Jun 23 2009

In Review…The last two months…


Considering this blog is rather late for many of the events, I’ll just leave it at the photos, and a very brief description.
After Athens, we headed to Crete (the largest of the Greek Islands) We spent the week lounging on beaches and wandering ancient ruins.
A long overnight ferry ride and a short flight later, we arrived in Istanbul, Turkey where we met my brother, his wife, two children and their nanny. We spent three weeks in Istanbul–and it was well worth it. It’s a wonderful city.
Our next plan was to take the “Orient Express” (it’s not actually called that anymore, but it’s the same station and routes) from Istanbul to Budapest. The train ride deserves a whole blog on it’s own, and maybe one day I’ll have the patience to do a retrospective post on that.
Two sleepless nights later, we arrived in Budapest.
Budapest is a sight to see. It’s one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. The architecture there is breathtaking. It’s very well preserved…(well, it appears to be! One of the amazing things about Budapest is that a lot of it’s major buildings were destroyed during WWII and the Soviet Occupation later, but they were fully restored to their former glory)
After a week in Budapest, we hopped a train to Paris (via Austria and Switzerland). We even went on the high speed train in first class! W00t!
Paris is INCREDIBLE. The city is an entity that breathes beauty and culture. The food, the atmosphere, the art. I could go on and on about how much I loved Paris. It was my favorite of our entire trip. By far.
When are week in Paris was up, we headed on back to England where we caught up with some friends briefly, and then….
HOME.
After 10 months of being on the road, we arrived back in Canada, and it sure felt good.

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May 1 2009

Angels on the Ferry

We arrived late last night (about 11:00) at our hotel. The ferry ride was super busy, because it’s a long weekend in Greece. We met a father & daughter while on the ferry and we watched their stuff for them while they ate dinner. We ended up spending the whole ferry ride with them and found out that they were going to Crete for a family wedding, of which the father was to be the photographer (he later told me he owned 5 Hasselblads, but never uses them anymore…I wanted to suggest that he donates them to someone who would use them. :) ) As the ferry arrived in Crete, they offered to drive us to our hotel. It was amazing, because it would have cost us about 25 euros to get a taxi to our hotel and the port was hectic, so just finding a taxi would have been a headache. So we all crammed into their SUV (which was filled with camera equipment), and headed off. They told us that there is a saying in Greece that says, “All good people will fit somewhere.”
Unfortunately, we never even found out their names…whoever they were, we are very thankful…. :)

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Apr 30 2009

Athens

Friday, April 24th we arrived in Athens at 6:00 in the morning, travel weary and anticipating our bed. It was a rainy day in Greece when we arrived and I must say, I was slightly disappointed. We found out later that day that the weather was unusual, and it cleared up within a day. Thank-goodness! The next day the weather was back to it’s Mediterranean self, and we were able to start enjoying Athens.
A friend of mine commented that he wasn’t a fan of Athens, and found it to be a dirty city. And maybe that’s how you could see it if you came straight from Vancouver to Athens. But if you want to be wowed, spend some time in Egypt before you go.
Then Athens will seem like Heaven. He was right in that Athens is not the cleanest city. That being said though, there is a lot of charm in the oler part of the city. We spent most of our time wandering around the Acropolis (where the Parthenon is), & Ancient Agora. I appreciated how they made all the archeological sites into big parks that you could spent the whole day at. (Egyptian sites were hectic and you couldn’t spent a day just relaxing at the Pyramids. Impossible). One of our favorite spots was a little street of cafes that had a great view of the Acropolis.
That same area also has a really great market area that has a lot of cute dresses and jewelry.

One thing that was a breath of fresh air for us was being in a culture that was closer to our own.
No where along the way did we have people hassling us to buy things, or honking at us, or trying desperately to please us. We also could go where we wanted without a guide constantly at our side. It was nice to feel a little bit of freedom again.
Tomorrow we head out to Crete, one of the Greek islands. It’s famous for it’s Minoan archeological sites, which Dave and I are both particularly excited to see.

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