Since we were flying out early the next morning this is our last day in Greece. Su really wanted to do the Delphi tour. I wasn’t so into it but it was an all day thing and I’d hate to miss a day with my girls so I agreed. The great thing about traveling with the girls I travel with is if someone wants to do something and someone doesn’t, we can go our separate ways. We don’t have to do everything together. If you’re going to travel with someone you haven’t traveled with before, I recommend doing a short stateside trip before you go oversees with them. It will be an expensive and tough lesson to learn in a different country.
From our research, the highlight for many people who went to Greece was renting a personal taxi for the trip to Delphi so I loosened my purse string (which I gladly open for food) and we all chipped in for one. Su shopped around and got us a great deal (I can’t stress enough how much money you save going offseason). They say the trip is personalized for you and on your schedule but it’s not really. They pretty much have a set route, the only thing that really differs is how long you spend at a place. If you want to stay longer, you can. But while it was a pretty set itinerary, it was still a lot of fun and worth doing. Our driver showed up at 8am, Lina woke up early to go watch the sunrise at the Acropolis. Since we went to bed when the sun was almost coming up, none of the rest of us were doing that.
I think our driver’s name was Paul. He was extremely nice and had been a cab driver for 22 years so very knowledgeable of the area. The company we went thru was family owned and he works for his uncle (but his cousin really runs the show, she keeps them all in line). I can’t remember the name of the company but Su will know if you need that info in the future. The coolest thing about Paul, he was Brian Williams personal driver for 2 weeks during the Olympics. We showered him with questions about that. Yes, Brian Williams is as cool and funny and down to earth as he comes across.
Since it was early the 3 of us in the back quickly fell asleep as soon as we got out of Athens city limits. Lina sat in the front and her and Paul chatted til we hit our rest stop. They have great rest areas in Greece. You can get food, snacks and drinks. Nothing really appealed to me but Lina bought a dessert for the 4 of us to share and it was my favorite dessert of the entire trip so I had to wax poetic about it.
It had a very small cake like bottom layer, then a chocolate mouse, then a white mousse then more cake, then a frosting and the chocolate that was sprinkled on it was unsweetened which kept the dessert from being too sweet. I dived right into my side as you can see. It took all I had not to eat every one else’s portion. I had to take a photo because it was so good.
Once we got back on the road the back seat woke up. We just needed a little power nap to get us going. Actually, they needed a power nap, me, unless I’m driving, I always fall asleep on road trips. My dad used to joke that he could drop us off at the mall and we wouldn’t be able to find our way home because we would all fall asleep on the way there. The mall was 15 minutes from our house, LOL. In our defense, we moved cross-country a few times and always by car, usually packed to the gils. Sleep was our only refuge. I’m much better at staying awake in a car than I used to be, probably because I have to drive now.
Our next stop was the Monastery of Osiou Louka. Paul gave us some history of the place and then set us free to wander. It was a beautiful place. So serene. I love that it wasn’t crowded. Nancy’s favorite spots are the monasteries. She says she could easily spend all day at them. It really was quite beautiful.
Less than half an hour later Paul pulled over so we could take a couple of pics of Arahova, Delphi is on the other side of it. Arahova is a big ski town in the winter and driving thru it definitely feels that way. The buildings were cute, the roads narrow, lots of fun shops that we would have loved to browse in if we had the time. A very Swiss Chalet feel to the town.
Apparently Delphi is famous for their Oracle. I didn’t know that, I hadn’t really done much research on it. I like to research where to eat, leave the history to the other gals. Of the 4 of us, only Lina actually saw the Oracle. Su and Nancy forgot to look for it and I had probably turned around at that point.
Su and Nancy ran up the theater steps, I took the pathway up (big surprise, LOL).
The Temple of Apollo is pretty big, if you look closely on the left side, there are people standing there for size comparison. Would have been amazing to see the original structure.
While the rest of the girls went all the way to the top, I went back to the cab to rest. We’ve been living on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, I was exhausted. Paul was quite surprised to see me back so soon. He says it normally takes people a couple of hours to go thru. He should see how fast I go thru a museum. I told him to go back to talking with his friends, the other gals will be awhile and I curled up into a ball in the back seat and took a nap.
