Greece Part 4 – Relaxing

Day 77: May 28, 2018

We were able to sleep in today! We had some random leftover food from our road trip for breakfast then walked to a grocery store. The first place was just fruit and vegetables so we walked up further and went to another store as well. We had quite the load to haul back.

I baked a cake and then made it into cake pops with Oreo icing and crumble. They were very dangerous. I watched Friends and Danny started a blog post. He made pasta for supper and we watched the end of 7 Years in Tibet. I read about our tours in Egypt and Morocco and realized the flight I booked wouldn’t work. I also decided I would need to go shopping for more conservative clothing. It will all have to be done tomorrow.

Day 78: May 29, 2018

We didn’t sleep in as much this morning. I got up and did some yoga to loosen up my hips. We had yogurt for breakfast then got ready to go to the beach. We took an UberTaxi to Glyfada beach which was a free public beach. The driver said we should stay further south from Athens, but we had read you had to pay to enter Voula beach.

We got to the beach and walked in the water. It got deep pretty quickly and was pretty rocky. We went in and out of the water and ate lunch on the beach. Around 2:00 pm we decided to head back. We walked to a bus stop, but there was nowhere to buy tickets so we just requested an UberTaxi to get back. We waited where there were about seven cats. Only a couple of them let us pet them, but they kept hanging around.

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Greek street kitties

We got dropped off on the main street and picked up some more groceries that we had forgotten. It was a longer walk back than we anticipated and we were very sweaty by the end. We chilled at our Airbnb for the rest of the night.

Day 79: May 30, 2018

Date day! We slept in then had breakfast. I had to make changes to our Cairo to Casablanca flight. Our Egypt tour ends June 16, but we don’t get in to Cairo until the late morning as we are on a sleeper train. I didn’t realize this and had booked our flight for 5:30 am and a night in a hotel in Casablanca. I had to pay $167 for changing the flights and the Casablanca hotel was non-refundable. Changing our flight to late on June 16th would have been way more expensive. I had our travel agent book us a hotel in Cairo. She found one close to the airport and reasonably priced.

We took an UberTaxi to Athens Metro Mall so I could find some clothes for our trip to Africa. I tried on a bunch of stuff at H&M while Danny got his hair cut. I settled on a pair of pants. All the shirts were too baggy and most of the pants were too tight.

We got some pitas in the food court. Luckily they had an English menu we could look through. I still find it odd that they put fries inside their pitas. After, we got some ice cream then kept shopping. I tried on some other things, but none of the styles were me.

Around 2:00 pm we went to the arcade in the movie theatre as we had been to all the stores. Danny whupped me at air hockey and foosball, but I beat him at Dance Dance Revolution. The song choices were pretty limited.

We played some racing games then decided we would see Deadpool 2 at 3:00 pm instead of Solo which didn’t start until 5:00 pm. We weren’t sure if the movie would be in Greek or in English. We were glad when we heard Ryan Reynolds voice at the beginning. It was in English with Greek subtitles. It was an enjoyable movie; we laughed a lot.

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Date day

After we went up a level in the mall to T.G.I. Fridays. We both had burgers and I finally had a legit strawberry daiquiri. We sat there chilling and chatting. Danny decided we could have dessert. We shared an Oreo ice cream cake: chocolate biscuit, vanilla ice cream, chocolate biscuit, Oreo crumble and chocolate sauce. It was so good.

We left the mall and decided to walk off some of the food we ate. We came across a clothing store and it had clothes I would actually wear. It said Italian fashions, but it was all made in China. It was super cheap. I tried on a bunch of things and settled on a shirt and a scarf.

We walked a bit more until our feet hurt. Sometimes I wonder how we still have things to talk about when we are with each other 24/7. We enjoy reminiscing about the past and dreaming about the future. We talk about our upcoming travels, history and what we’ve learned from our travels. It is nice to have someone to talk to about all these things. We called an UberTaxi to take us home for some sleep.

Day 80: May 31, 2018

We woke up and Danny read an email that our Russian visas were approved and the visa company had sent our passports back. Thank goodness! Even a day early.

I was getting ready to do yoga when I saw a message from Caitlin. We chatted about her time in Santorini and discussed her arriving in Athens.

Danny and I walked to the water straight down from our Airbnb. There were tons of small, free beaches. We found a quieter one. Danny tried out the snorkel he bought at the mall. He gets so excited about things. Snorkeling is his new thing. His eyes just light up when he gets out of the water. He tells me everything he saw even if it was just one small fish.

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Danny snorkeling

It was super hot on the beach. We basically had to go back in the water every five minutes. We were too hot in the afternoon so we walked back. We had showers and got ready for Caitlin’s arrival. I waited for her outside our Airbnb twenty minutes after she messaged me that she had arrived in Athens. I sat and petted the garden kitty.

