Thursday, August 30, 2007
Basically, I've done my bit of sightseeing in Athens which did include the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Both of which are basically ancient ruins which were cool to visit but not like I haven't seen ancient ruins before. That sounds really ungrateful of the opportunity to travel and see new things, doesn't it?
Yesterday was an awesome day in Athens. Our ferry got in around late afternoon and I spent the afternoon exploring. I went to the Temple of Olympian Zeus and then I wandered down the main shopping street - Ermou - and haggled to get a 35 Euro bag for 20 Euro! That works out to 14 pounds which for a fake Prada handbag is a reasonable price to pay. Especially in half the shops in London you'd be paying at least 15 pounds for a shitty bag (unless you go to Primark but the bags there aren't that great).
I have found the Greek to be sleazy and rude! Over the course of the holiday I have obviously bought many things and have found the Greeks to be ungrateful to their tourist populatiom. They will be talking to another Greek person and ignore you until they are ready to serve you - which is normally not until their c onversation is over and I get the impression that half the time they continue the conversation on for as long as they possibly can just to annoy you. Makes me angry because without the tourists, especially on the islands, they wouldn't make much profit. In Athens the service isn't so bad but they are quite short with you.. I asked for a water once and smiled at the person serving me and they glared at me as though I had a disease and stormed off, returning with the water several minutes later as though it was a chore for them to get - yet they WORK at a restuarant! I don't get it.
As for the sleazy part, well... I decided that after I tacked the Acropolis today I would head down to the park with my book and read. I sat myself down on the grass and started reading only to have this old guy walk past me saying hello. I chose not to answer him because foreign country, weirdos, etc and I just couldn't be bothered with chit chat (although had it been a hot, young guy the story might have been different). Anyways, more old men walked past staring at me in a creepy way which made me think they'd been let out of the institution for the day. Seriously creepy. I looked down to make sure I was fully dressed (I was) so they had no reason to be staring except for the fact that they were old sleaze bags. Ew.
One thing about Athens, even the islands, that makes me sad is the stray dogs. There are so many dogs that just roam the street which don't have real homes to go to. Apparently the government is aware of the situation and collars them and feeds them but still it makes me sad to think that these dogs don't have a real home of their own to go to.
I had so much to write about Greece and Athens but now that it's come time to write in my blog I seem to be struggling!
Monday, August 27, 2007
I've been doing a bit of thinking while lazing about in the sun.. I'm not sure I want to stay in London for much longer. Not because I don't like London but more because I want to do some more study and get a new job and I feel the longer I keep putting my life on hold the longer it will take me to study and then it will be harder to climb the job ranks as I get older. I don't want to earn shit money when I am 30 just because I've left my career choices too late. So, after I come home for Easter next year I will finish working in London until August and then probably head back home. But then again my decisions are always a bit indecisive so who knows what will end up happening. That's my theory for now anyway. I wish someone could make the decisions for me!
As for Ios, it's been ok. It's the 'party' island which isn't much of a party when you're traveling alone so I've been reading alot and spending heaps of time at the beach. Got a decent tan now but it will fade within a week of getting back to London. Ios has reminded me of why I don't want to go home though - flies and mozzies galore. I think I've been bitten about 15 times in 4 days and the mozzie bites here are huge, red welts that take days to go down. Not fun, I've been itching like crazy!
The computer I am using is driving me crazy. Crappy mouse that won't move where I want it to and a shit keyboard that I have to pound in order to get the letters I want! Ugh! Time to go I think!
I'm missing you all heaps and am really looking forward to April! I may even extend my trip for longer but we'll see how I go with work.
Friday, August 24, 2007
If you haven't already guessed, I am in Santorini! It is the best island so far because there is a bit of everything here. There is an awesome shopping area where you can find almost anything you want - jewelry, ceramics, hand blown glass, clothes, etc. Of course, I couldn't help myself and I went shopping and bought a fantastic blue glass heart shaped necklace - which I ended up breaking after I opened my suitcase, forgetting it was on the top of some clothes, and shattered the bottom part of the heart. I was upset but got over it once I went back into town and found an even nicer heart in pink, plus a silver butterfly necklace with mother of pearl wings. Retail therapy really does work!
