Posted by: rngerlach | June 24, 2007

Greece Found a Way to My Heart and Soul!

I sit here in a little Greek village in the town of Agios Gordos on the Island of Corfu in Greece on our last day here thinking of a great spot to live right down the street.  I fell in love with this country like no other country.  One thing about a two month backpacking tour through Europe is that you’re hit with many unexpected twists and turns that keep you on your toes continuously.  The places are only a portion of what makes it special, its really about the people who inhabit the land that you visit.  The Greek people have been most gracious to the travellers as we are a big source of their local economy.  However, they live life to the fullest yet so simple.  We began with 3 days in Athens then came to the island of Corfu to visit the Pink Palace resort for backpackers.  Brace yourselves for a long post; grab a coffee, cigarette, kick your feet up, whichever is your preference.  Here we go…

Athens:

Our journey to Athens began in Brindisi Italy where we were due to depart on a ferry @ 5pm on a Sunday. We arrived on an overnight train, no sleep, without a shower feeling grungy yet full of excitement knowing we were heading to the beautiful land of Greece.  We arrived to the port after walking 20 minutes across the small Italian city on a hot day.  Surprise!  Our reservations never posted, so we needed to access the internet to get the confirmation number. Our mission was to go back to town and find internet access. By this time, siesta time arrived in the small Italian city on a Sunday afternoon. No place was open, we walked the city in  scorching heat with our backpacks getting oh so much heavier.  We must have sweat out five lbs.  Another mental break point, remain calm!  All turned out well as we had to buy deck seats at the port then upgrade onboard to a room as we needed a shower and sleep. In respect of your time reading this I will keep it short and finish this amazing story when I get back home, makes for a good dinnertime story, hit me up for In N Out or Cheesecake Factory!  So we arrived in Athens the next day around 1pm and met up with our dearest friend Tyana and her travel buddies, Ricky and Mindy.  We embarked a day on the city going immediately to the Acropolis and were blown away by the Parthenon and all of the marble stones layering the Acropolis.  We then noticed a hill to the north of us from the Acropolis, our next climbing adventure would take place there the next day.  We closed out the night sitting on our balcony watching the beautiful Athenian sunset drinking Boutari, Greek wine.  The next day was full of walking, we covered nearly 10km of the city seeing some of the ancient rouins and searching for any shady spot we could find.  We then embarked on our climb to the highest point in Athens which took nearly 30 minutes in the basking afternoon heat.  Upon reaching the top, I lost my breath as my eyes captured the most beautiful sight they’d ever been exposed to.  Looking down at the Acropolis and the sprawling city of Athens which was much larger than we had expected.  We could see out about 10 miles to the sea, Olympic Stadium, and the neat layout of one of the most unique cities in this world.  This topped off our Athens journey very respectfully as I will never forget that sight.   Next stop, Pink Palace in Corfu, Lets Party like the Greeks!

Corfu:

Yet another overnight journey and arriving at the Pink Palace at 8am.  Extremely exhausted, yet awake enough to know we arrived in paradise.  We were greeted with shots of Ouzo, Greek specialty liquor.  Whew, that woke us up, then we were given breakfast and ready to party.  Our room balcony overlooked the Ionian sea, not much more we could ask for.  The first day consisted of soaking up some much needed rays on the beach and bathing in the crystal clear blue water of the Ionian Sea.  That night, we were given a taste of how to party like Greeks as we did an Ouzo circle, got plates smashed over our head, and danced to Greek music.  Yes, we had plates smashed over our head, not so bad actually as they’re just made of clay.  The second day, we ventured on the Kayak safari and got the best back workout of the trip. We kayaked up the coast, went cliff jumping, wine tasting, then arrived to Aphrodites Island where the locals party twice a year. We climbed to the top and did a Moonshine ceremony in the name of Aphrodites, Goddess of Love!  The nude beaches also gave us a great sight as we kayaked up and down the coast.  Then our third day here was by far the grand finale as we did the booze cruise which was the best five hours of my life. We began with the shotgunning and body shots then went cliff jumping naked, and more cliff jumping in batcaves which was the best experience of the booze cruise.  There’s nothing like jumping off a cliff in a bat cave, I finally found Batman!!!  The day of boozing could not stop there as we had the grand Toga party Saturday night.  My body will refrain from any alcohol for several days now, as I must get my sanity back. 

In review, Greece was without a doubt the best place I’ve ever visited, especially the islands, I have so many more stories to tell that just can’t find their way into this blog.  I thank the Greek people for being so gracious and having such a passion for the simple life.  I promise to return to Greece and live on an island for a year.  I made this promise to Giorgo and Maria who were the most complete couple I’ve ever met. They have the life I could only wish for as restaurant owners.  I also met Dylan who led the Kayak safari who is from Canada and used to be a consultant in New York and London. Now he is a teacher and traveller, his passion for culture, travel, and life has inspired me even further for Buenos Aires in the fall.  I also made a promise to my new buddies Chenzo and Paul from Toronto to visit them. They own their own nightclub in Toronto so they promised accomodation as long as I make it their way.  Not enough can be said about our vacation away from our vacation, as this was much needed from our mental breakdowns back in central Europe.  Backpacking is not easy, but it is a rewarding experience and Greece was the perfect get-away to collect our thoughts.  Two words to end this blog in my summary of Greece which will be my first tatoo, Dolce Vida!  (The Good Life)

Next Stop, Viva Italia!

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Responses

  1. wow… that sounds absolutely amazing man!!! Nicely done on the plate smashing =)

    Enjoy Italia my friend!

  2. Nice entry my friend! I am pretty much right there with you on your adventures. This is life that you’ve learned and moving to Buenos Aires is the life that we’ve chosen. Greece is the one place that I really regret not visiting in Europe, but simplicity is something we should practice wherever we are in the wourld! Much respect and safe travels, we’re really enjoying your entries here back at home.

    I don’t doubt that you’ll find an amazing culture in Italia, if u get the chance in your stay in Italia, check out Assissi… the most beautiful cobblestone , warm, classical and magical village/town you’ll find!

    ciao

  3. WOW to be in the birthplace of philosophy, science, and democracy I can only imagine the emotion you felt walking in the foot steps of Plato, Homer, and countless others founders of civilization. I can’t wait to see the pictures!


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