Archive for the ‘Greece’ Category

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy Five: Amman

October 22, 2012

Weather: 25oC
Money: €4.80 lunch + €7 train + $80US hotel + $20JD visa + $25JD taxi = $166 roughly
Current country: Jordan
Current city: Amman
Country tally: 28

Interesting day today. Starting at the end, I just deleted my whole blog and am rewriting it now. Bah. We are staying in the most luxurious hotel ever, and it’s the most we’ve paid for accommodation all year. But, the beds are SO comfortable and we actually have feather pillows and doona/duvet/comforter/quilt/blankets. The shower is good and there are free shampoos and free tea bags. And we can have the air conditioning on, and we don’t have to pay extra. Just trying to reconcile the cost of the room with the benefits!

Back to the beginning. We got ready and basically people watched on our favourite street til midday when we caught the train to the airport.

We arrived to the check in line with ample time, but it was really long and pretty much all men, which was strange. When we got to the front, they had some problem with out tickets that took ages to sort out. Passport control also took a long time, and the jerk gave me the worst stamp of all time. We still had to clear security when our flight was on the last call. Needless to say, I was making myself known to ground crew who hurried us through security.

The flight over was just two hours, and there was a total of seven women on the flight. Getting visas and all that jazz in Amman was super easy and we caught a cab to our exuberant hotel!

We join a tour tomorrow and I am really excited to see my matey Carmel in the morning at the airport! Half of them are already here, and it’s so nice to see people from home. My friend Amy is one of them, and we’ve just been chatting into the night. So nice.

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy Four: Downtown Athens

October 21, 2012

Weather: 26oC
Money: €15 accommodation + €5.20 breakfast + €5 lunch + €35 sundries + €2.30 dinner + €3 ice cream = €65.50

We had a pretty cruisy and nice day exploring the city of Athens. We had breakfast in our favourite part of town, just down from where we are staying. It’s at the base of the Acropolis and we seem to end up there at least two times a day. But, to be fair, we’ve discovered amazing gyros there and we’ve eaten one everyday. Yum. I will miss them when we leave!

We wandered back through the Plaka neighbourhood and had a look in some of the shops we missed last night. There were a lot of people out today. I think because its Saturday. Or maybe there are always that many. Hmm. We ended up near the flea market which sells no fleas, instead just regular shoes and clothes and stuff. It’s a pretty cool city to be fair. A guy tried to sell us perfume out of his backpack and another tried hard to convince us to buy his iPhone (yesterday’s best was a colourful needle threader – just what every tourist needs).

I found this cute church in the middle of the road, there is another one like it just on the same road.

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On our way to get some groceries, we came across this very high OH&S standard. They have about 8 boxes of milk and at least three full bags of it.

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Now. Also, we got dinner at ‘our street’ and I took some photos of the Parthenon. We resisted the temptation to buy those little glow sticks that you flick into the air. They are somewhat amazing. But not really.

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I also have this long exposure shot of Hadrian’s Arch for you. There is a bus going by.

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We are totally flying to Amman tomorrow. I’ve very excited. But, there’s still time for one more gyros and one more freddochino!

X

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy Three: Acropolis and Plaka

October 20, 2012

Weather: 28oC
Money: €15 accommodation + €3.80 lunch + €12 acropolis entry + €8 sundries + €13.50 dinner = €52.30
Nights left in Europe: 2

I love Athens. I actually love it. Oh my goodness. Today we went to the Acropolis. It’s immense, epic, insane and marvellous, all at once. Wowser.

The first thing we saw on our arrival was the Odeum of Herodes Atticus, which was originally built in the 2nd century AD but has been reconstructed. It’s still used for performances and I wish I could go to one.

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Nearby is the Theatre of Dionysus, less marvellous, but in its day held 17,000 people compared to the Odeum which holds 5000. The coolest thing about these is imagining the plays performed there in the day. Aesculus, Sophocles and Euripedes, Ancient Greek play-writes from the 5th century BC would have had their stuff performed there in those theatres. Isn’t that incredible.

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Wow. The Parthenon is something else. While the poor guy has endured a lot of hardships, he is being restored to his former glory. A lot of the restored statues and friezes from around the Parthenon live across the road at the museum we went to yesterday and they have been restored really well. Regardless of all the cranes and construction, the Parthenon is amazing. It is a temple that was built in dedication to Athena in the 5th century BC. And I like it.

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Here’s Hope and I in front of the Erechtheion, another temple on the Acropolis. I like this photo.

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Also, the view of Athens and surrounding hills is amazing from the Acropolis.

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And, from up there, we could see this. It’s the Temple of Hephaestus.

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Phew, that’s the Acropolis done I think!

This afternoon, we went wandering around the Plaka. We went in further than we did the other day and discovered heaps of shops. Lots of touristy ones and lots of jewellery ones! We ate dinner in a nice restaurant with a very friendly spruker who encouraged us to eat there. Of course he did. But it was 4 courses with a free drink and free water for only €12! Bargain!