I also found a man who did Henna tattoos so I now have a butterfly on my ankle which I love immensely. I think I'm going to get a real one when I get back to London. Just a small butterfly on the same spot on my ankle.
On our first night here, our tour guide took us out for dinner and then we went to this cocktail bar where we could get 2 cocktails for 7 Euros. Well, all I need to say was that I probably had a bit too much to drink without realising (the drinks were so sweet and so cheap that I didn't realise until much later how drunk I really was) and apparently one of the guys on my tour gave me his camera... which apparently I dropped and broke. I texted people to see what they thought I should do but I concluded that if it were my camera, I'd be pissed off and figured that until his insurance came through the least I could do was offer 100 Euros. Turns out, he had other ideas. The next day he came up to me and pushed a receipt for 200 Euros in my face - quite rudely actually. I told him I'd give him 100 Euros because I didn't have any more money. He replied with 'well there's an ATM down the road'. I told him he could either take what I was offering or leave it. He took it. I was angry at myself that I'd done something so stupid but at the same time, shit happens. Luckily it only cost me 100. One of the people who joined our tour a few nights later did something even more stupid which cost him a LOT more than 100 Euros!
On our second night here, we had the option to go to Oia and have a picnic to watch the sunset. Apparently Oia is famous for it's beautiful sunset and I have to admit it was pretty spectacular. It's amazing how the sky lights up in all of these different reds, blues and purples. Words can't describe the beauty adequately enough (well, perhaps if I were a poet or a decent writer and had a way with words, then maybe words could express the beauty but since I have neither, photos and a dodgy explanation will have to suffice!). The Greek Islands are everything I imagined and more. The white washed houses with blue shutters and blue roofs are so quaint.
Today I spent all day at Perissa beach - it was great. The sand is black and is unbelievably hot. The water drops off suddenly so one minute you are in shallow water and then you step forward and you're up to your waist in water. That kind of scared me. There were men at the beach who were wandering around offering massages so I got a massage on the beach with the sound of waves lapping against the sand in the background with the Greek sun hitting my bare back - heaven or what?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Yesterday was one of the best days ever. We had the option to hop aboard this boat which reminded me of a pirate ship and cruise around Antiparos Island for the day. I was thinking that I would skip this excursion as it wasn't cheap but then I figured it would be kind of fun. Well, fun is definitely not the word to use to describe this day. It was amazing! Our boat took us to all these fantastic, secluded swimming spots where we literally had to dive off the boat to get into the water. The swimming spots were amazing. Crystal clear aqua water and so refreshing to jump into. One of the places we went to had a cove we could swim in and we could go under this little cave. Some of the people on the tour climbed up and jumped off the top of the cliff - I was a bit too scared. Jumping off the boat was enough for me.
Some of the boys had been laughing at all of the people on Mykonos who were wearing 'budgie smugglers' (aka speedos) and at one of the spots they decided to suprise us all by climbing to the top of this cliff and told us girls to get our cameras ready to take a photo of when they jumped.. so, I had Michael's camera in one hand, my camera in the other - we counted to 3, cameras ready.. and at the count of 3 the boys dropped their boardies and turns out they were all wearing a pair of budgie smugglers. It's amazing any photos actually got taken of them jumping because we were all laughing so hard. Kind of one of those things you had to be on tour to appreciate the humor of but it was hilarious and the boys definitely thought that idea out really well. I managed to take a decent photo of the boys in mid air so I'll have to try and post that up when it gets sent to me! The funniest thing was that they all really seemed to ENJOY wearing their speedos and even went as far as walking around the beach with them swimming with them later on. One of the guys got a budgie smuggling wedgie which did not look comfortable. Hilarious!
We had lunch at this fantastic secluded beach on the island and we had souvlaki (more like kababs) with tzakiki dip, Greek salad and bread. Yum!
