Sunday, November 29, 2009

Travel Map

I've plotted all the places we've been so far on a nifty map from Kinda cool! I'll try to keep it updated.

    Favorite Places

  1. Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Granada, Spain
  3. Torquay, UK
  4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. Bologna, Italy

Friday, November 27, 2009


We arrived in Thessaloniki on the 12th after a nice and uneventful bus ride. The bus terminal was pretty big and confusing, but we had some help from the friendly lady who sold local bus tickets and she sent us off in the general direction of the "center of town." With a bit of confusion and luck we ended up getting off at the right stop and found our hidden hotel without too much hassle. Not too long after checking in Chuck felt the urge to explore a bit. We had read that Thessaloniki is a young, hip town due to the big university that makes it's home there, so we decided it might be worth checking out. Robyn opted to stay behind and Chuck and I started our trip down the main street. It ended up being quite a bit further than we had thought and took nearly 45 minutes. The city itself was not beautiful, although there were three or four interesting and old looking buildings along the road. The university was... sad. It reminded me of what I imagined an old, run down, soviet campus would look like. Granted, we didn't walk around the whole campus so I only saw a few buildings, but it wasn't very interesting architecture. And it wasn't very well kept. For example, one of the main squares we passed through had a rusting green statue in the center and tufts of grass breaking through cracks in the cement. And the fence attached to one of the side entrances to the campus was covered in left over scraps of old posters. People taped them up and when the event was over just ripped them down, leaving bits of paper and tape behind. It was very active though - students were all over the place. On the walk back we stopped into a grocery store for food and that was the extent of our night.

We woke up at our leisure on the 13th. Some time during the afternoon Robyn headed out on her own to explore the city a bit. I don't think she was any more impressed with it than we had been. She did manage to find a little discount grocery store while she was out. We went out for dinner that night. It had turned cold over the course of the day and we were all shivering and laughing at our light clothing. We walked through an area of restaurants where we had to practically fight off the waiters who were following us and offering all kinds of deals. One guy went so far as to jokingly offer sex with dinner! Another shouted "I love you!" at us as we rounded the corner. Man, they're crazy for business sometimes! We ended up sitting at a place that wasn't pimping themselves like Dixie whores and had a nice meal. Unfortunately, the seating area was not walled in so we were still subjected to the occasional chilly gust, but otherwise it was nice. We finally got some Greek food that wasn't a gyro. The crab salad was tasty, but had way too much mayo for me. Robyn got a delicious cold eggplant salad and we all shared a grilled hot pepper that was not really hot. Europe doesn't really get the whole spicy
thing - when it says "hot" or "spicy" it isn't. But it was tasty enough, as peppers go. And our main meal was a platter of hamburger patties drenched in a blue-cheese-like sauce. It was good stuff, if not a bit strong in flavor. We shivered our way back to the hotel and tucked ourselves into bed.

