The Honeymoon: Genoa and Olympia

A month later, we’ve finally retrieved all of our honeymoon photos from the camera (and our phones) and gotten them on to the computer.  And from Marcus’ computer to mine, where I can finally start to sort and edit them.  There’s probably some dark humor in the fact that showing them to the internet is a powerful motivator for all of this, but I’m of the school that at this point, whatever gets it done wins.

When we booked the trip, one thing that was really important to me (beyond the size of our ship) was having a window.  Or, in our case, two portholes.  While I’m well-aware that thousands of people traverse the Mediterranean every year sans-natural light, I knew that part of my Perfect Vision for our honeymoon involved us being able to see the ocean and the shore from our room.

And as we rolled out of bed and peered out the windows to see the city of Genoa in front of us, I was glad that we did.

Cue: OHMYGODWE’REREALLYINITALYNOW.

For whatever un-planned reason, we didn’t book an excursion in Genoa.  So there we were, standing at the front of the ship and surveying the city wondering, What Next?  As we walked out of the port building, I snagged a freebie map of the city featuring a walking tour of sights unbeknownst to us prior to that very moment and we set-out.

What you should know: Marcus is the relaxed traveller.  I’m the paranoid traveller.  Where he sees passers-by and the common man, I see pickpockets and people whose sole intention in life is to strip us of our Passports.

GOD, I am so my father’s daughter.

Did I mention that neither of us spoke or knew ANY Italian?

Because there was that, too.

Okay, I take it back.  I could think of musical terms like: Bravo, Andante, Allegro and Forte.

I know they say music breaks down all barriers, but I would say that’s not exactly the case when you’re trying to source a prosciutto-stuffed focaccia.

Obviously that didn’t impede us as we continued on our merry way.

Regardless, by the end of our three-hour, carbohydrate-laden adventure (sometimes with street signs and sometimes not), I was the one begging to go down the scary alleys while he was begging for the beaten path.

After a wonderfully exhausting morning in Genoa, we hopped back on the boat to focus on the finer things in life (like our tans and sparkling wine) as we set sail for Olympia.

After spending some time in such a bustling city, what we didn’t expect was to be greeted by a scene like this.

Sailing into the port of Katakalon was breathtaking.  And even though I know that this is totally wrong, as I looked at the rocky cliffs and the trees sprouting from them, I couldn’t help but to think, Gladiator.

I know.  I KNOW.

It was at this point in the trip that Marcus and I learned just how hypnotic the combination of a guide speaking in Italian and a rocking tour bus can be.

In case you were wondering, the answer is Extremely.

While Marcus gave his best effort at fending off a case of The Naps, I put all of my energies into admiring every single olive tree, orange tree and grape vine we drove past.  I could barely stand it.  And the good times rolled all the way to Ancient Olympia.

The truth about Ancient Olympia: It’s HOT.  To the point where in ancient times, because of an absolute lack of water in the area, athletes and spectators would just drop dead all over the place because of dehydration and heat exhaustion.

How dark.

The other thing we didn’t know about Ancient Olympia is that it’s an extremely geologically active area.  So…nothing from those times is still really…standing.

The ruins of the treasuries.

The place where the torch is lit via sunlight. This is where they continue to light it for the modern games as well.

After picking around the ruins of various temples and gymnasiums (there were many, the Greeks were an industrious bunch), our guide escorted us to The Stadium.

Once we walked under the arch, things started to get…heavy.  I don’t know about y’all, but I am a MAJOR sucker for Olympics so I was starting to feel…all emotional and stuff.

Ancient history is just so…intense like that.

So there we stood, in the Ancient Olympic Stadium, with our feet perfectly placed on the starting line.

I felt an uncontrollable urge to run.

And then I stopped myself.  Looked around at the tourists surrounding me.  Acknowledged the fact that the only other person running in the entire stadium, with far less purpose, was a seven year-old.

Self-doubt crept in.  What if I looked ridiculous?  What if they thought I was slow?  What if they laughed at me?

But I remembered.  Running is a gift.  Running is joy.

So I started off, trotting down the length of the stadium in those metallic silver Revas-turned-wedding shoes of mine, letting my hair fan out in the wind, and listening to my feet pat-a-pat their way over ancient gravel.

I don’t know that I’ll ever visit Ancient Olympia again, and if I do, who is to say I’ll be physically able to run?

The time for living is now.

What’s the dorkiest thing you’ve done at a historical site/monument?

Have you held yourself back from doing something important (to you) that seems trivial at first glance?

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14 responses to “The Honeymoon: Genoa and Olympia

  1. Beautiful! We spent a few hours in Genoa, but mostly in the train station (on the way to and from Cinque Terre) and at the Sheraton. LOL. One day I want to go to Greece…

    I posed with a guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. They’re like the British guards at Buckingham Palace in that they don’t move, so it felt kinda awkward, but that’s what you do when you’re a tourist, right?

  2. Oh mannn thanks for this post! I loved “wandering” around Genoa through you! The port area is definitely breathtaking, and you guys are so cute!

  3. Oh god, your photos of Italy make me want to buy a plane ticket. And good for you on nerding out, it’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing!

  4. DROOL. That looks and sounds uh-may-zink. High five, Kat.

  5. I used to be like Marcus until someone stole all my stuff on a ferry in Greece. Now I’m more like you (and your father). Nevertheless seeing your photos definitely makes me want to high-tale it to Italy and Greece!!! Pronto.

  6. I totally ran a lap around the track at the Olympic stadium in Athens. It was awesome. I believe it was the stadium for the 1896 Olympics? Regardless, it was really long/narrow and the curves were really tight, not like modern tracks are today.

  7. I love your photos. What an amazing trip! I’d love to get to Olympia someday, too.
    When we were in Salzburg, I made my kids stand in poses from the Doh-Re-Mi song. Sadly, I couldn’t get them to jump between benches in the gazebo while they sang Sixteen Going On Seventeen.

  8. Running in the Revas…you have my utmost respect because let’s face it, sometimes it’s not easy to WALK in those. They’ve been hurting my feet lately, not sure why? But they are so cute I’m willing to put up with it.

    Beautiful honeymoon photos…I want to go to Olympia too! One of these days when I no longer have to work/take care of a child. Suddenly getting older isn’t looking so bad…

    You look fabulous in the pics Kat!

  9. My brother and I reenacted the defenestration of Prague at the window where it happened. Thank you, AP Euro.

  10. Ha, how fun! Of course you should have done that, as we all should act a little goofy from time to time. Besides, when would you have ever gotten the chance again?
    I went to Europe when I was younger with a group, and I was determined to haggle, even if it was for something cheesy. It’s ridiculous, but I’m glad I did.

  11. You are my hero for running there! Not many people can say that they’ve done that!

    I’ve done a lot of dorky stuff at historical monuments, but I must say that kneeling at the feet of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grave and reading ‘This Side of Paradise’ really takes the cake 🙂

  12. I was clapping and practically screeching with excitement to see that you actually ran in the stadium. Do it while you can, indeed!

  13. Pingback: The Honeymoon: Santorini and Istanbul | Tenaciously Yours,

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