Word's cannot describe how beautiful the swimming spots were. Definitely an amazing day and I wish I could do it again. Today we arrived in Santorini and I have four days here so lots of chance to explore. I think I might hire a moped or quad bike tomorrow but we'll see what happens!
Internet time has ran out so I hope you've enjoyed hearing about these latest adventures!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Last night, after bumming around on the beach all afternoon, I headed out to meet the rest of the group at 8pm. We had a few drinks but I was getting bored so I rounded up a few girls who came to the outdoor bar a few hundred meters away and we had a bit of a dance. It was great, we danced to some songs and I jumped up on some tables to dance (the night before I was dancing on the bar) which was great fun. A lot of guys came up to talk to us - mainly Italian's who we couldn't understand but they were fun to dance with.
A little while later (a few drinks later) we decided that we'd go and sit on the beach and have a chat. We met this random Aussie whose friend had passed out on one of the deck chairs so we adopted him for the night and invited James to our late night beach chill-out session. Of course, we decided that it would be fun to go swimming although it was pitch black and could barely see a thing. It was brilliant. We stayed in the water for hours, splashing around and being silly. One of the best nights so far.
Today we are in Paros which seems like a nice island. We're just about to go and have a look around but I'm feeling so hot that the idea of walking around isn't really thrilling me right now. I put on a top today that I bought not so long ago only to realise it's not fitting as comfortably as it used to. I'm a bit stressed about that small, tiny detail. But otherwise, I'm having a great time and I am totally enjoying working on my tan - it's only a baby at the moment but luckily for me, I tan quite easily so I should have a pretty decent tan by the time I get back to London.
Well, I'm off to muster up some more energy to wander around Paros!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Mykonos is quite... well... I guess you could say barren. There isn't much to look at in terms of the island itself. There are lots of brown, rocky hills and it is so windy here. The place that I am staying with BusAbout - oh my gosh - think prison cell. Actually, wait - I think even prison cells have toilets for the inmates in their cell! Apparently what we are doing is 'luxury camping'. Two single beds crammed together in a 'hut' with toilets located a million miles away (ok so maybe about 200 metres away but with a bladder like mine it may as well be a million) is definitely not my idea of 'luxury camping' but it all boils down to the experience factor. Kelly would probably say that it is 'character building'.
It has been nice to laze on the beach all day and swim in the clear blue waters of the ocean. The beach we are at - Paradise Beach - is gorgeous. No waves and it is easy to swim in. The beach isn't sandy though, it's more like little pebbles which make for an interesting time getting down to the water from your deck chair.
So far, I am having fun but it would be so much more fun if I had a bunch of friends that I came here with. I've met some people through the tour but because we all want to do different things I barely see any of them except for dinner time. Oh well, this is my holiday and I plan to relax and enjoy it!
I'm more excited about Paros (because I want to scuba dive) and Santorini (it's meant to be beautiful) and Ios (loads of water sports and more scuba diving) than Mykonos.
I'm sure you'll hear more about my relaxing, lazy days as my holiday progresses - ahhh back to bake in the sun some more (don't worry, I bought a hat and I wear sunscreen!)
Monday, August 13, 2007
So, I went from my gorgeous flat in Putney to my shit-hole place in Shepherd's Bush. Six months of not being happy where I was living totally sucked and made my experience in London not so fun. Where you live plays a big part in your happiness. Anyways, I decided that I was going to be fussy with the location of my new house but I was also going to be fussy about my new flatmates.
- There are always people home at night which means I always have someone to talk to if I so wish.
- Roomsharing is kind of fun, we can have a chat and giggle before bed (and Kelly is moving into my room at the start of September so that will be even better!)
- With 9 people around it means more chances to make more friends.
- The house is huge and we have a sun room and a decent sized backyard (suitable for holding summer BBQs!)
- We have DVD nights - I never had that at my old houses!
- It's so cheap to live here!
