Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Greek Islands

Here's a secret. I'm not sure how to spell this island's name.

The view from our grandparents' hotel's balcony.

On the Facebook update it says Mikonos. In Remington Steele episodes it says Mykonos.

At any rate, I like spelling it Mikonos, because it looks nicer. Just so you know what I mean when I talk about it.

While we knew we were going to visit Greece on this trip (I think), we didn't know that we were going to visit Mikonos until Grandma (Dad's mother) said she didn't want to spend her 70th birthday in Romania, and wanted to go to Mikonos instead.

So we made plans to come here for a week.

We're met at the airport by Ana, who runs Evangelia's Place. As she drives us to the hotel, she tells us about the places we can go to in Mikonos, shows us where the bus station is and at what times the bus runs, and in general makes us feel super-welcome.

The entrance to Evangelia's Place

After figuring out who has which bed, we settle down with the internet to let friends know that… "we have 99% guaranteed internet for the next week!"

And then Dad and I head towards the grandparents' hotel to say hello and bring them over for dinner— pasta and a great deal of other yummy things that everyone should be able to have every day… like tomato salad. (Tomatoes and feta cheese. Heavenly.)

The next day, grandma's birthday, we all go over to their hotel to spend the day. We kids have our swimsuits with us, so grandma takes us down to the pool. While Ileana and Ioan hop in without a second thought, Grandma and I wander down to the seaside (down this lovely looking staircasey cliff), where grandma wades in a foot or so and then says, "Maria, get in."

The water's cold… but Grandma's on shore with her arms crossed over her chest and looking at me… so I don't stop. I would normally, but it's grandma's birthday only once a year. After swimming around a bit, we head back up to the pool, where Ileana and Ioan already have gotten out because 'it's too cold.'

We had a lovely dinner.

And the next few days followed this sort of schedule:

iPad lessons.


Pool massages.

Random conversations.

Updating blog posts outside in the wind because "I said I would!"

The next island we visited was Syros.

I'm not sure what this one is famous for… except maybe the fact that there are marble streets in some places, which honestly I think is amazing. We reached the hotel, sat around a bit, and then went out to find gyros.

We did… the interesting thing about them being that there are French Fries inside… which I've never seen. Ever. After (mostly) finishing, we hurried to see if Madagascar 3 was in Greek or English.

Since it was in Greek, we headed home.

Literally, that is all we did in Syros. 

The gyros from Ermoulaki, Syros

Next stop is Santorini. The ferry there takes 5 hours. There's a beautiful lounge. We pick a 100 sq ft area to set our stuff in, and then basically sleep, exercise, read, and write our way through the five hours.

We all had naps of varying duration. There is no thing as awesome as a nap.

Upon reaching Santorini, we were driven to the hotel, where we quickly deposited our bags, locked the door, and ran to catch the bus.

We didn't catch the bus, so we caught a taxi ride with a Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike, who drove us up to Oia, where we quickly walked through large crowds of slow-moving people to go and see the sunset.

Sort-of-kind-of Jake Gyllenhaal
We had to climb a wall at one point to get to it...

As usual, words cannot describe sunsets. Here's a picture instead.

The next day, we went to see the museum. Museums in Greece tend to have a lot of statues, pottery, and mosaics.

My favorite were the bird vases and the broken mosaics mounted on canvas. I'm not sure why I like the broken mosaics, but I do.

Bird vase
And a prettiful mozaic.

In Crete… another museum or two…

Sunrise in Heraklion

Lamp post in Chania

Chania, by the sea

But the highlight of the Greek Islands was Samaria Gorge.

This gorge…

A tree. Where Ioan is standing forms a slide to where Ileana is standing.

We decided to hike it. Taking three little backpacks with food and water, and our Marmots on, we left at 8am. (Thankfully with breakfast and some of the best orange juice ever in our bellies)

We headed down hill. This was annoying, but doable. I don't like going down hill.

We went straight.

We went up hill.

We crossed streams.

We washed our faces.

And… 13km later, we sat down and had ice cream.

Then walked 3 more kilometers, just for fun, before reaching the sea.
No, we didn't take the bus...

Where, as if we hadn't been doing anything special all day, we jumped in and began swimming.

And made rock art.

Yes, we have unlimited reserves of energy. Look how energetic we were afterward!

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