Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Plaka...last morning in Athens

we sure savored our final day in athens. we left around 1:30 to get to the airport to get to Milan, but enjoyed our relaxed morning strolling the Plaka, one of our favorite parts of Athens (other then the island and the acropolis, of course) Honestly, most of Athens is pretty dirty. matt commented is it just because it may not rain a lot here, so everything is just run down and dirty, or is it just old. anyways, we didn't just love it, but we did love the 3 places mentioned above...
so we did a little shopping. very UN hawthorne-like. we tend to NOT spend money on things, but thought, hey if there's something that we've been eyeing for the past couple days, we should go ahead and buy it, i mean when are we going to be back in Greece.
so matt got some Traditional Greek Woolen Slippers with huge pom poms on the top. he loves them. i just hope he will wear them once we get home. i bought a tiny pair for our child in the future. they are the cream ones in the picture below.
i got a green parthenon t-shirt and then we decided it'd be fun to collect postcards from each place we've been, so we collected those too!
the Easy Jet flights have been so nice, new airline, so everything is new looking. no free food or drinks on the flight, but that's okay...
Now we are in Milan, and we'll be seeing the Duomo in the morning, before heading to Cinque Terra.

hard decision...


typical tourist site

these chairs are like the ones we had in our house growing up? do we still have these anywhere mom?

matt liked the mohawk!

road warrior


my attempt at posing with graffiti, perfect with a matty shirt on, too!

good matty shot!

these are those traditional woolen greek slippers. matty found himself a grey pair...he's got them on in the hotel right now!

i bought the cream ones for our child to wear one day! i love them, they are SO tiny!

this kitty meowed the whole time we walked away from her down the street. so cute.
we're in Milan. the plane deboarded on the tarmack...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Greece Day 3, highlight of the day, Mt. Lycabettus...

hotel breakfast

front of hotel

og olympic stadium

us with the guards...they were SO good at what they do, they didn't even bat an eye. it was crazy cool. so glad we got a pic with them.

changing of the guards very cool. still wish we hadn't missed the London Changing of the guards :( i really wanted to see those bear fur hats!

they have a traditional routine they do, involving high kicks.

check out the little pom poms on their shoes. they are like the house slippers i showed earlier! cute!

yikes! the central market, i thought it was going to be fruit, bread, and sweets. boy was i wrong! this was the least obtrusive image to share. other animals included whole long hanging rabbits, with their furry white feet and tails still on and goats heads, meat only! i had to get out of there, quick!

funicular up to Mt. Lycabettus. we got ripped off. when i asked how much the tickets were she said 6 euros. instantly i thought, that's the same price as the louvre...we paid. and once we got up there (which was too late) saw a kiosk selling one way tickets down. we could have bought a one way uphill and walked on the cool path down. and saved 6 euros. oh well. the view was worth we were able to meet this great austrialian family. they are posted later on this one.

views from Mt. Lycabettus

we went to the '04 olympic stadium. kinda weird cause it was so massive a site, yet so desolate. i wish it could be getting more use. OR maybe it'd be better if every year, the games would be held in the same spot and countries could save billions of dollars on construction costs and areas wouldn't go to waste. it was sad.

training pool, i guess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hydra island, Day 2 in Greece!

what a day. as matty said, "the ball had to be dropped at some point." and today was the day!
it was my fault, i forgot to change the travel alarm clock to one hour later from France time to Greece time, SO when i set my alarm clock for 6:45 am, we really wern't woken up until 7:45. TOO LATE, our flying dolphin took off at 8:30 and we had a 30 minute metro connection, plus a 5 minute walk to the dock once we arrived in pireaus. and we had to get out the door and to the metro in the first place.
well, we were going to try. you never know it could have been taking off late for some reason and we might have been able to make it. though we are told they always take off right on time. so we literally threw on clothes, no brusing teeth, or hair or anything and thew anything we could think of into our day bags and RAN to the metro 4 blocks away, i was in flip flops and it was really hard. then we ran through, did one transfer, waited on the next one, rode it for 30 mins. and honeslty, i think we might have made it if it wern't for subway construction, cause we had 2 unusually long delayed stops, while one track was being used by two trains. anyways, we got there, RAN out to the street, finally got to the dock, NO FLYING DOLPHIN. i looked for someone to ask, found a guy and said, "around the corner, 5 mins" SO WE RAN. and saw it and i smiled and was so thankful, However, it was not the right one, going to a different island! rats.
they showed no mercy to let us get on the 10 o'clock ferry, so we had to buy another set of tickets. so we lost that initial 51 euros. dang it! i cried honestly.but only for a minute. i was just upset. we just ran SO MUCH! i just felt like they could have given us a break, but reality hit me when the lady behind the Hellenic seaways desk said drily, " it is not my company's fault that you overslept. these tickets are now No good."
so we got over it. bought another set of 10 o'clock tickets and were on our way. we should have just bought our tickets at the dock once we got there, assuring we wouldn't miss our boat. oh well!
now is when my friend Maria entered our lives. she kept me good company for the first hour of our 2 hour trip. she was a great resource and was very friendly!
Hydra was great. it was not very crowded. we ate lunch, explored all its nooks and cranies. walked all the way around one side, spotting little swimming coves that locals and tourist alike were taking advantage of. then we peaked the hill and came over the other side. NOW this is where i saw the most cats i have ever seen in my like. 23 was the count, in ONE area. i was in cat heaven! so much fun. we just loved Hydra and all the little tiny, quaint roads. it was a blast. then we even stuck our heads out the Flying Dolphin as we approached Pireaus, it reminded me of being on the Cruise with my family as we got up early and were out in the front as we can into port!
wonderful memories of this day!
thanks Ros for you Hydra recommendations!

sad about missing our 1st boat :(

Mary and Maria. she was great!

no cars on the these donkey's tote things around

the Flying Cat we came over on, pulling out of the port.

me and matty with Hydra behind us.


where everyone hangs out, eats, enjoys coffee in the harbor

cat, zonked on a sail from a boat.

he had to be intentional about getting out there on that boat!

swimming area.

newly laid concrete areas for catching some rays!

great photo of matty!

the harbor on the other side of the island that we walked to.

faded paint on this boat, i liked!

streets of Hydra

meal time...

this local lady was so nice! she loves cats too!


these two liked me.

this one reminded us of Parker!

boganvia everyehere...

matty resting in the harbor, awaiting our Flying Dolphin.

check out this load, i saw a photo of one carrying a dryer, in one of my guide books! crazy. i kinda feel sorry for them...

the Flying Dolphin, literally flying in...