Monday, April 18, 2011


I always find it difficult to aggregate all the experiences I've had in a country into one single post, yet too tedious to write daily journals of the trip. I learnt that when I tried to keep a travel journal in Italy. So I guess the best way to communicate how the trip was is to show you an email that I wrote to my mother. I just sent it, so it's totally possible that you are reading it before she does. Hahas.. But it's everything I want to say about Greece. Because words cannot express how awesome the place is...

Hello Mother!

I just came back from the Greek Islands and just started school today. Actually I am taking the 1 hour I have before class to write to you right now!

Greece was the best place we have been to so far in terms of the scenery, the food and the people. We planned to go to Athens, Santorini (an island) and Rhodes (another bigger island), but ended up spending only 3 hours in Athens because the ferry we wanted to take initially was cancelled. The trip ended up to be more about the islands than the main peninsular of Greece.

Of the two islands that we went to, I must say that Santorini wins hands down. It's supposed to be super touristy because it's the place where they filmed "Mamma Mia", but we went there before the actual peak season started. So everyone was just starting to open their stores, and the weather was rather cold.

There was the beautiful sunset at Ia, and the panoramic view that we saw at the top of a monastery on a hill. Also, there was the beautiful scenery of the different coloured beaches (ask Sis to show you Facebook when I upload the pictures!). What really struck me though, was how friendly everyone was on the island. They were genuinely willing to help us and answer us when we had questions, and didn't get annoyed at all in situations where I think someone else would flare up. We were really just waiting for something bad to happen to us in terms of service, but it never ever came.

We also managed to get lots of free stuff in Santorini! This bar called Yazz Bar we went to gave us free Vinsanto wine, which is the locally produced award winning wine there. I bought some back for you guys to try =) The very same bar also treated us to some Moet Hennesy champagne one night when we went over there for a party they were having because it was the bartender's birthday. There were also lots of other examples of how other shops just offered us free yoghurt to try or more food. Really really friendly people!

The food there was also great. They basically eat something that is similar to the kebab that we see in Singapore, but they call them "Gyros" and "Souvlakis". They are also big on salads, olive oil and pita bread. I TOTALLY LOVE PITA BREAD NOW! What they do is they toast the pita and eat it together with a dip, normally made of greek yoghurt and cucumber called "tzaziki". I think I can make some when I get back for you all =) Other than that, the meals are mainly meat. Either pork or beef in the kebabs..

The trip in Rhodes was also very nice mainly because of the people. I didn't exactly fancy the scenery there, and the beaches really couldn't compare with Santorini. But the general warmness of the Greeks came through. There was this small incident with a very bitchy lady boss in the hostel we stayed in, but other than that, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I managed to get myself a good tan in Greece too! I was starting to feel gao wei because of how white I was becoming in Maastricht. Hahas..

I was just very impressed with how the people there were so friendly despite all the economic problems we read about in the newspapers. Frankly, I was expecting riots and strikes in Athens, and that's why we didn't plan to stay more days there. What we got out of it was so different though.. People were genuinely happy and sincere, and glad that we were there to visit their country. They were also happy to share their culture with us in terms of how to make their food.

I think it's hard for any other place to match up to Greece le!

Anyways, I really miss everyone at home! Sent some postcards back home. Let me know if you received it! I'm going to Switzerland for 4 days this Wednesday because they are having Easter holidays here, so I probably will not be able to skype again. BUT I'M ALWAYS THINKING OF HOME!!


Your Son,

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