Athens is Magic (Delphi is Pretty Great, Too)

February 13, 2013- The first thing I do when my plane lands in Athens is to check into my hotel and take a taxi to the famous hammam baths I’d heard so much about. What could be better after a 16 hour flight than relaxing in a steam room and getting a revivifying massage?

Lots of things, as it turns out.

I’m not sure when I realized that the hammam experience wasn’t for me- possibly the very moment I saw the awkward wooden clogs and the tiny dinner napkin in which I was expected to clothe myself before maneuvering my way down the slippery stone steps into the steam room. I summoned up enough grace not to fall and break any bones, which is probably as good as it gets when you’re me. The steam room itself is a large communal space into which the host welcomes you by tossing a bucket of hot water over your head. (Why am I always traveling places where people throw buckets of water at me?) I expect this is meant to be relaxing, but actually just washes one of my contact lenses out of my eye and I spend the next ten minutes frantically trying to shove the godforsaken thing back into place. I’m pretty sure this activity has torn the lens because my eye immediately begins to burn and water profusely.

So this is nice.

From my spot on the stone bench, I can just barely see into the massage room where other guests are called in to be pummeled by large Greek men while lying on another stone slab. I watch as a muscular young man goes in ahead of me (he’s a lot more graceful in his wooden sandals. Probably he’s done this before.) He cries out in pain within seconds of starting his “relaxing” massage.

You know what? It turns out I’m actually not that interested in the whole hammam experience after all.  When nobody is looking I scamper back up the stairs to get dressed and make my escape.

I’m convinced I memorized the cab route to the hammam so I can make my way back on foot, but I’m wrong about this, too. I wander around Athens lost for about two hours before I give up and hail a cab to take me back. There’s probably an ocean of delicious Greek food within walking distance of my hotel, but because I’m tired and cranky I just order room service and immediately go into a coma.

…until 1:30 a.m., when I wake up with a splitting headache, wash down some Advil with a $12 minibar Coke, and wait for breakfast.

 

February 14, 2013- I already know today is going to be a magnificent day. I’m staying at the Royal Olympic Hotel and I’ve booked myself the Athenian Panorama Room, which has giant windows looking out over the Temple of Zeus. The view is positively breathtaking as day breaks and the massive columns come into view. The day is drizzly and overcast, but that does nothing to diminish the impressive view.

Breakfast is served in the rooftop restaurant, and although I would normally skip a hotel breakfast and go in search of something better, I’m starving to death and this turns out to be a wonderful circumstance. I’ve never had a better breakfast anywhere, hotel or otherwise. Fresh Greek yogurt with honey and “strawberry marmalade,” coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, three kinds of cheese, ham, air-dried salami, turkey, hard-boiled eggs… I *may* have made three trips through the buffet line. Don’t judge me.

The first thing I notice once I bundle myself up and set out in the cold drizzle are all the homeless dogs looking for food, shelter, and companionship. I stop and pet all of them and try not to cry.

The first item on my agenda is the Acropolis Museum. I’ve gotten there too early, so I wander around while I’m waiting. I hear chanting coming from a Greek Orthodox church and it’s mesmerizing, so I stand outside and listen even when the rain starts coming down harder. Athens is already amazing.

I’m the first person inside the museum when it opens, and I immediately head to the top floor to work my way back down to the beginning. I have the entire second floor of marble busts and faces to myself to examine completely alone for at least 30 minutes as the guards are all huddled in a corner, chatting, and never realize anyone was there until I’m right on top of them. The experience is pure magic- as the title of one volume in their book shop attests, you can actually hear the marble breathing.

My plan to see the museum first in hopes that the rain will let up before I visit the Acropolis completely backfires, as it is raining even harder by the time I get back outside. The Acropolis is still amazing even when you see it in a monsoon. It’s pretty treacherous going up and down marble steps in the pouring rain, but as I did not break any vital body parts, I still consider it 100% worthwhile.

