The sky is completely blue. The kind of deep blue that gradually fades into a white horizon line, as far as the eyes can possibly see, before it meets with the blue of the sea. Boats of all kinds are roaming around the old port, some 900 feet below us, at the bottom of the caldera. Farther in the horizon is the volcano that made the island famous, with its hordes of tourists and its hot springs.
“- A Greek Salad and some tzatziki please…”, we tell the waitress as we place our order.
We have a couple of hours before our boat departs and the sun is strong, we’re sweating.
“…and a cold beer please”, we quickly add.
Greece is an amazing country and Santorini is one of the beautiful islands the country has to offer (there are approximately 2000). It also has to be one of the most welcoming countries as well. Everybody is very friendly and always ready to help you when you need it. The food is amazing and the most striking difference when coming from the US is the taste of the vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, … were so incredibly flavorful. That made it simple for us: it was Greek salad everyday.
After about a hour of eating and enjoying the view, we ask for the check, a little curious of what the price would be for this lunch in paradise in a rooftop restaurant with a view on Santorini’s volcano.
It was 8€ (or 9$).
We pay and thank — “Efkaristo!” — the waitress for this great lunch and get ready to board our ferry to Crete.
Impressions about Greece
Our 2 weeks in Greece helped discover a beautiful country and people. Of course, we all know about Greece as it’s been all over the news for the last several years. The image we get of a country on the brink of financial failure through regular news of crisis, bail-outs, clashes with the Troika and Grexit scenarios is only describing a small portion of what we experienced locally. While accurate, we felt that it was missing context.
So we decided to bring some context to these news and we interviewed several Greek people during our trip to get their insights on the current situation. As a majority speak english, we had the chance to get interesting feedback from a wide range of professionals : taxi drivers, hotel personnel, museum attendant, restaurant owner…
Their views on the financial situation of their country was surprising, I am preparing an article on the subject, so stay tuned!
Nick – MoneyMiner
In the meantime, for those undecided where to go for the next summer vacation, below are pictures of several great places we visited.
wow. Those are some amazing photos!!!
how is the crisis affecting the tourism? are there more tourists because they think Greece is cheap??
From what we’ve seen, tourism is huge business in Greece and it holds up pretty wells. The Euro has weakened against several currencies incl the USD, which makes it all the more attractive!
A friend of mine was just talking about how awesome Greece was. I didn’t need any persuasion, but it seems like you are going to tell me it’s well worth it. Glad you enjoyed it!
The charm of the country is that it has many things to offer: beach, history, food, good prices, city exploring and island hopping, there’s something for everyone!
I was in Greece a few years ago. I agree it is an amazing place to visit. Was on the mainland (Athens) and on Corfu. Travel and see the world. I always felt that way and have been fortunate to visit many, many countries already. Talk about media hype and sensationalism. Can’t believe everything you see, hear or read. As Greece is in the news a lot in recent weeks I am sure that being there gave you a much different perspective regarding the financial crisis going on there. I have two similar examples, 1) visiting Iceland in 2011 after their govt. gave the finger to all their debt which rocked their currency and was tough to swallow in the short term but what we saw was a near utopia with almost non-existent crime, no homeless and a clean, beautiful country with a happy population and 2) visiting Israel in 2012. You’d think the whole country is a war zone by what you see on TV but nothing was further form the truth. I saw a faced paced country, tech hub, high rises and modern country in every sense of the word despite being surrounded by hostile neighbors in all directions. Open your eyes and travel.
DH – For what we have seen, Athens does seem to be hit the most by the crisis. We went south to the Cyclades and met several people who moved out of Athens to find a job in the islands, where tourism is strong. I had looked up Corfu, it looked amazing, but was too far away. It’d have to be for another trip.
Similarly to your analysis, we found the Greek people were a lot less concerned about the financial situation than what the media would want us to believe.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Iceland and Israel must have been great experiences!