people’s interpretations here.

Happy weekend everyone!

And as always, feel free to leave us your thoughts.
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acropolis: our first unesco heritage site

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Reaching the Acropolis involved walking up an unsealed ramp with rather steep inclines. We had just come off a 30-odd hour flight from Sydney and we were exhausted but the adrenaline kicked in as we caught glimpses of the Acropolis. The intention was not to visit it straight away but seeing it there, high in the sky, we were compelled to visit. Thus became the first UNESCO Heritage Site we have ever visited together. And it just took our breath away. Getting to the top did not disappoint except maybe the throngs of other travelers there. What we saw was so surreal – walking amongst so much history – so much Greek history that we had learnt about in high school.

The Acropolis of Athens is situated on a flat-topped rock approximately 156 metres above Athens and covers about 3 hectares. It was around the 5th century BCE that the most important buildings were built such as the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion.

The Parthenon is probably the most well-known piece of architecture within the Acropolis. It was the main temple dedicated to the goddess, Athena. Over the thousands year of its existence, it has acted as a Roman Catholic church, a Greek Orthodox Christian church and an Islamic mosque. In the 19th century, the Parthenon lost some of its marble sections, which is now housed in the British Museum.

We look back on our photos from 2006 and with our really small memory card, we couldn’t take many photos but of the ones we took, these are worth sharing 🙂 We are SO inspired to visit Greece again and see even more of this country’s beauty and history!

Acropolis, Athens was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited, visit our unofficial bucket list

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gyros (pronounced yeeros)

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W have NEVER eaten a “yeeros” (or correctly spelt: gyros) before, despite seeing those fast food shops all over Australia. But we probably made up for it living on the Greek Islands for the past 8 days. That was at least our lunch if not dinner every day 🙂 We also enjoyed eating lots of olives which again is something that we never really ate much of back home. Our taste buds were waking up and having their own culinary holiday.

Ios was the next island after Mykonos and honestly not really our thing! We were unfortunate enough to be sharing the hotel with a Contiki tour and without fail every morning at about 2 am to 3 am – a rowdy bunch would come home from their night out. That was not fun – what added to the “not fun” was also the fact that we had housekeeping mop the room and clean the bathroom while we were still in bed. Boy, that was weird! Actually, our entire experience on this island was weird! We had wasps chase us from breakfast, we ate at a Swedish restaurant one evening, we watched Ferris Bueller dubbed in Greek and the most weirdest of all, was when we were walking down the street one day, we had a little girl of about 4, run out and smack us square on our backsides!

Santorini sunset
Santorini sunset

Santorini on the other hand seemed perfect in comparison despite some random things. When we booked our hotel room, we had booked an ocean room and when we got to our bedroom, there was definitely no ocean view. There was a view of a barren fenced off garden, oh well! The bus ride to Oia was interesting, climbing up the side of the cliff on a road that can barely fit one car, let alone two buses travelling in opposite directions. Standing in the bus, looking out the window and down…. the road we were travelling on was not even visible – that was how close we were to the edge. This was all forgotten though by the time we witnessed a Santorini sunset, at least until we had to make our way back down alongside the cliff face!

View more photos of our trips at Photo Gallery.

blindingly white

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We were at Piraeus Port by 645am, ready to board a boat to Mykonos. One thing we learnt that morning was why we couldn’t find sliced bread anywhere – it was because the sliced bread is not very good and therefore not worth being sold anywhere. Now that was our conclusion at least because our packed breakfast contained bread and oh my goodness, they were dry, crumbly and hard. Anyway, enough about bread – the fascination has worn off!

We met a honeymooning couple from Los Angeles on the boat and chatted with them til the boat pulled into a port. We usually are last to board any transport and the last to get off – what is the rush? So this couple dashed off to get their luggage while we sat to look out at the island. Hmmm… strange! We always thought Mykonos had white houses along the coastline – totally thought we were duped with touristy brochures, because the houses we saw were definitely NOT white.

As we slowly made our way towards the ramp of the boat, we decided to check with a staff of the boat whether this was Mykonos. It wasn’t, the next stop was ours. Soon enough, the American honeymooners came back to their seats describing how they had leapt off the boat only to realise they needed to leap back on because we hadn’t arrived at Mykonos. Turns out they thought we were a little rude for not letting them know Mykonos was the next stop – we explained that we had actually been none the wiser either!

The coastline
The coastline

When we pulled into Mykonos, there was no mistaking it! What we saw was the image we had expected! The blindingly white buildings, blue skies and blue sea! Oh – how picturesque! The buildings looks like fondant icing on wedding cakes 🙂

View more photos of our trips at Photo Gallery.

Alley ways of Mykonos
Alley ways of Mykonos