Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hello from Griesheim!

After my last posting in Liechtenstein, Lowen and I went for a little walk around the town. We found a really pretty path along a little creek. They have beautiful trees that are full of pink, white, and purple flowers. After our walk we browsed through a few watch stores. I ended up buying a really nice black watch.

We then hopped on the bus that took us to the train station, and we began to make our way to Munich. We had to change trains only once. I enjoy the train because I can look out the window and watch everything go by.

We arrived in Munich and found out that the hotel was farther away from the train station than Lowen had originally thought. Plus I had to use the washroom, so it made it seem even farther away. We finally made it, dropped off our luggage, and then went to find some supper. We ended up going to a little donair shop. It was nice because the man actually talked to me in German - most people switch to English when they hear my accent. Sometimes I get so frustrated, because I want to practice speaking German, but then the people speak English to me. Oh well, at least I can understand that better. After we finished our tasty donairs we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

The next morning Lowen woke up before me and went to use the internet. That's when he found out that the Neuschwanstein Castle isn't as close to Munich as I thought... it is actually a 2 hour train ride away! And it seemed that we had missed all the tours for the day. I was really disappointed because that Castle was one of the things I for sure wanted to do this trip. But, in typical Lowen fashion, Lowen got us there for even cheaper than we had thought. It was 30 euros for us both to take the train there. That price also included the bus to get us from the train staion to the castle and back, and also the metro once we were back in Munich. We got to the castle and found out that there were actually 2 there! We paid the admission price for Neuschwanstein, and just went and looked at the other. It was quite a hike up to the castle! Somehow we missed the beginning part of the English tour, but managed to catch up with it. They said that you weren't allowed to take pictures in the castle, so that was quite disappointing. But, if they allowed you to take pictures, how would they sell postcards at the end? It is a beautiful place. It was built only at the end of the 1800s and was never fully completed. The parts we saw were so ornate and detailed. Some rooms took many, many people several years to complete.

After the castle we made our way back to the hotel where we changed, and then went back out to walk around a bit. We had a nice dinner at a German pub, although Lowen' pork still had the skin on it and it was kind of gross. But I had cream of asparagus soup and little sausages with saurkraut. It was yummy. Then we realized we were really tired and still far away from the hotel, so we headed back and went to bed.

The next morning we got up and went to the train station and got on the train to Darmstadt. That ride was about 4 hours. When we got there, Sandy, Hermy, and Ruben were at the station to greet us. They took us back to their house where we had juice and cake, then we went to a high ropes course. That was a lot of fun, although by the end I was so tired and sore! We then picked up Pia, came home, and had a wonderful dinner. I forget what it's called, but there is a hot pan in the middle of the table, and everyone has little mini pans, and you put your food in these pans and cook it. The concept is like a fondue. Sandy has been reading my blogs and bought all my favorite foods like Fanta, tomatos and mozzarella, and other cheeses! Then for dessert we had vanilla ice cream with raspberries on top. Yummy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hello from Liechtenstien!

Sorry again it's been a while since my last post. We have had a hard time finding (reasonably priced) Internet. We went to one place in Zurich, and it was 18CHF for an hour!

Also, I need to apologize for this keyboard. It's a German one, and some of the letters and symbols are in different places. I'll do my best to catch any mistakes, but if a 'y' and a 'z' are mixed up, that's why.

After I finished my last post, we stopped at that amazing Gelato place again. Seriously, that place has the best gelato ever, and it was cheap too! Then we got back to our hotel room and realizyed our gelato was all gone. We thought about how sad that was and how it was our last night in Italy, so we went back and got more.

The next morning we woke up pretty early and walked around a part of Venice that we had missed the day before. I really enjoyed being up early and seeing all the vendors setting up their shops. We finally found a nice picture frame, and so Lowen bought it along with a matching bowl. He said they looked good together and we needed to have a matching set. We also stumbled across a farmer's market of sorts. For some odd reason I have been craving radishes, and I was able to find some for .50 euro for a big bunch. Lowen also bought some raspberries. We then went to the supermarket and bought some bread, cheese, and drinks for our train ride to Zurich. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at the gelato place and had some pizza, then had 3 scoops of gelato each! We figured we had to try out every flavor we could! I had Mojito, Pear, and Blood Orange. Lowen had a Spicy Chocolate, Cinnamon Chocolate, and ... one other, I forget. Then we ran back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, then went to the train station and got on our train.

