A Travellerspoint blog

Greek Adventures-- Athens

rain 8 °C

I travelled to Greece with one of my friends from Holland. We started out flying into Athens from Amsterdam. It was a pretty easy flight. We went up, got drinks, got food, got more drinks, then landed. We took the Metro from Athens Airport to our Hostel and checked in, dropped off our bags and went down to the sports bar below us. There we met one of my favorite people-- the bartender (we never actually learned his name surprisingly). He was quite fantastic. When we walked in he introduced us to his dog who was 4 months old. Then poured us beers and shots of Ouzo. Then he turned on Gymnastics on the TV and made small talk and joked with us.

The next day we started to walk around Athens. The first stop was the Acropolis. For some reason we got in free (No complaints from me!) and walked up to the top, which had some great views of the city.

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After walking the Acropolis for a few hours we wandered around Athens-- making up our own tour along the way. We were entertained by making stories for each old building we saw. We somehow wandered into the center of town where there was a bazaar and shopping street. We kept seeing gigantic tea pot like things on the sides of the rod with venders selling things from it, so we stopped to have a looked. It turned out to be Sahlepi (saw- lep-ee) which apparently is orchid root cooked down into a goo like substance. So naturally we decided we had to try some. It was the weirdest thing. It was a hot drink that tasted like an orchid smells. It probably would have been delicious if the texture wasn't a cross between snot and jello. And it burned my lip quite bad so I got angry with it and wouldn't drink any more.

Eventually we left the shopping area (without buying anything!) and started the walk back. We found the Athen National Park by the parliament building and took a mosey through it.

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It was starting to freeze outside so we wandered back to the Sports Bar again and hung out with our buddy for a few hours before calling it and early night.

We planned to go to Santorini the next day by ferry, so we got up at the crack of dawn to take the Metro to the harbor to catch the 7 am ferry. After waking up at 5, taking an hour long ride to Pireais, we were told that the water was too choppy to catch the ferry and we may have to wait a few days to get to the island.

Neither one of us wanted to waste time by staying in Athens longer so we decided to do he next best thing- rent a car and do some aimless driving! We hoped on the train back to the hostel, asked about rental places, where they recommended we drive first and headed off!

Next stop: Nafplio, Greece

Posted by Michele530 04:52 Archived in Greece Tagged athens backpacking acropolis Comments (0)

Nice and Avignon

France

rain 13 °C

After leaving Barcelona I took a train up to Avignon for one night. I arrived there around 4 pm and walked to my hotel. I had my own room with a bathroom and everything! This has been the first time I have slept in a room by myself in the last two months. It was glorious. I got to take an hour long shower. Go to bed at 8 am and get up at 9 am. I felt fresh!

The next morning I hoped on the train to Nice to meet my friend Lynsey there for a few days. My train was supposed to take just under 3 hours but was delayed along the way for almost an hour because of the g20 Summit in Cannes. But, I finally made it and met Lyns at the station. We checked into our hostel and wandered around downtown Nice. Then went grocery shopping and headed back to the hostel to cook some dinner. After, we curled up on the coach and watched a movie then played some rounds of cards with fellow hostellers. We went to bed pretty early because it was raining pretty heavily outside.

Little did we know that it woiuld be like that for the next several days...

We did get to go to Monaco and wander around

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Here's me an dLyns on the bus ride there. All dressed up so we can get into places

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Monte Carlo Casino

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Our 13 Euro milkshake that we shared

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We spent a few hours in Monaco then headed back to Nice and hung out in the Hostel. We hung out with fellow travelers and went out for a night on the town in Nice.

The next day was horrid. Everything was flooded from over 200 mm of rain overnight and in the early morning.
For two days straight we were pretty much confined to the Hostel and the close areas around it because of flooding.

Finally it was dry enough to venture outside the day before we were set to leave. We walked along the beaches and huddled into one of the Coffee shops in the old town and sipped coffee and chilled out for a few hours. Then we headed back when the rain started to pick up again.

Overall, it was a very relaxed trip. We got to see a fair bit of Nice and the surrounding areas, but we also saw a whole lot of that hostel. But, I got to see tons of my buddy Lynsey.

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Next Stop: Greek tour

Posted by Michele530 12:41 Archived in France Comments (0)

Barcelona, Spain

sunny 17 °C

Spain is simply amazing. Not only is it a cool, laid back city, but I also met some amazing people.