We did our pack-and-check-out routine on the 14th and made our way to the bus station to try and get tickets to Istanbul. We had a bit of trouble finding the place because it was so much smaller than we expected. It was more of a bus stop than a bus terminal. And it turned out we couldn't pre-buy the tickets either - we had to get them on the bus. Our bus didn't leave until close to midnight, so we had a long day ahead of us. I dreaded having to lug my heavy backpack around, so I hoped we could stick to fairly stationary forms of entertainment. We walked back to a big square that looked out over the water and gt in an argument with Robyn. She was hoping to leave her stuff with us somewhere so she could do a bit of shopping, and we didn't want to do that. A little battle of the wills I suppose. Instead, Chuck and I sat on the opposite side of the square from her and we all did nothing. There was a young guy sitting on a bench next to ours listening to his iPod and splitting sun flower seeds for a herd of pigeons that had collected at his feet. After some time he got up and gave us a hand-full of seeds, took his seat and continued his sunflower de-seeding. Said nothing. Just gave us seeds and continued as though we didn't exist. I think he had noticed us watching the birds and was just a nice guy. When his girlfriend finally came and found him he gave us the rest of the seeds he had and they left together. So we had a grand time cracking open seeds and seeing how close the birds would come. Meanwhile, Robyn was busy being converted by two Christian missionaries. I looked over at her at one point to see her gesturing towards us and one of the guys gave us a cheerful wave. I waved back with a smile of my own. Afterward she told us that they were pretty nice. The three of us went to McDonald's after an hour or so, where we were sad to realize that they had no internet. We ate and walked further down the street, back towards the college where Chuck had seen an internet shop. It was the kind of place that "gamers" would hang out. They had some specials that we wanted - 4 hours for €5 - but you had to be a member to qualify. I asked how to become a member and if it cost anything. It was free! And all we had to do was give them our names! So we each became members and got our own little card to use whenever we go back. Which will likely be never. The staff there was really nice and got us all set up and we internetted for 4 hours. Well, Chuck and I did a whole 4 hours. Robyn walked around the city for a bit, did some internetting, and read for a good hour. It was a good way to blow 4 hours. We walked back to the bus station after our time was up, stopping at the discount grocery on the way as well as a bakery. The woman behind the counter seemed a bit cold at first but warmed up when Chuck expertly pronounced the name of the chocolate cake that I wanted. Her eyebrows went up and she seemed to sort of actually look at us for the first time. Chuck is very good at reading the Greek! The little ice cream filled canolli-like treat Chuck got was amazing, and my chocolate cake was pretty good too. After a few more hours it was finally time to go. The bus was the sweetest thing we've been on. It was a double-decker and built into the back of each seat was a little TV. They only showed two movies though, over and over: The Mummy III and National Treasure II. We were served tea at the beginning of the trip and I was lucky enough to end up with a dead fly in mine. But all in all, a cool bus.


The bus ride to Delphi from Athens was pretty short - about 3 hours I think. The scenery gradually rolled into dusty green hills which eventually loomed into mountains as we arrived in the town of Delphi. It's an absolutely lovely town! Very quaint and small, built right into the hills. It's definitely a town that uses tourism as a main source of income, but that didn't detract from it's charm. I can imagine it wouldn't be as nice if it were crawling with tourists in high summer, but being the middle of October perhaps there weren't so many people. The view from the balcony of our hotel was great. We looked right down into the valley where there was a flat lake edged round by a decent-sized town. The air had a dusty quality, making the distant view a bit hazy. It was still quite hot and the sun was - as it had proven to be so far in Greece - very intense. Our hotel itself was a really cool place. They seemed to have just gathered up any knick-knacks that caught their fancy and shoved them onto every bureau, table, and counter top they had. There were vases filled with fake flowers, some dotted with splashes of glitter. The walls were hung with Greek replica masks as well as Venetian masks and other 3-D art. They seemed to like candles and had quite a few ones candles scattered about. The reception guy was really friendly and the room was pretty nice. As you can tell, we were quite pleased with the whole area. Oh, don't let me forget about the delicious gummy candies they had at the front desk. Practically every time we left the room we made sure to grab one. After some relaxing and enjoying of our room we decided food was in order. We set out with different goals in mind: Robyn wanted a salad while Chuck and I wanted cheap gyros. It seemed that we weren't going to be finding any place that offered both, so we ended up splitting up. Chuck and I went to a cute "mom and pop" place where we were told to sit and wait after we had ordered our gyros. It's funny how they do that over here - it sounds like it might be rude, but it doesn't actually feel that way. It's more like your Mom telling you to sit and wait for the delicious cookies that are about to come out of the oven, baked with love. While waiting we saw some sort of camera crew strolling down the street, focused on some made-up woman and a jovial looking older man. They passed by and we wondered what they were filming. To our luck, one of the camera-guys came into the restaurant sucking down the last bits of a frappe. We heard him speak English and Chuck asked what they were filming. It was some show called Authentic Food and they were doing a segment on Greece. I've never heard of it, but still, very cool. Through further conversation we discovered that he had gone to Full Sail (a technical school) in Orlando! Gosh, what a small world! That was the only excitement of the night though. We wished him luck, got our food, and met back up with Robyn. The rest of the night was spent in the hotel room.

