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Parthenon & Acropolis

What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

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What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

What books should you read for traveling to Greece? Here's our three recommendations. 

Two of these were suggested by friends from Athens, Greece while we were there and the other I found on my own. I suggest each one for you, too. Check 'em out!

 
3 Fun Recommended Books for Traveling to Greece
 

Three RECOMMENED books for traveling to Greece:

 

1. Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing

I totally recommend this book for a funny read and to get a glimpse of social and family expectations in Greece.

This is my favorite read because it was about the crazy journey of a woman from the UK marrying a Greek man. Drama and tension! 

The author is a comedian and takes the reader through her journey of figuring out how to balance her upbringing as a woman in the UK where she saw her parents both work and share household duties to now marrying into a Greek family where she's expected to do it all. What an adventure she was on and she takes you with her.

This type of story is my favorite to read when learning a new culture (where a foreigner marries a local), because you learn the intimacies of a culture through the lens of someone figuring it out themselves in the most intimate relationship you can have: marriage! You learn so many quarks of a culture that you'd never pick up on even befriending local folks. 

Totally recommend this one!


2. The Island

The Island
By Victoria Hislop

I totally recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Greece's history, Crete's culture, along with some self-discovery, and a little romance:)

The Island was suggested by my friend Evita from Athens. This was my second favorite read while in Greece.

It's historical fiction story. It's about a girl learning the dark past of her family being forced onto an island just off Crete that all lepers were sent to. And, it also includes a view into World War 2 from a Cretan's perspective.

It was fascinating to be sent to the past and learn how leprosy tore apart families and how World War 2 affected people in Greece. And, the story presents Crete's landscape so well. You feel like you're on the journey with the main character. 

I totally recommend this book for your trip, too!


3. Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek
By Nikos Kazantzakis

You gotta read Zorba the Greek when you're going to Greece. It's a classic and this will be everyone's suggestion for you. 

We received Zorba the Greek as a gift from our friend Antonis for Adam's birthday. We both read this one.

Zorba will suck you in with his zeal for life and you'll be transported to tiny Greek villages and learn the culture. 

Read this one for sure!

 

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5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

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5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

Should you take a break from your travel partner and explore on your own while you're on a trip? We can imagine you're either at a point where you need a break or you can't agree on how to spend your time. We've been there, too! 

One of the biggest questions we get as a traveling couple is, "Do you do everything together?" There's normally a lot of emphasis and drawing out of the word "everythinnngg." We laugh because, there's no way!

We're two different people with different interests, curiosities, and things that excite us.

Should you take a break from your travel partner and explore solo

Recently, we were in Athens, Greece home to the Acropolis and Parthenon. I kept asking Adam, "Would this be a good day to go? Or this one?" He was never committal when responding and I finally realized he doesn't care to see the Parthenon. "How can he not want to go see the Parthenon?!?" I thought. When I asked, he said he didn't want to spend 20 Euro on something he can see better pictures of on Google. WHAT?!? I was shocked, but hey, like I said we have different interests. But, my response to that? "Well I can't miss the Parthenon when I'm in Athens, Greece!" So I scheduled a date with myself and went without him. It was lovely! I packed my camera gear and took the Parthenon at my own pace. It was glorious! You can take the tour with me here through my photo journal:) 

Along our 3.5 years of traveling together, we've learned it's healthy and totally okay to take a break from each other and explore on our own while we're in new places. 

So, should you split from your travel partner? We say, "Totally! Do it!" Here's five reasons why. And if you're still in planning mode, maybe even plan for some solo time before the trip starts :)

5 reasons It's Okay to take a break from your travel buddy & Explore on your own

1. You Have Different Thing's You're Interested In.

It's natural that you and your travel buddy will be interested in two different things. For us, Adam loves mountain biking and tries to mountain bike every day. I'll go once in awhile, but I'm not a big fan. And, I love roaming around taking photos in new places and that bores Adam to tears. So, we've found it healthy to take time to do our own things. 

2. Don't Miss Out or Regret.

5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

Since we all have our own interests, we'll all have things we want to do our we'll totally regret it. Like Adam would be totally bummed out if he never mountain biked when we were in Crete, Greece because I didn't want to go. He still talks about his bike trips as one of his favorite memories. And for me, I'd be totally bummed out if I never took an evening and simply walked the narrow cobble stone streets exploring and taking photos in Rethymno, Crete. That night's one of my favorite memories of our trip.

So, don't miss out on something you're curious about and dying to do even if you're buddy isn't interested. You're only there once. Go do it with or without your pal.

IMG_1073-27.jpg5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

3. Quench your curiosity.

Curiosity is this anxious and lingering feeling for me. If I don't quench it, sometimes it feels like I'm going to burst and if I don't do it I'll be devastated.  So, quench that curiosity of yours, try something new, and go do it! If you don't you'll always be curious and never feel fully at rest.

4. Solo adventures are empowering. 

5 Reasons It's Okay to Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore on Your Own

When you take off from your buddy and you're responsible for all the logistics, how to get where you want to go, how to pay for things, how to solve problems you come up against, enjoying and getting to take a new place at your pace, and then coming home with your own exciting experience, it's so rewarding. You stand up taller and you feel empowered with thoughts like, "Heck yeah I did that!"

5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

This is so cliche but so true in this situation. When you've been with someone for lots and lots of time, and then get a healthy break, you get a new perspective. You realize how nice it is to have your travel buddy with you and you realize how much you appreciate their company. And it's so nice to return home to your pal and swap your own stories from the day. 

