A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Rachelabby

Dora the Driver

Kos, Greece

sunny 34 °C

Getting to Kos was almost a nightmare. I know understand why Greeks hate the ferry system. I have booked everything prior to Kos online and I have had no trouble with it, but of course I do now. I originally booked online to go from Mykonos to Athens back to Kos (there isn’t a direct ferry to Kos). The ferry system had me going to Crete first, so I cancelled that and told them I need to go to Athens and then to Kos. Well they got me going to Athens, but then had me LEAVING from Santorini to Kos. However, I am not in Santorini –I am in Athens! So then I had to book a flight that left at 5:30 am to get to Kos at 6:30am which is before public transportation starts to get to Heidi’s house, so I am going to have to take a taxi which will be about 40 Euros. Not to mention that I land by ferry in Athens at 7:30, which means I am going to have sleep in the airport. Greeattt! Luckily, I have made some amazing friends on this trip that let me kindly stay with them the night in Athens. That I am quite grateful for! =)
The next morning, I awoke at 3 am to catch the bus to the airport; the receptionist at the hotel my friends were staying at told me it would be the second bus station. So I walk and I get to the first one, right after the first one is another one. But they are right beside each other. OH GREAT. Well which one is it? Is it this one that I am at or is it farther down? Should I go back and ask? It’s 3:30, I don’t have time. Well I will just wait here; this is the second one after all. So I wait and wait and wait. Even if it is the wrong one the bus will pass me and I could just wave them down. I continue to wait. Okay, I’ll just walk up a little bit. A cab pulls over as I am walking and asks if I need help. The Greeks are so hospitable! “Yes, I am confused do you know if I go to this bus station or another one for X96?” “I am not sure—“And there goes X96 passing by us.
DARN IT! I grind my teeth, “How much is it for a cab ride to the airport?” “35 Euros” he replies. HOLY COW! THAT’S 3 MEALS FOR ME! “I am sorry but I don’t have that much, do you know when the next bus comes?” Exactly why I left at 3 am for my 5:30 am flight. “How much will you pay?” Yes! I was secretly hoping he would want to bargain! “Twenty Euros”, I say. “I can’t do that, I can do 25 Euros.” Oh please! I am my mother’s daughter when it comes to making deals-it’s my way or the highway pal. “I am sorry, I can only afford 20” He sighs, “Alright I can do that” he says. I grin, “Ok, thank you!” and I get into the backseat. The cab driver talks to me about Greece and I ask a few questions. Greek men always seem to ask me if I have a boyfriend and I always respond with yes, we are getting married (Even though I don’t and I am not getting married). This typically makes the men back off (but only when I mention marriage as I have found out), however, that didn’t work this time for this 50+ smoking cab driver. On our way to the airport he stops at the gas station and starts putting moves on me, I am beyond uncomfortable. I finally DEMAND him to take me to the airport and sit with my luggage practically covering my whole entire body. Once we arrive to the airport, I hand the twenty Euros and as he grabs my hand I slapped his and marched right into the airport, well in all honesty I ran into the airport. Darn, Greeks! They just don’t have know how to respect women!
I arrive in Kos at 6:30 am and I find out that public transportation doesn’t begin till 8am, so I have to take a cab. Seriously? Another cab? I dread the experience, but luckily, I find the two men I sat next to on the plane and we all decide to split a cab. After they tell me they are lawyers and I tell them just exactly how I came to Greece and then how I started my backpacking we arrived at Heidi’s house. I asked if they had change for my half and they sympathetically tell me that they will take care of the toll. I insisted to pay for at least half, but they refused and said, “You are young, back-packing Greece; you need the money more than we do! Go enjoy yourself!” I thanked them, parted ways, and said a prayer to God to thank him for taking care of me.
I am finally at Heidi’s! We are so thrilled to see each other! We converse in detail about all the islands we have been to since Santorini, over a delicious breakfast! Her apartment is quite spacious and so clean! I am afraid to touch anything! We decided that we needed a break from Greek food and for the next 3 nights we had everything but Greek food and I can’t tell you how nice it was! In America, we really do take for granted the choice to eat cuisine as in Greece, nearly everywhere is Greek food. Just about every night we had to walk about ten to fifteen minutes to get our Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food. But I tell you what, after having the same thing for a month and a half that walk was well worth it!!! I don’t think I have ever had such good Chinese food! We really do go all out each night! Wine, appetizers, multiple entrees, and dessert---it was so good!
On Wednesday, we decided to rent a car with Peter and drive around the island. We first head off to find the burial place of Charmilo, an Ancient King of Kos. We go through mountains, hills, and narrow roads to get to a dead end road of Charmilo’s Grave, which was literally a sealed rock to a tunnel that was fenced in. See the picture below. We were wondering if this if happens to a lot of tourists or just us. As that it was literally just a rock. There was no historical note that read of who he was, what he did, etc… just a sign that says, “Charmilo’s Grave”. We later found out that his people were not very fond of him; hence, not much to see. So if you ever become a King/Queen make sure your people love you so you will have a gravestone (at least)!
After we went touring castles and ancient churches, we stopped for lunch at a nice café; only to leave with a dent in our car by Dora. Dora is a Greek woman who is on break from the travel agency. She literally left enough space between her car and our car for a worm to fit through. When we’re trying to exchange insurance information, she insisted that she didn’t do it. However, it was quite obvious she did. And it was honestly the funniest thing watching her come up with excuses, it reminded me of well, me when I had my first car accident. I came up with every excuse in the book, from “it was blind spot” to “they were pulling out” to “there was dog in the road and I didn’t want to hit it”. Poor Dora, she just doesn’t know how to drive any better-all the Greeks are terrible drivers (a lot like me actually).
The perfect way to end this day: An evening swim at Paradise beach! It was quite lovely; we had sun beds that were very comfortable that each of us feel asleep on for a few hours (oops!) and then MEXICAN food! Kos is beautiful and not full of so much tourism as the other islands were. It was so nice to spend time with Heidi and Peter and have mature conversations but still have our fun! It was great time and I am so thankful Heidi invited me there to see and experience Kos!

