Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Greece Part 7: The Last Day

Photo by Marc Eaton    

    Welcome to the most depressing day of our trip. Before I go on to sound like some sort of ungrateful brat, let me admit that the day did get better. We left the ship early in the morning. Everyone was dragging along, except for Luke who was still living off his inebriated-ness from the night and kept singing “Party Rockers” to all our hung-over faces.  I, regrettably, didn’t get to see any of my new friends off, and at that point I was so tired that I didn’t really care.  After making our way through the crowded cruise ship terminal, we found our bus and once again began riding through the streets of Athens.

If I'm sharing this photo with you, I obviously have no shame.
Photo by Marc Eaton
    At the beginning of the ride, Luke went from the extreme obnoxiousness that made me want to hit him, too completely passed-out asleep. We rode about 40 minutes from the grimy streets of Athens to a little town that was a breath of fresh air compared to what I was expecting. Our tour guide went on to tell us about how it was a place where more locals of Greece vacationed. She even mentioned the fact that many a Greek television star lived there, but based on the Greek television I’d seen, I remained unimpressed.

    However the town really was great. Far less of a place trying to impress American tourists and more of a place that acted as a Myrtle Beach of Athens (for all you, East Coast Americans out there). We eventually reached our hotel, which was well equipped with a rooftop bar, pool, and air conditioning. After lying around and feeling sorry for ourselves, we all decided to go to the beach and find a place to eat lunch. All of that sounded unappealing to me at the time, but I was also determined to not let my last day of vacation be a total failure. We crossed the busy streets (which if you weren’t careful, was a death wish), and made our way to a little outdoor café. The adults were all 10 times more chipper than the younger folk of the group. While they ordered copious amounts of classic Greek cuisine and beer, I barely touched my chicken pasta and tried not to fall asleep at the table.

    All I really wanted to do at that point was get in the water, then lay on the hot sand. Well the convenient placement of the restaurant allowed me to literally step off the patio, walk about 50 meters across the sand, and reach the beautifully clear water. After wading around a bit, I collapsed down onto the sand, letting the sun hit me like a laser. It was perfection.
Photo by Marc Eaton

    This little beach definitely had its quirks. Men from Africa, southeast Asia, and other non-Greek countries, walked up and down the beach either carrying huge poster boards covered in cheap jewelry, or what looked like a whole closet’s worth of clothing on their backs. They approached me several times asking in their broken English or Greek if I was interested in their fine products. I would simply respond: όχι ευχαριστώ. No thank you.

    After hours of sitting in the sun and observing the calm beach life, we all went back to sit in our hotel rooms. Feeling rather daring and bold, I decided to sit topless on the balcony of our room. I mean why not? Everyone else in Greece is doing it. 

     After, yet another, uninspiring hotel dinner, our group decided to go walk around the town before it got dark. Following our vacation-long theme of YOLO, I decided to wear wedge heels. It was worth it, even after the third time I almost fell over in them.
Photo by Marc Eaton
    The town was quite fetching if you ask me. There were tons and tons of vacationing Greeks walking around, not giving a damn about any American tourists that were there. While on one side of the street we saw an outdoor band doing surprisingly good covers of songs by The Cure and The Smiths, we witnessed, on the other side, a large group of people waiting outside a church for a bride and groom to emerge. We decided to wait and watch as well. Sadly after about 10 minutes without even seeing a glimpse, we gave up on experiencing a little bit of a big, fat Greek wedding and moved on.

    As we strolled through the town, we watched Greek teenagers socializing at cafés (something we had never seen in Athens), and people out for walks with their families. We decided that we had to stop at a trendy little yogurt and gelato shop to get our last authentic taste of the classic European treats. After that Luke and I split off from the group to go walk along the beach as dusk was upon us. The beach was still busy with late night joggers, people sitting around at beachside cafés, and what seemed to be a high school party with clusters of awkward teenagers standing around in the sand as a D.J. blasted house music.

    When we got back to the hotel, we sat on the rooftop, overlooking the now lit up city. For a while we chatted about the trip and then decided to go to bed around 11:00 in order to sleep a little before our 2:45am wakeup call. After what seemed like no time at all, we were up and moving to get on the bus and head to the airport. 
Goodbye, beautiful Greece.
Photo by Marc Eaton
   After 12 hours total of flying (which felt like a total blur) I some how stumbled out of the Roanoke Airport, got into a car, and woke up pulled into the driveway of our house.  I immediately wanted to go back to Europe.

    The past days of reminiscing about our vacation have led, as you can see, to nearly 6,500 words of tedious recollection of the trip. For me it’s been like therapy and has helped ease the pain of AVD (After Vacation Depression). I’m already looking into various kinds of tours to take part in, in the coming years. I also definitely have my eye on study abroad options at university. I am nothing but grateful and filled with happiness that I was able to go to Greece and would highly recommend it to any considering European travel, especially in tour groups.

    And now, I must actually think about something to write about for my next blog post. Give me some time and it will come to me. But for the time being, σας ευχαριστώ for reading.


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