Once the girls came back we made one more stop at the Temple of one of those A goddesses. I chatted with Paul while the ladies made the trek. Unfortunately my camera battery had died so there are no pics from it. Paul was showing me how the various temples and landmarks made a triangle but from different points in Greece, way before google earth. That was pretty fascinating. I’m amazed at what was accomplished over a thousand years ago without technology. We stopped at a family owned restaurant for lunch. This was our view with lunch.
I don’t know what this plant is, some kind of flowering cactus with lots of thorns but they had them in pots all around and they were beautiful. There is water out in the distance in case you can’t tell from the image. Because we’ve been eating so much seafood lately, we were drawn to the meat platter, well, not Lina, our vegetarian.
This was a platter for 2. The three of us couldn’t finish it. None of us bothered with the chicken (we’re all dark meat gals) but the pork was divine. So juicy but crispy on the edges, loaded in flavor. I also really enjoyed the sausage. We ordered another salad swimming in dressing. We really need to remember to order the dressing on the side! It was a lovely meal tho in a beautiful location.
After lunch, it was time to head back. I think we all stayed awake for the ride home, I was refreshed, LOL. They actually grow a lot of cotton there and you can see it all along the sides of the road. Paul said that there are actually people who gather the cotton on the road (that most likely fell from trucks) and sell it. Smart!
Lina found a place for us to go to dinner, once we all finally got ready. 360 Degrees had a great website and awesome reviews. Unfortunately, others had the same idea we did and it was packed. BTW, we were right next to the building and I still asked the cute cops where it was located. It’s a good thing I did, we were going to walk right past it. 🙂 Since it was too loud for us inside and too cold for us on the roof we snapped a couple of pictures with the Acropolis behind us and went somewhere else to eat.
We just ate at an outdoor cage in Monastiraki Square. For our last meal there, it was nothing to write home about but I believe the ladies got some wine out of the deal and it wasn’t a very expensive meal on our part.
Afterwards we went back to 360 Degrees and it had cleared out so we went to the bar to have a few drinks and enjoy our last night in Greece. They had a passion fruit martini which I totally loved. The bartender is one of those bartenders who takes his job very seriously. Everything is just so. He was very exacting. It was fun to watch him make drinks. I was waiting for him to flip a bottle over his head. We were watching mix up some weird shot concoction and it turns out they were for us, the DJ had bought us a round. Have I mentioned how much I love Greece?
Unfortunately, we had an early flight out and were leaving our apartment at 5am so we only had a couple of drinks and the shot before we called it a night. If we had found this bar earlier, we would have spent more time there. It was a lot of fun, great music and it’s a given that the waiters are cute.
I think we got back to our apartment sometime after 1 and needed to leave at 5am. Course we still had to pack. If you’re gonna play, you gotta pay. Thank goodness I can sleep on planes!
If you ever get a chance to go to Greece, jump at the opportunity. I’ve had a lot of wonderful trips in my life but this was by far my favorite one. I loved the people, I loved the food. If you go thru airbnb you can get great deals on apartments and if you don’t want to go thru that route, the hotels we stayed at were all extremely reasonable. In the states they don’t really notice if you have more than 2 in a room but the places in Europe are so small, you have to tell them so you do pay extra if you have more in your room but we’re splitting 4 ways.
The waiters said they knew we were American right away because we smiled. The stigma of the ugly American hasn’t reached Greece. I guess because those of us who are in Greece are thrilled to be there.
Pickpocketers do run rampant, but there are signs everywhere, the cops always told us to be careful and on the metro they have announcements telling people to be aware, as long as your mindful of that, you’ll be fine. We took the metro at all times of day and never felt uncomfortable. Well, other than the old man who wanted to try to strike up a convo with Su and talk about the end of the world in a crowded train. That was funny, maybe not to Su.
The riots that everyone was worried about are really controlled demonstrations. There are a handful of people who show up to make chaos and that’s where all of the news footage comes from. Other than the transportation inconvenience, we’d never know it was happening.
I will definitely be coming back to Greece. I feel like there’s so much I missed. It might be a few years and a few more vacations to other destinations but Greece will forever hold a piece of my heart.
I end our Greek adventures with the two last pictures taken in Greece which are some of my favorite pictures of the entire trip because it shows how goofy we are. Why Su thought she could wrestle with me I have no idea. I know her kryptonite, am twice her weight and have 5 brothers.
What I love most is this pic was taken less than a minute later. We are two peas in a pod! Do we look good at 2am or what? Can’t wait for our next adventure!