After an hour-long visit I’m frozen to the bone and soaked like a rat, so I shuffle my way back to the hotel and take a scalding hot bath and a nap with the curtains open so I can be sure to wake up to the incredible view again.

I wake up ravenous again (this is going to be a constant theme on this trip, FYI), wander down to the Plaka and have a marvelous plate of souvlaki at a small cafe. I get lost, again, walking back to the hotel but I find a great hot chocolate shop and some of the best baklava I’ve ever had, so this makes it OK.

 

February 15, 2013- I have booked myself a bus tour to Delphi today so I can check one more thing off my bucket list- seeing the bronze charioteer statue at the Delphi museum. Normally I’m not a fan of bus tours- I like to explore things at my own pace and there’s really nothing worse than being crammed on a bus with a bunch of people who may or may not share your views on personal space or hygiene. I’m pleasantly surprised today, though- there are only 8 people in the entire group and the tour guide is magnificent.

So, the bronze charioteer? Absolutely worth the trip. The museum isn’t terribly crowded (yay, off-season travel!) and I get to sit and stare at him in amazement for quite a long time with only the museum security guard for company.

Bronze Charioteer Delphi Greece

I’m even more amazed by Delphi itself. The stadium, the amphitheater, the temple of Apollo. It’s all breathtaking, and the cool mountain air smells like pine needles and sunshine.

Delphi Greece

Delphi Greece

We stop for lunch at a small taverna.  Lunch is nothing special, but the wine is good, and sitting next to the fire is lovely. The whole bus group shares a communal table and I’m happy to report everyone has perfectly acceptable standards of hygiene. There’s a young couple from China, a family with two teenage daughters from Saskatchewan, and a middle-aged Indian man from Leicester. We all swap travel stories until it’s time to get back on the bus.

On the way back to Athens we stop for 20 minutes in the town of Arahova, which looks like an Alpine village dropped in Greece. Really lovely. I immediately add a Christmastime visit to my bucket list.

I’ve done so much uphill walking, my calves feel like they’re carved out of marble. I go to sleep as soon as the bus drops me back off at my hotel and I’m out cold for seven hours. I miss dinner, wake up at 3am, starving, and drink another real-sugar Coke out of the minibar. My internal clock is never going to recover.

February 16, 2013- It’s the first really lovely day since I arrived in Athens- the sun even comes out for a bit. I take advantage of this by seeing some of the gorgeous outdoor areas. First up is Athens’ First Cemetery, a sprawling marble metropolis of the city’s well-heeled dead. Incredible statuary and mausoleums, including one three-story domed masterpiece. Breathtaking, even if it is a bit crumbling and surrounded by scaffolding. I see something neat, too- what look at first like picture frames sitting on the end of a tomb turn out to be made of marble, so you can make Grandma’s crypt look just like her old fireplace mantel.

The care Greeks lavish on their family graves is extremely touching. Everywhere you look, even in the oldest sections, you see fresh flowers, lit candles, burning incense, and family members busily tending to their plots.

For a taphophile like me, it’s great morning outing. I’d put this cemetery up against any of the nicest I’ve seen anywhere. I think for the millionth time that I really need to write a travel guide for people who love cemeteries.

Athens First Cemetery

Athens First Cemetery

Athens First Cemetery

Athens First Cemetery

Athens First Cemetery

Athens First Cemetery

Next I head to the National Gardens. They may have been designed by Queen Amalia,  but the cemetery was a much better sight. The gardens do have a goat and rabbit sanctuary, which is nice, but the whole place still smells vaguely like piss.

After a quick stop at a pet shop to buy some Greek dog toys for Murphy Ann, I’m off to see the Street of Tombs at Kerameikos. Extremely impressive- a cemetery pre-dating Jesus Christ by 400+ years where Pericles gave a funeral oration for the first casualties of the Peloponnesian War.

After a quick (by Greek standards) lunch of meatballs in tomato sauce, bread, and wine in the Plaka, I get a free 15 minute walk through the Ancient Agora as they are about to close for the day.