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Charmilo's Grave!
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Greek Shepard or as he simply put it, "Photo Opportunity!"
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Paradise Beach at Sunset!

Posted by Rachelabby 04:09 Archived in Greece Comments (1)

SNOOP DOG, DA-DA-DA!!

Mykonos, Greece

sunny 32 °C

Mykonos is known to be the biggest party island and gay life of Greece and that is an understatement. This past week I have had so many unforgettable epic nights that highlight my parts of my trip. From Snoop Dog to beach parties, Mykonoooss was fate for me to be at this week.
Snoop Dog
Question: If you had the once in a lifetime chance to see a world-wide famous artist while you are travelling abroad, would you?
Answer: YES!
Well guess who happens to be in Mykonos while I am here? SNOOP DOG! Granted, I am not even a big fan of Snoop Dog (but I do love his latest hit “Sweat”) but c’mon! Snoop Dog?! While I am in Greece?! I am so down!!! As soon as Mike and I hear of this, within the next hour we have tickets! We didn’t debate, contemplate, or think-we just did it! We are so excited! When I come back to my hostel, I find out the boys (the Egyptians) in my room also have tickets! It is going to be a blast!
The night of the concert, Mike and I go to town for dinner-we decide since we are going to a notorious and prized rapper’s concert we deserve something better than hostel food for supper! The tickets include a free drink and bus ride to the club, what a deal! Tonight is going to be awesome!
Have you ever had that unsettling feeling that something bad is going to happen? I did. I should have listened to it.
While we are preparing to get on the bus, I notice that some girls are asking for their money back. I ask what is going on and they tell me that they are unsure if Snoop Dog is really in Mykonos and if the concert is real or not. Hmmm, come to think of it I haven’t seen any posters in Greece for Snoop Dog. The guy selling us the tickets assures us that he is indeed here and then he has another man verify that insists that he is here because he carried his bags to his room for him. He then tells us if he isn’t here then we will get a refund. That sounds fair and why would they lie to us? Greece depends on tourism, they wouldn’t make a bad name for themselves and then have no one come? So we decide to go.
It is about 12:30 am when we arrive to the club called The Bedroom. I must admit I can’t help but think of that song, “I want you in my bedroom!” every time I hear of this place. We are told that Snoop Dog will be coming on shortly after, MIMS (ya know the guy with the one hit wonder, “This is why I am hot”). I am still feeling a little nervous about this. This doesn’t look like a place that Snoop Dog would come to. I mean there is no security. I could climb on stage. The place is lacking a crowd by far. And is that a stripper? 1 am arrives… 1:30am arrives…2am arrives…
The scary mean black man gets on stage (this is not MIMS or Snoop Dog btw). He announces that Little J is the first singer. Who the heck is Little J?! And up comes a man who is identical and I do mean identical to Little Wayne. Little J is from Jamaica and is an up and coming rapper. Let’s see what he has got. I mean after all many concerts will have many unfamiliar artist that have potential to open for them right? The song starts to play; it has got a good beat. Wait a second, I know this beat! Little J yells, “What? YEAH! OKAY!” The song playing is by 2 pistols. “What? YEAH! OKAY!”This isn’t by Little J! “What? YEAH! OKAY!” I look around to Mike and the Egyptians. “What? YEAH! OKAY!” We are confused on what is going on here. “What? YEAH! OKAY!” “He isn’t singing anything?” Mike says. “What? YEAH! OKAY!” “This is a bloke” Bims says. “What? YEAH! OKAY!” I am quite annoyed. “What? YEAH! OKAY!”