• Greece

    Meteora, Greece: A Guide to Clifftop Monasteries

    If you’ve seen the “For Your Eyes Only” James Bond movie, then you’ve seen Meteora. Frequently overshadowed by Mount Athos, Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of mainland Greece. Meteora: An Overview Meteora refers to a collection of six active monasteries perched on clifftops in the heart of Greece. The monasteries are open to visitors, and each one has a museum of some sort that’s always interesting. The cliffs make for excellent hiking and rock climbing, so if you’re into adventure sports, Meteora is an awesome place to go!

  • Costs,  Greece

    Spreadsheeting: What I Spent in Greece

    I was so excited when I touched down in Greece! This is my first time ever in Europe, and I was so excited for food, sun, beaches, and history! Because I switched my itinerary to not spend two weeks in Nepal, I got to Greece earlier than expected – in early August rather than early September. The only problem with that is that August is the absolute top of Greek high season, so everything was super crowded and expensive! Because of that and my love of history (and knowledge that I’ll likely come back for them), I skipped most of the islands you’d normally go to (no Santorini or Mykonos…

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Meeting the Gods at Their House: Mount Olympus

    On the morning of my only full day in Thessaloniki, I started talking to some Australian guys at my hostel breakfast. They started the conversation by comment on my hot pink Lilly Pulitzer shorts, and I just laughed and said “Florida.” We ended up hitting it off quite well and they mentioned they were going to Mount Olympus for the day and asked if I’d like to join them. I decided to go! I was so excited to be invited because I’d really wanted to go to Mount Olympus, but it’s really hard to get to even with a car, and I wasn’t ready to rent a car and drive…

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Thessaloniki

    After Kalambaka, I headed on to Thessaloniki – yes, that Thessaloniki of “Thessalonians” fame. Thessaloniki is right on the water, and it’s in far north Greece. I knew it would be my stepping off point for other countries in Europe, so I took the train there. When I got off the train, I decided to walk the mile and a half to my hostel because I really didn’t want to deal with cab drivers. Whoops. I definitely got lost and probably ended up walking more than two miles in 100F+ heat and with all almost-50lbs of luggage. I did mention I feel like I’m getting stronger, right? After getting into…

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Meteora: Monasteries on Cliffs

    When I first saw pictures of Meteora, I thought it was unreal. And then I arrived and it stole my heart! Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s got six active monasteries perched high up in the rocks above the village. The villages at the base, Kalambaka and Kastraki, are perfectly nestled in the valley with red-roofed houses and incredibly walkable streets. Meteora is in inland Greece (basically the center of Greece), and it’s compared to Mount Athos – with one important difference. Women are invited to Meteora.

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Island Hopping Close to Athens: Agistri

    Greece is known for its islands – so I knew that although my Greece trip would focus on the mainland, I’d also like to get out and swim in the Aegean. Luckily, there are a few islands an easy day trip from Athens. Two easy ones are called Aegina and Agistri. Aegina is the bigger one, and having just a day there, I decided to do Agistri because the small size made it seem more manageable.

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Ancient Athens Beyond the Acropolis

    Athens is a city filled with history, and they’ve done a great job preserving it. There are even parts of the sidewalks that have windows down below to where the ancient streets were! Beyond the Acropolis, there’s still so much to see. I bought the combined ticket that let me into the Acropolis and six other ancient sites. I made great use of it, and managed to get to all the sites except one, and then even a few others. One other place I was happy to visit (and it’s free!) was the Aeropagus. This is a giant rock next to the Acropolis, and it’s filled to the brim with…

  • General Travel,  Greece

    Visiting The Acropolis!

    I knew the Acropolis was going to be a highlight of my trip, and I also knew it was going to be insanely crowded. It’s the biggest attraction in Athens, and I was there at the peak of high season. So I woke up early, and went to stand in line. I got there at 7:30am when they open at 8am, and I was the only one in line until 7:50am. That surprised me! As soon as they opened the gates, I practically sprinted to the top (yes, I was incredibly out of breath by the top!) so I could try to get some pictures without other people in them.…

  • General Travel,  Greece

    A Non-Acropolis Day in Athens, Greece

    I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy to have a plane touch down as I was the plane to Athens. Europe, blessed Europe. Where I can drink the water and eat the food! And hopefully not be leered at as I walk down the street! It was such a refreshing change to be somewhere that’s made for tourists, too. The airport in Athens is well-signed, and it’s easy to figure out where to go. It’s also easy to figure out where and how to catch the train into Athens. It did not, however, say that you’re going to need cash for the train ticket! I hadn’t gotten Euros yet,…