 

February 17, 2013- It’s cold out, it’s still raining, and I’ve found a lovely warm cafe with cozy nook seat couches, great cappuccino, and Meatloaf on the stereo. Never leaving.  It’s almost 11am on my last day in my new favorite city and the weather exactly matches my feelings about leaving. Sofia the barista (and in my opinion, the maker of the world’s best cappuccinos) has invited me back at 8:00 tonight for a going-away-party. Typical Greek hospitality at its finest.

I spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around Monastiraki & buy a replica of the head of the Delphic charioteer to take home. I get lost, but find the most darling little dive of a restaurant without a single tourist in sight. I take this as a good sign and order the exohikio- roast pork stuffed with creamy feta, tomatoes, and green peppers. It’s incredible, and washed down with quite a lot of Greek wine. I might be in love.

I’m super bummed about heading back home tomorrow and wish I had planned a much longer trip. I came to Athens thinking I would check a couple of things off my bucket list and move on. Turns out I fell in love instead.

Things I Love

A completely random collection of things I love, in no particular order.

 

Tiny details

Flowers left as an offering to a Ganesh statue in Bali
Flowers left as an offering to a Ganesh statue in Bali

Slow travel

535

 

Luxuriating in an exquisite meal

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Smelling flowers

Exotic flora in Uganda
Exotic flora in Uganda

Listening to a stranger’s stories

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Watching a new city wake up

A chilly November morning in Edinburgh
A chilly November morning in Edinburgh

Bonding with animals

Edgar the affectionate manatee
Edgar the affectionate manatee

Old cemeteries

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Leaving my fingerprints on every corner of the world

Chinatown, Singapore
Chinatown, Singapore

 

What do you love? Tell me in the comments!

Why have a travel blog? Plus a holiday giveaway!

This post may contain affiliate links, which cost you nothing but help to support the upkeep of this blog. 

Know what I love to do, almost as much as I love to have random bucket list adventures all over the globe? Encourage other people to have their own. When I’m getting to know someone, I like to skip right past the usual, “What’s your favorite color?” and “Tell me about your family!” stuff. For me it’s all about the, “What’s on your bucket list??” And as soon as I find out, I’m all about encouraging you to fulfill your dreams.

Bucket list-ing in Indonesia
Bucket list-ing in Indonesia

So that brings me to why I even have a travel blog in the first place. I’ve been traveling and checking things off my own list for years without one, and maintaining a blog is actually a lot of work and expense. But I LOVE to encourage people to follow their dreams. Love it. It breaks my heart when someone tells me they have a dream they’ve given up on. If you’ve always wanted to go to Ireland/ learn Swahili/ sail to Fiji but you’ve given up on it ever happening because of time or money or kids or whatever, please don’t tell me- I’ll cry.

I think everyone has a bucket list, even if you haven’t set it down on paper or told anyone about it yet.

Swimming with dolphins... check!
Swimming with dolphins… check!

I hope reading about my adventures (and misadventures) encourages other people to remember their dreams and goals that they may have set aside and make some of them come true. If you need to save money, save money. If you need to arrange for childcare, do it. There are things you’ve been putting off that won’t wait forever, and eventually you will run out of time. I’ve been a funeral director for a long time- not to be morbid, but I promise you there will come a day when someone you love will be sitting in an office just like mine, telling someone like me about how much you loved wine, and wished you had taken that girls’ trip through Napa. Or how much you loved Greek food, and wished you had made it to Santorini. Or maybe you’ll make some of those dreams come true, and we can talk about that instead.

So…! That brings us to the fun part.

Let’s win some free stuff.

As my holiday gift to you, my awesome followers, one of you is going to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate that you can use to get you one step closer to checking off your own bucket list. Maybe you need a Bucket List Journal to start making your list. Maybe you need some new luggage, or an airplane pillow, or some extra memory cards for your camera. Whatever it is that will inspire you to make your dreams come true, make it happen!

amazon
Gift card shown is for illustration purposes only- actual prize will be in the form of an emailed Amazon code, so you don’t have to wait by the mailbox!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

THE LIST

The most common response I’ve received to my travel photos and stories over the years has always been, “You should be a travel writer!” The second most common, however, has always been a request to see what exactly is on a 600+ item bucket list. I’ve never published it before, and I don’t plan to publish it in its entirety now (there are a few things on it that aren’t travel related and I would prefer to keep them private for the time being) but I will list the ones that I have checked off, along with the relevant blog posts where applicable, and I’ll update it as we go along. Fair enough?