“He doesn’t sing this song!” Alex says. “What? YEAH! OKAY!” I am fidgeting. “What? YEAH! OKAY!”The stripper has a tattoo of a dragon grabbing her butt and is doing the worse dance I have ever seen.“What? YEAH! OKAY!” “I am so embarrassed to be here, I want my money back!” And off Bims goes to get his money. “What? YEAH! OKAY!”I decide to go hide the bathroom, if I look at that stripper any longer I am going to hurl.“What? YEAH! OKAY!”While I am in the bathroom, Alex and Emma grab and say, “Snoop Dog isn’t here!” “Yeah I am starting to wonder this myself”, I say. “No, he isn’t even in the country!” they say in their British accents. Come again? “A girl just showed us on her phone that his internet, he is California doing a show tonight!” Breathe Abby, remember deep breaths.“Can I see this?” I ask. They run and get the girl and she shows me.
He is indeed doing a show in California this evening. I am enthralled with rage. I mean c’mon, seriously?! I paid 40 Euros and I got lied too! How? Why? The girl tells me that she is starting a riot to get our money and to tell everyone what is going on. At 3 am we are to all go up to the scary man and ask for our money back. So I did as she said and told all of my friends. And at exactly 3 am is when Chaos was let loose.
We are all yelling, demanding our money back! I recognize this could get ugly quick so I hush everyone down and simply ask the man, “Listen, if he is really here then just bring him out and we will apologize and we can watch the show and everything will be good, if not then just give us our money back and we will part ways.” Very reasonable, Abby. He bends down to me and says, “Go back out there!” “Well he is coming?” “Go back out there?” “You didn’t answer my question?” “I am not brining him out to this!” He yells and the pushes the girl and I. Why would you push to American girls in a crowd full of angry people? Everybody starts to yell, some throw punches, but no one is asked to leave.
The big man goes to the stage and announces that MIMS is to come on now. And indeed it was MIMS on stage but sadly no one was feeling him. Everyone kept yelling, “We want Snoop Dog!” or “We want our money back!” Poor MIMS or the imposter of MIMS. I am sorry but I just can’t see a fellow rapper going on with such a lie. And honestly, he was a terrible performer or maybe it was just he stripper rubbing off him. It was bad.
After MIMS, gets off stage we are finally told that Snoop Dog “left his hotel room and stole the money that they paid for him to put on a show”. Ya know what is worse than a liar? A bad liar.
All hell breaks loose.
People start stealing things, smashing things, yelling, demanding that we get our money back until the police arrive. Now Greek police don’t tend to enforce laws very well, so at first I doubt that they will even do anything but then again, if you have a crowd of 200+ people in a country that lives off of tourism alone, do you really want something like this getting out? No.
The police demand that the bar pays each person back. AND THEY DID. Some people went back in line and got paid twice, some people (such as me) got paid a little more than they paid the ticket for, unfortunately not everyone that got ripped off did get paid back. I on the other hand got more than 50 Euros that night (no I did not participate in stealing the alcohol). Bill, the police man that enforced the club to pay everyone back, asked for my number and if we could go for coffee and a swim the next day. A perfect Greek date. This is a classic Abby moment. Of course, I obliged but due to partying the next day with my friends…I “accidently” didn’t text or call him back after the 7 missed calls. Desperation really isn’t my cup of tea after all.
Mykonos is defiantly a party island and even though I got ripped off, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
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Waiting for Snoop Dog!
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And there is a fight!