My first morning in the city I did a free tour of all the Gaudi sites in the city.
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When I got back to the hostel I met up with a bunch of people that were staying for the same days. A few Aussies, a few South Africans, a Norweigan, and a few North Americans (Us and Can). The hostel made us dinner and drinks everynight, but this night was special because it was HALLOWEEN! We all dressed up in silly witch hats and headed out. The gguy who was working the hostel that night took us all out to a local club that was 18 Euros to get in with a line around the corner, but he took us to the front door and we got in for free! The club had two floors with the bottom hip hop and the top rock. We all finally wandered back to the hostel around 6 in the morning, made some breakfast and went to bed.

But, I didn't get to sleep long. I planned on going to a tour in the morning with one of my hostelmates, so I had to drag myself out of bed to meet her downstairs at 10. We took the old city tour of Barcelona and saw some of the oldest buildings in Spain and learned about the Catalonia history.

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Later that day we meet up with the rest of the group and walked down to the beach. We chatted and people watched and lazed about on the sand for hours until it finally got too cold and we headed back to the hostel. Soon after we got back the entore hostel sat down for dinner and moitos and talked and laughed and joked the night away.

Sadly, the next morning I had to catch a train to my next stop, but it was ok because I got to see one of my favorite people, Lynsey, a friend from The Hague.

Next Stop: Avignon and Nice, France

Posted by Michele530 10:39 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona spain catalonia gaudi backpacking la_segrada_familia Comments (0)

Venice

overcast 16 °C

Oh Venice. How you make me smile!
I started off my journey to Naples to Venice Early in the morning. I first trained up to Rome then caught a connection that took me the remaining way to Venice. Overall, the total journey was about 7 hours. I wandered around the station looking for tourist information and finally found it in the back corner hiding behind a tree. The woman behind the desk sent me to the boats outside of the station to catch a ride to the hostel.
It is quite interesting trying to get on a rocking boat with a 16 kilo bag. But, I somehow made it below deck without falling overboard.
My directions from the hostel were as follows:
Get off boat. Turn right. Cross over three bridges. Turn left on the street next to the bridge. Then at the square go into the alley in the corner. Then you should see the hostel.

Well, at this point everyone should know how easily I get lost with even the best directions. Just try to imagine me with these. It was pretty hilarious. But, I eventually made it. Then had to walk up four flights of stairs with my massive backpack to check in, then be sent accros the street to my room. The hostel I stayed at was apparently half hostel half hotel. The hostel bit was literally a room withfour beds, a hallway, an d a bathroom. No common area, no kitchen, no lockers. Just beds. And a toilet. So, i was pleasantly surprised to find that it was just me and a young guy from Tuscon, Arizona. We wondered around Venice and grabbed some dinner. Venice is simply gorgeous at night

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The next morning I met up with one of the guys I met in Rome. We walked the entire island from 11 am to 7 pm. Then we happily sat down for some dinner and headed to the hostel to hang out with my roomie. We drank beers, munched on goodies, and talked about the homeland (we were all surprisingly Americans and on top of that all from the west coast.)

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The next morning I had an early flight back to Amsterdam. It was much to my consternation that I had to take a boat to the airport. That takes an hour and 45 minutes. My flight was at 7 in the morning. I needed to be there by 530 am. Which meant I got to be at the boat stop to catch the boat at 330. But no. There were no boats that left at 330. It was either 3am or 4am. So I headed out of the hostel at 240 and walked to the boat stop. My flight also landed into Brussels, so when I finally landed I had to take the train 2 hours to The Hague. It was a stellar day : /. But, at least there were no missed flights or delays!

Next Stop: Barcelona, Spain.

Posted by Michele530 08:25 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Naples

sunny 18 °C

So, as I was planning my backpacking trip I asked people about different cities around Europe that they had been to. One of the cities that was highly debated was Naples. People either LOVED it, or they absolutely HATED it. No in betweens. Well, I belong to the group that ABSOLUTELY HATED it. It was disgusting. Graffiti everywhere. Trash everywhere. Crap everywhere. People in every nook and cranny. It was like the Tijuana of Italy. The only good thing about Naples was the fact that it was super close to Pompeii which was amazing.

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This section has old peices of pottery and even a few bosies they found in the hidden city.

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Here are some murals they discover while unburrying one of the larger houses
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I wandered the nooks and crannies, streets and alleys, and hidden ruins of Pompeii for a good five or six hours and didn't see it all. I was pleasantly surprised at how big the area itself is. Definitely worth the trip out there.

As for Naples, I was only there for a day and a half. One day of which I was in Pompeii, so that half a day of wandering the Neopolitan streets was more than enough for me!

Next stop: Venice, Italy

Posted by Michele530 10:20 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking naples pompeii Comments (0)

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