The ride to Milan was uneventful. We met a nice couple with a really cute kid. Lowen gave him a strawberry and within a few minutes he was completely red. The man is a pediatrician and his wife is a pediatric nurse, and they've travelled the world helping kids. Lowen had a lot of fun talking to him. In Milan we grabbed a quick bite to eat and waited for our train to Zurich. It was a little late, and me being the anal planner, I was getting worried! But it finally came and everyone flocked to it. Getting on trains in Italy is madness... everyone is pushing and trying to be the first one through, or they're just standing in the way with their luggage. We finally found our seats, and they were next to a newlywed couple named Adam and Esther. They live in Hungary and were just in Switzerland for the weekend. The ride from Milan to Zurich was absolutely stunning. We went through the Alps and there was always something to see. Lowen was facinated by the engineering of the tracks... we went through many tunnels and high high bridges. We ate our bread and cheese on the train.

Once we got to Zurich we checked into our hotel. It was right above a night club. And they had sprayed some kind of strong air freshener all over because the room was rank! So we opened up the windows and went out walking for a bit. We tried to find some place reasonable to eat at, but everything was so expensive. So we went to an American food restaurant and had kebabs. When we got back to the hotel, the club was in full swing and we could clearly hear the music. But I put my earplugs in and went to sleep.

The next morning we got up and walked around some more. We stumbled on some kind of Spring Festival. There were horses and carriages, little kids dressed up in all kinds of old fashioned costumes, camels, rides, games, bands, and everything! That was a lot of fun! We spent the morning going around and trying to see everything. For lunch we had bratwurst. Mmmm... so good! When we realized how late it was, we made a mad dash back to the hotel for our luggage, then back to the train station and caught the 3:12 train to Leichtenstein. I am trying my best to speak German to people here, but they pick up on my accent and switch to English. That doesn't help me learn when they do that! But one nice lady selling water on the train instead spoke very slowly and clearly, and I appreciated that I could at least have one entire exchange in German!

We had to get off the train in Sogans and catch the bus from there. We found our bus and the driver was just going inside the little supermarket there, so we went in too and got a few snacks. Then we got on the bus and it took us very close to our hotel. This country really is beautiful. Everything is well manicured and well taken care of, and it is all so green and beautiful. We checked into the hotel and then hiked up a massive hill to a beautiful old castle. What we didn't realize until we found some signs on the way down was that it was actually the home of the ruling Prince of Liechtenstein. I was amazed that we were able to walk right up to it! That hike was a lot of fun. We took some stunning pictures of the sights, and found a neat lookout point that overlooked the whole town.

By this point we were starving, so we made our way back to the hotel and ate at the hotel restaurant. It was very expensive, but soooo delicious. I had white asperagus soup and then rabbit for my main course. It was probably one of the best meals I have had in a long time! Thez also brought us great bread with some fantastic cheese spread, and a scallop with tomato and mango risoto, as well as some tiny cookies and chocolates free of charge!

Sadly we have to leave today. We're catching the bus around 1:30 to head to the train station to go to Munich.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hello again from Venice!

Last night after we were finished with the internet, we discovered that we were hungry again. We stopped at a little bakery/deli and I bought a tomato mozzarella salad, and Lowen had some kind of sandwich. I also had a long, chewy candy thing that was very tasty. We got back to the room and did some reading, watched a Flight of the Conchords episode, then went to bed early. It worked out well because then we woke up pretty early and started our adventure in Venice.

We took the boat bus from the train station as far as we were able to go. That was so neat being able to see Venice from the water. It's crazy how many boats are on the water, and how well people can drive them. It was really amazing to see all the old buildings and canals and such. When we got to the end of the line, we found St. Mark's Square and took several pictures there, and I of course bought some more postcards. Then we wandered around some more, trying to find the Arsenal for Lowen, and we found it but weren't able to figure out how to get it, if we even could. So we stopped for lunch and had pizza. That's pretty much all we've eaten all week. Pizza and pasta and gelato.