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Getting our money back!

Posted by Rachelabby 09:25 Archived in Greece Comments (3)

I need a Map!

Rhodes, Greece

sunny 38 °C

WOW! Rhodes is stunning! From the moment I stepped off the ferry I could feel the history! I was able to take a taxi from the port to my hotel and the taxi was able to drive through the Grand Master Palace, UNBELIVABLE! It reminds me so much of Italy, mainly because Italians controlled the island for much of the 19th and 20th century and many historic buildings were constructed by Italians. Rhodes has a unique island history apart from Greece. Rhodes was the last island to be officially a part of Greece in 1947. Rhodians have always kept to themselves and wanted nothing more than to be neutral and to have peace, something many countries took advantage of. It was desolately forced into many wars that ultimately had other countries rule over Rhodes.
Rhodes is famous for two things: the Colossal of Rhodes and The Knights of Saint John. The Colossal of Rhodes is one of seven of the Ancient World Wonders! The colossal was a statue dedicated to the sun god of Rhodes, Helios. It took 12 years to build! It was destroyed roughly 63BC (if memory serves me right) by an Earthquake, which made the statue break at the knees. About 90 years later, a Sultan came to Rhodes and took all that was left of the Colossal and had the statue melted into money that is now lost forever. Now the only thing that is left is the two deer that was on both sides of the statue at the entrance of the port. There is surprisingly no sign that says “Where the Colossal of Rhodes was” when I was first there, I didn’t know I was there. It wasn’t until the next day of when I went looking for it and asked for directions that I realized I had been there the night before. There is absolutely no trace of the statue from the human eye.
The Knights of Saint John came to Rhodes in order start a “refugee camp” after Rhodes had been through countless wars with Persia, Sparta, Egypt, and other countries. The Knights of Saint John was Rhodes savior in many ways. Firstly, they built a castle with 2 motes that enclosed the town with houses, restaurants, and other shops. Secondly, they built the Hospital of the Knights for the Rhodians of when (good) health care began (Note: this is the island Hippocrates was born and lived on). Thirdly, they brought deer to the island, which supposedly helped the island with the infestation of snakes and scorpions. Fourthly, they were able to help the Rhodians have a source of income by with the port and shipping goods such as: honey, pottery, and linens. Sadly, once the Ottoman Empire ruled over Rhodes, the Knights of Saint John left after putting up a long and hard fight. Shortly after, their means of income was destroyed as that it could no longer compete with other surrounding islands and countries.
It has taken many years, but finally Rhodes is a part of Greece and supporting itself once again by tourism.
I would like to have you know that I have travelled many countries and have always been able to navigate myself quite well. When I lived in Australia last summer, I could navigate myself around the country without a map. When I went to Europe for a few weeks one summer with my family, I was the one in charge of figuring out how to get to the next destination. I rarely, if ever get lost. This does not come from my mother’s side of the family, this is certain. However, Greece is a very different country that I get lost in every single day! I blame this on the lack of street signs and incorrectly drawn maps of the cities.
My first day in Rhodes, I arrived an hour and a half early before check out. So I left my luggage at the hotel and asked for directions to a fantastic pizzeria. They handed me a map and drew on the map of how to get there. No problem. It was a simple 10 minute walk.
Thirty minutes later….
I am at the Acropolis of Rhodes. I look at my map; I am getting close to the star on the map (my destination). So I decide to take a quick detour and explore the Acropolis and Stadium, only to find out that I do not have my memory card for my camera (therefore no pictures of this site). It was nice, but the Acropolis of Lindos was much better as I later find out. I decide to go back on my journey for pizza. I get back on the “main road” I notice on the map I can easily save myself a few minutes if I take a left instead of going straight for a little more. At this point it still has not occurred to me I am lost.
