Hi everyone! I planned on doing this recap last week but wasn’t able to put the time into it that I wanted. So here it finally is. If you’ve been reading, you probably know that I was in Greece and Turkey with two of my best friends for 10 days. Sit back and relax… here is the full recap mainly through photos with a short reflection at the end!
First stop: Santorini.
Our first cup of coffee during our layover at the Athens airport. We didn’t spend any time in Athens; instead, we quickly boarded a plane to Santorini.
Our amazing hotel in Santorini, the Dream Island Hotel. They treated us like family and were amazing hosts!
We. Were. Jetlagged. We felt so terrible in this picture but tried to power through the jetlag and make it till at least 9PM local time.
Our eyes finally laid eyes on the gorgeous cliffs we had seen in the movies and read about!
Grilled Calamari. They always serve the whole fish when you order fish in Greece. So fresh!
Our favorite restaurants in Santorini was one called Salt and Pepper, owned by an amazing woman named Irene. She treated us like we were life long friends and served us up two incredible meals. Salt and Pepper is in the main town of Fira but is just outside the main area (couple minutes walking). This keeps the restaurant quiet and homey.
Sunset at Oia—this is one of those things everyone told us we had to experience. The sunsets at Oia are said to be some of the best in the world.
Crowds gather and watch from the tip of the island:
We rented a car for a day and drove all around Santorini. This is definitely something I would recommend doing! You can go from one end of the island to the other in about 45 minutes. It is a tiny island.
We visited Amoudi Bay, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It is a tiny fishermans village that you would never find unless you set out to go to it. There are a few waterside restaurants and it has a very laid back vibe.
Second Stop: Mykonos
Beach Party time! Mykonos is known for their beach party scene, and after 3 days of relaxing in Santorini, we were ready for it. I have sparse photos from this part of the trip. Let’s just say I was having a really fun time and didn’t really think about my camera too much. Mykonos consisted of mainly a lot of this:
The lobby at our hotel:
Last Stop: Istanbul
Our last stop was completely different than the first two. Istanbul is an intense city, filled to the brim with culture. There is a very religious part to the city, but also a very laid back, purely fun atmosphere. The juxtaposition of the two made Istanbul really unique. We all had a hard time leaving.
Istanbul was also all about the food, especially the Turkish bread. We chose restaurants based on their break basket
Hagia Sofia: a famous museum to visit. It was formerly a basilica, then a mosque and is now a museum. It was built in the 4th century! The architecture and detail that went into every single piece of it was mesmerizing.
The Blue Mosque: famous Mosque to visit in Istanbul. You have to cover your heads, so we sported some very fashionable styles.
Turkish Ice Cream called “dondurma”:
Turkish coffee (they keep the grinds in there):
We found the non-touristy areas of Istanbul and spent two days wandering the streets. We did some vintage shopping, relaxed and read our books in their sidewalk cafes, went to a Hookah bar, and just roamed around aimlessly for hours.
Our last dinner (and one of our best meals) was had at Datli Maya:
It is a small restaurant, and you walk through the kitchen on your way up to the seating area:
And that’s a wrap! The trip was the best trip I have been on. It was extremely relaxing, and we lived in the moment for every second of it. It felt like we were away for a month because we did so many things and truly enjoyed every part of every day. I couldn’t have asked for the trip to be anything more than it was. The three of us bonded in so many ways, and I definitely laughed more on this trip than I have in a long time.
On our last night, I sat on the balcony of our hotel and wrote in my journal for a while. I wanted to take a second to process the trip. Here is a line from my journal that sort of sums up the trip:
“The experiences I had here were so rich- every sight we saw, every person we met who had such a rich background, every restaurant we ate at. It’s like every bite of this trip was filled with so many intense and beautiful flavors” (of course I related it back to food… ).
We really saw some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. Breathtaking views every day. And I think the depth of culture in Istanbul really impacted all of us. My favorite part of the trip was all of the people we met along the way. I loved hearing peoples’ stories and learning about the culture from a local perspective.
If anyone has any questions about any of the places we went, please ask me! I’d love to provide more detail or advice on anything.
Thanks for reading… phew you made it through!