Since I was just in Greece in May, I will try not to repeat anything I sent, whether Athens or Santorini. But I am back, though perhaps in a different mode. I assume the pandemic still requires caution, but I hear the Greeks are almost 50% vaccinated, and they have emphasized taking care of their tourist related people first. Tourism accounts for a significant portion of the economy here. They were so glad to see tourists come back in May, and I assume the same will be true now.
I had many options of where to go, but opted for the “safe” route in terms of vaccination rates, medical care availability, and overall safety. Plus, when I was here in May, it was very hot, limiting what I could do each day. The mornings were barely tolerable, and the afternoons were impossible. No touring, no cycling, not much of anything fun. Maybe now I can take advantage of better weather.
I also considered heading north, to both Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia. But the weather has already turned cold, wet, and possible even snowy. I think I prefer watching the bikinis at the pool or beach to stoking fires in the igloo.
But I will say I enjoyed myself immensely on that first trip. I made some nice friends, both here in Athens and in Santorini. I enjoyed the food, wine, and Greek delicacies. But I came very close to experiencing “ground hog day” type symptoms with the repetitive nature of each day. This time will be different!
Greek food, specifically the grilled fish and the lamb dishes are my favorites. I also gained a new appreciation for the famous Greek salad, having one for lunch most every day. While Santorini’s famous Assyrtiko wine did not agree with my taste, I enjoyed the simple house white wines offered at most tavernas. But my favorite dessert is the kydoni, or pickled quince, poured over Greek yogurt, I even brought a small jar home! I also enjoyed the mastika, which is basically the Greek version of moonshine. Everyone makes it a little differently, but it is tasty. So, I also brought a bottle of mastika home as well.
This will be a much better time to visit, I am certain!