  1.  ???
  2.  ???
  3.  ???
  4.  ???
  5.  ???
  6.  ???
  7.  Take a Train Ride across Canada (completed June/July 2016)
  8.  ???
  9.  Visit the Scottish Highlands (completed November 2015)
  10.  ???
  11.  ???
  12.  ???
  13.  ???
  14.  Take an African photo safari (completed May 2010, Uganda)
  15.  Swim with dolphins (completed January 26, 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico)
  16.  ???
  17.  ???
  18.  ???
  19.  ???
  20.  ???
  21.  ???
  22.  Ride in a hot air balloon (completed March 2009, Bagan, Burma)
  23.  Take a cruise (completed several times over!)
  24.  ???
  25.  ???
  26.  Spend the summer living in a beach house (the summer turned into almost five years, and I still miss that house!)
  27.  ???
  28.  ???
  29.  ???
  30.  ???
  31.  ???
  32.  ???
  33.  ???
  34.  ???
  35.  ???
  36.  ???
  37.  ???
  38.  ???
  39.  Watch the launch of the Space Shuttle (I had VIP access to the launch of  Discovery on April 5, 2010, the last night launch. I may have cried. A lot.)
  40. Be an extra in a film.
  41.  ???
  42.  ???
  43.  ???
  44.  ???
  45.  ???
  46.  ???
  47.  Send a message in a bottle (and I got caught in a riptide and nearly died doing it. Someone in Fiji better find that damn bottle is all I’m saying.)
  48.  ???
  49.  ???
  50.  ???
  51.  ???
  52.  ???
  53.  Shower in a waterfall (May 30, 2011 in Cloudland Canyon, Georgia. So. Freaking. Cold. But my committment to the bucket list is unwavering!)
  54.  ???
  55.  ???
  56.  ???
  57.  ???
  58.  ???
  59.  ???
  60.  Visit the World Trade Center memorial. (October 4, 2015- Don’t look for a blog post about this any time soon. I was so overwhelmed I had to leave almost immediately.)
  61.  ???
  62.  ???
  63.  ???
  64.  ???
  65.  ???
  66.  ???
  67.  ???
  68.  Get a tattoo (Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check…)
  69.  ???
  70.  ???
  71.  ???
  72.  ???
  73.  ???
  74.  See a musical on Broadway.
  75.  ???
  76.  ???
  77.  ???
  78.  ???
  79.  Climb Mayan ruins.
  80.  ???
  81.  ???
  82.  ???
  83.  ???
  84.  Learn to ride a horse.
  85.  Live in a beach house (Damn, even early on there were duplicates on the list!)
  86.  ???
  87.  ???
  88.  ???
  89.  ???
  90.  ???
  91.  Sail down the Nile (May 2010, and I nearly died. Good times.)
  92.  ???
  93.  ???
  94.  ???
  95.  ???
  96.  ???
  97.  Visit Stonehenge
  98.  ???
  99.  ???
  100.  ???
  101.  Get a college degree
  102.  ???
  103.  Go to Disney World (see what a sheltered child I was? I was in my 20s before I could check this one off!)
  104.  ???
  105.  ???
  106.  ???
  107.  ???
  108.  ???
  109.  ???
  110.  ???
  111.  ???
  112.  ???
  113.  ???
  114.  Ride a cable car in San Francisco (October 18, 2009)
  115.  Visit Alcatraz (October 18, 2009- take the night tour!)
  116.  ???
  117.  ???
  118.  ???
  119.  ???
  120.  ???
  121.  ???
  122.  ???
  123.  ???
  124.  ???
  125.  Eat alligator (spoiler alert: it’s gross)
  126.  ???
  127.  ???
  128.  Explore a tropical rain forest (May 2010 Kibale Forest and Bwindi, Uganda)
  129.  ???
  130.  ???
  131.  Spend the night at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast
