Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Greece for work

We headed off to Greece, me promising my boss I'd work and A. wanting to have a blast on his week off. How did it work?

First few days were spent in Athens... sleeping A LOT (I didn't even know I had that much sleep accumulated... or was it just that A. is such a good sleeping pill) and doing some sightseeing. We also found a shesha/hookah/nargile street to A.'s delight: lot's of little restaurants/bars open to the street. End result: no work for me and lot's of relaxing for A.

Then we decided to try to rent a car... My US driver's license is expired (annoyingly it expires together with your visa) but A.'s is still valid and we decided to give it a go. In general you need an international driver's license to rent a car in Greece, but the rental place was nice enough to rent one to us and even recommend: if you get stopped on the road by police, just tell them you forgot your international driver's license at the hotel, ok? And off we went!

First stop was Korinthos, where we visited the old city fortress unimaginably perched on top of a hill:

 Hum... not great, but there is a the fortress on the top! I promise!

 It is an amazing place, with beautiful views. And having come from Norway where all is still white, I was super excited about all the wild flowers!

Me, the daisies and the view.

We spent the night in Nafplio, which is a very nice little town by the sea, with beautiful historic venetian houses. The next day we visited the Palamidi castle in Nafplio and the sun+blue water combo was amazing:

Off we went to Sparta, which is in the same location as ancient Sparta but is now a very nice small town. The next day we visited the ancient city of Micenaes. The most interesting thing of this trip was seeing so many places I had studied about in elementary/middle/high school up close! Off we went to visit the ruins of Mystras, which was once the capital of the Bizantine empire.

Ah... technology. A. posted on facebook that we were in Sparta and soon later a colleague of his called him and told us we had to visit his hometown and that his dad would take us around. Not bad to get local knowledge, so A. wanted to head there directly. I was still pushing to see some other stuff around since we were on a loop and I'm glad I won. We got to Monemvasia and were in awe... what an amazing place! A little walled city right by the ocean. It must be very touristy in the Summer, but since we are in the low season we got the place all to ourselves!

And here I finally got some actual work done!!
And still had a view!

After this amazing afternoon we woke up to pouring rain and therefore we spent the morning at a coffee shop. Not bad, not bad. From there we went to the town of Areopoli, slept there and the next day visited the said home town. It is a place with an amazing landscape, rugged mountains falling right into the sea. And to complement it, there have been family feuds for centuries and in response houses are built as watchtowers... makes it look bizarre!

See the towers? Probably not...

And then we drove to Kalamata (you know, the olives?!) and had a nice night out. Next day we had brunch at a restaurant by the waterfront and it felt amazing to be sitting in the sun, in a t-shirt and not being cold nor hot. We drove back to Athens and spent a last night there...

And boom! It was gone! The week flew by and now we are back in our schedules...


  1. Great pics! Must have been amazing holidays :)

  2. Hi EM.,
    Yup, it was a great trip. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Pretty cool, looks beautiful! I am so jealous!

  4. Stunning pics! I would love to visit Greece sometime :)

  5. Thanks for your comments jestingjousts and Saathi! Greece is indeed amazing and definitely worth a visit.