Zurich Observation Deck

While chatting with another American I met in Greece, we got to talking about our flights back to The States. I told her I had a quick layover in Zürich, Switzerland (from Athens) before the long flight back to California. Now when I say “quick” layover, I mean quick: I would barely have enough time to get through customs before heading to the gate for my next flight. And I don’t know about you, but I always get nervous to navigate an unfamiliar airport – especially one in a foreign country.

But my fellow American assured me that Zürich Airport was clean and perhaps most importantly, well organized (in terms of their international arrival process). She added, “too bad you don’t have more time there; you could check out the observation deck”. It sounded neat, but I wouldn’t have had enough time to visit the observation deck anyway.

Fast-forward to the day I left Greece. My flight out of Athens? Seamless. But when I touched down in Zürich, I found out my flight back to California was majorly delayed. Long story short: I went from having barely enough time to go through customs to having something like a four-hour delay. Since it turned out that I had a TON of time to kill, I ended up checking out that observation deck! The universe works in mysterious ways, right?

Anyway, of course I took pictures while exploring the deck. I think there’s another observation point at the airport, but the one I went to is Passenger Terrace Deck E in the international terminal area.

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Welcome to Zürich!

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Efharisto, Greece

Efharisto: one of the first words I learned in Greece (it means “thank you”). I know – I probably should’ve studied some Greek phrases before arriving, but better late than never! As I look back on my time in this beautiful country, I can’t begin to express my gratitude. Everyone I met was SO warm and lovely.

Case in point: a lady we met in Athens invited us over to her house out in the countryside, where her family cooked an amazing lunch. Then I started to get teary-eyed while hugging her goodbye! She felt like my Greek grandma by the end of that lunch. And we’d only known her for maybe 24 hours. I’ll never forget that day.

In summary, Greece was hands down my favorite country I’ve ever been to – not just because of the food (which was delicious) or the scenery (those ancient sites are breathtaking), but because of the wonderful people. So efharisto, Greece! I’m sure I’ll be back.

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A relaxing afternoon in Itea.

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Roussanou Monastery

Hey, folks. Here’s my last post from Meteora in Greece! We visited the tranquil Roussanou Monastery, and I must say, the view was just breathtaking. If these landscape pictures look kind of familiar…it’s because Roussanou is right across the valley from the other place we visited – the Holy Trinity Monastery (see last two posts). Roussanou was smaller and a bit more of a trek to get to, but SO worth it for those sweeping mountain shots!

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Monastery of the Holy Trinity (Part I)

Have you guys heard of Meteora? I hadn’t before I went to Greece. These incredible mountain formations (near the town of Kalambaka) are super famous for their unique shape, as well as for the monasteries that are perched high atop the cliffs. Meteora made the UNESCO World Heritage list, of course.

We visited two of these monasteries, but I would’ve been happy if we only got to see one. I think Meteora was my favorite place from the entire Greece trip! If not – definitely tied for first place with our stop at Delphi.

Some tips for visiting these monasteries:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll do a lot of walking, and up many flights of stairs to get to the top.
  • Ladies: consider bringing a maxi or midi dress. Because these monasteries are sacred/holy places, women won’t be allowed in if they are dressed provocatively. Nothing low-cut or sleeveless, please! And hemlines below the knee, too. We weren’t really given much of a heads up on this, but luckily I had packed a few maxi dresses so I was prepared. They have apron-like skirts you can borrow to tie around your waist if you didn’t pack a long enough dress/skirt, or if you only brought pants. Yep, another rule for women is that they require a dress or skirt, and not pants/shorts. I was bummed because I was totally ready to climb those stairs in my yoga pants! All this is kind of annoying for us girls, but guys need to follow the same rules for covering up (no sleeveless shirts or pants above the knee). It’s a pain to adhere to the dress code, but trust me, it’s worth it in order to enter the monastery grounds!
  • Bring your camera/phone, but mind the rules. You can take as many pictures as you want on the monastery grounds (and believe me, you’ll want to!), but once you enter the monasteries, be wary of their rules regarding taking photos. I think one of the monasteries we went to prohibited taking pictures, and the second one allowed photos without flash.

Alright, enough talking…let’s look at our first stop in Meteora: the Holy Trinity Monastery.

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