Driving through olive and orange farms, passing goats standing vertically on the rocks (this will always fascinate me), swimming in the warm sea, visiting ancient places, friendly Greeks - these are all sights and experiences worth going to Greece, all of which I was expecting in the first place. But there were also a few things, which I wasn't expecting, that came as a shock.
If you drive to the south of Greece, you see the results of failing system and poverty. You will see ghost villages, which people probably left in search for jobs. Bankrupt groceries stores, bankrupt petrol stations, bankrupt hotels. It seems, like the time would have stopped. Old abandoned buildings, many of which never were finished. Cars from the 80s and 90s (which i personally find super cool). The overall view has its specific atmosphere, spookiness covered with sadness.
The most shocking experience was when I was woken up on the first morning by two Phantoms F4 (military jets) flying right next to the apartment, that I stayed in. I have never heard anything so loud in my entire life. Same day I had the chance to see them. Fast, dark, loud and scary. I have heard and seen them at least once a day. When I asked a native Greek, why is the military aircraft so active, all I heard as an answer was 'it's normal'.
One more thing, which I was not expecting was the enormous fire spread over Greece. One evening I started smelling smoke, shortly after that I read in the online news, that uncontrolled fire is burning 100km away. The fire burned in multiple places leaving outrageous damage.
Probably my favorite place, that I have ever visited in Greece! Small town located on Peloponnese peninsula, with history reaching 8th century B. C. While walking through the hot archeological site, you can see the majesty of the ancient stones, which once used to form those enormous temples, dedicated to the Greek Gods. You also walk through training areas for the athletes and you can walk on the ancient stadium. Additionally you can visit the museum, where the finds, such as statues, are located.
Walking in the city center of the capital of Greece you can see many small shops, restaurants, cafes and meet many various smells. It has over 3 million inhabitants and you can see its vastness from the top of Acropolis. Except for the ancient places and the big port, I personally wasn't very impressed about the city.
Although it was just a 15 minute stop on the way back to the apartment, Corinth canal was one of the most impressive places i have ever seen. Excavated ground all the way to the see level with flat walls made by hand is something definitely worth seeing.
My stay in Greece was full of surprises, but also full of relaxation. What I like the most about this country is that you can see amazing ancient places, but also lay down on the beach all day if you feel like it.
Thanks for reading!