  132.  ???
  133.  ???
  134.  ???
  135.  ???
  136.  ???
  137.  ???
  138.  ???
  139.  ???
  140.  ???
  141.  ???
  142.  ???
  143.  ???
  144.  ???
  145.  ???
  146.  ???
  147.  ???
  148.  ???
  149.  ???
  150.  ???
  151.  ???
  152.  Watch silverback gorillas in the wild (May 2010 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda- my #1, all time, most amazing travel experience ever)
  153.  ???
  154.  ???
  155.  ???
  156.  Visit Mt. Rushmore (September 2016)
  157.  Visit the Crazy Horse Monument (September 2016)
  158.  ???
  159.  Visit ancient Greek & Roman ruins ( March 2012, London; February & September 2013, Athens)
  160.  ???
  161.  ???
  162.  ???
  163.  ???
  164.  ???
  165.  ???
  166.  ???
  167.  Watch bald eagles in the wild
  168.  Eat cheesecake at Junior’s in Brooklyn (October 5, 2015)
  169.  ???
  170.  ???
  171.  ???
  172.  ???
  173.  ???
  174.  ???
  175.  ???
  176.  ???
  177.  Touch a whale (April 18, 2009)
  178.  ???
  179.  ???
  180.  ???
  181.  ???
  182.  ???
  183.  ???
  184.  ???
  185.  ???
  186.  ???
  187.  ???
  188.  ???
  189.  ???
  190.  ???
  191.  ???
  192.  ???
  193.  ???
  194.  ???
  195.  ???
  196.  ???
  197.  ???
  198.  ???
  199.  ???
  200.  ???
  201.  ???
  202.  ???
  203.  ???
  204.  See a herd of bison on the American plains (September 24, 2016 Custer State Park, South Dakota. Happy birthday to me!)
  205.  See the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum
  206.  ???
  207.  Eat beignets at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans (too many times to count, but I never get tired of them!)
  208.  Hear wolves howl in the wild.
  209.  ???
  210.  ???
  211.  ???
  212.  ???
  213.  ???
  214.  ???
  215.  ???
  216.  ???
  217.  ???
  218.  ???
  219.  ???
  220.  Walk the Enchanted Trail near Chattanooga, Tennessee
  221.  ???
  222.  ???
  223.  ???
  224.  Listen to jazz and blues in Memphis
  225.  ???
  226.  ???
  227.  ???
  228.  Buy a painting from a starving artist
  229.  ???
  230.  ???
  231.  ???
  232.  ???
  233.  ???
  234.  ???
  235.  Tour Magnolia Plantation in South Carolina
  236.  ???
  237.  ???
  238.  ???
  239.  ???
  240.  Take a carriage ride through St. Augustine
  241.  ???
  242.  ???
  243.  ???
  244.  Visit the Acropolis (February 14, 2013)
  245.  Hunt for antiques at the West London Fair
  246.  ???
  247.  ???
  248.  ???
  249.  Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (October 22, 2010)
  250.  ???
  251.  See the ancient bronze statue of the Delphic Charioteer in Greece (February and September 2013- once wasn’t enough! This thing is breathtaking)
  252.  ???
  253.  Eat cheesesteak in Philadelphia (July 3, 2015- Jim’s Steaks on South Street. Legendary.)
  254.  ???
  255.  ???
  256.  ???
  257.  ???
  258.  Have afternoon tea at the London Ritz.
  259.  ???
  260.  ???
  261.  ???
  262.  ???
  263.  ???
  264.  ???
  265.  Tour the Okefenokee swamp by boat (January 21, 2016)
  266.  ???
  267.  Walk the entire Freedom Trail to visit the landmarks of the American Revolution (September 17, 2010)
