Greece: yassas

by jenjenk on May 10, 2011

Oia, Santorini, Greece

“Hello”, Greece! This is one place where I never imagined myself to be – cost, time, and effort…and all the other excuses I gave myself.  Then, one evening at the end of last year, I met up with my new friend, the talented Heather of Heather Christo for drinks.  She painted such an amazing picture of Greece that the wheels in my head started to turn.

It started to get me thinking about what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday.  Without a doubt, traveling is one of my passions so why not travel somewhere I haven’t been to and didn’t really imagine myself ever seeing? Somehow the stars aligned and I found myself ticketed to Athens, along with my three girlfriends, Christy, Erin, and Fuyumi.

My Girls and partners in crime: Fuyumi, Christy, Erin

Beyond the incredible views, I really had no expectations of Greece. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy Greek food [truthfully, I haven’t had a lot of it up to this point] or what there was to do there besides looking at old ruins.  I had intended to research the heck out of Greece before departing for my trip but some last minute family emergencies prevented me from doing a thorough job before my departure date.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Luckily, Greece is not necessarily a place that requires one to do a lot of research in order to get the most out of it.  It was simply enough to just BE.  Santorini allowed me the best opportunity to sit back, relax, enjoy the spectacular vistas, and allow the Greek hospitality to invite me in and guide me.  And since we were there just in time for the Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, we had many opportunities to experience a truly blessed Easter.

We were advised by our host not to miss the Easter Midnight Service at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Fira.  We saw a slew of people carrying candles to the service so in the spirit of the evening, we purchased candles for a few euros a piece. Red Eggs were left in our rooms, to which we were challenged to remember the phrases: “Christos Anesti” and the appropriate response “Alithos Anesti” or “Christ is Risen” and “Truly, He is Risen” as we tried to crack each other’s eggs with our own. Finally, the evening wouldn’t be complete without partaking in Margaritza soup & Lamb after the Midnight Service at Mama’s House.

Midnight Easter Mass, Fira, Santorini

The only thing that really caught me off guard was the fact that I always had this preconceived notion that since Greece was in the Mediterranean, it’d be warm…always.  Even when I saw the forecast of temps reading low’s in the 40’s, I still refused to acknowledge that it’d be cold because my stubborn nature wouldn’t allow me to give up my preconceived notions. So I brought capris, tanks, and t-shirts…and 1 pair of jeans and 1 long sleeve t-shirt.  I was freezing my @$$ off.  Words to the wise: when you go to Greece in the winter/spring time, expect it to be chillier than the temperate climate of Southern California.  Don’t be a doof like me…you can’t tell in the photo below, but I was really freezing my butt off.

Photo Courtesy of friend, Fuyumi

What did I love most about Greece?  I loved how Santorini allowed the inner Photo Geek inside of me to break free and run rampant all over the island.  It’s a novice/amateur photographers dream – it was nearly impossible to take a bad photo here!  This is where I discovered how important it was to shoot in RAW [and that 4GB memory cards weren’t quite large enough] to get the most out of the spectacular colors of Greece.  None of my photos were retouched or tweaked below.  WYSIWYG [What you see is what you get]!!

For additional information on Greece:

Visit Greece

Greece Travel

Athens Metro Maps – Easy to get to the airport using the metro

Aegean Airlines – I opted to fly instead of taking ferries due to time constraints

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Olga @ MangoTomato May 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Happy Happy Birthday: this definitely looks like an amazing bday gift to yourself. Have never been to Greece, but love the views, the food, and the men aren’t bad either 😉

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jenjenk May 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Just wait, olga!! my next post will have a gratuitous photo of a cute Greek guy in it, I promise! :) If I could’ve shoved him into my suitcase, I would have!

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Michelle May 11, 2011 at 4:34 am

Happy Birthday! What a beautiful gift! For a few minutes I escaped to Greece! Oh I so want to go visit there =)

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jenjenk May 11, 2011 at 4:44 am

You definitely should!! it’s a magical place! so warm & inviting!!!

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jade May 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I’ve always wanted to go to Greece too and your photos are making me want to push up my departure date! Sounds like you had a great time! (Oh, and I’m from L.A. too and would have definitely thought it was going to be warmer!)

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jenjenk May 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Jade – I loved it there!! It was so incredibly beautiful. The people were so warm & friendly, the food fabulous, and the ancient ruins incredible…definitely push this location to the top of your list!

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Azu @ Sweetly Made September 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thank you for the quick virtual get-away! The pictures are breathtaking. This is definitely on our bucket list.

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Dothan Hotel January 10, 2012 at 4:39 am

You do have a great time in Athens. The place is famous for its natural beauty and clear water. I too want to go to Greece and enjoy. Thanks for the insightful post. The pics are really nice.

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