We were a little bit nervous about going to Greece, seeing as how the only Greek B and I know is "Beta Theta Pi" and "Phi Beta Chi," respectively. Somehow I figured fraternity and sorority designations weren't going to help us navigate a city. We needn't have worried. Everything in Greece is in Greek...and English. We had an easier time getting around Greece than we do getting around France sometimes (no joke!). If that's a concern of yours about visiting Greece, well, it shouldn't be.
Sadly, neither of us was a big fan of Athens. We had differing opinions about every other stop on our Eurotour, but this was the one stop we agreed upon: we are in absolutely zero hurry to rush back here. It was cool to see the Parthenon and Acropolis Hill, but after that we were pretty much done. But it's the kind of thing you have to do and see at least once. Also, the Greek food was not what we were expecting. We only had stuffed grape leaves and spanikopita once in Athens, and neither was of the quality we were expecting - we've had better at Greenville's annual Greek Festival.
If you're going to Athens and it's all Greek to you, keep reading to learn what to do and where to eat in the cradle of civilization.
The Eternal City, to which all roads lead. And to which train tracks from Florence lead. And from which the airports give me a migraine. Just kidding. Sort of.
It's no secret that I'm not crazy about Rome. I could write a love story to Florence (actually, I have - my first novel), but there is no love lost between me and dear Roma. But maybe third time's the charm - I actually had a really good time here with B. We slathered on the sunscreen, obsessively drank water, and somehow managed to survive the scorching August heat. Disclaimer: Please ignore the glistening sweat and nasty, slicked-back hair. These are not pretty pictures. Forgive us.
We may not be models, but we do know how to have a good time. So when in Rome, do as the Stevensons do.
Florence was a great place to kick off our Eurotour. I'm familiar with the city, so getting around wasn't a problem at all. I also knew several good places to visit, and, of course, one phenomenal restaurant. It made things very easy. We stayed exactly two blocks away from Edi House. Our Airbnb had a washing machine. Aside from getting caught in a very violent rain/thunder/hail storm on our first night while walking home from the Boboli Gardens, everything went smoothly. And I learned that Longchamp bags are completely waterproof. I'm not kidding. We. Were. Drenched. But absolutely nothing in my purse was wet. At all. Anyway.
After 18 days, three train rides, seven flights, and one tram, we are back where we started: Tours, France. I already miss being on the road, but I'm also so happy to be back in this little place we've turned into home. We had an incredible time. As B said yesterday, the combination of everything - all our destinations, all our experiences - was just phenomenal.
We both agreed that we were in zero hurry to rush back to Athens, but we would love to give Santorini another go. I'm just meh on Rome, but B would love to have a few more days there. I want to go back to Florence in winter. We both want to go back to Dublin, but B more than me - I'm dying to explore more of London, where so many of my most favorite books take place. We are different people, after all.
It's been quite a whirlwind - our clothes are dirtier, our feet sorer, our skin tanner, SD cards fuller, wallets lighter, and memory banks absolutely overflowing. We learned so much about traveling, about other cultures, and ourselves. And we somehow, thankfully, came home with everything we started out with. Nobody was injured (aside from me stepping on a spiny sea urchin in Santorini - OUCH). No flights or trains were missed. Frankly, the Inaugural Stevenson Family Eurotour was a raging success. We couldn't have asked for better.
I took exactly 2,569 photos on my good camera (to say nothing of what I took with my iPhone), so you'll have to bear with me as I sort and chronicle our adventures to share with you. This might take a while. But we're back, and our adventures are coming to you soon!
E & B