After lunch we meandered through the streets, and Lowen found a great deal on a glass penguin. I love penguins, and we had seen several in many stores, but most were 75+ euros and that was too much for me to pay. We found this one for 15, so I had to get it! I also got another gift for mom. (Sorry mom, I know you told me to stop but it was an accident) Lowen had the idea to buy a nice glass frame, and we have been looking in several stores. This one store we stopped in the owner came up to us and said, "To buy, or not to buy?" I replied, "We're just looking, thanks" and then he said, "No buy? Bye bye!" And directed for us to leave the store. I thought that was quite rude! So instead of buying something from him we went and got more gelato. This time we got pink grapefruit. It was fantastic. Then we went back to the hotel and had a 25 minute power nap. We have been doing so much walking these days, that by the end of the day I am just beat! Then we realized that we were hungry again, so we went to the same restaurant as last night and even ordered the same food. It was so delicious! They had this lovely tea at the restaurant. It is Twinnings tea, and I think it was Brazillian Baja or something like that. We went to a supermarket today to try and find it, but they didn't have any. If you ever see it, please let me know! It has a picture of a Brazillian temple and a coconut on it. Mmmmm.

I've learned that you really only need to know one word here. Prego. They use it for everything. For answering the phone, saying your welcome, asking if you're ready, telling you they're ready, as a random filler word, and I'm sure there are other uses I'm forgetting. It is actually quite funny how often you hear it. At first Lowen and I thought they were all talking about the spaghetti sauce, but then we figured it out.

The plan for tomorrow is to catch the 11:50 train to Milan, then transfer there and continue on to Zurich. We'll spend the night there and the next day, then take the train to Liechtenstein. I am so looking forward to that... Liechtenstein has always been on my list of places I wanted to visit. It's a monarchy, and the king there is the 6th richest ruler in the world. They have no income tax and have more registered businesses than people. They use the Swiss Frank, so thats great because I brought mine with me. Should be fun!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hello from Venice!

Sorry I missed yesterday!

We ended up not being able to stay a second night at that sweet hostel. We told the guy the first night we were there that we wanted to stay a second night, and he said that he was 99% sure that it would be fine, but would check and confirm it with us. We didn't hear anything that night, so we assumed that it was fine. Yesterday morning we got up, showered, and got ready to go see the sites around Florence. On the way out we saw the housekeeper, and that's when she told us that we couldn't stay the second night because someone had already booked it. We weren't very impressed that they waited until 11:00 that morning to tell us. So they said that we could stay in another room, but it had a shared bathroom. Lowen just said that we would go somewhere else, and then they actually made an effort to find us somewhere to stay. We ended up getting a little apartment that was a few blocks away, so it ended up ok, but we didn't have internet or a big screen tv anymore. :(

Anyway, after all that it was well after lunch time, and being the type of person who loves being on schedule and being efficient, I was not impressed, especially because we only had the one day in Florence. But we walked around and saw a lot of really cool things like the statue of David, the Duoma, and a neat bridge with jewlery shops lining it and hanging off the side. It ended up being a fun day. We were finally able to find a bank that allowed us to take out money. Lowen and I were down to less than 10 euros between us, and since I had no credit cards anymore, I was getting worried! But we took out money and I'm fine again. We stopped at a nice place and had some wonderful pizza for lunch. Mine was the Marinera pizza and had only tomato sauce, garlic and oregano on it, but it was super great. By the end of the day I was exhausted! We did a lot of walking, and since we were short on time we had to walk fast! We stumbled on the pricy strip... with shops like Tiffany & Co, Rolex, Gucci, Prada, etc. We went into Tiffanies and the Rolex store and just looked around.

By the time we got back to the hotel I was pooped! I changed into the dress I bought in Greece and we went to the same restaurant we were at the night before. Once again it was wonderful.

Oh, on our way back to the hotel room we stopped and bought some laundry soap because there was a small washing machine in the room. We thought there was a dryer, too, but on closer inspection we found it was some kind of air conditioning unit. Unfortunately we discovered this after we put a load in, so we had to hang all of our wet laundry from anywhere we could find in the room. But it worked out alright; most of the stuff was dry by morning.