I take this little detour and see a man with a computer bag getting out of a nice car-I am in a good neighborhood, nothing to worry about. I follow him thinking he must be going to a café. Then I noticed the graffiti on the walls… then all the smashed windows in buildings…then a large group of men wearing bandannas. Just act casual, take this road up here on your right. I take a right. Shit! This is a dead end! Act casual, turn around! I begin to walk back and I notice 3 men are following me. Great! This is just what everyone was telling me to stay away from, they are going to kidnap me and sell me to slavery!!! Be cool Abby! You run 3 miles every day, you can out run them if necessary. I look back, yep they are still there. Okay, no worries just take this left and if they take the left then RUN! I take my left…they take a left…and I BOLT!
I then notice they go into the second house of that street…okay, so maybe I am a bit of a drama queen!
After an hour of walking around like a chicken of my head cut off and giving up on the bloody map, I find a Goody’s eat settle for BBQ burger. And manage to make my way back to the hotel.
God has totally surprised me and open so many opportunities for me on this trip (and has been protecting me as you can see)! I went to the Acropolis of Lindos, which is amazing! It was quite a hike up the mountain if you decide not to take a donkey but well worth it! My guidebook never mentioned their being an entrance fee for the Acropolis but unexpectedly the cashier asked if I was student. And that’s when I remembered my friend Mitch telling me one night to never throw away my student id-it always gets you at least 20% off somewhere. So after searching in nearly every compartment of my wallet, I find the thing. “Oh you are American?” Yeah can’t you tell by the accent?! “Yes, I am from North Carolina” “Ahh, you can go in free then we LOVE American students!” “Really?! Thank you!” And apparently, Greece really does love American students. Since then, I have used my student id at every historical site and I have either received half off or free admission. Talk about an investment! I have so much extra cash now for my trip that I never expected to have! Do you know how many ice creams I am able to get a day now?! =)
I have made some really good friends at my stay in Rhodes! Adam, is a rugby player and a tattoo artist that I met in the Paitia one day, he is beyond nice and protective of me in a “big brother” sort of way. At night, I would hang out with him and his friends around the tattoo shop on bar street and then have drinks later. He would always make fun of me because of how much I eat! He would always say, “You are so tiny but eat so damn much!” And yes he is correct, I eat A LOT!! Every 2 hours to be exact!
Constainapole is the most intriguing person I have ever met. He is only 26 and has a Master’s in teaching computer science, travels, and always tries new things. He made me realize that it doesn’t matter how bad you may be at something, it is always worth taking the chance to see if you enjoy something.
Also, I could never forget my rescuers Tony and Mary! One hot afternoon, I decided to go to the 7 springs of Rhodes. This is not easy in any way to get to! You must first take a bus from Rhodes to Kolympia. Then the 7 springs a 3km walk to the pathway off the road. Then you must hike up a mountain, only to walk down the other side, to the walk through a tunnel to get to. Adam told me once I get to Kolympia to get a taxi for about 5 Euros (he would have taken me but he was working). However, once I get to Kolympia, there were no taxis in this deserted town. So I start my walk, on my walk I find a restaurant to ask if I can call a taxi only to find out that it would be 30 Euros. He recommended hitch-hiking. Umm, I am an American girl by myself…I don’t know about this. But God sent me two Angels that day, Tony and Mary. These two people were so gracious enough to give a ride to the 7 springs and back, without harming me ;) It was incredibly kind of these two strangers to give me ride in a foreign country, without anything but a thank you in return. Thank you, Tom and Mary!
I am now in Mykonos and my next blog will be very exciting, so stay tuned for the adventure!
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Tony and Mary!
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Where the Colossal of Rhodes was!
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Acropolis of Lindos!