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Voula garden kitty

It took her longer than I expected because there was a huge line up for taxis at the airport. Our cab driver the day before had mentioned that there was a huge labour strike that disrupted the flights. I’m not sure if that was still the reason.

We had cauliflower rice and burgers for supper then watched some Netflix before bed.

Day 81: June 1, 2018

We slept in then had yogurt for breakfast. We packed lunch and got ready to go to Vouliagmeni Lake. We took an UberTaxi there and paid the 12 euro entry fee. We found some chairs we could lie down on and sat for a bit.

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Vouliagmeni Lake

The lake is brackish water and home to garra rufa or Doctor fish. They were all over the bottom of the lake and if you stood still they came over to nibble. I couldn’t handle it at first. Danny loved it and had them all the way up his legs. Caitlin got used to it after awhile too so I decided I needed to suck it up. Their nibbles felt like little pokes, but once you had enough on you it wasn’t so bad. It almost felt like your legs were vibrating. They started at your feet and then moved up. Once they hit my inner thighs I swam away. I had imagined they would latch on, but the moment you moved they left.

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Doctor fish nibbling Caitlin’s legs

Danny had brought the snorkel and I took it along the cliff edge. You could see some bigger fish, but nothing too interesting. We went in and out of the water. The water temperature was 27 degrees and the air temperature was 30 degrees.

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Snorkelling

We had brought sandwinches, but couldn’t eat them at the lake as outside food wasn’t allowed. We ordered some fries and tzatziki to tide us over.

We were all starting to overheat so we got changed and walked up the road a bit to a Greek restaurant. We ordered Greek salad and some shrimp for a starter. We also tried Ouzo which is a dry black licorice flavoured alcohol. The waiter showed us how to drink it: pour a bit in a glass, add a couple of ice cubes, it will start turning white, then top it with water. None of us were huge black licorice fans, but we thought we needed to try it.

We were also given bread with an olive yogurt spread. Danny and Caitlin had moussaka and I had stuffed pepper/tomato. For dessert we were give mosaiko, a Greek chocolate and biscuit dessert. It was so good! I could have eaten 20 of them.

We tried calling an UberTaxi, but none responded so we walked for a bit. There was quite a traffic jam on the road we were walking along. After 30 minutes my feet were killing me from my flip flops so we tried calling an UberTaxi again. One responded, but he was on the other side of the traffic jam. What Uber said would take 7 minutes to get to us, took more like 20 minutes.

Danny was feeling overheated, probably from too much sun. We got back and had showers then watched some Netflix. Danny went to bed and I stayed up a bit and chatted with Caitlin before bed. She heads home tomorrow and we head to a new Airbnb near the port of Athens, Piraeus.

Day 82: June 2, 2018

We woke up around 8:00 am and had random leftovers for breakfast. Just after 9:00 am I requested an UberTaxi to take Caitlin to the airport. We waited outside with her and hugged her good bye. I was very sad to see her go. We very much enjoyed having her with us. It was nice to have someone else to talk with and break up Danny and my fighting.

Danny and I packed up all of our stuff and called an UberTaxi about an hour later. As the taxi pulled up and the driver got out, we started to laugh as it was the same driver that had taken Caitlin to the airport.

We were dropped off at a cafe that we were hoping to sit in until we could check in to our Airbnb, but it wasn’t open. We begrudgingly walked up to the Bowling Centre that was close to our Airbnb. The crappy part was that the neighbourhood was all hills. Walking up stairs and hills with our packs was not fun. My legs were burning and the sweat was flowing everywhere.

The Bowling Centre was closed when we arrived, but upstairs there was a cafe, a really big cafe with a wonderful view to the water. We sat and I ordered a milkshake which was blended, but not as good as what we make at home. Danny and I played some cards while waiting for our 1:00 pm check in.

Five minutes early, we walked down to our Airbnb. It is very nice and has a homey feel that has been missing in the last couple of places. It has vaulted ceilings and is very spacious. Danny and I can spend the day in separate rooms to get some alone time. The host came back down with her son to see if we had any questions as she said his English was better. They also brought us a dried fruit dessert. I felt a bit bad that I didn’t ask them in, but it’s hard to know the protocol in that situation.

We had leftover sandwiches in the grill then walked down to the grocery store. We have a wonderful view of the bay with tons of sailboats, but we have to walk down to go anywhere and then back up to get home. We bought some things at the store then went up the street to a fruit and vegetable stand and then to a bakery. We bought cookies and ate them all once we got home.