This morning we got up, and I wanted to shower but the water was cold :(. We got ready and stopped at a bakery before we went to the train station. We learned from our train ride from Rome to Pisa that you need to pack a lunch! We were pretty hungry by the time we reached Pisa. So today we stopped and got some sandwiches and cookies. Then we went to the train station, but the 10:37 train was full so we had to wait for the 11:37 train. This train was nicer than the one from Rome. This one we had assigned seats, and we weren't facing the people across from us and the seats were cleaner and more comfortable. It also went a lot faster and was a lot smoother. It was also more expensive, but it was nice that our trip was about 1/2 the time for about the same distance.

Once we reached Venice we found the hotel. It is actually a very large room (by European standards). We are planning on staying tonight and tomorrow night, spending the day in Venice tomorrow. After we checked in, we wandered around a little and then got some super yummy pasta. Although the portion was a little small, and both Lowen and I are hungry now. I think we will grab something on the way back to our room.

Venice is known for it's beautiful glass. There are shops all over with vases, figurines and jewlery. I already bought myself a green bracelet and a beautiful blue vase.

So the plan for tomorrow is to take a ride down the main canal on a ferry and then walk around the city back to the hotel. I am very excited to see the city!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hello from Florence!

First of all, I have to apologize for spelling 'Colosseum' wrong in my blog yesterday. I wasn't sure if it had one or 2 'l's in it, and the crazy Italian computer told me the wrong spelling.

This morning we got up and had that wonderful breakfast again. I must have eaten half their platter of cheese. It was that really good butter cheese... mmmm, some of my favorite! That hotel was really nice. It was funny because one evening Lowen and I were coming back from having dinner, and I was wearing my flip flops, and the man at the front desk said to me, "Madam, where are your shoes?" in a really thick Italian accent. He was worried that I was going to freeze, but I explained to him that I was from Canada, and what the Italians think is cold is actually hot to me!

After breakfast we packed up and went to the train station to head to Pisa. It was a 4 hour train ride. Once we arrived in Pisa we stopped for some pizza (haha, pizza in Pisa) because I was getting hangry. I had olives on my pizza, but for some reason they were whole olives and not pitted and cut, so it made eating it kind of awkward because I had to spit out the pits every once in a while. Then we walked to the tower. That was a lot of fun to see! Although unfortunately there was more scaffolding on it, just like there was on the Parthenon and the Roman Ruins. But it was still neat to see. Of course we took the typical cliche pictures of us pushing it over and holding it up.

I bought a new dress today. It was only 30 Euros so I was pleased with that. It's a style I've always wanted, so I was happy to find one in Italy for a price I was willing to pay.

From Pisa we took the train 1 hour to Florence. Lowen hooked us up with a sweet hostel for whil we're here. It's only about a block from the train station and right in the heart of the city. We have our own room and bathroom, big screen TV with satellite, and computer with Internet. Marco also has adaptors in the plugs so that our North American plugs will fit.

Then we walked about a block to a little restaurant for supper. We had some of the best pasta ever! It was so tasty and I was so hungry that I almost finished the whole, huge plate by myself. But good thing Lowen was there to finish up my leftovers.

That's about it for today. Most of our day was spent on the train. Tomorrow I think we're just going to wander around Florence and see the sights.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello from Rome!

We finally found an internet cafe!!

I had a list of things I wanted to write here, but then forgot the list in the hotel room. Let's see how much I remember...

I did want to mention a funny story from when we had dinner in Crete. The man who owned the place seemed like he wanted to talk to us, and asked if we were German in German. I said that we were from Canada and spoke English, but he actually told me that he didn't speak English. It made me laugh because I was in Greece, speaking with a Greek man in German because neither of us understood each others' native tongue. But I did learn the word for 'honeymoon' in German.

The flight to Rome was uneventful. I had a little nap and then worked on my puzzles some more. We landed and then hopped on the train. It took almost an hour to get to the stop we needed, and then we had to still walk several blocks to our hotel. We had to walk through this tunnel, and there were little arches along the median in the tunnel, and homeless people were sleeping there. I was so scared! In my mind I pictured them waking up and hearing the clakety-clack of our luggage wheels and us speaking English, realizing we were tourists, and mugging us. So I made Lowen walk as quickly and quietly as we could so as not to wake them up. But we made it safely! The room is a typical European room... very tiny! But it's really nice. Breakfast is included every morning and they have the best cheese and coffee machine.

