After 16 hours on a ferry from Italy, we made it to Patra Greece. Another hour and a half by bus, then one more hour by train, and we made it to Piraeus, the port city next to Athens. Here we laid our heads for a night before jumping on another ferry for Santorini Island. This Greek island was just like the pictures... beautiful, idealic, and hot. We rented a scooter and drove around the whole island. Our favorite parts - black sand beaches, much cheaper than Western Europe where we'd been, wearing a swimming suit all day, and the views! The views were amazing!
After Santorini we headed back to Athens, where we spent Will's birthday watching the sunset from the top of the Acropolis overlooking the entire city. We even stood on the rock where St. Paul is said to have preached and converted some of the first Greek Christians. Athens is kind of a dump of a city, the junkiest and most grafitti we've seen on our trip, but the ruins and history are still worth seeing.
On to Meteora we went to see an unusual rock forest where Byzantine monks built 23 monostaries. How they built these monestaries I have no idea because you would need rock climbing equipment to reach the top of some of these cliffs. Luckily for us, there are now trails and roads, so we hiked to the six active monestaries that still survive. This was seriously one of the coolest places Will or I have ever been. The history, the rocks, the views... We saw a Greek Bible written in 939. It doesn't get much cooler than that!
Our last night in Greece was Thessaloniki. This wasn't originally in our plan, but it was a jumping off point to get to Albania, which is a story in and of itself. In Thessolaniki I just kept thinking that two books of the Bible are written to the people here who have a beautiful port city. Mostly, we just noticed the shopping and the huge ships, but it was a nice city and we had a comfortable bed to lay our heads. Then it was off to Albania...