Interview by Jenna Mahoney
We chose this destination because…it is steeped in so much history and romance. We spent a total of 18 days exploring three areas: Athens, Rhodes and Santorini. Athens has a big-city vibe, and the ancient ruins are mind-boggling. And seeing the Parthenon, especially illuminated at night, was unforgettable. Santorini is a gorgeous island dotted with beautiful beaches and whitewashed buildings. There’s even a dormant volcano, which we hiked one day. The island of Rhodes, with its olive trees, ruins and castles, was our favorite.
We loved staying in…Rhodes! We spent most of our time here exploring the Old Town on the island’s northern end. It’s a walled city, complete with a moat that’s more than two thousand years old. Its enormous stone gate has 11 entrances, some of which still have their original wooden doors. We spent most of our week strolling along the cobblestone streets past shops, ruins, restaurants, churches and mosques. It was like stepping back in time.
Our favorite excursion was…exploring the 16th-century Kritina Castle in Rhodes. We rented a car and drove to the site, which is situated on a cliff high above the Mediterranean. We climbed a series of steep steps, past twisted olive trees, to a lookout platform. The view was dazzling: deep-blue water, dotted with patches of turquoise and green.
The famous whitewashed walls of Santorini
Our most romantic meal was at…To Kafeneio restaurant in Athens, which is perched on Lycabettus Hill and overlooks the Acropolis. We took a cable car to get there, arriving just in time for sunset. Then we nabbed a table by the window and watched as the sky turned shades of bright orange and rust. Once the sun was down, the ruins were dramatically lit up with white lights.
Our daily ritual was…having coffee in the afternoons. While each day was different, we’d usually find ourselves stopping around 4 p.m. We’d sit with the men playing backgammon in cafés and savor cups of potent Mediterranean coffee. Many times, we’d order a sweet treat, like baklava, or even a glass of wine, to go with it.