The hotel breakfast on the 11th was pretty good. Cheese and bread and pastries and cereal. Today was our day to go see the ruins at Delphi, so we packed down the food and got ready for the day. Half of the ruins are really close to the town, while the other half are a few kilometers away. We opted to explore only the closer ones. The ruins are apparently home to a ton of stray cats. They casually hang out on the concrete benches and skulk through the bushes just at the edge of all the human activity. Some were scared of people and ran away if you even look at them, but others were very sweet. One orange teenage-kitty gave us snuggles for a few minutes before we went into the site. It was just our luck that the altar area was closed during our visit due to "technical reasons," whatever those would be at a 2000+ year old ruin. On the bright side, this meant that we got to go in for free. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, eh? Robyn spent her time lingering among a tour group, listening to the history of the ruins while Chuck dashed ahead of us to be the first to the top. This left me somewhere in between, wandering alone through the somewhat suffocating crowd of tourists wondering what all the different bits of stone and foundation were. I met Chuck somewhere near the top on his way back down ad he told me it was all roped off up ahead. I went up anyways and got as good a shot of the altar pillars as I could, but there was really nothing else to see. So I met Chuck back at the entrance where we watched cats until Robyn found us. We wanted to go to the museum but decided against it when we saw the price. Robyn, with her student discount, checked out the museum on her own and Chuck and I wandered back into town. We found a small, delicious looking restaurant that had both gyros and greek salads on the menu. If only we had found it the night before! Not being hungry right then we made note of the place and headed back to the hotel. We had plans to go out later and walk around some more, maybe check out where all the staircases that were scattered aroud the city lead. But once we were back in the cool of the hotel the laziness set in. Chuck and I managed to make it back out for gyros from the place we found earlier and they ended up being to die for. Some of the best gyros we'd had in Greece. That was about the extent of our night. Not a particularly thrilling day, but we got done what we came to Delphi to do.

After breakfast, packing, and checking out we headed down tot he bus stop to wait for the 10:00 bus to Thessaloniki. The ticket office didn't open until five minutes before the bus was due to arrive, but that was okay since the bus was late anyways. Robyn asked him if they had student rates. He asked if she was a student in Greece, and she replied that she was not, showing him her US student ID. He got a bit indignant and basically told her with unnecessary rudeness that one needed to be a Greek student for a discount. I didn't understand what his problem was - that's all he needed to say. "We only have discounts for Greek student." But he was a snotty butt head about it and I ended up stewing for the next 15 minutes over it. But got over it I did, and by then we were on our way to Thessaloniki!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


After a lot of waiting around for trains and buses, we made it to one of the main train stations in Athens. Our hotel was only a 20 minute walk away and we found it pretty easily. I went in and smiled and said hello to the gray haired old man behind the desk. He glanced at me, then looked past me to Chuck who had walked in just behind me. He smiled at Chuck and said "How can I help you. sir?" What??? Seriously?? I didn't think we were supposed to run into this until we were in the Middle East or something. But here I was, being overlooked because I'm a woman. Although I was shocked, I found that I wasn't actually offended. I found his ignoring me in preference for Chuck to be amusing more than anything else. Especially when he had us pay and I whipped out my credit card. And I chuckled to myself when he set the receipt in front of Chuck for the signature and I scooted in to sign it instead. Chuck was getting a kick out of it all too, making jokes as we went to the elevator that we should be walking 6 feet behind him and stuff. Although I found it all amusing, I can imagine how annoying it would be if being ignored in favor of a man was an everyday part of my life. If I grew up in that environment I might not mind so much, but if I up and moved somewhere like that I would get really annoyed really quickly. And he was the only person to really treat us that way as well, so it must not be a widespread behavior in Athens. Might be that he was just an older man stuck in his ways. Anyways! Upstairs in our room we were in another state of shock at our tiny, bare, utilitarian room. But, to Robyn's delight it at least had a bathtub. We settled in, tried to get the very bad internet to work, and eventually got hungry. Chuck and I went out and ate at a place called Goody's - apparently one of Greece's own fast food chains. While out I counted three transvestites that passed us in the streets. One was dressed very nicely and might have been taken for a woman if you weren't paying close attention, while another was in a shiny black mini skirt, fishnet stockings, high heels and a tube top. I didn't realize Athens was such a hotspot for cross-dressers! There might have been a special event going on that night though, who knows.

