Monday, September 5, 2011

▶ ▷ Eurotrip: GREECE! - Part 1

I'm finally blogging about our Eurotrip! At first, I did not want to share anything about our vacation because it's gonna be long, haha. BUT Maaaannyyy interesting things happened so might as well! I also want to share the places, food, common habits and just the different culture in every country we visited. Very very different! So, first stop - GREECE!

My family stayed the longest in Greece. First thing we did was tour Athens!

Athens was not what I expected. Maybe I was expecting something like the cities in the USA because Greece is also a first world country. I just thought every capital city in the world has high-rise buildings, skyscrapers, and a hint of modernity. However, Athens was different as you can see...

(Pictures taken from Acropolis)

You understand what I mean? They sure love white buildings though, which I will explain later. While walking around the area, I find the place very congested. Honestly, I did not like how crowded it was, but someone told me that if you know where to go in Athens, the city is actually pretty nice. 

 Evil eye, a very common common charm in Greece, is said to ward off evil spirits
 A lot of people used motorcycles and I rarely saw big cars. No SUVs, only small cars.
 SHAWARMA = heaven!
 Protests in front of the parliament.
 Changing of the guard at the "Tomb of the Unkown Soldier." They guard the tomb 24/7 and change shifts every hour (no blinking/moving). Cool tradition.
 The shopping district in the city.

OK, it doesn't look as crowded in the pictures because I was afraid my camera would get stolen if I brought it out the busy places, lol. Also, the taxis were on strike! At least there wasn't much traffic, but no taxis = hard time for the tourists. Luckily, our hotel was in the center of the city so everything was walking distance.

Moving on.. although the city was not modern, it was definitely full of history. I love how there were random temples, monastery atop a mountain, and not to mention Acropolis within the city. You don't see those anywhere.

Despite the scorching sun (believe me, it was like 100 degrees up there) and the uber crowded place (as seen above), it was fun! A few triviaaaas:
  •  During ancient Greek times, they built the temples on a mountain so that the temples were close to the sky, which they believe would be closer to the gods and goddesses. 
  • Additionally, Greeks built white houses because white reflects more sunlight making the temperature cooler. Wow, these people were really smart even during the pre-aircondition era.

We didn't stay long in Athens because we spent more days in Ioaninna (next blog post!). So although I was so excited to visit the islands, we didn't get to visit Mykonos or Santorini :( Maybe next time. On the third day, we went to the ancient city, Delphi instead.

A picture is worth a thousand words so this is how I describe Delphi.

If I could replace the word "beautiful," it would be Delphi. Really, this place is so *no words* but AMAZING. I felt like I was warped to another planet. More pictures..

 Temple of Apollo - another temple on top of a mountain dedicated to a God.
Treasury (in modern times, the bank)
View of the Temple of Apollo and the Theater
Stadium. A little about history.. Delphi was where the Pythian Games were held wherein Olympic games were held in Olympia. This is the stadium they played their sports back then. Just an interesting trivia.. During the ancient times, women were not allowed to watch these games and were killed if caught. 

A model of the ancient Delphi. See where the treasury, temple and theater are? (I took this picture in the museum.)

This is one place you can't miss in Greece. You get to see the ruins, enjoy the mountainous view and learn a little bit about ancient Greece. You leave this place smarter, haha.

So.. that's it for Athens and Delphi. Look forward for Part 2 in Ioannina!

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