So, this summer for my holiday I went to sunny Greece and Venice… and my gosh it was gorgeous!
My holiday consisted of a brief visit to Venice before boarding on a cruise ship, venturing out into the Adriatic sea and on to various islands and ports of Greece: Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolo. Having never been on a cruise before I was excited, and also slightly apprehensive, about what was to come.
After spending a day at sea, the first stop was Corfu. Like most Greek ports nowadays, Corfu seems to rely nearly entirely on tourism; something which was rather obvious when looking closer at the buildings. I enjoyed the morning on the island, but the town itself seemed to have a sadness about it.
The next day took us to the island of Santorini, and the town of Fira: a gorgeous town, slightly more well kept than Corfu. Walking along the narrow shopping lanes, shadowed by the buildings from the blazing sun, was a great way to spend the morning. Having taken the cable car up to the town we decided to walk back down the donkey track. It was known as the ‘donkey’ track due to the (surprise, surprise) donkeys that were ridden by tourists up and down the track to get to the town. Yet, what we saw was quite shocking: most, if not all, looked exhausted and dehydrated from the heat and hard labour they were performing. Despite this, the day was still enjoyable, although it took a slightly sorrowful turn at the end.
Day three took us to the port of Mykonos – yet another white-walled Greek town, surviving off tourism. However, the day took a more interesting turn when visiting the neighbouring island of Dalos to see the Greek ruins that inhabited it. If you like ancient Greek and Roman pillars then this is the place for you! It was a phenomenally hot day, but despite the heat I thoroughly enjoyed myself, particularly seeing the ruins of an Ancient Greek theatre (even abroad I have to get to a theatre, you can’t keep me away!).
Yet, there was still more history to come…
Our fourth day brought us to Katakolo, the port nearest the site of the ancient Greek olympics, Ancient Olympia. This was definitely my favourite day of my entire holiday; our tour guide Nike (who shared her name with the Greek Goddess of Victory) was so interesting and engaging, informing us of things I would never have otherwise known. The site was huge and impressive; the olympic track itself was one long straight, just over 200m long (I ran half of it! It was far too hot to run it all!) and the Temple of Zeus was stunning in both size and structure. The museum we visited afterwards was filled with historical riches: statues, ornaments, building remains. Overall, the day was entirely fascinating to me, and a distinct reminder of 10 year-old me who wanted to be an archaeologist when she grew up!
Following a day at sea, our cruise returned us to Venice, and this time we stayed on for two more days. After my trip to Amsterdam, I knew I had a strange love for canals, so to say I was happy in Venice would be an understatement! It is a gorgeous city, full of character and beautiful buildings.
I hate getting lost (something which doesn’t work too well with my horrendous sense of direction) but in Venice, although I had no clue were I was half the time, I did not experience the same feeling of panic and nervousness that I usually have in a place I don’t know. (I think that was partly because everyone was in the same situation.) Therefore, another reason to love Venice so much!
Whilst here, I spent a day on the nearby islands of Burano and Mirano, taking the water bus to both (once I’m on a boat you can’t seem to get me off). Although Mirano was fascinating with its abundance of glass furnaces, Birano was by far my favourite of the two – it is just so gorgeous! (Even despite the thunderstorm that was threatening to consume us.) The cheerful and colourful houses are beautiful and bright enough to cheer up anyone’s day.
So, as you can tell by the length of this post, I had a busy and fun-filled holiday, and definitely have some brilliant memories to keep from it. Once again, this is not a post about literature or theatre but I hope you enjoy it just the same!