The 8th was our day to see all the sights of Athens. We headed towards Monastiraki Square first. The walk there was pretty cool. We passed by stores of all kinds, filled to the brim with jewelry, or kitchen supplies, or bags of dried beans and spices, pet shops, clothing stores, etc. There were people all over the place - people who looked like they actually lived in Athens and were out doing some shopping for the day. once we reached the square the area became more touristy and shops turned into souvenir shops. The gimmick being sold in Athens were these squishy balls that were soft enough to collapse into a "splat" when you threw them on the ground, but slowly pulled themselves back together into their round shape after a few moments. I'm not sure I explained that well, but it's the best I can do. So there were guys sitting on street corners all over Athens trying to sell these. We got kebabs for lunch at a place called Thanassis. We had read about it online and was suggested as a good kebab place. It was one of those restaurants where they pimped their food though - you know, they see you just walking by and immediately try to steer you to their tables and offer you deals and say how good their food is. A tourist trap sort of place. The kebabs were alright, but not even in the top 5 best kebabs I've ever had. So, meh. After lunch Robyn guided us down a shopping street, following a walking guide she had printed online. We stopped to share a coconut stick which I liked, but Robyn thought tasted like candle wax. Robyn was like a moth to the flame with the shoe stores we were passing by, and Chuck and I were drawn to a Lego store we saw. I had no idea the Lego kits were so expensive! They had a Taj Mahal for €300 and the Death Star was €550!!! Holy crap!! Who buys that for their kid, just the have them never actually complete it and eat half the pieces??? On the other hand, I wouldn't mind putting together a Lego Taj Mahal... At the end of the shopping street we came to another square that was cross the street from the Parliament building. Robyn read us some interesting facts about the square that I have since forgotten... I think Hitler might have set up camp in the area and there were some protests in the square perhaps? I'm not a very good student, huh. We headed underground into the Metro station to see the artifacts that were uncovered when the Metro was being built. There were various grave sites, an ancient clay aqueduct pipe, bowls and vases, etc. That's some old stuff there: 2500 years old or so. We emerged from the station right in front of the Parliament building. They, like many other countries, have stylized guards marching in front of the building. I have to say, Greece has some of the funnest looking Parliamentary guards. Their outfit consisted of something that looked like a short beige dress over white stockings. They had on a red beret-ish hat with a long black tassel to reached their waist. The best part was the shoes, though. They were like clogs with a big black poof-ball on the toe. Awesome outfit. The way the marched was very unique as well. When the two guards met in the middle they did a little synchronized... dance thing - that's the best way I can describe it - and slowly marched back out to their posts again. We headed through the National Gardens on our way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We got a few pictures with what was left of the ruins and then headed towards the Acropolis. I got yelled at for posing for a goofy picture with a nude male