Posted by Rachelabby 05:27 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Wait, don't leave without me!

Santorini, Greece

sunny 37 °C

Firstly, let me say I deeply miss my Greek friends of Ikaria: Georgia, Greg, Ally, and the others I truly wish you could be on this grand adventure with me discovering your country! I love you all so much and miss you more than you could imagine! And I cannot wait for all the planned trips I have to see you guys when I get back!
Secondly, I am writing this on a ferry to Rhodes…my first ferry ride of the trip and no one informed me that a) I need to get a couch with a plug (but needless to say I did some seat changing to get my plug on a shared couch). b) That the smoke from the engines can be smelled inside the ferries *cough* cough*.
Finally, SANTORINI!
Santorini is known as the island of Greece for honeymooners. The famous photograph of the three churches on the cliff of the caldera and the ancient mid-evil castle is a very touristy spot and yes, you best believe I went there. And yes I got my very own iconic photograph and many others (be proud boss). I arrived on Friday evening, after a very tearful plane ride from Ikaria and leaving my lovely roommate and all of my wonderful friends I have made there, but no worries that was only the first few chapters of this grand novel of Greece! My hotel was the Best Western Paradise Hotel and if you ever have the chance to go to Santorini I highly recommend staying here. It was splendid! The receptionist and manger were beyond helpful in helping with buses, tours, and a late cab ride I was not expecting to get. The hotel was very clean and away from the crowded area of Santorini so at night it was easy to fall asleep and stay asleep. The bed was very comfortable and the room had a/c (for free) and if you have ever travelled to Greece, you know that having a/c is the best thing since sliced bread! The hotel itself was exquisite the architecture of the buildings and pool area was beautiful and gave you a feel for the Greek culture and I truly felt I was in paradise!
My first night, I went to a local tavern for dinner. The tavern was family owned and ruined as most restaurants in Greece are. However, I was surprised that the person that took my order was an 11 year old boy who spoke perfect English. I swear I feel so ashamed whenever I travel and I see children be able to speak at least 2 languages before they are fifteen and I could barely speak one! He was so professional and I could hear him yell in Greek for orders, at his neighbors for being too loud, and yet remaining so calm with his clients. They had some of the best wine I had in a long time, but remember this is Santorini—so the wine is suppose to be delicious!
On Saturday, I awoke early to a lovely free breakfast from the hotel! I had eggs, toast with orange marmalade, juice, ham and cheese on toast, cookies and tea, juice, cereal, a fruit salad, and more juice! I haven’t eaten that much breakfast since my dad made breakfast for me in high school! Needless to say I wasn’t that hungry the rest of the day! But today I would go on a splendid tour of the caldera by boat!
Once I was on the boat, I sat with a group of Aussies! This was a great ice-breaker considering I travelled in Australia last summer! I ended up spending the day with three mates: Matt, Bauchef (spelling?), and Ella. Our first stop was the volcano and yes it is active! We hiked up to the tip-top to see the active crater and see the formation of the two islands: Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni which were made from the lava and volcanic ash over the years. Side Note: you should really read on the history of Santorini and how it was formed it is quite interesting! The hike was a decent hike and of course I didn’t think to wear my tennis shoes; so I don’t think my rainbows will be lasting much longer and making it back to the States with me. The active volcano has 2 deep craters that actually have STEAM coming out of it! I tried to take pictures of it but it didn’t work (I know boss, fail.). But we did get to touch a few spots that were incredibly hot; apparently it is hot enough to boil an egg in about 15 minutes! On the way down, we decided to take a different trail. Well we should have known there is a reason we didn’t take this trail originally. Apparently this trail is incredibly hot with gravel and lava rocks and the gravel is slippery and deep, if that makes, what I mean is when you step on the gravel you sink a little bit. And oh, let’s not forget Abby is wearing flip-flops! I was in pain by time we got back to the boat!
Luckily, our next stop was the hot springs were I got to heal my feet and any other aching parts on my body by rubbing the mud all over me and then chilling out in the water. The mud was disgusting! I would have enjoyed this if I was 10 but this was really yucky mud! Bachef even declared it was poop at one point! YUCK! But we enjoyed our swim and then headed to Thersia for lunch.
Our English tour guide informed us Captain John’s was the best place to eat on the 250 people inhabited island with only 3 restaurants. This restaurant was buffett style. What you did is look at the menu, get in line, and then go through and order. However, when I order my fish solvoki and tomato I wasn’t expecting it to be 15 Euros! Yes my lunch of just a stick of fish and a tomato was 15 Euros! AND IT WASN’T EVEN GOOD! The Aussies and I decided that the tour guide was being paid by Captain John to lure in customers. I should have known it was not a good place when I saw the staff was wearing matching uniforms—no wait staff in Greece wears matching uniforms unless it is a very high end restaurant and I am talking like the Melting Pot high end! Not a restaurant that is called “Captain John’s”!
