I am super tired right now so I am sorry if this is short or does not make sense. I was on a cruise in Greece all day. We woke up at about 5am this morning to take all our different forms of transportation to the ferry. The ferry was supposed to leave at 8am, so we were told to be there no later than 7:45am. So of course we were super early and the ferry did not leave until about 8:30am, but it was worth the wait. We took the ferry to three different Greek Isles. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Honestly I think it was the best day of the trip yet. I feel like each day keeps getting better and better! So the ferry ride was about two hours to the first island. The first one was called Porus ( I do not know about the spelling) and everything about it was breath taking. The houses on the hills with the blue doors and the green vegetation against the clear blue water. There were boats everywhere lining the coast where the stores were uniquely placed. There were cobble stone streets with beautiful staircases leading up to some unknown place. There were family owned bakeries and fruit markets and vendors everyone trying to bring you to their store. Everything was wonderful and peaceful there. I love it! We came to a small bakery and I splurged...I got Baklava...and oh my goodness it was amazing! It was super cheap and I did not want to stop eating it. Real Greek Baklava!!!! So good, oh my goodness, I loved it! That alone made my day, but it kept getting better. We only stayed on this first island for about 45 minutes which was a bummer, but better than nothing. Then we got back on the ferry and headed to the next island. This entire ride we were fed our lunch. It was fun because they did not tell us what we were having, so we never really knew what we were eating. Lol. First they brought out a pile of shredded salad with a huge slab of raw fish on top. I think it was salmon, but I do not know. I assumed this would be our entire meal so I ate slowly ( well I eat slow anyway, but I tried to be smart with my meal). It was so delicious! A couple of the people in our group did not like the fish so much, but I really enjoyed it. They did not give us drinks, you had to pay for them. After they cleared everyone's plate in the entire dining hall, they brought us another plate. The second plate had potatoes and some kind of meat on it that we thought was probably pork. Everything was so tender! The meat basically melted in your mouth! I am not a huge pork fan, but this was good! And the potatoes were probably the best potatoes I have ever had! After that they brought us a delicious lemon dessert. It was all so good and completely filling!
When we were all finished the ferry had docked and we arrived at Hydra. This was my absolute favorite Isle!!! It was so beautiful! They had donkeys and houses on hills with blue doors (again) and the water was so clear you could see straight down to the bottom. We walked around and there was just so much to see and do. Angela and I got bombarded by people trying to sell us donkey rides, we really wanted to do it... it was so tempting. However we sadly refused and continued on to the beach. It was so beautiful, I am so glad I wore a long flowing skirt today because my bathing fit under it so nicely. There were just five of us who went to the beach together so we took turns going in the water and watching the stuff. It was a tiny little beach. No sand. It was on the side of the hill with slippery rocks everywhere. We had to climb down a bunch of steps and then climb a ladder into the water. It was so great! The water was a lot colder than I expected, but warmed up once we jumped in. It was so cool being able to look through the water and see our feet so clearly and the rocks and the small sporadic fish swimming by. There was so nice and relaxing. I was able to float so much easier in this water, I think because of all the salt. We just swam around and kept reminding ourselves that we were swimming in the Mediterranean! Wow I still cannot believe I got that opportunity. After we left the beach we walked around and dried off for awhile looking at different shops and just enjoying the island. My mission was to find a floppy hat. I really wanted a floppy hat from Greece to wear around the island and just Greece in general. I also really wanted a side bag so that I had some type of purse to carry my stuff in. Chelsea got one for 8 euros which was really cute and cheap. Angela found me the perfect little floppy hat... it was white with blue beads around the top round part and it was perfectly floppy... oh I just loved it!! The only problem was the price... not too bad for a person who is not as frugal as I am. It was 10 euros and I wanted to get it for 8, but I do not know how to barter... so I was not able to get my B-E-A-UTIFUL floppy hat. By that point we had to head back to the ship because we were only about to stay on this island for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I wanted to cry when I left this island. Everything about it was just amazing! There was even this cute little girl when we were leaving the beach that was so precious. She came when we were packing up our stuff and she looked like such a little grown-up. She was all by herself and she brought out her towel, set it out to sit on, positioned her shoes, laid down her beach bag, and ate a little snack by the beach. It was precious! She was probably about six. Oh I just love this culture so much!
