Mykonos, Greece!!

010 (4) 038 (4) 055 (3) 025 (4) 083 (2) 037 (4) 062 (3)Suzy and I traveled to the island of Mykonos for about four days a week ago. When we arrived in Mykonos on our first day, we were picked up from the airport and delivered to our hotel, Hotel Milena. We settled into our quaint, white-washed twin room and made our way down to the town, which was only about a 15 minute walk away. The town itself was gorgeous! Located on the edge of the sea, the brilliant white buildings appeared almost blinding in the hot sun. When we were there, we visited the town’s famous windmills and slowly made our way over to ‘Little Venice’. The streets in the town were so close together with cute, little shops on either side. We stayed and shopped in the town for awhile before bringing some baklava back to the hotel.

 

The next day, we went into town and rented a four-wheeler to explore the island. It took awhile to figure out how to turn on the ATV, but when I finally got the hang of it, we were able to set off. We decided to go toward the northern part of the island, past the island’s dam. On our journey to the northern coast, we past many arid fields that had grazing goats and sheep. The roads themselves were quite narrow, and because I was driving the entire time, I kept close attention to the road ahead. Several times, I was glad I wasn’t looking off because on one occasion, a bulldozer was coming right at us and I had to veer off the road to avoid being crushed..eeek! Anyways, we made our way to a beautiful beach that had virtually no people on it! We parked our quad and made our way to a little spot in the dunes, set up camp, and went in the water. The water was pretty cold, but Suzy and I are use to cold water because we vacation on Cape Cod every summer and the water temperature was no different. The sea was so blue and clear, we swam out to about 20-25 feet in depth. No where around the US would I swim out that deep, but I’ve heard that the Aegean Sea has no sharks…hopefully lol..Closer to shore, I found this little sea anemone that would cling to my toe if I touched it lol…looked like the sea anemone in Finding Nemo that the clown fish live in…except beige. There were also very prickly anemone that I tried to avoid lol. After swimming, we laid out on the beach and listened to some music. A curious, little lizard in the dunes kept touching us and running away….happened about 6 times while we were sunbathing haha. Later, after we had dried off, we left the beach and made our way to a grocery store, got some chips, and drove to another beach. The beach was less crowded, but we sat near some nude people…and decided that we were  suddently very hungry lol. We drove back into the white-washed town and had gyros, which were a whopping 2 euros…yay! We ordered vegetarian gyros, which were stuffed with french fries…bellisimo! With our stomach full, we drove off to our last destination…Paradise Beach. On the way, we stopped at an abandoned church located atop a hill, which was very beautiful and provided excellent panoramic views of that side of the island. When we finally got to the road going down the beach, we saw how steep it was, so we pulled off halfway and just sat on a cliff overlooking the beach. On our way back, we tried to make it up the hill, but because of the steep incline and both of our weight on the bike, we began to roll backward on the bike….ahhhh!!!! We only rolled backward down the hill for about 10 feet because Suzy was able to jump off in a driveway that was near the bike and help me with the brakes, which didn’t seem to work completely. At that moment, I realized that maybe I should have worn the helmet..(but it was so dirty, yucky)

On our third day, we went to the island of Tinos, which is the island closest to Mykonos. When we got there, we tried to find a place that rented quad bikes…but unlike Mykonos, which had about 2 dozen places to rent ATVs…there was only one, and it was twice as expensive as the bike we rented the day before! Whaaaaaaatttt booo! So, we decided not to rent a four wheeler, and just meander around the small town. The town had many white buildings like Mykonos, but it wasn’t as pretty. On our way over to a beach, we saw an abandoned house that had lots of feral cats. They looked very hungry, so Suzy and I parted with a piece of our precious baklava, and gave it to them….BUT THEY DIDN’T WANT THE BAKLAVA AHHHHHHH AND SPIT IT OUT?!?!?!?! A piece of gold wasted, mehh :'(  When we got to the beach, we set down our stuff and read for about 2 hours. When the sun began to set, we made our way up to a cliff that overlooked the town and sat for awhile there….Lots of sitting on this excursion haha…Then we went into town and sat down for dinner at this small cafe… A little kitty sat near our table and mewed for our food the entire time…lol. She definitely preferred our cod over the eggplant, but I personally thought the fried eggplant was deliciouso!

On our final day in Mykonos, we went into town and bought a hand painted plate for our momma….she likes those things. I also bought myself a greek necklace with the symbol for prosperity…and something else…as the pendant.Then we went to a beach and sunbathed/read until the sun began to set. We went into town for some of our last gyros :'( and more greek desserts haha.  The next day, we flew out and went back to Milan…

I thought Greece was beyond wonderful! The land was gorgeous, the weather fantastic, and the people very kind. Mykonos and Sicily have probably been my favorite vacations so far…and I hope one day I’ll visit Mykonos again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break in Cinque Terre and Riva Del Garda

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Cinque Terre and Riva Del Garda—Spring Break

 

 

My parents came over to Italy to visit Suzy and I during our spring break!They arrived in Milan on April 16 and we met up with them at Centrale Station. We brought them back to apartment where they dropped off their bags and grabbed some food before giving them a small tour of Milan. Suzy and I brought them to our favorite gelato and panzerotti places and also showed them around the Duomo. We took a tour through the cathedral, and eventually went to the top,near the spires. I had never gone to the top of the cathedral because it cost money lol, so it was something new I hadn’t seen since being here. In the evening, we went to dinner near my apartment, and later planned where we would stay along the Cinque Terre.

 

 

The next day, we caught an early morning train to Levanto….the neighboring town to the Cinque Terre..on the Monterrosso side. The Cinque Terre is a national park composed of 5 different towns(Monterrosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola, and Rio Maggiore) along the Ligurian Coast. Between each town, there are many ancient walking paths connecting these close villages. We stayed in Levanto for about 4 nights. During this time, we hiked between Levanto and Monterrosso, about a 4 hour hike, and from Monterosso to Vernazza, about a 3 hour hike….they were completed in 2 different days.We took a day off between the designated hiking days, and explored the villages. We started off in Rio Maggiore and gradually made our way back towards Levanto, stopping a different towns along the way. Rio Maggiore is a beautiful village situated between two hills along the sea. In the town, we visited a castle and a beautiful church. The next town we went to was Manorola. This town is literally built up on a cliff, and is probably the most picturesque of all 5 villages. In Manorola, we went spent time hiking up the panoramic view points and exploring some the walking paths surrounding the village.118

 

 

After going to the Cinque Terre, we took a train back and prepared to depart to our next destination the following day. On Tuesday morning, we got a train to Peschiere del Garda, and then a bus to Riva Del Garda! We were in Riva for the rest of Spring break. During this time, we took a bike ride through a nearby valley, stopping in several different towns, including Arco and Dro. Another day, we got a ferry to Malcesine, a village also located on Lake Garda. We visited Malcesine’s ancient castle and exlplored the quaint, authentic Italian town. On Friday, we took a walk up to Riva’s waterfall! I had been there before and wanted to show my parents how cool it really was.For the rest of the time, we went on walks around the lake, shopped in the small town, or went out to eat..yay!031 (2)074 (2)

Overall, I had a wonderful Spring Break! Although we only went to two different places  during the 12 day break, I was glad we didn’t push for more traveling…. it can be quite exhausting. The trip was a perfect balance between being relaxing and being an adventure046 (2)!

I must say though, I really wanted to go home with them by the end of the trip…the thought of flying back to the states seemed sooo nice..and still does….I think I might be  traveled out…and home really seems like the place to be now. Hopefully, it’s just a temporary funk and I’ll get my travel bug back!084 (2)