27 April 2011

Home

We made it home safely!!!! Michelle is still in New York and we'll have lots of fun pictures of Milan for you and a final post by next week, so check back then.

Thanks!!!

20 April 2011

traVULAing

*Michelle climbed to a white church on the side of a mountain on our last day in Santorini

The ferry ride from Santorini to Athens was great! We got invited to join a group of people who travel from Athens to Paros twice a week for work. One is a violinist, one a singer, one plays the drum, and the other brings the food. We ate our first (and probably last) SNAILS! Gross! But it was a wonderful meal and SOOOO amazing. We took a ton of videos and they even gave us their CD in the end! We spent one more night in Athens, then headed up to Vula's in Katerini the next morning.


Yesterday we collected sea shells for an hour with Vula and her friend CJ then went on this incredible hike through a gorge in mt olympus. We also went to a monastery to collect Vula's favorite honey!


*View of Mt. Olympus from behind Vula's home


*Collecting seashells on the beach in front of Vula's home


*Vula overlooking the gorge in Mt. Olympus

We went to Philippi today. We basically trailed Paul's steps from Acts ch 16:6-ch 17. We saw where Paul and Silas were imprisoned and then there was an earthquake, but they stayed and prevented the guard from killing himself and then the guard's whole family believed and was saved. We saw the first church that was ever created in Europe. There was a mosaic on the floor from the original church that said to my friend (filo, which means friend that is better than a brother) Paul from the bishop of the church. It was so amazing! After walking around Philippi and visiting the place where Lydia's home would have been, we had a wonderful Greek lunch in Kavala, which was Neapolis in Paul's time. It was the first place he arrived in Macedonia and we saw the port that he would have come into
to. Such an incredible day.


*The jail were Paul and Silas were held


*Vula guiding us through the ancient city


*Vula explaining an old Christian symbol


*The first church ever built in Europe...the shape of an octagon to signify going out into all parts of the world


*The first baptismal in Europe

video

*Road block on the way to Philippi!

17 April 2011

Santorini Sunset



Our second day in Santorini we took a boat ride to visit the volcano and the hot springs with Liz (left) and Saba (right). We had so much fun hiking up the volcano and taking photos! The hot springs wasn't exactly hot at all, but it was really fun to swim around for a bit.



After our boating adventure, we went back to the hotel to clean up. We were able to just enjoy lying out on the black sand beach in the sun for a few hours. So wonderful!


Then we headed for Oia to see the sunset. We made it to the coast of Oia just in time! What a beautiful view! We spent the rest of the evening taking night pictures in Oia. Incredible. Afterwards we went to our favorite restaurant, Yazz, right next to our hostel and enjoyed a great conversation with our new friends who work there.

video

Our first episode of the Amy and Michelle Show! In high school we decided to have a TV show, which we wanted to film in a volcano. I have no idea why, but we found a volcano and hence...this video!

15 April 2011

Updated Itinerary!

Can skip to our itinerary on the left, it's one of the first blogs!

What was that the baker gave us...?

Santorini is absolutely amazing! We are resting, but not in the way we were expecting. We met these two girls our age in Athens at our hostel that were taking the same ferry as us to Santorini. They helped us get situated in the same hotel as them. It's right on the beach next to this amazing restaurant where we are slowly becoming friends with the owner. He speaks very little English, so it is a process haha. The owner of the hotel, Steilo is also AMAZING! He picked us up from the port and gave us a quick tour of his part of the island. We actually met his wife at the grocery store down the street this evening and she gave us a ride back to the hotel cause it was getting dark! Such a kind couple!

So, rewind...last night we just hung out at the aforementioned restaurant with the two girls (Saba and Liz). Michelle had this delicious traditional meatball dish and I had Moussaka...yum! Then today we actually rented a car with the two girls cause it was so cheap! 7.50 each for 2 days. There is a horrid public transportation system, so it's really the only way to see the island efficiently. We went to an old town first and just explored and took photos. I ran into this little white puppy dog, which at first ran away from me, but then started licking my toes. Melted my heart.


After the old town, we went to Fira, which is the main city and port of the island. We walked all the way down to the old port, grabbed lunch, and took a mule ride back up! What an experience! There was no one leading the mules, the guy just helped us on them, yelled at the mules to start moving, and they just kept going up! They were so cute!


Then we drove to a red sand beach and check it...we got to go SWIMMING!!!! finally :D It was definitely really cold, but so worth it! We swam out to this rock that we just laid on for an hour before the tide was getting a bit rough, so we came back. Then we went out for gyros for dinner. The gyros man gave them to us for free!!!!! So nice! That's when we went grocery shopping for food tomorrow (we're going to the volcano and then the hot springs) and met Steilo's wife. Then we went back to our favorite restaurant and just sat by the fire outside and had a cider. Perfect end to a perfect day.


video
*Ranting Old Greek Men

video
*Muling around...get it?

13 April 2011

Zeus Sneezed


We made it to Bari and spent the night in a "hostel" which was really like staying in an Italian's apartment. It was great! They had Minestrone soap waiting for us when we got there...yum! Unfortunately...the Nutella jar was empty!





The next day we took a Superfast Ferry to Greece. 30 hours later, we discovered that Greece is amazing! We met two other Americans on the ferry over here and have been traveling with them. They are both studying in England. Their names are Catherine and Anthony. So nice! We got into Athens last
night and saw the view from the Acropolis at night. We hiked up there again today and went to some other sights (Zeus' temple, Hadrian's library) and just walked around the city. We even got some Greek sandals at the Athens flee market! So much fun! When Anthony saw a toppled column at Zeus' temple, he said, "Zeus must have sneezed or something." Made our day!

And tomorrow...off to Santorini!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (aka PARADISE!!!!)

11 April 2011

Amalfi Coast & Capri

*Michelle falling into the pit of Vesuvius..ahh!!!

Our wonderful host drove us down to the Navy base in Naples to go grocery shopping while we go to the exchange (shopping!) as Michelle needed a bathing suit. Then we went up Mt. Vesuvius, which was the volcano that exploded over Pompeii.

*Michelle enjoying a Caprese salad in Amalfi

*View of Positano

The next day we headed to Sorrento area and took a CRAZY bus ride along the Amalfi Coast. We enjoyed some delicious lemon ice along the way!

*Riding the chairlift up to the top of Anacapri

*We made it to the top!

*On the way back down

The next day, we walked down to the port into downtown Sorrento and caught a ferry to Capri. On the ferry we met two ladies who are serving in the Navy stationed in Naples. They gave us some suggestions and we got to to swap stories about California! Once we arrived in Capri we took a foot path up to the central city of Capri. We were greeted with an absolutely breath taking view of the coastline and the Bay of Naples. Continuing upward we took a bus up to Anacapri because the ladies and Justo suggested we take a chairlift to the top of Anacapri. The chairlift was the highlight, it was so weird because it was the first time I had ever been on one without snow! A little freaky at first but the view was amazing! We took naps on top of the mountain and then made our way back down on foot. We found the original trail to take from Capri to Anacapri so we got to see views and meet people that most tourists don't get to see and meet! Ending our day on the coast taking a nap in the sunshine. We went back to the hotel and got ready for an authentic Italian dinner down the street. Amy had Neapolitan pizza and I had some delicious risotto. A delightful way to end a beautiful day.

Yesterday we left Sorrento and headed for Bari. After a long day of train rides we made it to our hotel/homestay location and were greeted by homemade Minestrone Soup. Yummmm! Today we are meeting with a couchsurfer who will take us around Bari before we get on a ferry for Greece!