After breakfast we decided to go look at the Coliseum and some of the ruins around that area. We had to take the subway to get there. When the train pulled up, I was amazed that every square inch of every car was covered in graffiti! We got off at our stop, and exited the station to see the Coliseum looming overhead. It is quite an impressive structure!! It seems bigger in real life than I had imagined. There are tons of guys dressed in old Roman costumes wanting to get their picture taken with you, but it is so funny because the costumes are plastic, and the men all have big bellies. Not very authentic at all! We took a guided tour, and totally bypassed the massive line. That was really neat because we learned a lot about the history of the Coliseum. After that we took a tour through some of the near by ruins, but ended up leaving that tour because the guide liked to talk a little too much and it was dragging on and on. So we split and did our own thing, and took several hundred photos between us.

After this we went to a little cafe and Lowen had a pizza and I had a mozzarella and tomato salad (my favorite!). It was 4:00 by this time, and we hadn't eaten since breakfast! Needless to say we were famished! Then we decided to head to the Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica, and had to take 2 trains to get there. That was quite a site to see as well, but by this time we were both pretty exhausted. We arrived back at the hotel, changed, and then went to a little pizzaria and got some supper. Guess what kind of pizza I got? Tomato mozzarella! It was super great.

Tomorrow we plan on going to Pisa to see the leaning tower. It's a 3 hour train ride. Then we'll head to Florence and spend the night there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hello from Athens

Right now Lowen and I are sitting in the Athens airport. This morning we got up and checked out of the hotel, then went and wandered around Crete a bit. Although, since it is Easter Sunday, most of the shops were closed. It was a little disappointing becausewe arrived in Crete Friday night, and pretty much everything shuts down on the weekend, so we weren't able to do that much.

Yesterday we had a nap in the afternoon and then walked around the capital city of Crete (I forget what it is called). They have really good green apple Fanta here that I love, so we went to a supermarket and bought 2 4 packs of it. Right now it is in Lowen's suitcase, making it very heavy. We stopped and had some gyros for supper and ordered a big plate of taz and fries to go with them. One thing thatis different about the big city is that there are a lot more beggers. While we were eating we had several kids come up to us and ask for money. One little boy stopped at our table and had to be shooed away by the owner of the restaurant. After that we found a nice gelato place and got some tasty ice cream. We sat by a fountain built in 1629 and ate it. Then it started to rain, so we found cover, but it passed quickly. We went back to the hotel and just took it easy that evening and read and watched some TV shows on Lowen's little GPS unit. We got hungry again, so we went and got a chicken dish from the Chinese food place across the street.

This afternoon we flew from Crete to Athens, and now we're in the airport waiting for our flight to Rome. It's nice because there's a free internet station right by our gate, and you can use it for 15 minutes at a time.

We bought some Oregano flavored chips to snack on. They're pretty good... they taste kind of like roasted, seasoned potatos. In Santorini we bought 'Chinese' flavored chips, and those were really weird. I'm sure, though, if a Greek person came to Canada they might find ketchup and dill pickle chips to be weird.

Another thing I am having a hard time getting used to is the lack of respect for personal space. I was in the line up at the duty free shop, and the people in line behind me were standing so close to me it made me feel so uncomfortable. It's like that everywhere. People here are also not good at lining up. I was in Zara waiting to pay for my dress and sweater, and people kept cutting in front of me. Mom and I would always laugh at the people at the bus stop who would stand in line waiting for the bus. I is completely not like that here!

Well I should go... Lowen is patiently waiting for me to finish watching our epsiode of Lost.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hello from Crete!

Yesterday we slept in and then spent a lazy day just walking around Santorini and taking lots of pictures. We stopped for lunch and had some really tasty donairs, and I of course had Fanta to drink. Then we went to the bakery that we had already been to several times and had another piece of that amazing chocolate cake. Around 4:00 we headed back to the hotel and George drove us down to the New Port. The road down was very scary - narrow and very tight switchbacks. We decided to pay less and take the slower ferry instead of the high speed ferry which was 1/2 the time but 2x the price. When we got on we were told that we had to leave our luggage in this one room, and neither of us were very impressed with that, especially since there were very few people on the boat. The ride was about 4 hours and we just sat and read and watched some shows on Lowen's little GPS unit.

