Updated: Mar 14
When you tell people the word "Greece", they automatically think of the islands, white and blue houses, good food, and Zeus.
Little do they know, this beautifully country, in which I'm blessed to come from, offers way more than just beaches and sun!
You can explore many mountains, ski in certain northern parts, find deserts to sand-board, visit many biblical and unique historical sites other than the Parthenon... basically view Greece in a completely new way that you never thought existed!
I got to stay in a very peaceful part of Greece called Xylokastro, which is part of Corinthia. It's less populated, more of a village, way less action compared to the busy cities, and a great change of scenery for those who want some quiet, nature infused time.
Here's the gorgeous church of Panagia Faneromeni, located close to the entrance of the town.
I got to stay at my sister's in laws' place which kind of felt like a farm to be honest because there's cats, ostriches, roosters, rabbits, and a couple more animals.
From pear trees to fig trees and all types of edible produce. This place has it all!
Don't let the angle fool you, I was perfectly safe :P
Greek villagers are super proud when it comes to cultivating and growing their own food because the food is biological and authentic.
For all you organic-Non-GMO people out there, you'll be worrying way less about what foods you'll be eating in Greece.
I mean... just take a look at how orange the eggs are compared to those pasty yellow eggs we eat in North America! Oh and don't forget to juice your fruits, you'll be in heaven!
Now let me get back on topic and talk to you about all the cool places I visited!
As a start, I decided to be sleeping on the rooftop.
a) I've always wanted to try it
c) I get to sleep under a sky full of stars
d) I get to wake up to the sunrise
e) Oh, and almost forgot the main reason; no A/C :|
Every night was cloudless and filled with billions of stars, it took me a while to figure out how to take a decent picture of them!
They say the best way to wake up is with the sun easing in on you and I couldn't agree more!
This image has no filter btw.
This is how I'd start my days. Wake up around 6:30, grab some fruits on the go, take one of their bikes, put my music on, coast down an empty road next to the sea and pick a spot for my morning swim!
Being alone on a beach, crisping under the Mediterranean sun, is by far the best way I have ever woken up in my life. You just find fun and excitement in the most simple things. I was always just in awe. I didn't even have access to the internet at their house which was the best thing!
If I wanted internet, I had to bike for 15 min to this beach bar. I was A-OK with that!
Oh and just a heads up, the Corinthian waters have jellyfish lurking around. I forget when exactly they come out but it's mostly in August, and mostly just in the mornings when the water is at its calmest. I did get stung a couple of times but wtv, nothing crazy, I'm a big boy! :)
One day, we decided to go up the mountain because we heard of the great views it had and this beautiful little church. Any time you drive up a mountain in Greece, there will be many swirls, steep heights, and narrow paths. Make sure to bring those dizzy pills with you if that's your thing!
We finally made it to the top and got to visit the site, it was kind of small, so not so much to see, but they did have a little shop for people to buy various handmade holy objects which were great!
There was this other place, Lake Doxa, on the Western side of Corinthia, that was about an hour or so away.
Many tourists from around the world have visited these grounds because there is a lake elevated 900m in between the mountains, and there's a sacred monastery over there.
It was the coolest thing driving so high up and finding a beautiful hidden lake.
View from inside the monastery
During the Greek Revolution in 1821, the monastery was funded by the Greeks in this hidden place to escape the rule of the Ottoman empire.
A secret school was also made inside the church vault for priests to be able to teach the children about Christianity with no fear.
"Krifo Scholio" Hidden school
You have to climb a very narrow stairway to see this room. You're also not allowed to walk on the floor as it's considered a museum, I'm guessing everything has been untouched since.
St. George Monastery
People from the church were so nice to us, there was a living room next to the priest's room in which they offer the guests rose jam and cold water in case we were tired from the journey.
If you're open to theology and love looking at old churches, I definitely recommend this place. It was a fun trip and you can also picnic by the lake and shop around some local foods such as bread, nuts, honey, and noodles!
Goats happen sometimes in the mountains lol, they were cooperative for the pic at least, but not so much to move out of the way! They probably had an ADD moment! :P
Overall, this trip was truly so serene.
It opened me up so much. I enjoy the littlest things in life and worry less about what doesn't matter. This is such a cliché thing to say but life really is short and we all need to understand that the brand of our shoes, the type of car we drive, and who we hang out with isn't what will further our spiritual growth and make us happy.
Now let me sleep in peace,
'til next time folks!