I know that I'm behind, but we've been moving around a lot! I'll start from where I left off, in Vis, Croatia. We left Vis and made our way to Trogir. Trogir is, also, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I'll look up what that actually means eventually. Trogir was a super tiny island with an old town built upon it. We stayed on the other side of the bridge from Trogir which cut down a bit on the noise factor, and probably the price, although the little apartment we stayed in was more than we'd wanted to spend. Trogir was cute, but too touristy. We stayed there because it was a short ride from the airport, so it suited our needs.
The next morning the person who was renting out the apartment drove us to the airport (for a bit of a fee). Split airport was quite deceiving. After getting through security (where both Seth and I had to take off our shoes because we buzzed. Weird, because there is absolutely no metal in our shoes) we parouzed the duty free shop and found a snack at the snack bar. We were disappointed with our selection, and then were kicking ourselves when we went up a level to where our gate was. On that level there were shops and restaurants with good looking food. Bummer.
We were off for another adventure. Athens was going to be our first CouchSurfing experience. Sloane set it up for us. A native Athenian, was going to host us near the center of the city (I didn't ask for permission to use his name on the blog, so I'll respect his privacy). Seth and I were nervous of what to expect. We made our way through the metro to get to a stop near his apartment and found him at the opening to the street. He immediately whisked us away in his fancy Alpha Romeo with red leather interior. It was nice to be in a nice car. He was charming and informative. After settling in and offering us drinks, he offered to take us to a place for lunch. He drove us around in search of a place to eat. Since it was Sunday, and at a weird in-between hour, it was a bit difficult. We tried three places before we found one that was open. It was really good! We had a Greek feast! There was greek salad, fried cheese, a whole fish, some prawns, some kind of sautéed greens, but my favorite was this creamy, white paste that was made from caviar. It was amazing. I could eat it with a spoon for hours, or dunk bread in it, or tomatoes...
Apparently, it is Greek tradition that the youngest has to eat the most. So, since there was one filet of the fish left, Sloane had to finish it, even though she was full. But, she was promised to get ice cream if she did. So, afterwards we headed to a wonderful little sweet shop with artisan ice cream. We got what he told us were traditionally Greek flavors like, pistachio, rose water, and this one flavor called Mastic that I had to look up to see what it was. It is the resin from a tree with hints of pine or cedar. It's really good, and we've tried ice cream elsewhere where they added honey to it. It is really good. (here's a link to the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastic_(plant_resin) )
That night we went out to an area called Gazi where all these posh bars are. It was really neat. There were lots of people out even though it was Sunday. We sat on a rooftop bar and drank fancy mixed drinks like pomegranate and honey martinis and smashed basil and mint coolers under a little olive tree.
The next day, our amazing host drove us to the Acropolis before he went to work. We meandered about the ancient Greek ruin with wide eyes (and a lot of Spanish tourists). The Acropolis was an amazing site with so much history, and spectacular views of the city.
After the Acropolis we strolled around the streets at the base of the mountain. There were tons of shops and things to look at. It happened to be extremely hot, so we ended up doing a bit of drinking to cool ourselves down. But that allowed us to use the free wifi and have a bit of Skype conversations. We, also, bought Sloane some traditional Greek Sandals for her birthday. She REALLY needed new sandals, and they were pretty cool. We, also, found our ferry tickets to Milos and a place to stay. Both were a little more than we wanted to spend, but it was our only option.
After tons of walking around Athens city center, we metro-ed our way back to our couch surfing residence, and were picked up. That night we cooked dinner at his home. It was really nice. There's something about cooking and sharing a meal together that brings people together. We were taught how to cook braised baby goat, a proper Greek salad (with a cool tomato technique), and goat chops and kebab on the grill. It was all so good! And, I always like trying new things. Goat was a first for me. We finished off our meal with fresh fruit (Greek fruit), and some candied grapes in its own syrup that his mother made. Everything was cooked with Greek ingredients and that made it all the better. Our couch surfing host was patient, giving, well informed on everything Greek, and a good conversationalist. It was a really good experience, and I hope all of our couch surfing experiences can be that good!
The next morning we caught a cab at 6am to get to the port. Milos, here we come! Well, we're here. We found our sleepy little fishing village and our one bedroom apartment with ease and settled in by slapping on some suits and hopping in the water. It is so clear! A little colder than expected, but refreshing. There were tons of cool critters on the sea floor to follow in our masks.
We swam a lot yesterday and hung around. It was nice to read a book with our amazing view.
At night we made our own greek salad with bread, all from the local market. Then, we headed into 'town' to grab a drink and to play Farkle. Seth won the first game, and since I lost I had to run screaming from the table and go back to our apartment to collect more money. Luckily, I won the second game. But, sadly, there was no wager. Boo!
Today, after a delicious breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, and feta, we hopped on a bus to get to the port town of Adamas. We poked around in the shops and grabbed snacks. We then found our way to another little village to see the only Christian Catacombs in Greece. We walked up a bit of a hill, then made our way down a switchback road to the catacombs. Luckily, they were closed! So, we didn't get to go in. If there were things to see or do in the surrounding village we might have walked around a bit, but as it turns out there wasn't, and the bus back to where we wanted to go left in 10 minutes time. We decided to make a run for it. We had 10 minutes to run uphill in 90 degree heat. Man, oh man, were we sweating when we finally reached the bus stop. But, we made it there with about 3 minutes before the bus arrived. Fortunately, the buses here are well air conditioned.
We grabbed a lunch of gyro and souvlaki at a restaurant in town. Seth got his 'covered' which was a big mistake. It was doused with cheese and bacon and french fries and mayonnaise. It was a mistake. That was definitely a touristy option, but we didn't know. Sloane and I got ours in a more traditional fashion and it was pretty good, although lacking the proper amount of tzaziki.
We decided to do a bit of grocery shopping, due to the scarcity of goods in our sleepy little village. So, so we gathered the usual suspects, of feta, tomatoes, eggs, etc. and made our way back to Pollonia.
Tonight, I have a feeling our sleepy little village won't be so sleepy. Tonight is a Panagiri! So exciting. Panagiri is the Greek word for party. So we are going to a party run by the village where there will be food and dancing and probably some drinking. Traditional music will be played, and I hope it's a blast. So, we've put on our fanciest outfits and we'll head out soon!