  268.  Explore a bat cave (May 23, 2011- Carlsbad Caverns)
  269.  Buy a book in San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore (October 17, 2009- “American Chinatown” by Bonnie Tsui)
  270.  Visit all 54 African countries (OK I’m still working on this one- Uganda and Rwanda down, 52 to go!)
  271.  ???
  272.  ???
  273.  ???
  274.  ???
  275.  ???
  276.  ???
  277.  ???
  278.  See the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
  279.  Travel the Road to Mandalay (March 2009)
  280.  ???
  281.  ???
  282.  ???
  283.  ???
  284.  ???
  285.  ???
  286.  ???
  287.  ???
  288.  ???
  289.  ???
  290.  ???
  291.  ???
  292.  ???
  293.  ???
  294.  ???
  295.  ???
  296.  ???
  297.  ???
  298.  ???
  299.  ???
  300.  ???
  301.  ???
  302.  ???
  303.  ???
  304.  Drive a tank! (June 25, 2010 in Kasota, Minnesota. This got me a mention on CNN Money, and was dope as hell.)
  305.  ???
  306.  ???
  307.  ???
  308.  ???
  309.  ???
  310.  ???
  311.  ???
  312.  ???
  313.  ???
  314.  ???
  315.  ???
  316.  ???
  317.  ???
  318.  ???
  319.  ???
  320.  ???
  321.  ???
  322.  ???
  323.  ???
  324.  ???
  325.  ???
  326.  ???
  327.  ???
  328.  ???
  329.  ???
  330.  ???
  331.  See a blue iguana in the wild (Mexico, Burma, and Uganda. Who knew there were so many of them?)
  332.  ???
  333.  ???
  334.  ???
  335.  ???
  336.  ???
  337.  ???
  338.  ???
  339.  ???
  340.  ???
  341.  ???
  342.  ???
  343.  ???
  344.  ???
  345.  ???
  346.  ???
  347.  ???
  348.  ???
  349.  ???
  350.  ???
  351.  ???
  352.  Hear Big Ben chime.
  353.  ???
  354.  ???
  355.  ???
  356.  ???
  357.  ???
  358.  ???
  359.  ???
  360.  Visit Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut (September 19, 2010)
  361.  ???
  362.  ???
  363.  ???
  364.  ???
  365.  ???
  366.  ???
  367.  ???
  368.  ???
  369.  Visit the grave of Benjamin Franklin in Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia
  370.  Eat a 6″ sandwich at Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh
  371.  ???
  372.  ???
  373.  Visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
  374.  ???
  375.  ???
  376.  ???
  377.  ???
  378.  ???
  379.  Pizzeria Uno, Chicago (and why I get free pizza for life)
  380.  ???
  381.  ???
  382.  ???
  383.  ???
  384.  Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana (September 23, 2016)
  385.  ???
  386.  ???
  387.  Explore Badlands National Park, South Dakota (September 25, 2016)
  388.  Mt. Rushmore & the Crazy Horse Monument (oops, another duplicate. It happens!)
  389.  ???
  390.  Buy a souvenir magnet at Wall Drug in Wall, SD (September 25, 2016)
  391.  ???
  392.  Hear a concert at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater (September 26, 2016)
  393.  Explore Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico (May 23, 2011)
  394.  ???
  395.  ???
  396.  Find the best Chinese food in San Francisco’s Chinatown (October 17, 2009- City View Dim Sum was my final choice!)
  397.  ???
  398.  ???
  399.  ???
  400.  ???
  401.  Watch orcas off the coast of British Columbia (July 4, 2016- second only to seeing wild mountain gorillas in Uganda on the Highlights of My Life list!)
