Written & voice-over by Ms. Ankita Gupta
Rainy, windy, cold. These 3 words pretty much sum up the weather in the Netherlands. The skies are mostly somber, sometimes for days on end. One would love to curl up on the couch by the window with some hot chocolate and a good book to read. But, alas, daily life doesn’t give such luxuries. Work, kids, household chores, all just begin to seem mundane. And this is probably why the Dutch people are crazy about their summers. With temperatures rising up to 25-30 degrees C, it’s sometimes a bit too warm for them but that’s the time, they go out and enjoy the sun.
Sitting at home on a weekend in lockdown, looking out my window, I see the classic Dutch weather. Rainy, misty, windy, cold. As a person who isn’t too fond of travelling, I had been completely fine with not being able to go on a vacation somewhere this last year. But somehow, despite holding the hot piping tea and the onion pakoras, I had this sudden longing to go back to Greece.
2 years back we took a short trip to Greece and we made some beautiful memories. Even though we visited only 3 cities, they were stunning. God is gracious with the sun there. Plenty of sunshine on the white-washed domed houses and the turquoise-blue waters. Breathtakingly-beautiful sunsets and narrow winding paths. Golden-sandy beaches and white-pebbly ones.
Greece offers a diverse range of cities, activities and attractions. There’s plenty for all to enjoy.
Santorini, provides exquisite views of the sea and a volcano. If you wish to just spend time away with your loved one, this place will give you some sunsets to remember a lifetime. From a departing temperature of 5 deg C to the destination temperature of 27 deg, Santorini welcomed us with lots of sun and warmth. However beautiful the city is, the landscape isn’t flat and it became difficult walking around with a toddler.
Dome shaped houses in Santorini
The most-visited tourist spot in Santorini
But the ferry ride from Santorini to Naxos made up for all of the walking-while-carrying-a-toddler. These ferries are convenient even with all your luggage and give you some splendid views of the islands.
If you want to have some lovely days out in the sun with your family including little ones, Naxos is the place. With its shallow sandy beaches where you can let kids play on the beach waters without worrying too much about the tide, and finger-licking delicious food, this was our favorite. Fresh white-washed houses lined with pomegranate trees and cats running around was a delight. Just rent a car or a scooter, and you can drive up the hills to the village and get an even amazing view of the sea and land. I simply couldn’t find a downside of visiting this island. But if you more of a party person, do not miss Mykonos.
Bougainvillea covered arches. Who wouldn’t want to spend a lazy afternoon here?
When you meet friends on the way
That’s some unique décor! Don’t you think?
Mykonos was another visual treat with its purple and pink bougainvillea in full bloom. Ages old windmills and a beautiful waterfront sets the mood for a lazy walk through those marble streets or sports enthusiasts can get a rush of adrenaline through the water sports. Mykonos also has some amazing night clubs and party places. This is the most cosmopolitan town in Greece and the place is usually filled with a young crowd.
With our work-schedules and budget, we could visit these 3 beautiful islands. But Greece has so much more to offer. Athens, the city which hosted the Olympic Games in 2004 is rich in history and architecture. There are plenty of museums and recreation parks. Islands like Milos, Paros, Corfu are blessed with jaw-dropping landscapes.
What fun-filled four days were those. Breaking my train of thought and transporting me back to the Netherlands was my son, singing along his favourite Dutch rhyme. Well, soaking in the sunshine in Greece isn’t on the cards anytime soon but until then I have some beautiful memories. And for now, I enjoy the rainy weekends singing and playing around with my own sonshine.
Sun-drenched white-washed Santorini
The golden glow
Lip-smacking food – roasted eggplant with potato wedges. I like to call this a fancy ‘baingan bharta’ 😊