How the country of blue domes, cats and ancient sites exceeded our #GreekExpectations

"You come from the Philippines? A paradise? And then you travel far to this...madness?" asked our Uber driver, gesturing with his free hand as we entered downtown Athens.  Traffic was building up, tourists milled around while harried locals went about their day, and practically every inch of the buildings we passed by were covered in graffiti.

It was kinda chaotic up to some point and I knew our driver was not only referring to the hustle and bustle of the city but also to the economic crisis that the Greeks have had to suffer through for years now.

But for me, this combination of grit and beauty is what won the mister and I over.

My first vision of Greece was white-walled verandas overlooking the expanse of the Aegean Sea.  But three weeks after we set foot in the place considered as the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of the Olympic games, mathematical principles and mythology, I realized it's much much more than that.

I've yet to finish sorting our 4,000++ photos from the trip but let me give you a glimpse of how this country of olives, archeological sites, wine, lamb meat and warm smiles exceeded our #GreekExpectations.

Welcoming the new year in the land of night markets and stinky tofu

It was a battle between #TaiwantItThatWay or #TaiwantySeventeen.

In this day and age of real time uploads, having a hashtag for every trip has become mandatory.  My sister insisted hers was better (#TaiwantySeventeen).  I insisted it was too corny.  We just laughed through it the whole time and, as of posting date, we still haven't been able to agree on which hashtag actually worked best lol.

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