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G R E E C E  

15.10.2010, 17:30   ---   Rainy days

Actually I didn’t really believe it, but I managed to make it to the ferry to Greece in time and on the bus to the Harbour I even met Nathan, a guy I met in Positano before. So the way to Greece was at least not as boring.

Unfortunately Corfu didn’t show it’s beauty in the first days… The sky was totally overcast and it rained quite a lot. :-( Two entire days nothings else than clouds, rain and even thunderstorms. But it was pretty much the same all over Greece , so I decided to stay here until the sun is back. The Hostel is nice, right on the beach, terrace with sea view, nice people, cute kittens… and the best hostel meals I ever had! That’s not too bad. ;-)
So I spent the last two days with reading, watching TV, playing cards and waiting for nice weather. And yesterday evening we finally got it! Behind a huge grey cloud was meant to be a beautiful sunset and this morning an almost blue sky was waiting for us. We went to Kerkyra, Corfu ’s “Capital”, and just walked around for a while. Apart from some rain it was really nice.
Now I’m sitting on the terrace, waiting for dinner and hope to get to see a nice sunset tonight. But another thunderstorm seems to come up pretty soon again…

20.10.2010, 17:15   ---   The sun is back

After a beautifully sunny last day in Corfu (finally I could enjoy the beach just next to my hostel) I spent the entire Sunday on a bus! After almost 10 hours we arrived in Athens and for the first time during my trip so far I met Germans in a hostel!! :-)

Athens is full of police and stray dogs wherever you go, but anyways it’s a cool city! Very modern, but also full of old greek ruins everywhere, little churches in the middle of a shopping mall, the Acropolis high above the city which can be seen from almost everywhere and I eat Gyros the whole day! ;-)
The funniest thing was the changing of the guards at the parliament house. They look quite hilarious, are guarding the tomb of an unknown soldier and change hourly.
Of course I didn’t miss to visit the Acropolis! Unfortunately there’s a lot of construction going on at the moment, but it was still nice and impressive and with a beautiful view of Athens !
I also visited the Ancient Agora (the ruins of the oldest part of Athens ), the temple of Zeus (the most important god in the greek mythology) and so on and on… I definitely saw enough ruins for now, I’ll need the beach next! :-)

Tonight I’ll have a few drinks with some people in the Hostel and in the morning I’ll catch the ferry to the island of Paros .

23.10.2010, 20:00   ---   Bored at Paros

Well, after a few nice days with cool people in Athens I ended up at Paros and the guesthouse I booked told me on the phone that they’re already closed for winter. But that’s not a big problem at this time of the year, I quickly found a room in a little hotel with my own Bathroom, a balcony with sea view and a king-size-bed! That wasn’t too bad. ;-)
The little fishing village was quite nice with those typical white houses and blue roofs and Window frames, but it was just horribly boring!! There’s probably a lot of activity in summer, but by now most restaurants, cafes, shops and so on are closed and there are no people around, I even was the only guest in my hotel! Once I walked up the coast to a beach, ate gyros in the only open restaurant and had a lot of time to read and tidy up my luggage. I’ve had some more exciting days on this journey! ;-)

And if it wasn’t bad enough yet there was a terrible storm last night. I was quite sure the ferry won’t be able to leave in the morning because of the bad weather conditions and I’ll be stuck in the middle of nowhere for at least on more day! But I was lucky and now I’m at Santorini! :-)
It’s an island of volcanic origin and is actually the rim of the volcanoes crater. From the ferry we already had a beautiful view of the high cliffs on the inside, the Caldera. Again I have a room in a beautiful guesthouse (absolutely luxury for a backpacker!) and I already was in Fira, the island’s main town, for a short walk. It’s definitely a lot busier than Paros , all restaurants and shops are still open, some donkeys carry goods and luggage up the hills through narrow alleys and there are beautiful views of the Caldera and the bay.
Now I’m sitting on my balcony with a bottle of wine, watch the passing clouds and I’m looking forward to explore the island in the next days. :-)

26.10.2010, 17:45   ---   Santorini

I’m now on my high-speed-ferry to Crete and think I could have spent a lot more time in Santorini… 3 days at a tourist-hotspot lay behind me now. In Summer heaps of cruise ships stop there each day and the whole place is overcrowded by tourists, but at this time of the year it’s different. Only a few tourists, but still not as boring as Paros . ;-)
Oia on the northern tip is suppose to be the prettiest village on the island with the best sunsets and referring to my guidebook you can walk there from Fira - it sounded like a relaxing 8km-walk… So I left with flip flops and a sling bag towards Fira, had a look at some shops, ate ice cream (by far not as good as in Italy ) and slowly walked north. After a few further villages the path became rough, pebbly, slippery… up- and downhill – and me in flip flops! ;-) After a while I met a nice Indian, who seemed to have quite a better idea of the track than me. Referring to his map it was about a 15km hike and we just did half of it. So we accomplished the rest of this hike together and in the end it was a really nice one. It led through a landscape of red and black lava rocks, along the Caldera with beautiful views of the bay and next time I’ll wear sturdy shoes and a proper backpack again! ;-) In Oia we allowed ourselves a good meal in a little restaurant and then tried to find a good spot for the sunset with many other people.

The next day I just relaxed by the pool and at the black beach of Kamari and after eating a weird tasting Gyros Pita I spent the rest of the day sick in my bed. But at least I had some time to plan my travels a little bit – on November 2nd I’m gonna fly from Crete to Cairo. There I’ll catch up with Rob, who I met in Athens , and probably a few days later Nathan (the guy from the ferry to Greece ) will get there as well.

31.10.2010, 18:00   ---   Slowing down

Well, I’ve already been at Crete for nearly a week and there’s not much to tell you… I’m just starting to take my time, to relax, simply not to bustle. After rushing from one place to the next in the beginning I start realising that I have endless time! My watch has been buried deep in my backpack for quite a while already, you only get the news by chance from time to time and you just live every day how you like it. Even rain and storm, as we had here in Crete most of the time, doesn’t bother you that much any more.

I’m staying in Rethymnon, a little port town in the island’s north. I didn’t actually manage to see a lot in between the heavy rains, but there are some really nice places in town.
I just went to Plakias for two days, a little village on the south coast. The weather down there was nice and very warm as soon as the wind stopped. And the landscape is beautiful!! I did some walks through olive groves to some fantastic little beaches and huge bays. In the evening we went to a little Taverna and later to a bar with people from the hostel and some others spending a lot of time there (long-term-tourists, expats, backpackers…). Today the hostel officially closed for winter and we had some traditional Greek food and far too much Raki in a beach-restaurant until I had to catch my bus.

Now I’m back in Rethymnon and heading to Cairo on Tuesday! :-) So it’s at the time to say goodbye to Greece , to Gyros and Tzaziki, to Ouzu and Raki and to incredible nice, relaxed people who don’t even take their own laws all too serious. ;-)  


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