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First city on my list of travel. Full of history. The capital of Greece, the heart of ancient Greece. Visited the Acropolis, a sacred site, the crowning beauty of ancient Greece, on a day trip and again at night. Picture of the Parthenon featured. The night view provides a magnificent and majestically lit landscape above the city. Saw breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures during my city tour. Enjoyed a delicious vegan meal at Healthy Bites Organic and Vegan Bistro, ended my meal with a satisfying ice cream cone. Athens is very much the epicenter of Greece, it’s worth walking around to view both ancient and current Athens, see the changing of the guards (usually at 11 a.m.), and enjoy the Mediterranean flavors it has to offer.
MYKONOS – Departed Athens to Mykonos on a cruise after breakfast. Stayed at the Pelican Bay Art Hotel. Known for its windmills and nightlife. Its characteristic hillside windmills (one featured in photo), overlook the beautiful bay (photo of sunset) by Little Venice and stands as an enduring greeting to all who arrive in Mykonos. It’s a charming town with a maze of tiny streets The beaches are set up for the lover of sunbathing, swimming the calm Aegean Sea and a looking out at the high number of yachts during the summer months. I was surrounded by the island’s beguiling cobblestone lanes lined with white-washed cottages and tumbling cerise bougainvillea. There is easy access to the center of town for shopping, a sort bus ride (only 1 bus) that departs and arrives on schedule at set bus stops. The roads narrow is conducive to either a moped ride or the provided dependable city bus ride, I opted for this comfortable affordable ride. This is where I celebrated my actual birthday. It’s quite easy to find vegan option meals in Greece as the Greek Salad without cheese is automatically vegan, Stuffed Tomatoes are a popular menu item and the Mediterranean diet is vegan friendly. However, hearing the “Happy Birthday” song playing in Greek over the Nikos Gallop restaurant’s (a short walk from the hotel) sound system with my name included and a creative birthday “cake” made of a slice of Watermelon, Blueberries and Orange slices, with a candle, and “happy birthday Cheryll” written in chocolate syrup on it was heartwarming. Took the opportunity to visit one of Mykonos’ most popular night spots, Paradise Beach, via a taxi with two of my travel buddies from Australia (one of the pros of going on a Trafalgar tour is being able to find others to share different experiences with while still traveling alone). This spot it known for its wild spontaneous parties, day or night.
SANTORINI – a short ferry ride from Mykonos, opted for Business Class. Stayed at El Greco Resort Hotel. This is the most visited island in Greece. The island has volcanic quaint clifftop towns, blue-domed, white-washed facades clinging dramatically to the multi-colored cliffs providing a spectacular backdrop for exquisite sunsets…and they are exquisite when viewed against the stark blue Aegean Sea. I strolled the winding cobbled streets of Fira and Oia which allowed me to personally be in awe of the dramatic beauty of the island, a huge rock (an exploded volcano) and the Sea. The views are picturesque and sunsets stunning. It has beaches of white sand, black pebbles and red stones. Featured is photo of my feet in the black pebble sand in Oia. Did a wine tour at Santo Wines Winery. A little-known fact, due to the strong heavy winds on the island and to limit the loss of moisture, the vineyards feature grapevines in the form of a wreath-like basket close to the ground (see photo featured). One of the reasons for the unique taste of the wine from the island is the dry, unusual climate and the vines being watered via the morning dew and water being soaked through the limestone. Oia (pronounced i-a or ee-a) is a MUST VISIT while in Santorini. It’s a bus ride away, though easily accessed because the buses are clearly marked, I would suggest asking at the ticket counter to ensure you get on the correct bus. Oia offers more picturesque views which should not be missed out on. A short walk outside the summer hustle and bustle of the village brought me to Katharos Lounge Vegan Meze Bar in Oia (meal photo featured) where I had my most memorable meal of my trip.
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