Someone once told me that the best way to get to know a person is by travelling with them to a different place, and after the travelling experiences I've had so far, I couldn't agree more.
You learn a lot about a person - and they learn a lot about you - when in a different environment from the one you're both used to. You also get the opportunity to see life through their eyes for a while - which was the case when I visited my friend, Kanyali in Greece this summer.
Kanyali and I have been friends for almost fourteen years now, a friendship that started in primary school back in Kenya. And it just so happened that we were both studying in Europe at the same time - her in Greece and me in the Netherlands.
After numerous attempts at planning to see each other while we were both there, I finally got the opportunity to go and visit her this summer.
We first explored Trikala, where Kanyali lives and studies.
While in Trikala, we travelled to a town in Trikala called Kalampaka (also spelled Kalambaka or Kalabaka) to see the famous Meteora. We spent an entire day visiting the monasteries built there and even watched the sunset from 'Sunset Rock'. Our last stop was Thessaloniki, where we visited the White Tower and treated ourselves to cocktails as we toured the city by boat. Part of me is sad that I wasn't able to visit the capital city, Athens this time around. But I'm mostly happy that I got to explore the more unexplored & not-so-popular parts of Greece.
Greek food is delicious - and that's putting it mildly. On my first night in Trikala, I had dinner with Kanyali at a local taverna and couldn't get over how delightful everything was. Dinner here starts at around 9.00-10.00 pm, and can go on up to 2.00 am! Thankfully, we were on holiday and didn't have to worry about waking up early.
It's already been a month since I got back from Greece, and I still smile when I think of some of the memories Kanyali and I made there. 😊
Below are some pictures and a vlog I took on my trip, as well as my *5 Tips for Planning a Trip to Greece:
1. Do a bit of research in advance about the places you'd like to visit while in Greece and find out how far away they are from each other. It makes it much easier for you to plan your movements beforehand.
2. It also doesn't hurt to get acquainted with Greek food before you go there. While I was doing my research about the country, I learnt about some of the authentic Greek foods and snacks and made a note of the ones I wanted to try while I was there.
3. There's a bike rental shop in Trikala where you can rent a bicycle FOR FREE. Take full advantage of this and use it to tour the city and get better acquainted with it.
4. If you're visiting Thessaloniki, be sure to go on a boat tour of the city. It's not only fun but also a great way to spend a summer afternoon and meet other tourists. 😉
5. Finally, don't be afraid to visit some of the not-so-popular parts of Greece. They are just as - if not more - rich in culture and offer a different experience compared to the one you'll have in more popular cities like Athens.