We were sad to leave my (Jeff's) parents in Rome, but it is still always exciting to go to a new place so we were pumped to head to Greece. We left Rome super early in the morning, but we lost an hour coming to Greece so we ended up arriving mid-morning and by the time we got our bags, figured out where we were going, and waited for a train into Athens; it was about noon when we got to the hotel. We are very lucky that in planning this trip we have found that we either know someone or know someone who knows someone all over the world! Thank you all for sharing your friends and friends of friends with us! This was another time that came in handy. Cara’s parents have a friend that spends a lot of her time in Greece, owns a small beach house, and used to write guide books for Greece, so who better to get advice from? We are so thankful to have gotten to know Sherry while we were in Greece! She recommended the wonderful hotel we stayed at in Athens, and the great spot we went to for lunch while we were waiting for our room to be ready.
We spent the night at the Attalos Hotel in Athens, and while it is slightly more expensive than we would normally book, it didn’t break the bank. Most of their rooms have balconies with a view of the Acropolis, and since Sherry had some pull as a guide book writer and put in a good word for us, we got the best room in the house for the night! We got some takeout (kebobs of course) and had dinner on our balcony and went up to the rooftop bar for a drink. A pretty good thunderstorm rolled through that night so we watched a lot of the lightening from up there too.
The next day we hopped on a bus (warning if you visit Greece: the public bus system is pretty hectic and very strangely organized to an outsider. Once you figure out who to talk to- it’s not bad) out to Leonidio which is where Sherry lives. She had us checked into the one little hotel just up the beach from her house, and we went to lunch and dinner with her. Another pretty big storm rolled through while we were at dinner, causing the power to flicker a few times and the restaurant owners to scramble to drop awnings and close up the outside of the patio as fast as they could. Luckily, it was pretty much done when we headed back to the hotel. The next day Sherry drove us up into the mountains to see a monastery and have lunch at another village, where we tried some excellent goat.
We had a lazy day about the village and the next day we moved from the hotel into Sherry’s little beach bungalow as she was off to Santorini to celebrate her husband’s birthday. Her place was awesome and we felt we got a real Greek beach holiday experience. One day we did a long hike up to the monastery outside the village where only 1 nun is left (more on that later), and we spent most of our time at the beach or just relaxing. We frequented the same little restaurant in town many times, and if you ever find yourself at the beach in Leonidio (Plaka area), you must go to ‘Michael and Margaret.’ Margarita, the proprietress, will take care of you like family and the food is fresh and fantastic. They normally ushered us back to the kitchen upon arrival to tell us what they had cooking that day, and then sent us home with fresh fruit or vegetables!
After a great 6 days at the beach we took the bus back to Athens and spent another night at the Attalos, had some more awesome food, and finalized our transportation plans to get to Skopelos, the island where we would be spending another 7 days. A million thanks to Sherry for playing tour guide and welcoming us to Greece- we are so grateful for your hospitality and so glad we got to spend time with you!
One night while we were in town, there was a wedding. What's a wedding without fireworks?