  402.  ???
  403.  ???
  404.  ???
  405.  ???
  406.  ???
  407.  ???
  408.  ???
  409.  ???
  410.  ???
  411.  Stand on the Equator (May 2010, Uganda)
  412.  ???
  413.  ???
  414.  Ride in a helicopter (September 18, 2010- Boston)
  415.  Visit Gettysburg (October 23, 2010)
  416.  ???
  417.  ???
  418.  ???
  419.  ???
  420.  ???
  421.  ???
  422.  ???
  423.  ???
  424.  ???
  425.  ???
  426.  ???
  427.  ???
  428.  ???
  429.  ???
  430.  ???
  431.  ???
  432.  ???
  433.  ???
  434.  ???
  435.  ???
  436.  ???
  437.  ???
  438.  ???
  439.  ???
  440.  ???
  441.  ???
  442.  ???
  443.  ???
  444.  ???
  445.  ???
  446.  ???
  447.  ???
  448.  ???
  449.  ???
  450.  ???
  451.  ???
  452.  ???
  453.  ???
  454.  ???
  455.  ???
  456.  ???
  457.  ???
  458.  ???
  459.  ???
  460.  ???
  461.  ???
  462.  ???
  463.  ???
  464.  ???
  465.  ???
  466.  ???
  467.  ???
  468.  ???
  469.  ???
  470.  ???
  471.  ???
  472.  ???
  473.  ???
  474.  ???
  475.  Explore ancient temples in Indonesia
  476.  ???
  477.  ???
  478.  ???
  479.  ???
  480.  ???
  481.  ???
  482.  ???
  483.  ???
  484.  ???
  485.  ???
  486.  ???
  487.  ???
  488.  ???
  489.  ???
  490.  ???
  491.  ???
  492.  ???
  493.  ???
  494.  ???
  495.  ???
  496.  ???
  497.  ???
  498.  ???
  499.  ???
  500.  ???
  501.  ???
  502.  ???
  503.  ???
  504.  ???
  505.  ???
  506.  ???
  507.  ???
  508.  ???
  509.  ???
  510.  ???
  511.  ???
  512.  ???
  513.  ???
  514.  ???
  515.  ???
  516.  ???
  517.  ???
  518.  ???
  519.  ???
  520.  ???
  521.  ???
  522.  ???
  523.  ???
  524.  ???
  525.  ???
  526.  ???
  527.  ???
  528.  ???
  529.  Ride the St. Kitts Scenic Railway
  530.  ???
  531.  ???
  532.  ???
  533.  ???
  534.  ???
  535.  ???
  536.  ???
  537.  ???
  538.  ???
  539.  ???
  540.  ???
  541.  ???
  542.  ???
  543.  ???
  544.  ???
  545.  ???
  546.  ???
  547.  ???
  548.  ???
  549.  ???
  550.  ???
  551.  ???
  552.  ???
  553.  ???
  554.  ???
  555.  ???
  556.  ???
  557.  ???
  558.  ???
  559.  ???
  560.  ???
  561.  ???
  562.  ???
  563.  ???
  564.  ???
  565.  ???
  566.  ???
  567.  ???
  568.  Go back to Greece (sometimes I love a country so much I put it back on the list even after I’ve been there. Sue me.)
  569.  ???
  570.  Visit the tomb of St. Luke in Thiva, Greece
  571.  ???
  572.  ???
  573.  Visit Thessaloniki
  574.  ???
  575.  ???
  576.  ???
  577.  ???
  578.  ???
  579.  ???
  580.  ???
  581.  ???
  582.  ???
  583.  Borobudur Temple Compound, Indonesia
  584.  ???
  585.  ???
  586.  ???
  587.  ???
  588.  ???
  589.  ???
  590.  ???
  591.  ???
  592.  ???
  593.  ???
  594.  ???
  595.  Explore Gilmerton Cove, a series of underground passageways beneath Edinburgh (November 13, 2015)
  596.  ???
  597.  ???
  598.  ???
  599.  Marry Eric (December 31, 2015)
  600.  ???
  601.  ???
  602.  ???
  603.  ???
  604.  ???
  605.  ???
  606.  ???
  607.  ???
  608.  ???
  609.  ???
  610.  ???

 

So there you have it- everything I’ve checked off my bucket list so far. Next up on the list? #542- explore ancient temples in Sri Lanka. Stay tuned!