After we left this island, we were on the ferry for quite awhile on our way to the last island of our journey. We hung out and took pictures and relaxed to the moving of the boat. It was amazing watching the water change from glistening blue-green to a softer crystal blue- white as the ferry sped away from the lovely island. The last island was named Aegina. It was nice, but it was more city-like. It had a similar appearance as the first island, but it was larger like a city. It was like a beautiful Greek city. Sadly by this time I was so exhausted that I could hardly enjoy the isle... but I did! We found a tiny little beach that had sand and water to stick our feet in. The ferry was so hot in the trip to this last island that all we wanted to do was jump in the water... but we didn't. After sticking our feet in the water we walked around and looked in stores. Oh my mission of my floppy hat still existed! I wanted Joel to help me barter for a cheaper hat because I think I may not be demanding enough and I fold too easily. Long story short, I found a fun floppy for less than I had even wanted for the first one AND I did not have to barter! Pretty cool, huh? I was a little unsure about it at first because I had liked the other one so much, but it grew on me and now I love it so much better!! Not long after my beautiful floppy hat joined our excursion, we decided we should eat. I was not feeling so great and I think it had to do with my effort to make gold fishies my meal to save money or maybe I just need more water. Oh well it got better because Joel really wanted this one Greek dish so we went to a traditional Greek restaurant and ate an amazing Greek meal! I really like trying new things that are not completely known... The waiter guy was so sweet, I kept asking what this one dish was and I could not understand what he was saying so he took us all back to the kitchen and showed us all the different fish they had. He pulled out buckets of fish and told us what they were. Then we went back to our table and ordered. The funny thing was that showing us all the fish still did not answer my question about the dish on the menu. Lol. Well the thing Joel wanted was some kind of fried cheese and so he knew what he was getting. Chelsea, Melody, and I ended up splitting two dishes. One was the fried cheese and the other one ( which we did not know what it was when we ordered it ) was fried eggplant. They both ended up being delicious! Melody did not like the eggplant so much and Chelsea thought it was ok, I loved it! hehe. The cheese dish was so good too... as most of you know, I love cheese! I do not know what kind of cheese it was, but it tasted liked feta with the consistency of Mozzarella. It was very very very good. He also brought us bread which we thought was free, but ended up costing us in the end. It was yummy though. It was crunchy bread with two dips: tuna and olives. I really liked the tuna, it was cool because I knew it was fresh because we were right by the sea. After our meal we headed straight back to the ferry for the last stretch of our cruise... the return to the dock. It was sad to leave all the beauty of the Greek Isles and all I could think about is how much I want to return. It is so romantic there, a perfect honeymoon place... just a thought. Hehe.
I am going to have to wrap this up, I am so tired and I need to shower and go to bed or something... I cannot think straight anymore. I thought about many of you, wishing you could be there with me and share in the breath taking Greek air and the pure white houses that powered the hills and the smooth cobblestone that peeked over the coast almost wishing to jump into the crystal clear water. Awwww I just loved it! I know I know this is only my second country and I am going to Italy in a couple days, but right now Greece is my favorite. I just love everything about it! Even the graffiti is pretty. Hehe. Well anyway I am excited about this trip because I get to see so much and do so much and I do not think I will ever get the opportunity to do this again. I know I am going to enjoy each place I go because there is so much culture in Europe. There is seems to be so much pride and I really admire how much people love and appreciate the place they live in. I know this is not universal from everyone who lives here or anywhere, but I feel like there is a lot more here then I have seen before. I am excited to continue to experience cultures from so many different people and areas!
Oh I forgot to say after we got off our cruise and headed back to our hostel, we met a couple from Australia. They turned out to be Christians and we talked to them for about 25 minutes as we boarded buses and metros. It was a lot of fun and really a blessing to be able to really connect with other people that believe in the same God as us. Oh the guy was a pastor so yeah, it was cool.
Ok but seriously I have to go, I love you all so much!! Tomorrow I am going to Corinth, to see what Paul saw. To be where Paul was. I am super excited! This is probably one of the only things I was so demanding on because I really really wanted to be there and open my eyes to who Paul was talking to in 1 and 2 Corinthians. We are also hopefully going to the jail where Peter and Paul were, but I did not know when. I think we might also go to Delphi tomorrow... a lot is up in the air. All I know is that we do not have to wake up as early in the morning which is nice.
Thanks for reading my blog, I will post again soon!
Love always, Danni