A few years ago I was given the opportunity to go to Athens for a few days to meet a friend who was working out there on the George Michael tour. I got to stay in a posh hotel with a roof top pool, drink far too many cocktails (my 1st experience of a long island ice tea ended rather messily) and I was able to do a bit of exploring too albeit on my own. The only downside was it was just days before all the fires started up around Athens so the temperature was easily over 40 degrees everyday I was there – it was also shocking to be so close to something that ended up being devastating to a whole country. When you have my whiter than white complexion that burns within 10 minutes of seeing the sun this kind of weather is slightly problematic.
Due to this being a flying visit I’ve always wanted to go back at a more reasonable time of year and explore the history, culture and also the Islands. Several Greek people insisted that ‘Greece’ was not Athens but the Islands. I still enjoyed visiting The Acropolis, and my friend still likes to remind me that I insisted on climbing the rock face opposite it in a long Wolford skin tight dress and heels much to the amazement of onlookers – I did actually remove the heels but I guess his version sounds more exciting. We were also going out for a very posh meal in a popular restaurant (sorry, I have no idea of the name but I was there with several big foodies and wine aficionados who insisted we go to this particular restaurant halfway up a mountain), so I insisted on wearing my posh dress and heels – naturally…..
Greece was one of my rare trips where it was a last minute offer, so I did next to no research on what to see and do. This means that I now know of about 50 things I could go back and fully appreciate. I did manage to visit the old Olympic area but it was so hot that even with a parasol I was forced to go back and take cover by the pool. I was only there for a few days so once I’d seen the Acropolis, the old theatre areas and the olympic grounds I’d basically run out of time unfortunately. This is why I would love to go back!
I did manage eat an awful lot of food and drink way (perfect holiday to many, I know!), and this break also marked the beginning of a long standing friendship with the guy who invited me to meet him, so I have lots of great memories. I just know there’s so much more to Greece than what I saw though…..
This photo always makes me realise I should possibly start using fake tan – I’m so pale I think the sunlight just bounces off me – great for the people lying next to me as I suspect I act like a sheet of foil but not a good look in bright sunlight when photographed. I’ve always resisted the urge. instead feeling like I should embrace who I am and what i look like but a tan does look so much better in photos 🙂
Another highlight of this holiday was getting to see George Michael perform in his home country – I again had to go alone as my friend was working but I was impressed by how good George actually was. I have no issue doing solo travel and have always managed to enjoy my own company. Being a geeky socially awkward kid (and adult) generally gets you used to being alone. However, I feel gigs (especially in a foreign country) should probably be enjoyed with company.
I’m not sure how the economic situation has affected Greece or its tourist industry but at some point in the future I will do a year long backpack/motor home trip around Europe and it’s top of my list along with Rome, of places to revisit. Incidentally Rome is definitely joint top – I went for a 4 day trip with an ex boyfriend who managed to annoy me for the entire 4 days (hence the ex part of our relationship). But I adored Rome and never took a photo so although I have the memories I don’t have anything to look back at and I love looking at my past travel photos as they always invoke such positive feelings for me and remind me how much I love travelling.