statue. She shouted from her chair "Excuse me! Excuse me! No posing!" I figured she just didn't want me pointing to his privates (come on, who doesn't feel the need for at least one lewd photo with naked Greek statues??), but when I tried to just stand with a smile she continued to have a problem with it. So... Ok then. We moved on. We passed by the Theatre of Dionysus and up to the top of the plateau to the most famous of temples. We passed by the Temple of Athena Nike, went through the Propylea, saw the Erectheion, and walked all around the Parthenon. Like so many of the coolest sights, the Parthenon was surrounded by scaffolding. So friggin disappointing! We did our best to get some good shots, but the scaffolding is just so unattractive. At some point while walking around in the incredible dry heat of Athens-in-September (I can't imagine it in July) I got my first ever nose bleed! It wasn't a big one, but it was my first. How exciting. At some point while walking around in the dry heat I decided I'd better suck it up and put on sun screen, lest I end up a lobster at the end of the day. I hate having to put on sunscreen. The Acropolis - like the rest of Athens - is home to quite a few stray dogs. They're so sad and lethargic that you can't help but want to give them a cuddle. The dirt keeps you from actually touching them, although Chuck had me pour some water into his cupped hands and gave one a little drink. After getting our fill of the busy Acropolis we headed down the hill and came to the Ancient Agora, which was like downtown back in the day. One of the best preserved Greek temples can be found here along with the ruins of old shops, homes, statues, etc. Our walk through the Ancient Agora was short and we were soon on the way back to the hotel, passing by numerous tourist souvenir shops and cafes as we went. The day wasn't over yet though! After a few hours rest we were back on our feet looking for a gyro dinner. We went to the tourist-geared restaurant area and after passing by four-or-so places we found one offering a reasonable €2 gyro. We took a seat and ordered three of the gyros. The waiter gave us one of those "shucky darn" looks and informed us that they had just run out of the €2 size pitas. No to worry though! They still had the large ones! We prodded him for a price. €4. We exchanged glances with each other and decided we would go elsewhere. When we got up the waiter told us that they might have some of the €2 ones left and that he would check. We told him not to bother and walked off. Such a blatant attempt to hustle us! No thanks! We ended up at a place called Savvas (we'd read about it online - it's one of the more popular tourist gyro shops, but they had the best price we could find). The gyros ended up being pretty decent and the french fries were awesome. Robyn and I ordered a glass of Ouzo and kept secretly refilling it with a little bottle she had bought earlier in the day. Subtley scoping the area to make sure there were no waiters around, we would hide the glass under the table and top it off. The never-ending Ouzo. I don't think the waiters would have cared if they had seen us though. After dinner we took a stroll in the dark to the Ancient Agroa again and found that it is home to a whole family of stray cats. We played with the cats and listened to some traditional-sounding Greek music being played and sung by a random trio that had stopped near us. After our fill of music and kitties we stopped off for a quick baklava and went back to the hotel for bed. Long day!

