This entire post will be giving you a play by play of my trip to Greece with Nicole. Let me start off by saying that this trip was awful, seriously no exaggeration is needed. I just thought I would include that minor detail so you wouldn't notice a trend in my writing. I did in fact not have a good time in Greece. Now that we have that established, here goes nothing.
Sunday April 5: Nicole and I woke up around 6:30 AM. We had a taxi coming at around 7:15 am to take us to the bus station for our 8 am bus to London Victoria Coach Station. I am not a morning person at all, if you know me at all you know this. It was sweet though, Nicole brought me breakfast in bed :) which included scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of toast, coffee, and orange juice. She's such a thoughtful person! We made our bus without any problems, but then came the long and boring task of sitting on a bus for 6 hours. Shoot me. There were 2 crying babies and a guy basically yelling into his cell phone in another language. Needless to say Nicole and I were not amused. We FINALLY arrived in London at about 2 pm and we hurried over to the Victoria Tube Station. Well, we first made a pit stop to the loo and to Subway. We caught the Victoria line all the way down to the end of the line where we got picked up by a guy called Joey. Alright let me see if I can explain who Joey is in simplest terms. Whenever I go out of town or leave the house for an extended amount of time Nicole moves out and stays with a woman from her church called Mandy. Mandy has 2 daughters, Lucy and Katy. Joey is Lucy's boyfriend! Make sense? Haha, I hope so. Anyways, Joey picked us up because Nicole and I were staying with him for the night. Joey actually lives in Essex which is right outside of London. He picked us up then we stopped by Sainsbury's (grocery store) so he could pick up some food for dinner. We went to his house and hung out for a while. Get this, he lives with about 8 other people! I think I would go mad. At around 6 pm or so Joey went and picked up Lucy (his girlfriend) up from work and we all just hung out for the rest of the night.
Monday April 6: Nicole and I woke up around 9 am or so to a freezing house! Mind you I think most everything is cold in England, so pay no attention to me. We both got ready and folded the sheets and blankets that we used to sleep on. Lucy came downstairs at around 10 am or so and made toast for the 4 of us, how nice. Nicole and I set off for the tube station at about 11 am so we would get to the airport in plenty of time. So, I was not aware that you can take the Underground to London Heathrow. I've always taken the tube to Paddington Station and then from there caught the Heathrow Express, but I guess you learn something new every single day huh? Well, we got there in plenty of time, we had no problem checking in or going through security so that was good. We caught our flight out of Heathrow to Athens at 4:30 pm. The flight only took about 3 hours, but when we arrived in Athens it was already 10 pm (Greece is 2 hours ahead of England). We went through customs (easiest thing of my life) and got our bags. We went to a bureau de change so Nicole could exchange some American dollars she received for her birthday. I then proceeded to go from ATM to ATM to try to find one that would accept my American credit card. Not going to lie I went into panic mode a few times, but Nicole was quick to calm me down. I FINALLY found one that worked! Pireaus Bank, I am forever in debt to you. Not long after we arrived we were informed that the tube station was being worked on from the airport, so we were going to have to take a bus to get to where we needed to go. This made me nervous seeing as I just started to conquer public transport in England, but conquering it in another country that doesn't speak English is a whole other story! We managed just fine though. We took the bus to Syntagma Square (main square) and then we caught the metro one stop over to Monastiraki Station. We walked about 2 blocks and we were at our new home for the next 5 days, Zeus Hostel. We arrived at about midnight and the lobby was filled with people when we walked inside. I checked in and paid what we owed and we were directed upstairs to Room 24. We opened the door and were literally in shock. First of all I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of lime green paint on the walls. I mean wow. The 70's called, and they want their paint back. There was one double bed, 2 blankets, 1 sink, 1 wardrobe with the handles missing), 2 tables, and 1 chair. Nicole has a picture of this beautiful room. We had to just laugh though, because I mean we weren't paying all that much. Hello to the world of hostels! At about 2 am Nicole and I attempted to go to sleep. It was a challenge though because apparently our hostel wanted to party and it was FREEZING! Nicole and I actually had to cuddle, which is just huge for me. I'm normally a "you stay on your side and I'll stay on mine" kind of person. But, eventually we drifted to sleep.
Tuesday April 7: Had to wake-up at 6:45 am because we were going on a tour of Athens. We got up and got ready pretty quickly. Had to take the metro over one station and then we walked about a block to the Amelie Hotel (where we were getting picked up for the tour). The tour started at 8:30 am and we visited: Temple of Zeus, Olympic Stadium, and the Acropolis. We also drove by the National Library, Culture Center, and the University of Athens on the tour. It was really neat getting to see the Acropolis. Nicole and I broke off for the tour at the Acropolis because we wanted to explore the Plaka. Coolest thing ever: we spent some time at the Aeropagus (where Paul preached when he was in Athens). Ah, it was so cool! We were like where Paul preached! We took some time and read Acts 17. It was truly the highlight of my trip, hands down. We stopped for lunch at a place called Everest which proved to be a frustrating experience. I don't think I've ever realized how frustrating language barrier really can be. Silly me. I had a ham and cheese calzone, as did Nicole. After we ate we went and booked our ferry to Mykonos, our next stop. We ventured over to the National Gardens and walked around here a little bit. This is probably one of my favorite places in Athens, it's so beautiful. Kind of like a Central Park or Hyde Park in the middle of Athens, so blissful. We were both so tired from waking up so early, so we made our way back over to the hostel to take a nap. After we woke up we went and found a Costa Coffee, which was like a piece of England in Athens which was a little comforting. Not too much to report, we returned to the hostel at about 8:30 pm and called it a evening.
