Tag Archives: holiday

My Big Fat Greek Holiday (Athens)

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And we’re back!  Well, we were back two days ago, but serious jet lag and disorganization has prevented me from making this announcement in a timely fashion.  There is a nine-hour time difference between Alberta and Athens.  We flew into the future and then back into the past.  That can really mess with your equilibrium.

My holiday started on the 10th of May with a packed four-hour fight to Toronto (on which there were many screaming babies). (I remember those days of travelling with small children and don’t miss them much).   It was 1 degree C. in Edmonton when I left, and 19 in Toronto when I arrived there.  I kept a travel journal and actually wrote this shit down.  With a lot of other extraneous information about my luggage and boarding pass and some big scary dude sitting in my assigned seat in error, and taking a shuttle bus to the hotel and waiting for family to arrive.  Also there was a lady in the elevator with me at one point who would have shared her life story with me if the ride had been longer.  She was off to somewhere to pick up more beer.  I never saw her again.

Yes, it’s going to be that kind of travel log, so feel free to bail at any time if you were expecting intelligent discourse and historical information about points of interest.   I also take photos through bus windows while wearing polarized sunglasses.  With surprising results.  Remember that not all surprises are good ones.

Our party of six (including me, my sister Ann, her two daughters A and K, my sister-in-law J and her son Andy) were at the airport on Sunday at noon, baggage checked and all of us through security for our 3:40 departure.  I have no idea why it’s necessary to be there so early.  But there are lots of wonderful internet café type lounges at the Toronto airport so we consumed many beers and much wine before boarding our transatlantic flight and soaring off into Monday morning.  One o’clock in the morning our time suddenly turned into eight a.m. in Athens, and one night of sleep vanished into thin air.

While we waited for our rooms to be ready our Transat guide Thanasis booked all of us for a city tour by bus and a hike up a steep hill to see the Acropolis/Parthenon.  This seemed like a great idea at the time, and turned out to be very educational.  It taught me that I’m too old for all-nighters when the next day involves hill climbing via great long flights of winding stone steps in the hot sunshine.  My neice A referred to these sites as the Apocalypse and the Pentagon.  I wish she had kept a journal.  I think it would have been way more interesting than mine.

At this historic ruin Andy and Ann both bought table cloths that neither of them really needed from a lady highly skilled in the art of selling things to tourists who are suffering from sleep deprivation.  People like her were everywhere with booklets and postcards and souvenirs.  Sometimes it was very hard to say no.

Back at the hotel we had a late (early) supper, depending on your time zone, and I enjoyed my first of many Greek Salads.  If you don’t like tomatoes and cucumbers, you should not visit Greece.  They are in just about everything.  My salad also had black olives and capers and a slice of feta cheese the size of my face.  It was delicious. So was the wine.

And then we slept.

On the 13th we walked to a subway station and figured out how to get to Plaka and the Athens Flea Market.  What an amazing place.  It was so amazing that I didn’t take any pictures of it except for this fruit stand.  And I didn’t remember until halfway through the day (after glancing at my watch) that it was my birthday.  There were walking streets filled with shops and stalls selling clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, books, bags, leather, hats, scarves, shoes…an endless list.Greece 2014 026
We had my birthday lunch at a place called the Bush Bar where our waiter helped us decipher the menu.  We sat outside on a quiet little side street across from two men smoking and playing an intense game of backgammon in front of their store which sold wooden chairs.  It was a slow chair day I guess.

Greece 2014 030
Here’s a travel tip.  Take a chef like Andy along with you to a new country.  He was super enthusiastic about trying every dish specific to Greece and was often able to identify mysterious ingredients in whatever we ordered.  I don’t remember having one bad dining experience even when the menus had very little English on them and we pronounced everything wrong.

Later we went up to the roof top bar of the hotel to take some photos, and then walked a few blocks to the Big Bad Wolf Souvlaki Bar to eat AGAIN because, you know, some time had passed….  We did not go hungry.  The night life in Athens is busy and noisy, although we were assured it is one of the safest cities to wander around in after dark.  There were people and smart cars and motorcycles everywhere, families with little kids, buses, taxis, everything open for business, nobody in a hurry to go home to sleep.

Although maybe we should have been, with a bus to our first ferry to catch at 5:00 a.m.

 

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The Twentieth Day of May

santorini wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ia_Santorini-2009-1.JPG

Where in the world am I today?

Santorini!  This is the spot I’m most excited to see, because my brother liked it the most when he visited Greece.  And this trip was lovingly planned for all of us to remember him.

I’ve heard the red wine in Greece is an acquired taste, so I will do the polite thing and try to acquire a taste for it.  Because Canadian tourists are supposed to be known for how ridiculously polite they are.  I would not like to disillusion anyone about that.  No hanging over the balcony railings here!

 

The Eighteenth Day of May

Where in the world am I today?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paros-collage-c.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paros-collage-c.jpg

It’s another scheduled post, written in anticipation of actually surviving my trip to Greece.  If I am in Paros like I’m supposed to be today, that means I made it by ferry across the deep blue sea. Yay me!  And yay everybody else who may have noticed me turning either white or green and politely ignored it.  Or told me to snap out of it.  I’m going with family – they’re unpredictable.

We will be in Paros for two days and then we sail (can you call it sailing if you’re on a ferry?)  to Santorini.  I’m sure I must be having a wonderful time, wish you were here, etcetera.  ♥♥

 

In Real Time

Kamari Hotel, Mykonos, Greece
Kamari Hotel, Mykonos, Greece

This is one of the views from where I’m sitting right now on our last day of four in Mykonos.  What an incredible place.  I’m going to try to bring some of this sunshine home with me.  They seem to have plenty to go around.  It’s our first truly lazing around doing nothing day, so I’ll get back at it.

The Twelfth Day of May

Where in the world am I today?

Post scheduling is a wonderful thing. This is a scheduled post!  Therefore please go ahead and consider it wonderful.   If you haven’t heard of any horrendous plane crashes with Canadians aboard, today is my second day in Athens, Greece.

Did you know there are 60 places in the world called Athens?  Most of them are in the U.S., but you can also visit Athens in Brazil, Scotland, Portugal, Italy, Serbia, Cuba, Finland and Germany.  The world is a crazy place.  I’ve never been to Athens, Ontario, but I have been to Paris in my birthplace province.  It was a long time ago and I don’t remember it.  Sorry if you got excited there for a second.

Our flight was ten hours and three minutes on Sunday from Toronto to Athens.  I have no idea if I’m lying or not, because all this is actually in the future.  Imagine going so far away in just ten hours.  I imagine I said that to myself a lot on Sunday.  Or whatever day we’re currently experiencing.  Always wanted to time travel, and here I am.

Parthenon/Acropolis/Athens, Greece http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_temple
Parthenon/Acropolis/Athens, Greece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_temple

 

Just Jazzy 176

“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”
― Joan Winmill Brown

jazzy 176 advent 13 001
Let your heart be light.

Just Jazzy Advent Calendar

Just Jazzy 174

“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”
― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales

One Christmas my brother and I sang this :  Deck the halls with poison ivy, fa la la la la la la la la.  Santa will get red and hivey, fa la la la la la la la la.  Well.  We were kids, not poets.
One Christmas my brother and I sang this song : Deck the halls with poison ivy, fa la la la la la la la la. Santa will get all red and hivey, fa la la la la la la la la. Well – we were kids, not poets.

Just Jazzy Advent Calendar