- It's 2 minutes walk to heaps of buses and the tube station.
- My street runs right off Chiswick High Street which means loads of restuarants, cafes and shops in front of my doorstep.
Do I need to say more about why I love my house so much? I will take some photos and post them up when I get a chance. I haven't had the internet at home lately. Oh, the dramas with that, lol. I forgot that sometimes my new house isn't 100% fantastic. My flatmates have realised I have a laptop and I get the feeling they're going to want to use it from time to time... they've already started. I'm going to have to nip that in the bud soon cos I'm a bit too protective with my computer for them to use it!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Even though it is ages away I can't stop thinking that it will be a weird experience. I will be seeing friends and family that I won't have seen for over a year. I will be seeing the same shops and streets and seeing how things have changed in the year that I will have been gone. Someone said that maybe when I get home I won't want to go back to London but I can't help but think that when I go home it will make me realise that I never want to go back for good. Either way it is a long time away and I am extremely excited at the prospect of seeing friends/family from home again.
I've finally settled into London really well and it's amazing how far I've come. Looking back, I can see that I've become such a strong person. I wouldn't change being here for the world which is why I think going home is going to be so strange.
On another note, I have moved into my new house in Chiswick and it is great. My room mate is nice and she doesn't snore so that's nice. I'm hoping to have a BBQ when I get back from Greece because Kelly is moving into my room with me and I think it'd be nice for us to have a BBQ to celebrate.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Basically, Northen Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and Southern Ireland is it's own country. Southern Ireland even uses Euros instead of pounds because they don't want to have anything to do with the British.
During the first two days I thought that we had a pretty awesome tour group but we soon found out that there were a lot of skanky girls on the tour. I love observing people so I found the group dynamics interesting to watch and it provided many laughs. Luckily there were a few great people on my tour who I had lots of fun with too. We drank pretty much every night and partied loads - and why not! We're still young. There are a few good clubs in Ireland which was awesome for me because I haven't really been to many clubs in London. The music was awesome and the atmosphere was great - I'm going to be seeing if my London friends want to go out to more clubby places when I get back!
Our tour pretty much covered the coast of Ireland which was amazing. We saw some beautiful sights along the way. In Belfast I did a black cab tour where they took us around to all the murals and explained the religious beliefs of the city. The Prodestants and Catholics don't get along and there are murals which show the two groups fighting because of their religious/political beliefs. I don't entirely understand it all but I did not feel safe in Belfast. We were told not to wander down certain streets at night because the people did not like tourists.
We headed towards Derry and along the way saw the Giants Causeway and walked over the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. I have to admit that I was a bit let down by the Giants Causeway. I thought it would be more impressive than what it was. Still good though. We went on to Galway which is the party capital of Ireland and I have to admit I got pretty smashed there - cheapish drinks and a good club atmosphere left me feeling a bit worse for wear in the morning.
My favourite part of Ireland was the Dingle Penninsula because it was absolutely beautiful. Killarney was amazing as well. So pretty and green. Dingle was most beautiful fishing village. It was touristy but nevertheless, the charm of the village wasn't lost on me and I bought some gorgeous jewelry from there.
We went across to Blarney Castle and I kissed the Blarney Stone so apparently I will have the gift of the gab for the next 7 years - like I need that luck!
Hannah and I are off to watch hurling at a local Irish pub. Not entirely sure what hurling is but it's some kind of sport that's played with a stick. Looks interesting though!
I don't really have a load of time to write a proper blog entry at the moment but I just thought I'd write something to say I'm back and I'm safe and to let you all know that I had an awesome time in Ireland.
There is so much history to this country and there is still so much that I could learn about Ireland. I would love to come back and explore a few more places like Dingle and Killarney in more depth but who knows whether or not that will happen.
There were a few young people on our tour and man, I forgot how immature 20 year olds can be - the word 'slut' comes to mind when describing the people on our tour but anyways I'll explain more when I blog properly next time.
Anyways I'm off to my room to meet up with Hannah, a girl from my tour, for drinks.