… to Greece (day 3)

Today was easily one of the best days of this entire trip! I didn’t sleep well last night for a number of reasons so I tossed and turned until finally getting up and ready for the day at 8am. I had breakfast at the hotel but because today was mostly a free day, a lot of people took the opportunity to sleep in a little later. Breakfast was okay but there were no croissants so I count that as a win.

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We hung out outside for awhile, enjoying the waterside, before hopping on the provided bikes and biking into town about 10am. It was only a few of us and we had a good time going into different shops, enjoying the scenery, and climbing up the hill to see the clock tower. The city was so pretty and the weather was great which made for an awesome morning. The shops were all pretty similar and full of knick knacks but it was still cool to browse. I didn’t have any luck finding contact solution but I did get a cute tote bag so that was good. I already knew I loved Greece from just last night alone and exploring the island more only confirmed that. We stopped and took pictures everywhere because there were just so many picturesque places!

We made it back to the hotel at noon and tried to squeeze in lunch before heading out for our water activities the rest of the afternoon. Victoria slept in this morning so she missed biking and joined us at lunch. I had another incredibly delicious Greek salad (they are the best here, seriously) and chicken souvlaki.

The entire group boarded a little boat around 1:30pm and headed to another, more remote, part of the island. Poros doesn’t have real beaches (our hotel has a mini one) so we had a private dock for our group with loungers and beer for everyone. There were a couple of guys running different water activities for us to try like parasailing, tubing, banana boating, wake boarding, and water skiing (for a cost, of course).

I decided to do everything except water skiing and wake boarding because I was pretty positive I would not be successful with those. The others all seemed fun though so I figured I’d give them a shot. We went tubing in groups of 4: my group was with Anna, Victoria, and Katharine. Tubing was insane. I almost fell off at each bump and I was really determined to not fall, or to at least not be the first person to fall. Anna fell at one of the last turns because her tube ran into Victoria’s but then the boat driver pulled a mean trick on the rest of us to try and knock us off too. He had us put our hands in the air for a picture and then when we all weren’t holding on, he pulled the boat forward again. I totally saw it coming though and was able to grab on to the tube again and not fall off. Tubing champ, right here. Also, shout out to Trent for taking pictures of us!

Next up was banana boating. My boat had Kayla, Ellie, Cassie, Katy, Trent, and me. None of us had done this before either and it was a little bit of a let down after tubing. It was fun but definitely not as adventurous. At the end, the driver tried to knock us all off and was successful. I got a taste of how salty the water was during tubing but man, that water was intense. I’ve never experienced such salty water and my contacts were not happy… but I was. The water was great.

Last on the list was parasailing, which was what I was looking forward to the most. There were 8 people on our boat (Abby, Hannah, Katharine, Avery, April, Miguel, Martin, and me) and we went one at a time so it was a little slow but I enjoyed just riding around in the boat as well. I was pretty excited when it was my turn, especially after hearing all of the people before me talk about how much they enjoyed it. Parasailing was easily one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was so quiet and peaceful up there and I definitely had another one of those surreal feelings. How many people go parasailing in Greece?! It was so amazing and the scenery and views will forever be engrained in my memory. I also thought it would be really fun to just cut the rope and free fall into the gorgeous water. The most depressing moment of the day was seeing Martin suit up in his life jacket because it meant my turn was almost over! I easily could’ve spent all day gliding around in the air.

After parasailing, a few of us went to a nearby cafe to get gyros. Katharine and I weren’t very hungry but still really wanted to try them so we split one and it was so good; easily the best gyro I had ever had and appropriately so given our location! I also had an overpriced, mediocre strawberry daiquiri.

We didn’t have a specific”end time” at the dock and were allowed to stay as long as we wanted but everyone had done all of the activities they wanted to do so we headed back to the hotel. It was a crazy boat ride and we all got soaked from the waves; that salt was brutal.

We were back at the hotel by 5:30pm and while most people went to the hotel pool, I decided to lay out on the beach and enjoy the peace and quiet. It was so still and so beautiful and the sun felt amazing. I was very much relaxed, which is something I struggle at doing. I sunbathed in silence for an hour before a group of middle school aged kids appeared at the hotel. They checked in and made their way to the beach which ruined the quiet. I tried to stick it out but couldn’t hang so I figured I should go get ready for dinner. As I left, a lady asked me if I was leaving because of them and I said, “it’s just a little loud” and walked away. I wasn’t mad, it’s just as much their vacation as mine, but it really was overwhelming loud. The hour I got though was pretty great.

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Dinner was at 7:30pm at the hotel. We had salad, gyros, and ice cream and it was all great, of course. Greece is slowly taking the lead for best food on the trip. Who would’ve thought?!

After dinner, Avery, David, Ryan, and I took a cab into town to get gelato. It was pretty good and we enjoyed it sitting on the pier and watching the sun go down over the water. We sat and talked for a couple of hours and it was really nice getting to know them more. I’m one of the older ones on the trip so hearing them talk about their post-grad plans and concerns brought back some serious deja vu. I tried to give advice where I could but I didn’t want to be that old person who just gives out unsolicited information when people might not care! It was a nice evening though and again, with perfect weather. Greece is amazing at all times of the day!

Tomorrow we have another relaxing day. Most of us are going to Hydra island to explore. There are cars allowed on that island so we’ll be traveling donkey which will be interesting. We might even get to cliff dive which is terrifying and awesome all at the same time. In the afternoon, I’m sure we’ll just lounge around again!

I managed not to get sunburned today but my farmer’s tan isn’t any better. I think it might be way past being able to be fixed! Maybe I need to put sunscreen on the tan areas only to help balance it? That idea feels flawed though. Maybe I’ll just become a farmer and it won’t matter. Either way…

Until tomorrow,

Jillian

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