I did some blogging then tried making the Greek potatoes like we were told by the waiter at our last restaurant. Bake chicken, potato chunks, water, olive oil, lemon, salt and oregano in a pan at 300 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes. They were pretty tasty, but I think next time a bit less oregano, a bit more lemon and chicken broth instead of water. We watched some history videos on YouTube then went to bed.

Day 83: June 3, 2018

I’ve been feeling a bit off recently so before we went to sleep we made a schedule for the day to add purpose to our relaxing. We woke up a bit behind schedule. I did yoga and Danny went for a run. Danny made eggs, sausages and zucchini for breakfast.

I did some blogging then made Greek salad for lunch. I also made my first homemade tea latte. We drank it on our little deck and chatted, with the sailboats in the distance. We could hear a cat fight going on up the street. We ate lunch on the deck as well then got ready to go bowling.

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View of our balcony in Piraeus

There was a birthday going on at the Bowling Centre and then us so it wasn’t too busy. We played a total of three games: Danny won the first and then I won the next two. I was sweating by the end and my hand was hurting. It was ten pin bowling which always makes me feel like my arm is going to break from throwing the heavy balls.


We walked down to a book store, but everything was closed because it was Sunday. We walked along the marina a bit then back up to our Airbnb.

I did some blogging while Danny made supper: pasta with eggplant. It was nice and spicy. We watched some more history videos then an episode of Outlander before bed.

Day 84: June 4, 2018

I slept in a bit with Danny wagging his tail beside me waiting for me to wake up. I did some yoga and Danny went for a run. I was wondering why my forearm was so sore, but Danny reminded me we had gone bowling.

We had breakfast then emailed the Embassy of Canada to make sure they had our package which FedEx had said was delivered on Friday. They replied that we could pick it up today. We walked to the main road and requested an UberTaxi. None wanted to take us the 40 minutes to the Embassy. We decided we would switch to have the taxi take us into downtown Athens then request another one to take us the rest of the way.

When we arrived in Athens we decided we should save some money and just take the bus. It took forty minutes and then we had to walk five minutes. We talked to the security guard when we arrived at the Embassy. Once Danny mentioned his name, she said, “Oh” and she told us to wait two minutes and they would bring it. A lady came to security with the package and had us show ID then sign for it. She passed the package through the slot and we were on our way. We were a bit disappointed we didn’t even get to go inside.

When we opened the package we were super excited because there were our passports with Russian visas. Yay! Danny was pretty happy to have his passport back. I kind of liked not having to worry about me losing it for a couple of weeks.

We walked back to catch the bus into the main part of Athens. We had to switch buses to get home so we found a place to eat before we transferred. We shared a covered gyros pita with potatoes. They said potatoes on the menu, but it was fries. It was very filling and very good.

We caught the next bus to the book store we had tried to go to the day before. It was another 40 minute bus ride. The temperature was around 31 degrees, but hotter on the bus.

The book store was open and we found a section of English fiction books. I picked one out, but Danny couldn’t find one that caught his fancy. We stopped at a clothing store and I found a simple grey T-shirt that will do well for Africa. We walked to a grocery store and picked up some food for the next couple of days. Then we walked up a million stairs to get home. C7084251-B05A-4D25-9A80-87E659C7BA4B

I made pizza for supper and we ate on the deck. Danny started booking flights and Airbnbs for Crete now that we have our passports back and can leave the mainland.

Day 85: June 5, 2018

We slept in and Danny brought me breakfast in bed. The host and her son had brought us breakfast at 9:30 pm last night. We were just getting ready for bed. It was four fresh muffins (amazing), little slices of bread with cheese and toasts with orange marmalade. It was very yummy. They also offered a friend who is a cab driver to take us to the airport early on Wednesday morning.

After breakfast we got ready to walk down to get visa pictures done. We have our e-visas for Egypt, but I’m worried we might still need the photos. We stopped at the grocery store on the way for cake mix and a toothbrush. I’ve been craving to bake something. Up the street we found a place to get pictures. We then walked back home.

We did some planning for Spain as we are now confident we will not have to make a detour back to Canada. Danny planned the sights and I booked flights, ferry and Airbnbs. We had sandwiches for lunch then I made muffins. More planning then Danny heated up our random leftovers for supper and chopped our remaining veggies. We had Greek yogurt with the remaining orange marmalade and muffins for dessert. We will only have some remaining salad dressing and margarine to throw out.

Our relaxing time in Athens area was not necessarily planned. It became a necessity with our lack of passports. It was good for us to be stationed in one spot for a while. It forced us to do some chilling and get some planning done for the next couple of months. We received our passports back just in time for us to get in a trip to Crete before our tour starts in Egypt. It will be a good chance to experience a different Greek island.

M

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