Wednesday April 8: Woke up at about 10:30 am, which was amazing. We walked down to this place called Coco Cafe and got a croissant for about 1 euro. Amazing? I think so. After we ate we went back to the National Gardens to read our books, Breaking Dawn for me and Screwtape Letters for Nicole. It was so nice just to sit and read in God's glory. Nicole found this place for us to get lunch from, this cute little salad place. It was delicious. I came up with the brilliant idea to take the metro to Pireaus (the harbor) because I thought maybe there would be something to do there, yeah there wasn't. We spent all of about fifteen minutes there before returning to the hostel. We hung out in the lobby for a while and we met 2 Aussies, another one was there but we had already met him. There names were: Steve, Ricki (girl), and Jen. We decided to all go to dinner together, I actually had some legit Greek cusine. I had chicken gyros, which was good at the time but it later backfired on me. Haha. After dinner we came back to the hostel and just hung out with a lot of English speaking people there.
Thursday April 9: Woke up at about 10:30 for the second day in a row. This was such a lazy day for me. Nicole was sweet enough to go out and get breakfast for the two of us. I ate, showered, and went downstairs to get on a computer so I could check my email and facebook, of course. We ate another salad for lunch from our favorite little cafe. I then proceeded to nap and read for a little bit while Nicole went out with one of our Aussie friends. That night for dinner we went to eat with our Aussie friends again at a place called Ice Grill. After dinner the five of us went to the top of Lycabettus Hill (tallest point in Athens) and it was really pretty and cool to see, even if I'm slightly afraid of heights. Later we just went back to the hostel and packed since we were all catching an early ferry the next morning to Mykonos.
Friday April 10: Unfortunately had to wake up at 5:30 am. We got everything together, and said good-bye to the Zeus Hostel! The five of us took the metro down to Pireaus (where our ferry was leaving from). The ferry wasn't so awful, although there was this Greek football team aboard and they were playing the drums and singing for about three hours non-stop. Thank goodness for my iPod. We were sitting out on the deck, which really was nice apart from all of the smoke. I'm not kidding, I seriously think I acquired black lung disease from that ferry ride. We arrived in Mykonos (one of the Greek isles) at about 1 pm and we were met by a shuttle bus that was going to take us to Paradise Beach Resort. We all checked in and walked around to get a feel for the resort. It was pretty dead, and not the nicest but given we were there during low season. Nicole and I decided to take advantage of the good weather, so we went and laid out on the beach. I forgot that I'm so ADHD when it comes to laying out. Actually, lets face it I'm just actually ADHD in general. So, I only properly laid out for about an hour and a half then I started to get bored. Haha. Ew ew ew ew, I have to add that some people took the liberty of walking around nude! My eyes were burning at points. Never again. I've learned that I will never be interested in going to a nude beach, just not my thing. For the third night in a row Nicole and I ate dinner with our Aussie friends. We ate at this cute little family owned restaurant. Nicole and I both had spaghetti carbonara and it was delicious! After dinner we all came back and used Paradise Beach's luxurious showers. After showers Nicole and I made our way back to our "beach cabins" and went to sleep.
Saturday April 11: Nicole and I woke up around 10 am after a freezing cold night! We went and got our complimentary breakfast which consisted of: a piece of bread, croissant, orange juice, and coffee. Coley and I went and got ready and rented a 4-wheeler for the day! Yay! Haha, I let Nicole drive. We rode into Mykonos town and spent our day booking plane tickets back to England, exchanging ferry tickets, and canceling reservations at our other hostels. It was exhausting, but we were both relieved that we would be home the next day. We were both getting sick and we just needed to be home. We came back to the resort at about 4 pm, had a early dinner and went to bed.
Sunday April 12: Happy Easter! Woke up at 9:30 am, got dressed, and went and ate breakfast with our Aussie buddies. Made our way back to our beach cabin and did some last minute packing. We said bye to our Aussie friends, checked out, and caught a shuttle to New Port. Our ferry to Rafina (near Athens) was at about 1 pm and we weren't expecting to arrive in Rafina till about 6 pm, but we were so surprised when we got there at 4 pm! I guess our ferry isn't called the Highspeed 2 for nothing. We caught a bus to Athens International Airport where we had to wait in the airport for about 4+ hours, but I don't think either of us cared all that much. We caught a plane to London Luton Airport! We got into London at about 11 pm and we stayed the night at Holiday Inn Express.
Monday April 13: Woke up at 8 am, I showered, we got our stuff together for the last time, and we went downstairs and had our complimentary breakfast. We walked back to the airport where we caught a bus to central London. We walked to London Victoria Coach Station and we bought tickets to get us back home in the Northeast. After a very long bus ride we finally got home at about 9 pm or so! I was so happy to be home :)
Well, that's my trip to Greece in a nutshell!