We arrived in Crete around 10:00 and found our hotel. Although we had a little cucumber tomato salad on the ferry, we were starving. So I showered and reapplied aloe to my burns and Lowen went to this really nice little Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel. We laughed because we became the people we always make fun of... those people that go to a new country and eat Chinese food instead of the local food. The shower was great because finally it had a holder for the nozzle so it would spray down on you instead of just spraying on your feet. For some reason all the shower head holders are installed so low here.

This morning we got up around 9:30 and wandered around the city a little. We stopped at a bakery and I had a mushroom pie and Lowen had a piece of pizza. There was a little Greek boy who kept coming up and hugging me. Apparently he really liked me. His parents seemed embarassed and apologized many times. Lowen said to check to make sure I still had my wallet after he hugged me the first time. Oh right, it was already stolen! Then we walked to an old Venetial Fortress by the water and wanted to go to the Natural History Museum, but for some odd reason it is closed on Saturdays and open on Sundays, so we're going to try to go tomorrow before our flight back to Athens.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hello again from Santorini

We're back at that Internet Cafe. It's really nice in here... there are tons of computers and they're all set up very nicely. I don't know anything about computers, but it is nice in here. I like it.

This morning we woke up around 8:00 and showered. Then George (the man who owns the place we're staying at) brought us some juice, tea, and little cakes. He then drove us to a store where we bought a jacket for me. I forgot mine at home, and yesterday was so cold, so we asked him and he took us to this store on the way to the port. We then boarded our boat, sailed to the volcano, and got out and hiked around. We got to hike right up to the active crater, and it was quite amazing because there was steam coming up from all around and our feet felt very hot just from the heat coming up from the ground. It also really stunk like sulphur. From there we sailed to the "hot springs", which I was expecting to be like the Banff Hot Springs, but it was really this murky, slimy little bay. Neither Lowen nor I felt like going in the water, so we just waited on the boat. Then we sailed to another little island where we did some wandering around and then ate lunch. That was super yummy. We shared chicken souvlaki, fries, and tomato and cucumber salad. By this point I was feeling a little warm and realized that we totally forgot to bring sunscreen. We got back to the boat and asked some nice Americans if we could borrow their sunscreen, and the girl told me to put lots on because I was really pink. I did, but I still got burned pretty badly. We weren't expecting that at all because yesterday was so cloudy and cold!

We got back to Fira and wandered around a little bit and then went and had supper. The place we chose looked really good, but then when our food came, my baked potato had mold on it! Then the waiter was trying to convince me that it was yougurt, but I had taken a bite and it was clearly mold because it tasted like mold. Lowen said his meal tasted like it had been in the freezer for a year and then re heated. So we went to the same bakery we went to last night and had a massive piece of chocolate cake with chocolate chunks on top and chocolate syrup and melted chocolate inside. It was some of the best cake I have ever had!

We found a pharmacy and bought some aloe gel that I plan on bathing in tonight. We're going to stop by another drug store that we think might be cheaper tomorrow and buy sunscreen. All they have for sunscreen is over priced ultra name brand stuff and it is hard for me to spend 17 euro on a tiny little bottle!!

The plan for tomorrow is to wander around Fira a little more, have some crepes, then make our way to Crete. Hopefully we can find some internet there...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hello from Santorini!

I'm writing this from an internet cafe. This is my very first time being in one!

Late last night Lowen booked a flight from Athens to Santorini. We woke up, packed up, showered and left for the train station. Unfortunately the train was much slower than we thought, and by the time we finally got to the airport, the flight was already closed. But the nice lady at the check-in counter was kind enough to call the plane and we had to run to the gate. Thankfully we made it in time. It was only a 20 minute flight, but it was "forbidden" to take pictures at all from the plane. I wasn't very impressed by that at all, because I love taking pictures! We landed and then took a taxi to the little place Lowen found for us to stay at. It's a really cute little place run by some really friendly people, and is very reasonably priced.

