Yamas and opa were the only things I learned how to say in Greek. Yamas is “cheers” and opa was..
Well I’m not quite sure, but we yelled it a lot and everyone was always happy when we did so we just rolled with it.
From Italy we took our bus to the port and hopped on an overnight ferry. Our group will take advantage of any situation to have fun, probably to the dismay of the people around us.
The next morning we woke up to the beautiful coast line of Greece
In a few short hours we were off the boat and onto a new bus that took us to the smallest boat taxi I think I’ve ever seen. It miraculously fit all 40 of us and all of our bags and took us to our hotel in Poros.
Our hotel was secluded, on the water, and just what we needed after constantly moving around and traveling. That evening we had dinner on the terrace and looked over the harbor, tinted gold and pink from the sunset. After a run in with a rude French-man, all forty of us “loud, young Americans” (according to him) enjoyed our amazing Greek dinner.
The next day we left to the island of Hydra – AKA heaven and where my soul will go when I die. There were no cars on the island, people got around by horses, donkeys, or mules, and there were friendly stray cats EVERYWHERE.
Yes, I know, I’m sorry. Too many cat pictures, we’ll move on. But we spent the whole day relaxing, swimming in the deep blue ocean, drinking Greek coffee, and then meeting up in the evening for a tapas-style dinner. From dinner we went and watched the sun set from a hill-top bar overlooking the ocean. Not a bad way to end our amazing trip to Hydra.
It would’ve been if that had been how it actually ended.
On our way home in our water taxi, the driver pulled out plastic bottles of ouzo for us.
I’ll leave it there.
The next morning we left to spend the day doing water sports. I went parasailing for the first time and it was incredible! Once I was up, I was amazing at how quiet it was. Just myself, up in the sky overlooking the harbor, the mountains surrounding it, and the ocean. All I could hear was the wind. It was complete therapy – I could’ve stayed up there all day if they had let me.
That evening we finished up our stay in Poros with a toga party on the beach. I can’t think of a more American thing to do in Greece but I enjoyed every second of it.
From Poros we left for Athens – after a long ferry ride, we finally arrived and hopped on a bus to take us on a city tour. We saw the Acropolis and Parthenon and afterwards saw many of the sights around the city that I ultimately did not see because I napped hard-core through all of it. I wasn’t even upset. It was a great nap.
What I had wanted to see, I did see. The parthenon was something I had always learned about in class and really was a wonder to see in person.
You know, one of Athena’s most defining characteristics was her grey eyes, kinda like mine… interesting.
Anyways, after our city tour we went to a restaurant that my professor had recommended called “Savvas”, we ate our hearts out with the best gyros I had ever eaten, caused chaos at a nearby toy store like a bunch of children, then returned for our last evening as a group.
Going into that evening there was such a heavy feeling, knowing that after 24 days we would not wake up with each other any more, wouldn’t eat dinner or breakfast together, wouldn’t spend long hours on a bus anymore with one another, and wouldn’t go on adventures like we had. It was sad.
Despite that though, we had the best dinner and enjoyed the authentic Greek music and dancing, laughed at each other, ate the amazing food, and enjoyed each others company one last time. I felt light hearted to see everyone laughing, to hear the upbeat music and embrace this awesome part of the Greek culture, and yell “OPA!” nearly a thousand times and it never get old.
After dinner we went back to the hotel, went to the terrace which had the perfect view of the parthenon all lit up for the night, and tried to hold back emotions that inevitably came. We were all sad to leave each other but were happy that we were able to share our memories, laugh at the many stupid things we did, and planned to see each other again soon.
Many commented how funny it was that 24 days prior we were complete strangers.
It is funny how fast you can connect with people. How quickly you can make bonds with people. In 24 days I felt like I made friends that I have had for years.
Out of all the amazing sights I saw, that fact is something that is irreplaceable to this trip.
I wish I could express how much these aggies meant to me, but that might be for another time.
Cheers to the memories, the unforgettable (or sometimes forgettable) stories we can tell, and to going on this trip of a lifetime with each other.
I’m ready for the reunion.