After a long walk across the city, my friend Jeremy and I finally got to see Athens and the Acropolis after ten years of waiting. We decided to book a free walking tour the next day because we thought it would be a good way to see the city. Upon leaving from Madrid, we were a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to practice our Spanish during a week and a half of the last month we had in Spain. When booking the tour however, we noticed an option to do it in Spanish so we thought ‘why not?’ Although we may not be able to understand everything, at least we could listen to some Spansih. It worked out perfectly.
Our tour guide was Peruvian so her Spanish was very clear and we were able to understand everything. At the end of the tour she brought a small group of us to an area where there were a lot of restaurants so we could grab a nice Greek lunch. We pushed ourselves a little outside of our comfort zone, once in taking the tour in Spanish, and then again in getting lunch with Yami and Coti, our soon to be Argentinian friends. It was such an awesome decision. The two new Argentinian girls turned out to be a ton of fun; we spent the entire next two days with them trading stories and laughing the whole way – they practiced speaking English with us and we spoke Spanish to them. That day we walked all over Athens – around the ancient Agora, Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus, Panathenaic stadium (where the Athens Marathon ends), and Pnika hill for sunset. The next day we saw the Parthenon and climbed Lycabettus Hill for the sunset (the best sunset I’d ever seen at the time), singing and dancing to Spanish music while hiking. I never would have thought I’d say this, but I improved my Spanish more in those two days in Athens than I had in any other two days in Madrid.
After saying goodbye to Yami and Coti, we spent the next two days in Santorini. We got breakfast and hung out under straw umbrellas on the black sand beach of Perissa. I don’t know how to describe this island. Santorini is by far the prettiest place I have ever been. The falling cliffs into deep blue water take your breath away. The picturesque town of Oia, holding quaint blue domed churches and countless gorgeous white villas, literally epitomize paradise. By far my favorite part of our entire time in Santorini was the sunset from Skaros rock in Imerovigli. Unlike the sunset in Oia the night before, which for the second day in a row was the best sunset I’d ever seen, the sunset in Imerovigli had hardly any people. When you get to the top of the rock, you find a sea of little yellow flowers overlooking the Caldera. A handful of sailboats cruise around the town of Oia in the distance. From here you can see everything: the entire island of Santorini, the cliffs in Imerovigli, the Caldera and of course the incredible sunset over the islands popping up in the distance. For the third day in a row, I saw the best sunset of my life – I think it is going to be a while until I see one that beats it. Without a doubt, Greece has been the best trip yet...and we still have another five days in Mykonos!
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<p>There’s nothing like late night, deep talks, and solving the world’s problems. In Madrid, I’m looking to learn as much as I can, get to know as many people as I can, and get outside my comfort zone as much as I can. Come join the adventure.</p>