The 9th was a boring day. The most exciting part for Chuck and me was going out to a no-name place for gyros. We read online that small no-name diners usually have the best gyros, and it turned out to be true. That was the best gyro we had in Athens, in my opinion. Chuck and I wandered back to hotel stopping for Baklava and cookies and looking in pet shops along the way. Oh, we also stepped into a meat market. There were three warehouse-sized rooms; two filled with beef, chicken, lamb and pork, and the other room was filled with fish and anything that lived in the water. It was incredible! Everything was laid out so neatly and cleanly. It wasn't just a mess of meat thrown on display. The stands were small, some seeming to hold the products of just one lamb or cow. And the fish was so fresh! They had large carcasses - maybe 1 foot in diameter - of what I assume was tuna. When someone wanted tune steaks they would slice a piece off. Robyn went off on her own to do some shopping. She came back a few hours later with a few new fun articles of clothing to find us being lazy in the hotel. Dinner was boring, blah blah. All in all, a very laid-back day!

The next morning we did our pack-and-check-out routine. I had previously looked up how to get us to the bus station that leaves for Delphi and we all trudged down to the metro. It wasn't until after we bought our tickets that we discovered that the line we needed to take was out-of-order that day. Just our luck! The metro information man was less than helpful with his vague indication of some bus stop and mumbled bus numbers. We wandered back upstairs, into the bright sunshine and peered around for possible bus pick-ups. We finally found a steady stream of buses to the east and tried asking the driver of one how to get where we wanted to go. He rattled off a few bus numbers, but we were still quite confused. Eventually we resorted to taxis. It took about four tires, but we finally found a driver who knew where we wanted to go. Phew! We ended up at the bus station only €5 poorer (a great price in our opinion) and a great sense of relief. We got our tickets to Delphi and proceeded to wait around. Chuck went exploring a bit a found a gyro shop nearby. We all agreed he should grab us three kebabs for the road. When he still wasn't back 20 minutes later I started feeling worried. I got up and tried to figure out which direction he went and where his gyro shop was. I didn't find him. It was getting closer to leaving time and he still wasn't back. I was getting even more worried. He had probably only been gone 30 or 40 minutes, but it wasn't like him to still be gone when the bus was leaving in 10 minutes. I anxiously looked up at every person who came through the doorway, but none of them were Chuck. I don't know why I got so worried, but I couldn't seem to help it. Robyn could see me trying not to freak out so she went looking for him in my place. I sat there trying to keep my mind blank and control my breathing. I felt so silly. I just knew he was going to be walking through the station at any second. I had stopped looking up at each passer-by at this point. I was just trying keep myself calm. Of course, he came striding up and sat dawn next to me, giving me a big hug. Robyn had found him and told him I was losing it and he came back to reassure me. Man, I felt stupid! But I was soooo relieved to see he was alright!! I really really dislike that feeling... I can't imagine having kids!! I would be freaking out at everything apparently. Robyn, who had stayed at the gryo shop to pay for the order (it had just taken the place forever to get the food ready apparently - that's what took Chuck so long), showed up a few minutes later and we all hopped on the bus just as it was about to leave. So everything turned out fine in the end, despite my overactive imagination! And thanks to Robyn. My mind wasn't functioning well enough to be rational while my heart was in a giant knot. And I have to admit - the kebabs ended up being pretty darn good.


Our ferry left Corfu for Patras 45 minutes late. The ride was pretty nice since we got to walk around and there were tables to sit at. If only we could travel by ferry everywhere. Since we left late, we were worried about missing our bus. Once it was time to disembark we started getting agitated about this. We rushed out of the port area and asked a lazy police officer which way to the buses. We hurried in the direction he pointed and finally arrived at the station to be told that the bus just left. Gah! We haggled with a taxi-driver who agreed to take us to our hotel which was in Selianitika for €35. That was an interesting trip! You know how people will say "Geeze, he drives like he's on a race track," and that normally means he drives really fast. Well this guy literally drove like he was on a race track. He ignored lane lines, including the yellow line that divides the road into it's opposite directions. When he accelerated we were all pushed back into our seats and he threw his car around the winding curves of the road. After 10 minutes in the car I was holding onto Chuck's hand for dear life! It was kinda fun in retrospect though. And he got us there safe and sound, surprisingly. Chuck and I were hungry so we went out and found the only restaurant that was still open and ordered souvlaki pitas. The owner was a tall man who looked like he could be a Texan in my opinion. He had one of those mustaches whose ends fall in a straight line along the edge of the mouth to meet with a tuft of beard on the chin. He was really friendly too. When we accidentally gave him €4 for our food instead of the €4.50 it actually cost he told us "It's ok, you can give it to me another time." We did pay him right then, but he was willing to let us walk away without paying the total! How nice.

