Αντίο, Ελλάδα (Farewell, Greece!)
There is a quiet melancholy that washes over you when a vacation is coming to an end. Matt and I talked about this at dinner quite a bit tonight. I'll miss the quiet streets of Santorini, the sweet stray dogs, the steep stairs lining the cliff sides taking you from closed store to closed store, and most of all - the ocean breeze that reminds me so much of home.
But then I think of home. Of our own sweet puppy who will probably pee herself when we pick her up and lick our faces and nuzzle her little nose into us. And our comfortable bed, perfect pillows and showers with (mostly) unlimited hot water and shower heads you don't have to hold in one hand while trying to wash your hair with your only on free hand. How funny that a Thanksgiving away from home makes it abundantly clear all the things, big and small, that there are to be grateful for.
It was good we rented a car today because my feet don't have a single mile left in them. The roads on a small island are about as narrow and tiny as you can imagine - and the cars are sized to match. Our little Nissan Micra jumped and clanked its way around those roads like a champ!
First stop was the town of Akrotiri on the opposite end of the island. A prehistoric town destroyed more than once by earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. They are still actively excavating this site! Archaeologists have been slowly and carefully digging this city up from volcanic ash since 1967. The structure they built around the ruins is just as beautiful, honestly. It's well thought out and the designers used an Aristotlean methodology in their approach. How insane, right? Modern Greeks using Ancient Greek theories to build a structure to help uncover part of the history of a people who most likely existed as far before the Ancient Greeks as the Ancient Greeks did before us.
We needed fresh air after this and the Mediterranean Sea was calling! We walked to the, you guessed it, abandoned seaside strip with boarded up restaurants and no one around. The ocean and the wind were insanely wild - I can see why locals close shop in the winter!
Our last lunch was in Fira at a hole in the wall Gyro restaurant, just our style. The cook was all business and didn't have a drop of patience for customers who didn't know what they wanted when they stepped up to the counter. I adored him. I also adored the gyro! So much that I ate the one I ordered then ordered a second for good measure. When in Greece!!
A final funny story. I love Matt for so many reasons but especially on this trip seeing how adventurous and fearless he is! Sometimes it works out, other times not so much. He blindly ordered a Greek coffee after lunch and was sooooo proud about this. Ordering Greek coffee in Greece. Look up Greek coffee if you have a minute. He was in for a surprise! It's more like diesel fuel and is also grainy because they keep the grinds in, so they sink to the bottom and it looks like mud. All I'm saying is I'm glad I packed medicine for just such bravery :).
Tomorrow we've got one final morning and afternoon in Athens. We'll be checking out the Cape of Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon and hopefully we'll be able to find an open restaurant for our final Greek lunch! Then it's back home and back to reality. We're both pretty bummed, but glad we'll always have our memories of gorgeous, proud, sweet and mesmerizing Greece.