The water in Santorini is disgusting; it is a big flaw of the beautiful island. The only time I swam was when we went to the hot springs and at the hotel’s pool. Even when I went to the famous Red Beach, it was nasty! There is just so much debris, trash, and yucky mucky stuff in it—it grosses you out let’s just say that! So swimming on this island wasn’t in the plans.
Once we arrived back to the port, Ella, Bachef, and I did the last part of the excursion of where we went to Oia (pronounced e-ahh) for the sunset. It was beyond breath taking! Granted the place was swamped with tourists trying to get the famous photographs, eating at cafés, and watching the sunset as well. But my God, I have never seen anything so beautiful! Watching the sunset and having the gentle wind blow on your face is having God tell you “I love you!” After the sunset, everyone gave applause for witnessing the most extravagant thing! I didn’t want to leave and honestly, I should have left sooner.
I swear till the day I die, the bus driver said he would not leave till 9:30. The sun sets at 8:30 and we would have an hour to eat. Then depart. He said it, the tour guide said it, and my friends (who are nowhere to be found) said it. 9:30. That is when the bus departs, 9:30. So considering it is 8:45 and I just witnessed God’s beautiful good-bye for that Saturday, I will happily get myself a sweet. Excuse me, I should clarify, my daily sweet. I have decided since I am on vacation and walking at least 5 miles a day, I can savor my sweet tooth and indulge in a daily sweet. I will be in the biggest trouble with my personal trainer, Adam Freeman when I arrive back I am sure of it. Anyways, I get the sweetest orange-marmalade Cheese-cake and this quaint little café on the back streets of Oia and enjoy it with a Fanta (and Greek Fanta’s are not like American Fanta’s) for only 6 Euros. Now it is 9:00, I guess I will be like the assertive usual Abby and be early for my bus. So I walk down to the bus station.
Hmm, that looks like my bus going by, but I am not going to stop it because it is 9:02 and I have plenty of time before my bus leaves….OH CRAP THAT WAS MY BUS!!! WAIT!!!! And yes you can imagine me waving my hands in the air like a lunatic who missed their bus, with dust flying everywhere, and the bus never stopping for me. Okay Abby, breathe, don’t panic, you are just on the other side of the island with 10 Euros to your name and you don’t know a lot of Greek and you don’t know how to get back…no wait this is negative thinking Abby. You just saw a beautiful sunset, had a delicious sweet, and felt God’s love…why don’t you love me now, God?! BREATHE ABBY!!!! Just go and ask the gentleman how to get back to your hotel. “Excuse me, sir? Do you know how I can get to Arotiki (Pronounced as Are-u-titi)?” “Yes you can take a cab for 30 Euros or wait for the bus.” Breathe. “Okay, what time does the bus leave?” “Midnight” And the tears start to form a cascade. “Oh don’t cry, did your bus leave you?” And in the most classic- American girl way possible I cry, “YES!” “And you don’t have money for a cab or bus do you?” Another wail, “No!” “Please don’t cry you are too beautiful to cry, it breaks my heart, please I will let you ride the bus for free, no charge.” “What? Are you sure?” “Yes of course, anything to make you smile. Here have some water, come sit inside in the air conditioning.” This people, is why I am in love with the Greeks. They always go way out of their way to make you comfortable or happy or just to be kind to you. This kind man, named Nicholas, got me all the way back to the other side of the island-before midnight. And as I did have to end up paying for half of my ride back because of a transfer, he arranged for the hotel to pay it. And my lovely receptionist at the Best Western Paradise Hotel had his arms wide open for me when I arrived that night, like a grandfather waiting to see his grand-daughter. Telling me, “Dear don’t cry, I will take care of you, go to sleep now- I will pay for the cab.” Again, I love the Greeks.
The next day, I did an Ancient tour of Santorini and a wine tour. On this tour, I made 3 new friends: Heidi, Kenman, and Kenton. The wine tour was underground in a cave and was very informative, full of history, and nicely done! I loved all the wines I tasted, especially the third one called: Kamaritis by Koutsoyannopoulos Winery. Yes, Uncle Wayne and Aunt Sylvia this is the bottle of wine that I am shipping half a dozen bottles of back home for us to have! Get excited! Heidi has kindly offered me her home for a few days so I have decided to stay with her for 4 days in Kos near the end of my trip. Stay tuned!
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Sunset in Oia!
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Kenton, Kenman, and I at the wine tasting!
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The crater at the Volcano!

Posted by Rachelabby 01:09 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

An Ode to Ikaria

Ikaria, Greece Summer 2011

sunny 35 °C

An Ode to Ikaria

How I do love thee, oh Icarius--
island of relaxation and laziness which hath sprung forth in me
from that vibrant sunrise among Flic Flac.
Sweet, chocolately, aphrodisiac desserts,
leading to love to be found at Tsoukala and friends of Greek goodness,
I shall cherish thee as I devour the wine you supply for my farewell and your memories
amass in my selective memory.

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Yes I did write that, thank you. --Copyrighted 2011!

Posted by Rachelabby 07:45 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

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