Welcome everyone to out newest installment of Where To? Wednesdays. Last week seemed to skyrocket in popularity. Maybe it was my Grandma Precious as the guest. Maybe it was the interview? Who knows?
This week’s guest is a lady that is very important, not only to Rome Across Europe, but to me personally as well. She is a full-time teacher, RAE’s Editor in Chief, and my wife. Everyone please give a great big round of applause and welcome for Jennifer Norris.
Rome Across Europe – Hi, Honey. Welcome home. I know that after talking all day long and teaching the youth of America the last thing you probably want to do is talk some more.
Jennifer Norris – If it’s about travel, then I’ll talk about it anytime.
RAE – Great because we will need you to read over this interview before publishing to make certain no errors were had.
JN – (laughter)
RAE – So where are you taking us this Wednesday?
JN – Greece, baby!
RAE – I thought you were going to say that, but I wanted to give you a fair chance first. Why is this your pick for today’s trip?
JN – Well, a big reason is because it was my first international trip. Plus I took it alone.
RAE – I know you love Greek history/art/mythology as much as I love the same about Rome’s. What got you started with this topic? Was it the trip or had you always had this passion?
JN – I always had this passion. Since I started reading Greek mythology in 4th grade I began to love all things Greek history. And on my solo trip is where I found my sense of independce. There’s just something about being out in the world, on your own, in an unknown place to make you really grow up.
RAE – That’s exciting and good to know for the younger members of our audience. When did you go? What time of year was it?
JN – I went in June. It was the begining of the high season.
RAE – For those not familiar with that term, can you please explain a bit more?
JN – High season is the time of year when all the tourists are there. It’s usually because the weather is nice. Lots of people are there. There lots to do..festivals, activities, etc. It does come with a higher price tag though.
RAE – That’s some great information. Did you have a specific place in Greece that really stood out?
JN – As far as cities or towns go, I’d say Santorini.
RAE – What made Santorini special for you?
JN – It was a combination of the things I did and the people I met. Some of the people I came across were the friendliest I’ve ever met. So helpful and generous.
RAE – That’s awesome. Can you share any moment in particular?
JN – In Santorini I stayed at a pension, Hotel Pension George. It was about 10 – 15 minutes outside Fira, Santorini’s capital. The pension was so cute, clean and cheap. It only cost about 35 Euros per night. The room I stayed in had these double-doors that opened up onto some lemon trees.
The pension’s owner belonged to an organization that basically amounted to ex-pat women who feel in love with a Greek man and then never left. That organization was having a wine and music festival that night to which she invited me. So my first night there, I spent drinking wine in a Greek vineyard on the side of cliff. Being under the stars listening to music amounted to one of the best times ever.
So much fun was had that I ended up missing the last bus back to the pension. One of the ex-pat women offered to drive me back. No problem. It was as if we’d been friends forever.
RAE – Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself, and fit in well with the locals. Is there any place the locals suggested you visit?
JN – Santorini is really the only place I interacted with the locals. They told me I had to visit the black sand beach. It was amazing.
RAE – Seems like you can go on about this trip for quite some time. Is there any advice that you would care to share for anyone looking to visit Greece?
JN – Yes. Watch out for the taxi drivers. They are friendly, but they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for a ride that should only cost about 3 Euros. Be aware of the distance from where you’re going. They seem to want to charge those appearing to be tourists a set fee. Just think, cabs here in the states don’t give rides for set fees, why should they do that abroad?
Oh. If any Albanian men offer to take you back to their apartment, just say “No”.
RAE – Anything else?
JN – Even in Athens, about half of the businesses did not have air conditioning. In the morning buy a liter water bottle and carry it with you. You will finish it. Easily. And your body will acclimate pretty quickly to the heat and humidity.
RAE – It’s been a pleasure to hear about your little paradise. Any parting words?
JN – If there are multiple places you’d like to travel to, ask yourself “If I could only go one other place in my lifetime, where would it be?”. Your heart will tell you where you want to be. Start there and then work your way down the list.
RAE – Wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to share about Santorini and Greece. Now go relax, Honey.
Just like the rest of Greece, Santorini or ancient Thera was once controlled by the Romans. When the Roman Empire split in two, Thera was controlled by the Eastern Roman Empire known today as the Byzantine Empire. Most of the island’s architecture reflects this eastern feel.
If you’d like to know more about traveling to Santorini, or Greece in general, just click Here.
Thank you again for spending time with us today on this Where To? Wednesday. We will be back next week with another journey and a new guest. In the meantime, remember to keep on Rome-ing!