We woke up in time for some breakfast downstairs which was, eh, okay. By 11:00 we were at the bus station waiting for the bus to Aegio. We waited almost an hour before it showed up. We tried to buy tickets from the driver but he spoke no English and eventually just waved us through to have a seat. He stopped at a roadside kiosk two minutes down the road and motioned for some money from us. He then hopped off the bus and actually bought us three tickets! I felt rather sheepish and guilty that he stopped to buy our tickets for us, but we didn't know that you couldn't buy them on the bus. Some places you can, some places you can't. We were very grateful that he was nice about it though. From Aegio we found the main bus station and caught the bus to Diakopto, our final stop. The plan was to take a scenic train ride up to Kalavryta and back. Since the train didn't leave for another hour or so we found lunch while we waited. It was pretty good - like a bacon, ham, cheese, and french fry pannini. The train ride was indeed beautiful, but not worth €19 a person. There was a distinct Splash Mountain (you know, the Disney World ride) feel to it. The mountains were massive red and tan rocks covered with pointy pine trees and scrubby brush. Below the rickety tracks was a lovely river that ran in little waterfalls over tiny cliffs and bubbled through piles of rocks. The river had me captivated the whole ride up - it looked so clear and inviting. I wanted to go play in it. At the top, in Kalavryta we got off the train for a 10 minute break. The ride back was still scenic, but I chose to read my book instead: Dan Brown's Deception Point. I thought his characters were rather flat and boring (although they had potential). The story itself was exciting, but felt like just a Hollywood script in book form. Entertaining but nothing great. Just in case you wee interested. Back at Diakopto we caught a train to Selianitika instead of going by bus. Did I mention how the train stations around here are different than most of the rest of Europe? Usually they have stern warnings about walking across the tracks and they build underground tunnels or overpasses to get across them. In Diakopto and Selianitika they don't care about that. The only way to get across the tracks is to just walk over them. I suppose they figure most people are smart enough to be able to cross the tracks without being hit all on their own. When we get off at Selianitika (which really has no actual station) we find goats on the train tracks. Their just grazing away and when they see us they stare at us with their goat eyes. For some reason goat stares are... creepy. At first I was all "Oh goats! Cool!" I figured since they were tethered I could just jump out of range if they got feisty. But as I approached them at they stared their goat-stare at me I chickened out. Creepy goats. Back at the hotel we were hungry so went to the place Chuck and I had gotten souvlakis the night before for dinner. Robyn ordered a Greek drink called Ouzo. It is an anise flavored liquor, and is pretty strong - about 40% alcohol. It's a neat drink though. If you go to the store and buy a bottle it's clear. Once you pour it into a glass of ice it turns cloudy. I looked this up and it turns out that there's a little chemical reaction that occurs call spontaneous emulsification. It occurs in many anise-flavored drinks and when the alcohol hits water it turns cloudy! Like a magic trick!

On the 6th we had breakfast at the hotel again, and I discovered the joys of Greek yogurt and honey. I'd never thought of this before and only tried it because I saw someone else do it. It's very good! I don't know how it would taste if you used non-Greek yogurt (whatever that's called). Greek yogurt has a thickness to it that blends well with the silkiness of the honey. So that was a nice discovery. Robyn ended up going to the beach (Selianitika is right on the coast) while Chuck and I hung around the hotel a bit longer. Our room looked right out across the water and the sun shone brightly on our balcony in the early morning, so I sat out there for a bit, enjoying the heat. We eventually got up and headed out for a walk. We found Robyn lying on the beach reading her book and stopped to harass her and skip stones for a bit. Chuck is pretty good at it - some of his skipped 7 or 8 times. I can only get little stones to skip twice. If I try to throw any harder for more skips, it ends up plopping into the water with no skips. We walked some more and eventually ended up back at the hotel. At some point we went and got some lunch. While sitting there looking out at the water (pretty much all the restaurants are on the water), I saw a blobby mass bobbing along. It turned out to be a big jellyfish, about one foot across. After we ate I checked on him again and found he had floated right up to the shore and was just brushing up against the rocks there, quite dead as far as I could tell. He looked like a dark pink brain covered in a thick layer of goo with a bunch of purple-y tassels hanging underneath him. Lovely. That was about the extent of our day - very laid back. I enjoy days like that.

On the 7th we ate our breakfast (yogurt and honey for me), packed, and checked out. We headed to the bus stop to catch the bus to Aegio, and this time we were sure to buy tickets beforehand at a corner shop. In Aegio we walked to the train station, which was quite run-down, and bought our tickets to Athens. Then we waited for 4 hours. When our train finally arrived it took us 10 minutes down the road to Diakopto where we were supposed to catch a bus. We could have walked that 10 minutes in our 4 hours of waiting! It all seemed a bit ridiculous, but whatever. From Diakopto we took a bus to Aegio and from there a train to Athens.