Backpacking in Europe
Our professor, Taso, took us to his village on Thursday. We rented 2 vans and drove hours and crossed the bridge to get to the beautiful island called Evias. We stopped at this restaurant by the water to get some lunch. It's so beautiful and the food was delicious! I am falling in love with Greek salad! Fresh cucumbers, tomatos, red onion, green bell pepper, olive oil, and feta cheese! We sat down and started ordering, and that's when the restaurant owner pointed at me and started speaking a bunch of Greek to me. Well... my Greek is limited to the basic greetings and "you're hot!" So it didn't really help much. Good thing Taso was there to translate. He said the owner thought I was German and that I was the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. He introduced his son, Bruce Lee, to me, who was like... 16 years old. HAHAHAHA Hilarious! They kept coming back to the table to me and Taso thought they were going to make me a bride! AHHHH no way! Anyway, after lunch, we drove a bit and went to the beach. OMG, it's so beautiful! Have you ever seen clear, endless blue water? We swam in the salty ocean for hours.. It was so relaxing and mind soothing. We drove to the village Taso grew up in. It's called Vitalo. The villagers were so welcoming and loving. They're the most friendly people we've ever seen in Greece! I got so many kisses and hugs I was freaking out! LOL It's a good thing though. Our host was this lovely lady that kept feeding us yummy food! Her daughter, Eleta, taught her some Greek dance! We went on hikes, swam some more, and got a tractor ride from Taso's cousin!! Seriously, a TRACTOR!! It was great fun! We ate a lot of sand though. Our faces were gray and clothes were brown! The people there were so warm and sweet. When we walked around, we always got invited in by strangers for coffee and snacks! I love these people so much! Some of us attended the Catholic baptism in the village. This little baby girl named Maria was getting baptized. The church was beautiful. The priest read some phrases in the bible and there were many rituals. Then they poured the hot water (yes, hot STEAMING water) into the bucket and baptized her. After that, the priest read some more and then cut some hair from the baby's head and threw it in the water. It was very different then what I was used to. I was very honored to have witnessed that. One night, we went to a festival in the neighbor village. We drank some wine and danced!! I got stared at a lot because they haven't seen any Asian before and they were curious. Some thought I was Italian! Overall, it was such a great experience! It's something a tourist can never experience alone. I'm really thankful that Taso took us all there. He took us to his family and apparently, it's a really big deal to him. It was hard parting. The little girl, Eleta, was crying. I hope I can visit the villagers again.