Thursday, July 21, 2011

ευχαριστώ, Ελλάδα

After two weeks in the paradise more commonly known as Greece, I am back in Copenhagen, experiencing the highly expected traditional post-vacation-downer. It was a holiday filled with all the ingredients I love: new places and faces, indescribably delicious food (and a lot of it!), a beautiful foreign language, hours of relaxation, breathtaking landscapes and historical sights, summer heat and sunshine, and the best company possible. It was a perfect mixture of downtime and adventure, and not only was I able to escape reality for a couple of weeks, but I achieved my first veritable tan, learned a new alphabet, and managed to pick up 89 words (tallied during the return flight takeoff, to calm my flying nerves) in a stunning language. I would give anything to have stayed in that bubble of bliss for just a bit longer, but I suppose that is what makes holiday travels so special. It's like when you are younger, and all you want is Christmas every day--it sounds like a fantastic idea. But as you get older, you realize that Christmas is so wonderful because it only comes once a year, because it isn't just an every day thing. For me, Greece shall be the same; it is a Christmas-level sort of place, and I would not have it any other way. Until next time, then, a big fat Greek thank you (or "ευχαριστώ") to everybody there who made my holiday so unbelievably fantastic.

Street meat, highway-style. On the way to the house after landing in Thessaloniki, we stopped at this kiosk on the side of the highway. People pull over, hop the barrier, pick up some sodas, and keep on truckin'.

A slice of heaven.

While having a φραπές--or, a delicious Greek iced coffee--we saw this magnificent sunset over Mt. Olympus. I'd normally call it "Jesus light," but in this instance, I think "Zeus light" might be more appropriate.

Monkeying around at the Archaeological Museum in Dion.

One of my favorite villages we visited, Paleo ("Old") Panteleimonas. Like taking a step back in time, it was an escape from the escape from reality. Amazing.

1100m up Mt. Olympus. I got a bit light-headed, but a lunch of φασολάδα--fasolada, Greek's delicious national dish--and panoramic views like this one definitely helped.

At Aphrodite's Spring, down the end of this narrow tunnel was a font, out of which poured the clearest, freshest water you'll ever taste. The tight squeeze was worth the reward.

In Athens for the evening, I had to go to the Acropolis. I have no words, except: if you can, you must see this.

Athens, down the rabbit hole...

A trip to the islands, first stop: Thira, aka Santorini. This is the town of Oia by night. Fantastic!

And by morning, the view of Santorini's biggest village, Fira, from the old village of Firostefani.

No, this is not a pool. This is what the water really looks like.

The biggest--but smallest!--slice of paradise of all: Κουφονήσια.

This small island is my new favorite place on Earth. If ever I'm instructed to "go to my happy place," this is where I'll be.

This is just a small taste of my big fat Greek holiday. I cannot say enough how warm the people are, how beautiful the country is, and how delicious the food tastes. If you're ever searching for a perfect combination of relaxation and new adventures, consider Greece. You won't regret it--you'll only regret ever having to come home.

Friday, July 1, 2011


After five weeks away, it is really nice to be home for a week before I take a little trip to another land. Having lived in Copenhagen for over two years now, I can say that while I love this city (or at the very least, really like the whole city and love Vesterbro), it can get claustrophobic at times. Copenhagen is what I call a "little big city." And that's literally what it sounds like: while technically dubbed a city, as a New Yorker I can say with confidence that it is a very small city. To be sure, this is part of its charm, but it can also make me go a bit bonkers after a while. There are only so many times you can bike around the same neighborhoods or sit in the park before it gets a bit monotonous, no matter how lovely the weather might be.

And so it is wonderful to come back to sunny skies and warm weather, and to be able to re-appreciate this little big city I have come to call home. Despite the fact that the entire city seems to be under construction at the moment (see my lovely friend Sandra's blog for more on this!), Copenhagen really is quite fantastic in the summer. Before I go on vacation in a week, I plan to take full advantage of being able to do nothing and anything--and of the summer sales going on right now. So, a little photographic ode to good ol' CPH, as I continue the battle against jetlag...

New street art on Westend, my favorite block in Copenhagen.

"Blomster om sommeren" -- flowers in summer.

I love Vesterbro...