Saturday, May 28, 2016



How can my Grecian Dream be complete without visiting the Mother City - Athens. This journey made a stronger and braver Alyson, trying to find her way to Ethniki Amyna which I booked thru Airbnb on my own, late at night in Athens city, while my phone was dying. I thought I would be sleeping on the streets that night. (Seriously!) That was just the beginning of it all. 
The Athenian journey was everything enchanting, mysterious, lively and full of history rolled into one beautiful piece. This may be what I loved most about Greece and my growing desire to be here - for her ancientness, significance in world history, the lure of their gods and goddesses, the development of ideals, art, sportsmanship and philosophy by the world's greatest thinkers.

I decided to start my day early on foot to cover everything. I always explore the city like-a-local taking the public transport and refusing to sign myself on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours. I found the Acropolis Museum by half-accident and not realizing I've already went past the Temple of Zeus and Arch of Hadrian on my way there (Haha!) The visit to Ancient Athens at 30€ was worth the travel back in time, having access to every archeological site, temples and is good for five days to explore it much longer. I couldn't help myself from touching a piece of those marble helms and columns which have stood the test of time. As I fancy going high, climbing on top of the Acropolis Hill gave me a 360 view of Athens. Climbing the Aeropagos Hill gave me a different perspective of the Acropolis and Parthenon, having them all to myself. The Ancient Agora housed the most intricate artefacts and statues of Ancient Athens. While I still have to read more on the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, I am impressed how the people have preserved these monumental wonders and still do today.

As I found a well-travelled buddy, we decided to move to the flea market until stopping for lunch at Monasteraki for some Zouflaki and our wonderful restauranteur blew us away with free Basbousa, Greek yoghurt, and Raki (strong Greek alcoholic drink). More time on foot and we found ourselves in the birth and cradle of the Olympics that is the Panathenaic Stadium. For some of the best Greek finds and trinkets, Plaka has a whole boulevard to explore on foot. And as unplanned, a friend I've made back in Santorini invited us to climb the Lycabettus Hill to catch the sunset. I'm glad I've tagged along with travellers in their nikes and runners while I was wearing sandals and a handbag as my hiking gear. Imagine the struggle. I did not expect to hike mountains that day.

It was worth it. The view of the whole city of Athens at those golden hours was precious. We climbed further to reach an Orthodox Church that had the viewpoint of the city, this time, looking over the Acropolis Hill. And as the sun was slowly setting, so where the city lights coming to life. I had a wonderful dinner starting it off with Greek Salad followed by Moussaka, Moschofilero and Mythos with two amazing souls to share that amazing moment above Athens. And that was a beautiful end to my Athenian journey. Cheers! Se Agapo!

Friday, May 27, 2016



My Grecian Dream has finally come true! And the first leg of my first solo travel begins here in Santorini, Greece

It has been a dream of mine for years. And now, Greece is a check off my bucket list. From travel and tourism pictures, to more dreamy pictures in weheartit and (probably) cemented by a KC Concepcion-Richard Gutierrez Pinoy movie - I knew in my heart I want to be here. A trip I have planned for June came to me as an early unexpected gift! I've found the opportunity in my longer days off to do it NOW! A few hesitations, doubts and people telling me to be with someone in Greece - I booked my flights (Shukran Qatar Airways! And Efcharisto Aegean Airlines!) and accommodations (Thank you Airbnb!) to set off for an unforgettable journey. Alone.

With a wonderful stroke of luck, my boarding pass read 22A which meant more to me than just a window seat number, but my age and initials next to it. (Yes, I have this thing!) I met another fellow crew aimlessly flying to Athens on her days off. And then deciding to tag along with another aimless - me. So, for those wondering who took photos of me - I bought a 'selfie' stick last minute (I never owned one), cameras nowadays come with a thing called timer and asking people if they don't mind taking a photo of me - included.

I immediately felt at home (and fell in love) in Santorini. I lived in an Old Winery in Emporio Village, with white curved walls and ceilings, and blue coloured doors and windows. My wonderful host always had her Jack Russell terrier - Lolita - come along. Thira, is the city centre which continuously took my breath away. Walking and climbing up those stone steps bestrewn with souvenir shops, local finds, Greek bars and restaurants here and there. There was no end to what meets your eyes. We ascended higher and higher until we took in the horizon. And Thira did not disappoint, the caldera gave a beautiful landscape of volcanic cliffs scattered with white houses splashed with colourful bougainvilleas, the marble blue sea had ships sailing by below an empty sky. 

The other half of the day was dedicated for Oia, which for sure has inundated you with images of Santorini. The seemingly endless walks just made me want more. Until, I have finally laid my eyes on that colourful little town and beautiful white buildings with blue roofs. Unbelieving myself. I was happy to be there. And as the walk gets tiring, we decided to reach the bottom of the cliff seeing friendly donkeys along the way giving a ride for other already-tired travellers.

We found a sweet spot by Ammoudi for some (darn good!) Greek seafood with a view of boats and sea break of rocks. Moments later, we found ourselves on a little adventure climbing the rocky cliffs to find a place to rest and catch the sunset only to be surprised (yet again!) by the clearest and coolest turquoise waters I immediately dove into. Though hidden behind rocks, we've made local friends who showed us the nightlife in Santorini! Although my time was limited in Perissa, it was nothing short of special. I had the best Greek seafood pasta and Sigalas (Greek White Wine) in a family-owned Fish Tavern facing the black 'stones' beach, sharing life stories and making more friends.

I've never experienced anything as beautiful as this. This journey is a dream come true. I hope you've enjoyed this veryyy long post as much as I've loved creating it. And for others longing for their dream destinations, I hope you get motivated by this  #VideoJournal of my solo travel. For the first time.  💙

Thank You, God!