My dearest father-in-law passed away after a long illness back in March. It was a very sad time for us, especially for my mother-in-law. We decided to invite her on our trip to Athens to cheer her up a bit; she was excited to spend time with Jasmine and visit Greece for the first time.
We stayed right in the center of Athens and when I say center I mean the Acropolis Metro Station was 20 meters away from our door. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment that was relatively cheap but very basic.
We walked to the Acropolis and paid 20 euros per adult but free for Jasmine and half price for Norma since she is an EU senior citizen. We were surprised at how expensive the tickets were but I later read that Greece had increased prices for tourist attractions to raise funds. Oh well.
I had applied sunscreen on Jasmine but after that trip to the Acropolis she got a slight sunburn. Her face was really red and I felt very guilty but she didn’t seem to have any discomfort. After that I made up for it by repeatedly slathering several layers of sunscreen on her every time we went out.
We went to the Acropolis Museum, several parks in the area, Syntagma Square, and Plaka, an area full of nice restaurants, bars and stores. We also took the tram to Voula beach but true to what I read online, Athens beaches are not really that impressive. The sand was dirt brown and water murky.
On our last full day we took a 1-day cruise to 3 islands–Hydra, Poros and Aegina.
Hydra was especially beautiful but I think we spent half the time looking for baby food because we couldn’t find any on the mainland (pharmacies sell them but the ones close to us were either out or closed every time we went).
The beaches on these islands were much, much nicer. It was tiring but a lot of fun. It made us consider going on a cruise holiday in the future.
After Greece we flew to Barcelona where we got a car and drove to Preixana, Jose’s 93-year old grandfather’s town. We spent some time with him but he was actually busy tending to his fields. Yep, 93 and still farming. I’ve observed that the secret to his long life is keeping busy, hanging out with friends (whom he visits at the old folks home almost every day) and eating baby cereal for breakfast!
We bought some flowers for my father-in-law and my grandmother-in-law whom I had never met. He was a good, kind hearted generous man and he is sorely missed by everyone.
After everything in Preixana we took a train to Madrid because we were going to attend Jose’s niece’s baptism the next day.
After the baptism we went to a hotel to eat good jamon (I love pork), fresh salads and drank amazing wine and cava. You appreciate these kinds of things when you have them so rarely.
The next day we had no family obligations so we got to do a little shopping and met my university friends for dinner in Chueca,the gay district of Madrid. Oh and it was Madrid’s Gay Pride celebrations that day so the area was full of people and just crazy. The Turkey airport bombing had just happened a few days prior and I was a little paranoid about an attack on what is biggest Pride in Europe but thankfully nothing of the sort happened.
We got 2 or 3 hours of sleep then it was time to get ready to go to Mallorca! Mallorca was probably the best part about this trip–all the amazing blue water and white sandy shores I hoped Greece would have were in Spain all along. Well to be fair we didn’t go to Santorini or Mykonos where it’s supposed to be amazing but it’s ok, we will go again!
When we weren’t at the beach we hung out at home…
and took family photos. Funny how you become the unwitting family photographer just because you own a DSLR.
We also went to a cave and watched a show in the underground lake.
After just 4 full days in Mallorca it was time to go back to Madrid then to Jeddah. Montse and her family stayed 10 days more.
Now that I’ve discovered Mallorca I can’t wait to go back and maybe explore the neighboring islands of Menorca and Ibiza. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to go!