Just Greeking!

Tripoto
6th May 2018
Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Stinyamas!

That was the only sort of preparation I had done before the trip to Greece, the word translating to 'cheers'. Thus, before the trip had even started, we were all in the right mind space in order to enjoy it to the fullest.

A bit of a background context to the vacation: it had been over 3 months that I had been waiting for this particular vacation to Greece. Slogging it out in college had really taken its toll on me and with the summers approaching, all I could imagine was the picturesque sights of the European country. One could argue that such an exotic destination is to be visited with a spouse or a 'special friend', but to me, the vacation was more of letting go of my inhibitions and rediscovering myself. That's the thing I love about vacations, they allow you to be whoever you want to be with no sense of responsibility and social pressures that we are subjected to in our daily schedules.

Photo of Just Greeking! 1/2 by Dhawal Pagay

Days passed at an agonizingly slow rate and I couldn't help conceal my excitement to myself, it shone through my gleaming smile whenever someone happened to nudge the topic of the summers in general.

Finally came the 6th of May and everyone was super excited as we were Greece-bound. Flying via the Emirates for the first time was a great experience although the Indians on board weren't being too polite with the air hostesses, a real disappointment to all others on board. The flight was via Dubai where we had a layover for 3 hours or so and then, Athens.

Photo of Just Greeking! 2/2 by Dhawal Pagay
Sunset at Athens.

With temperatures of about 20 degrees, we landed in Athens at 19:55 local time, just in time to capture the stunning sunset. It's like the sun never sets in the European countries during the summers ( I do not want to get into the technicalities as to why this phenomenon occurs ), and couple that to the coastline of Greece which comprised of a stunning landscape, picturesque sights all across the land were almost inevitable.

Our accommodation? 47 luxury suites, which was basically these apartments that travelers use as accommodation.

47 Luxury Suites

Photo of Athens, Greece by Dhawal Pagay

According to me, this is a very convenient way to travel, especially to Europe. Being on a constrained budget, homestays allow you to save up on your accommodation and thus you can invest a little more in food, travel and maybe shopping if that's your thing.

The Aegean Sky.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Later that night, we visited the Acropolis and then headed to the street adjacent to it ( which basically would lead one to Plaka) and had some amazing food at this restaurant called the 'Yard'. While in Greece, you have to try out the 'Souvlaki', which is a Greek dish that is essentially skewered chicken with a salad. It's a different take on the more conventional 'Kebabs' that we Indians are so accustomed off. We traveled back home via the Metro, in order to absorb the culture of the city. With tickets costing 1.40 Euros and systems akin to that of India, the Greeks too follow the multiple colored line systems with stations like 'Monastiraki' and 'Syntagma' being the main stations that act as linking bridges to the other lines in the city.

The Roads leading to Athens.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Athens-

There was a lot to cover for us in Athens and as per our itinerary, we had decided that we would visit the attractions that are outside Athens and would eventually narrow it down to the Acropolis. Thus, having rested for the night, we packed our backpacks and headed to a famous tourist destination, the Corinth Canal.

Prior to the visit, I myself did not know too much about this man-made engineering marvel. However, after visiting the Canal, I decided that it was worth mentioning to all you readers out there.

Corinth Canal-

Corinth Canal

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

About 6.5 km stretch of land with a depth of 26m at its minimum, the Corinth Canal is a famous tourist destination located outside the city of Athens. This man-made canal connects the Saracean part of the Sea to that of the Aegean Sea.

Sculpture at Corinth.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Ancient Corinth is the most visited archaeological site after that of Athens and hence it’s expensive to rent or buy a house. One of the richest cities in the areas and houses the Temple of Apollo - The Acrocorinth.

Acrocorinth-

Acrocorinth

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

In the Christian scripture, this city has religious significance as being addressed by St. Paul in the famous, 'The First Letter Of St. Paul To The Corinthians'. An overview of the same being, St. Paul had visited Athens circa 51 AD and had continued to the seaport city of Corinth, establishing a Christian community in the city. However, he soon found out that members of the city had become divided and had started identifying themselves as disciples of various religious leaders. This letter was thus addressed to the citizens of the city, as a plea for the lost Christian unity. One could almost sense the spirituality in the area which, to say the least, had a positive influence on my outlook towards life in general.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay
Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Ruins at Corinth.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

Tolo-

From there, we headed to the seaside town of Tolo. Comprising a humbling population whose economy is based on seasonal restaurants- they operate as per the times of the year where tourist influx is at its peak. We dined at this place called 'Maria’s', whose friendly staff happily divulged us in their traditional cultures. Apparently, the Greeks eat this certain kind of bread along with various dips mainly of garlic and olive oil and these spices were relished by us, who by then, had started to miss the spice in the bland food. The grilled chicken and the smoked salmon served there were exquisitely done and add to that the scenic views of the beachside, there wasn't much more one could ask for!

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

But when in Greece, there are no limits to human desires. And just as we thought that there was nothing more Athens had to offer, we made our way into Nafplio, a seaport town that extends up to the Argolic Gulf.

Nafplio-

The small town in the Peloponnese region of Greece maintains a very traditional architectural style with colorful buildings and houses that are inspired by the Venetians. The jetty area of the town is simply stunning, with the various colors all intricately poised upon each other so as to coherently exist on the canvas of blue. It is a must visit for all those of you who are photographic buffs, it is nothing short of heaven if there ever was one.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay
Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

As the ambient light started to dim and all of us tried to process all the places we had visited, we stopped at another tourist destination which boasted of the Roman architectural prowess- the amphitheater. The amphitheater at Epidaurus compels us to marvel at the technological advancements made by the Greeks back in their day- one can not appreciate the expertise of these master builders until they actually witness the phenomena themselves! It was almost scary as to how clearly one could hear the acoustics when seated in the stands.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay

With a 2 hour drive back to the hotel at Athens, it was time for us settle in bed and reflect upon the stunning locations that we were subjected too.

Photo of Just Greeking! by Dhawal Pagay
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