Unfortunately though, it's freezing cold here. Well, Lowen and I would disagree about that... he's on Skype right now telling someone it's really warm here. But it definitely isn't beach weather, and I have to always wear a sweater. We're going to try and find a jacket or windbreaker of some sort for tomorrow.

After we checked into our room we went to a cute little restaurant for lunch, then walked around a bit. Unfortunately we were confused by the map and walked the wrong way, and instead of finding some cute shops and restaurants we found pretty much nothing. So we went back to the room and had a nap. We must still be recovering from jet lag, because we meant to sleep for about 30 minutes or so, but ended up waking up 2.5 hours later!

We then went to the little tour place and booked a fun tour for tomorrow on a sweet boat that goes to the caldera. Santorini is an island formed by a massive volcano. There are still some active craters, and there are a bunch of hotsprings in the area. I'm just hoping it warms up a little!

Then we made our way into the more trendy, touristy part and bought some postcards, watched a beautiful sunset, and had some dinner. On the way from the restaurant to the internet cafe, we found a stray dog that befriended us and followed us here. I think he seemed disappointed when we came in here and quit following him.

Oh! And guess what?!? Someone stole my wallet on the train! I was not impressed by that at all! But thankfully it only had my credit cards, minimal cash, and a Cineplex coupon in it. Thankfully most of my cash and passport are safe, as well as my credit card I use for work. I was just super annoyed because I'm normally always so careful about stuff like that!!

Ok, that seems to be my day in a nutshell. We're spending another night here, so I'll try to come back here tomorrow to write more...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello from Athens!

We made it here safely after a very long trip. We left Calgary Sunday evening and spent 9 hours on the plane to Frankfurt, 3 hours in the Frankfurt Airport, 2.5 hours on the plane to Athens, then 2 hours trying how to figure out how to get to the hotel by train. So we finally got here around 9:00 Athens time on Monday, which would be around 12:00 noon Calgary time. The hotel is really nice; it's one of those designer hotels and is quite modern. They have really great little shampoos and stuff. If you know me, you know that is my favorite part of staying at a hotel. Once we got here, we showered and got dressed and went to the roof top restaurant for supper. It was a really nice place with a great view of some of the ruins (like the Parthenon) all lit up. Then we crashed and slept until 10:30, waking up only once around 4:00 AM.

This morning we got ready and went walking around Athens. We grabbed some donairs from a very busy (which means popular which means good) restaurant several blocks from the hotel. Then we made our way to the ruins and stopped off at several of those, finally making our way up to the Parthenon. They are very beautiful, and it's quite amazing sanding on an area that people stood on thousands of years ago. The only unfortunate thing is that many of them are being restored, so there was a lot of scaffolding and building supplies everywhere we went.

After the ruins we wandered around Athens for a bit and bought a few souveniers and some clothes (of course) for myself. Then we stopped at a little bakery and bought some mini pizzas and meat buns and ice cream for supper.

We met a really sweet British couple yesterday while we were trying to find our way on the train. It was handy because they had a good map, and Lowen had some information they needed, so we pooled our efforts and helped each other find our hotels. They are staying only a few blocks from us. Then today when we were wandering back from the ruins, we saw them again! The lady had just bought some strawberries, so she shared them with us and we caught up on what we had done that day. That was special.

Lowen forgot his hair wax, and I forgot any kind of hair product all together, so today we made it our mission to find something. It is so humid here, so my hair is a massive ball of fuzz so I desperately need something to tame it down. It is actually quite difficult finding something like that in another country... they have different brands and of course I don't read Greek, but after going into several drug stores, we both found something that suited our needs.

One thing I can't get used to is all the smoke. Everyone here smokes! And they smoke everywhere... restaurants, hotels, churches, everywhere. I stink all the time from it.

I'm pretty much exhausted again, and my plan is to go organize my purchases from today and then go to sleep.

The plan for tomorrow is to head over to the islands. Maybe we'll spend a day on Crete and then head to Santorini. Hopefully I'll get internet access again soon so I can write another update!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting Ready...

Hello! I have decided that I would start a blog so that family and friends can read about the adventures and sights from our honeymoon. We're leaving Sunday, April 5, and will return on Saturday, April 25. I hope to add to it every day, so be sure to check back often for updates!