Well I will start off by saying that this weekend was THE BEST WEEKEND OF MY LIFE. This Friday, me, Randi, Michael, Brian, Anna, Jaclyn and Alexia headed to Thessaloniki, Greece for a two night stay.
Randi and I had booked a separate hostel than the others so we just decided to go on our own and get a taxi in an attempt to find where we were staying. We eventually managed to arrive in the general area of our destination and ended up getting out of the taxi and walking a little ways until we found our hostel, Little Big House, that was owned by the sweetest woman I have ever met, Vicki. Upon our arrival, Vicki served us Greek frappes and little gingerbread cookies that were phenomenal.
After getting settled, Randi and I decided to find the nearest water to Little Big House and it happened to be a short walk and bus ride away. We ended up at a port type thing where we saw three big boats at the dock. We spotted a Jamaican looking boat and Randi and I decided to get on because when else would we have this opportunity? The boat played Reggae music and had a bar and tables all around. We were only on the boat for about an hour but it was around 6 pm so the sun was just right and reflecting off of the water. The warm breeze and warm sun hitting our faces was absolutely perfect. We had no plans, nowhere to be, no idea where we were or where we were going…..and that, my friends, was only the beginning to one of the two most glorious days of my life.
After we got off of the boat, we really had no clue where to go or what to do so naturally, we just found the closest bus stop. Randi said, “Let’s just get on this one,” which just so happened to be totally and completely the wrong bus….but it happened to be the catalyst to all of our adventures. After a few stops on the bus, we realized we were pretty much heading in the complete opposite direction of where we should be heading (that is, if we really HAD to be anywhere, which we didn’t. So we didn’t care.) I decided to take out the map of Thessaloniki that we had been given and just as I pulled the map out, unfolded it and opened it up, it ripped right down the middle…OBVIOUSLY forcing us to discard one half of it and cross our fingers that we could ask someone for directions. Luckily, the people of Greece are extremely kind and helpful 🙂 Anyways, the man sitting across from me found it hysterical that I ripped the map and started to laugh pretty hard so we told him that we were sure we were on the wrong bus, and he tried to help us out a little. At that point, after realizing how nice everyone was, we decided to make it our goal to become close friends with the locals.
Soon after the map-ripping incident, a young fella got on the bus and we began to talk to him. We told him where we were from, our situation and that we were OK with the fact that we had no clue where this bus was taking us. He told us his name was Marios, he was 24 years old, and he could help us find our way back. Yay! Except we weren’t ready to go back yet…so he told us he could show us some cool places in Greece that we might not have found otherwise. We began walking and he took us to a dock with tons of fancy yachts and eventually took us to a hill that looked out over all of the boats and the Aegean Sea. At this point, the sun was setting and the view was absolutely beautiful. It was one of the first times that I could truly use the term “breathtaking” without it being a joke or without feeling dumb. All I could do was just stare. Also, nothing that I am explaining to you can even come close to what it was like actually being there, so think of being in amazement and multiply that times 1,000. We loved Marios and he helped us complete our goal of getting to know the locals!
After all of this, we walked around with Marios as our tour guide for a little longer. He then guided us to the correct bus stop and we said our goodbyes. We got on the bus and when we got to the city-center, we decided to get a taxi to take us to the hostel. However, this was easier said than done and my first attempt at hailing a cab ended in a man in a random car pulling over beside us. I didn’t know if I should be offended by this or not because that happening could really imply a lot of things if you know what I mean. lolz. So after we were mistaken for…..well you know….we hailed a TAXI this time and he spoke Greek. Just Greek. So we found ourselves pretty far from where we were staying. We started to walk again until we found another taxi, and this wasn’t a short walk by any means. Not to mention, I had a blister the size of Texas on my foot and I was wearing flimsy shoes. Also Randi was hungry and tired and we all know how she gets when that happens. We eventually found another taxi driver who got us a bit closer until we just got out and followed a Greek guy named Kostas (which is also the name of the attractive Greek male on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.) Kostas’ eyes were bluer than the Mediterranean Sea and he was just as sweet as can be. Our time with him was short because he led us back to our place pretty quickly. We were extremely tired and hungry (but still having a great time) so we decided to get something to eat at a restaurant near our hostel.
After we finished eating , we headed back and passed a building with a few guys making what looked like dough. My first question was, “Why are these guys making dough at such an hour?” They must’ve heard us because they brought us both a piece of bread that they had made. Randi and I attempted talking to them (they didn’t speak English) while stuffing our faces with this mysterious bread that wasn’t great. However…we didn’t want to be rude so we ate what we could of it and threw the rest to a stray cat…..he didn’t eat it either if that says anything about the bread. (Oh and while we were eating, an old man with the word, “seduce” on the back of his shirt sat near us. So that’s a fun tidbit.)
We finally got back to the hostel and went to sleep with our four other foreign roommates. That was day one. And it was glorious.
After waking up on Saturday morning, we headed to the beach which took two bus rides to get to, thirty minute rides each. We got to the beach and Randi had made friends with a women who we think was named Joanna. Yeah we will go with that. Joanna lived in England until she was 17, and had been living in Greece ever since moving from England. She told us to follow her to a more private part of the beach that she enjoyed so we did. It was wonderful! There were maybe a total of 5 people in sight not counting Randi and I. The best part of the beach….besides the beautiful water and mountains in the distance…..at least Randi’s favorite part, was the nude man lying out on the beach. JK, JK but really he was definitely nude. So we awkwardly walked past him with our heads down and picked a spot to tan/sleep on the sandy shores of the Meditteranean Sea for the next four hours.
After waking up, we saw the nude man again and Randi’s words were, “Yep. Nude man’s still nude.” I just really hope he wore sunscreen because I’m pretty sure the sun hasn’t shone there too much…at least we hope not for others sake. Anyway, we got some lunch at this place on a cliff overlooking the ocean (at this place below) and then went back to the beach.
Randi was asleep on the beach so I took a walk to the rocks and tried to climb them because nobody was around so I wasn’t concerned about looking dumb, which I did. I failed and got bit by a mysterious Grecian spider. That was the ONLY unfortunate happening so I consider that a successful trip.
Oh wait….there was that time on the way back from the beach when I got off of the bus for LITERALLY 5 SECONDS and it left me. With Randi on it. And me not on it. I only had 1 euro in my pocket, no phone, no nothing. It was actually pretty funny because we were both sitting on the bus waiting for the driver to get back on and I jokingly said to Randi, “Hold my stuff. I’m gonna get a water. Wait for me at the next bus stop if it leaves me!” And right as I put my change into the slot to get a water…I see the bus drive off. Normally I would panic but because I was so happy to be in this place, I didn’t. I found my way back and Randi was there waiting for me and eating Oreos. She just shook her head when I walked up. She got a good laugh out of it and I get to tell all of you about it so I don’t regret it happening.
Overall, the trip was a success, one for the books, a hit, the time of my life, a ball. Oh, and I also got to experience it with my best friend. Greece could quite possibly be my favorite place on earth and I hope to go back again very soon.