 

So, how do you break the news to your travel buddy you want a solo adventure?

Should You Take a Break from Your Travel Partner and Explore Solo

Be honest and transparent. 

Say something like, "Hey, I need some solo time today. I found this thing I want to do. So, I'm going to go try it. I should be back around this time." 

This gives them your reasoning, sets your boundaries (if you want them), and gives them a heads up for when they can expect to see you again. This way, they can figure out their timing of doing their own thing.

The funny thing is, most times whenever Adam and I have conflicting wants for a day and I share the solo adventure I've planned for myself, he changes his mind and wants to come. A lot of times he just didn't feel like planning something and when I handle that part he's in. And, most times, I'd prefer his company and I'm glad he changed his mind. Other times I say, "I want to do this one solo." 

Cheering you on to take your solo adventure! Have fun! 


Stay Encouraged to Explore Solo

Pin this for later here.


Use our Day Trip Packing List

to make sure you have everything you'll need before you head out. 

Yes! I want the packing list!


Want to see more about the Parthenon and Acropolis?

And see what Adam missed out on:)

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10 Fun Facts About the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens, Greece

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10 Fun Facts About the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens, Greece

10 Fun Facts About Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Traveling to Athens, Greece was an incredible experience. Here are ten fun facts I learned about Acropolis and the Parthenon I'm pumped to share with you.

If you're on your way, here are eight tips I wish I'd known before visiting and a packing list to make sure you're ready for your visit:)

10 Fun Facts about the Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens

1. It's over 2,460 years old!

How old is the Parthenon? The history books say it started being built in 447 BC.

2. Acropolis is the area the Parthenon sits on.

What's the difference between Acropolis and the Parthenon? The Acropolis is the high hill in Athens that the Parthenon, an old temple, sits on. I originally thought they were different ancient structures, but I was incorrect. Acropolis is the hill and the Parthenon is the ancient structure. 

3. The Parthenon has been a temple, a church, and a mosque throughout it's lifetime. 

What is the Parthenon? The Parthenon's been fought over during the centuries by different religions. It started out as a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. Then, it was taken over by Christians and converted into a church, then it was taken over by the Turks and transitioned to a mosque with a minaret erected over it. 

4. The Parthenon was blown up.

Fun Facts about The Parthenon and Acropolis

In the late 1600's, the Venetians and Turks were fighting over Athens. Acropolis was used as a military point because of it's high position. There were explosives stored in the Parthenon that went off and blew up the interior of the Parthenon.  

5. The rock on Acropolis is slippery!

The biggest shocker to me as I walked around the structures on Acropolis, is the rocky ground is so slippery! It made me realize how much foot traffic over the centuries has smoothed down the ground making it slick to walk on. I recommend wearing shoes with good traction when you visit. Here's a packing list I recommend and some more tips before you go. 

6. It cost the equivalent of 469 war ships to build the Parthenon!

How much did it cost to build the Parthenon? The columns are made of marble and the base is made of limestone.  Ancient-greece.org says, "The Parthenon construction cost the Athenian treasury 469 silver talents. While it is almost impossible to create a modern equivalent for this amount of money, it might be useful to look at some facts. One talent was the cost to build one trireme, the most advanced warship of the era." 

Fun Facts About the Parthenon and Acropolis

7. Hand carved statues line the Parthenon above the columns.

What are the carvings on the Parthenon? The Parthenon was built as a temple for the Goddess Athena. Each side of the Parthenon shares a story with hand carved statues. One side shows a battle between gods and giants. Another shows Greeks and centaurs. Other areas show Athena at birth, fighting Poseidon for Athens, and Greeks parading for Athena.

8. The carvings were carried away and shipwrecked!

Carvings of the Parthenon

In the early 1800's a British nobleman, Lord Elgin, convinced the Turks to let him take some of the carvings from the Parthenon to England. One of the boats carrying the carvings sunk and for two years many of the carvings were stuck on the ocean floor. The carvings are also known as Elgin Marbles. 

9. Carvings are still scattered abroad.

Original carvings from the Parthenon are still scattered abroad in England, France, Denmark, and of course, Athens, Greece. You can see original carvings at the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. 

10. Greece wants their marbles back.

The carvings and statues are also known as the Elgin Marbles. Greece has been trying to get the Parthenon's marbles back for 150 years with no success yet.  

Fun Facts about the Parthenon and Acropolis
 

Curious to Learn More?

Check out these books!


Make sure you're prepared for your Acropolis visit!

Download our packing list for what you'll need visiting Acropolis and the Parthenon below.

 
 

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

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Tour the Acropolis & Parthenon in Photos

Tour the Acropolis and Parthenon in Photos

Want to see Acropolis and the Parthenon up close before visiting?

Let's take a tour together through my photo journal! 

Before you visit in person, check out my packing list (I forgot a lot of must have things) and tips I suggest before you go.

Back to this photo journey, you'll see:

  1. Your approach to Acropolis hill

  2. We'll pass the ancient theater Odeon of Herodes Atticus on our way up

  3. We'll climb the stairs through the first Temple of Athena Nike (the Goddess of Victory)

  4. Then we'll take a left at the top of the hill and walk to the temple Erechtheion dedicated to the Goddess Athena and God Poseidon

  5. Then, we'll walk around the Parthenon.

Enjoy!

 

Let's Tour Acropolis & the Parthenon Together!

 
 

Still Curious about Acropolis & the Parthenon?

Check out these books to keep learning!

 

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