August 21, 2011
Today was a sad day because we were leaving Italy behind but not before visiting our last destination which was the town of Ravenna. We only had a couple of hours and since it was a Sunday many stores and restaurants were closed. Couple that with being exhausted from the the weeks activities and we were more than happy to pass our time at a sidewalk cafe and simply absorb the sights and sounds around us.
From Ravenna we drove to the shores of Ancona and disembarked on a ferry headed to Greece. The accommodations were very nice with private rooms featuring two beds and a full bathroom.
However, there were lots of people sleeping in the hallways and on the deck of the ship. I discovered that it costs next to nothing to ride the ferry if you do not buy a cabin and you are still welcome to all the amenities the ship has to offer. This is a great way to travel between Italy and Greece with many options to choose from.
The ferry as like a small cruise ship with restaurants, cafes, shopping, a disco and a casino. This was probably the most relaxing day of the trip because there was no itinerary and we knew we could sleep in the next morning as we didn’t arrive in Greece until the afternoon.
We stayed up late talking and laughing with others in our group and had a great night’s sleep.
August 22, 2011
We woke up refreshed and ready to see Greece. Our destination for the night was the Olympia Palace Hotel in Olympia. It is located on a wonderful street with plenty of shops and restaurants. During the day the area seemed empty but It was fun to see everything come alive as the sun went down. Kids rode their bike on the sidewalks, men began games of chess and women gathered to talk and laugh.
Stacy and I dipped in and out of specialty shops tasting wine, trying on dresses and buying trinkets. Afterwards we enjoyed the company of fellow group members on the hotel’s terrace before heading to bed.
I knew that I was going to fall in love with Greece on my first night. The atmosphere seemed much more laid back than it had in Italy and I couldn’t wait to see the gems that this country had to offer.
My best memories from these days:
– Watching a waiter flirt relentlessly with Stacy in the lounge of the ship
– Trying to make the most of the ship’s Disco but giving up because we didn’t understand any
of the music
– Stacy and I unsuccessfully trying to communicate with with two French guys on the ferry. We
didn’t understand anything they said until they invited us to sleep in their cabin (turns out
that booty calls sound the same across all language barriers). We politely excuse ourselves
from the conversation much to their disappointment.
– Enjoying the luxury of sleeping late for the first time since we joined our group in Rome.
– Buying a postcard with a huge penis on it to mail to our friend, Kelly.