One of the first things we did was go into the city of Athens to see the famous Parthenon which was the most important building in ancient Greece. It is found on top of the Acropolis. All cities in ancient Greece have an acropolis, which was the highest point of the city and was where the citizens would go to prey or hide in case of an invasion. But when people talk about "the" Acropolis, they mean the one in Athens.
We also visited the ancient city of Corinth. There we went to the agora (which was a marketplace), which had the Temple of Apollo (the god of prophecy, music and healing) and was a very important religious and historical place.
When the Roman Empire expanded into Greece, they also thought this was an important place and Julius Caesar was responsible for rebuilding it. There were a lot of statues here and you could tell which ones were made by the Greeks and which were made by the Romans because of the type of lettering on them.
The next day we got up really early and headed for the ferry to go visit some of the Greek islands. We were not so happy at having to get up at 5am, but that all changed once we saw the island of Paros. One thing the Greek islands are famous for are their buildings, which are white with blue shutters and roofs. The first thing we saw from the ferry were all the buildings. They were really cool looking.
We spent the day in Paros exploring the island. We visited the town of Lefkes, which was the island's capital during the Middle Ages and it had old buildings and winding alleyways that were built during the Byzantine Empire nearly 2,000 years ago. We all took so many pictures of this town.
After Paros we went to the island of Santorini which is entirely built on the caldera of an old volcano. Our favorite part about Santorini was the beaches. Since it is a volcanic island, the lava rocks make the beaches all different colors. The first type of beach we went to was a black sand beach which we really liked. The last time we saw black sand was in Hawaii. The next day we got to go to a red sand beach which marked the first time I've ever seen sand that color.
Besides beaches, we also had some other great experiences. One was when we went to a pottery studio and the potter let me and Stefan make something on his pottery wheel. When we came back to pick up the bowls we made, he showed us his three little two-week old kittens that had only opened their eyes two days earlier and we got to hold them.
Another great experience was getting to stay in a cave apartment. The cave we stayed in was a small house and the inside was carved into the side of the cliff (which is all volcanic rock) and inside we had beds, a bathroom and even a separate kitchen. I thought the cave was the coolest room we stayed in yet!
Now we are on the ferry back to Athens, so that's all for the first half of our time in Greece.