Ahh. Big day. One more proper one left before we plane on out to the Middle East!

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy Two: Acropolis Museum

October 19, 2012

Weather: 30oC
Money: €15 accommodation + €6 lunch + €3 ice cream + €5 museum + €4.80 dinner + €5 sundries = €38.80

My good friend Helen tells me I’m only allowed to have five favourite cities in the world. I think I’m in trouble now I’ve seen bits of Athens. My list already includes more than five. And now it has one more. I love it! I love all the history and it makes me, once again, want to become a historian. Or at least do a degree in history. What a waste of time doing those other things! Although, I must say, a lot of my English unit on Greek and Roman mythology has been handy. If only I could remember it better!

It turns out we are staying in a really cool area, really close to the acropolis. We can almost see it out the window! Today, we planned on heading there, but got distracted by other cool things on the way. The first thing we found was Hadrian’s Arch which was built to honour Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD.

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We also caught a glimpse of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus through the fence, it looks cool, and hopefully we can get on other side of the fence tomorrow or the next day!

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On the way to the Acropolis, we found the Acropolis Museum. We were going to save it for another day, but there were hardly any people there at all so we decided to do it today. It’s relatively new, opened in 2009, and it’s AWESOME. I’d say in my top 5 museums of all time. Entry was only €5, and it’s great. It has all the bits from the Acropolis and the Parthenon that were getting wrecked out in the elements. The coolest bit I think, was one of the floors that was like a kind of reconstruction of the Parthenon. Not materials, and it wasn’t even obvious, but it was the same size and had the same number of columns as the Parthenon. It was really nice, because then they had the blocks of decorated marble along the sides where they originally would have been on the actual thing. And, from here, there was this view of the Parthenon!

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After the amazing museum, we were worn out so we had to stop for some ice cream. You know how it is.

We enjoyed a bit of walking around Filopapou Hill before we came home!

Dinner was a gyro, of course, cheap and delicious!

Have a photo of Lycabetus Hill, also from the museum. We’ll head up there one day too!

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy One: Back to Athens

October 18, 2012

Weather: 30oC, blurgh no air conditioning
Money: €15 accommodation + €32 boat + €7 lunch + €5 dinner = €59
Current country: Greece
Current city: Athens

I must admit, Athens has been the place I’m most apprehensive about. I’m not overly sure why. Maybe because of the crime rate or all the dodgy hostel reviews. Or all the protests on the news lately, or the fact that its just before we go to Israel which is just before we go to London which is just before we go home. However, since arriving in Athens proper (last time we stayed at the port and didn’t see anything) it’s been pretty swell.

We left Paros at 10:45am and had a five hour trip to Athens. After arriving, we caught the train to the city and arrived at our hostel. It’s supposedly in a reasonable area, but I don’t think we’ll stay out too late to find out. Doesn’t hurt to be a bit wise I’d say! It’s pretty decent, although its very hot in our room and the air conditioning costs an extra €10 per night – no thanks!

We’ve just got back from a bit of an explore around the Plaka district, shops and restaurants and stuff. There are police everywhere. I wonder if there’s something going down or if that’s usual. Oh well, I guess we’ll find out if we need to!

All the best chipmunks! Xxx

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Day Two Hundred and Seventy: Gyros

October 17, 2012

Weather: 28oC
Money: €12.50 accommodation + €2.20 lunch + €9 dinner and snacks = €23.70

Much the same as yesterday today unfortunately!
This is what we looked at all day today:

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We went down with our gyro for lunch, €2.20 worth of delicious chicken, tzatziki, tomato, lettuce, onion and chips in a pita wrap. It’s our daily dish lately. So good! After our lunch picnic, it was into the water for us! This time I did some swimming and flapping around before we retired to the shallows again. My fishy friends were back and intent on sucking my feet.

Such a relaxing day. But, I think it’s back to real life tomorrow, with a 5 hour boat trip to Athens and then four days of exploring!
Xx

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Day Two Hundred and Sixty Nine: Beach Kids

October 16, 2012

Weather: 27oC
Money: €12.50 accommodation + €3.60 lunch + €8 dinner = €24.10
Beach hours: Many

After getting ready this morning in our usual slow fashion, we headed to the beach. It’s about 5 minutes walk away to a very quiet, nice sandy beach. We went with our books but no swimming gear because we decided we wouldn’t swim. The day was amazing today. The water was warm and the sun was good for tanning.

And tanning we did. We read on the beach and then it got too hot so we got lunch and then came home for a bit.

Come mid afternoon, we got our gear on and went back to the beach, this time swimming was the objective. We were right, it was wonderful. No waves, no people, no sharks. But some little sucker fish did try to give me a pedicure, which freaked me out a little bit.

We ended up spending a couple of hours sitting in the tiny pebbles in the shallow water. It was lovely! I don’t know how we’ll cope going back to our ‘jobs’ of full time travel after our two weeks of island fun!

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