Thursday, July 13, 2017

Greece Trip Part 2

We woke up the next day and decided to go visit the travel agency to get a plan for the week. We had specific things in mind that we wanted to experience while we were Greece. Who knows if I would ever be able to get back here again?

We were delighted to meet our travel agent. Super sweet and helpful! She asked us to come back that evening and she would give us her ideas. So we had a whole day to go and see some sights.

Vern and Ethel wanted to take us down to the southern tip of the mainland of Greece. We stopped on the way and had a not-so-o great lunch at a restaurant on the beach. The Aegean Sea was so blue and beautiful. I put my feet in it and laid on the "sand" which was big hunks of rock and granite and even terracotta.
 Jackie, not really enjoying her shrimp.

 Me, walking on the beach while lunch was being prepared.

 Our waiter was not very friendly, which was strange because we only had two that were not. The others were amazing!

 Vern and Ethel sitting in the sunshine.

 So beautiful!

 The biggest ice plant I have ever seen in my life! It was everywhere.

I grabbed a few pieces of beach rocks so I could have some in my travel collection (you know, since I am a world traveler now. Ha, ha). Granite, marble and something else I couldn't identify.

We ended up 70 KM south of Athens and visited our first ruins, which was the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion. It was crazy to think how old it was. 

Lots of naval battles were fought below us.

 The Aloe Vera plants were MASSIVE!

 Loved the vegetation.

 Again, lots of battles were fought down in this inlet.

 Graffiti from the 1800's.

 Jackie in front of the Temple of Poseidon.

We all got pretty sunburned while touring the temple. There was a gift shop and Jackie and decided we were going to bring home souvenirs after all for our immediate family. Originally, we weren't going to, because we chose to have one bag apiece as just our carry on, so we knew we weren't going to have a lot of room. What we chose had to be very small. But it was fun shopping for them.

On our way back we followed and eventually passed this guy in a van that was so stuffed with crud he could barely see out of it. It was the worse hoarding I had ever seen. It was very dangerous. As we passed him I managed to get a few pictures and a video.

The traffic is so dangerous there, you have no idea how unsafe this is! The driver is in there somewhere!

We went and met up with the travel agent and she gave us an amazing plan! Four days worth of tours for only $250 apiece. This was including a private tour guide for two days. One for the Acropolis and one for the day to show us around Corinth. Very cheap!

Of course, I was hungry so we risked our lives to cross the highway to the marina. I can't tell you how scary that was! As I was standing on the tiny concrete medium strip in the middle of a six lanes of traffic (going very fast), I kept thinking to myself as I was waiting for the light, "I can't believe I am voluntarily standing here."  I will explain more in a bit...

We ended up going to a very America place called TGIF. This is when we encountered our first taste of Grecian cats. See that cat right there laying in the planter?...

We prayed for our food and boom, he was at our table trying to snatch our food!

Weird cat! The Greeks really like their cats. They have strays everywhere. Yet the funny thing is, is we didn't seeing any roadkill. Not one dead cat on the road, did I see in all our travels. Not one dead anything. They even feed their strays. All along the streets of the neighborhoods you hear fighting cats and see little tin foil bowls with cut up hot dogs for their food. There was cat scat everywhere. You really needed to watch where you stepped.

After having dinner at the marina, we went and looked at the HUGE yachts. We took our life in our own hands again as we crossed that highway back to our apartment. You have a red light that tells you to cross halfway. The problem is that "half way" is a thin narrow 2 foot by 10 feet long strip of concrete. There are cars going 50-80 miles an hour inches in front of you and behind you. I was so afraid the backpack Jackie was carrying would get hooked on a mirror and she would be ripped into the street and killed before my very eyes. You just sort of stand there and pray for 2-3 minutes until the light finally changes. This was by far the most stressful part of being in Greece. It seemed that people did not follow traffic laws. They parked on the sidewalks, they blocked people in, they practically ran you over if they could . Speed limits weren't enforced and motorcycles were allowed to go anywhere they wanted. Their favorite thing to do was drive in between the buses and cares and make their own lanes. They didn't where helmets and rarely did you see a blinker being used. They made Portlanders look polite!

We got back to the apartment and slept pretty good that night. Part 3 coming soon!

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