Tag Archives: female

Mykonos – cruising, eating, relaxing and pampering

26th June 2012

Maybe no-one is taking any notice but I seem to have my days out of whack somehow. I know that what I’m writing about today definitely happened on the 26th – not that I’m obsessing about it or anything, much.

Anyhow, after a few early mornings it was nice to have a sleep-in today, neither of us stirred until about 8:30. The buffet breakfast was astounding, it all looked delicious and the variety was huge.

Twinkling lights of Mykonos by night

Twinkling lights of Mykonos by night

We had booked a cruise that left from Platis Gialos (i think) at twelve – missed the bus and all the cabs were busy!! The girls on reception were lovely and eventually got a cab for us but when we arrived at the beach we realized we’d left the cruise tickets back at the hotel. Neither of us had a clue what the tour operator’s name was or even the name of the boat. Eventually we found the right one, after a few offers from other tour operators, just in time though, think they were almost ready to leave without us.

Blue, blue water around Mykonos

Blue, blue water around Mykonos

There were only about a dozen people on the cruise but there were a few who were good people watching value, they gave the rest of us something in common to talk about if nothing else!!

Shipwreck through glass bottom boat - Mykonos

Shipwreck through glass bottom boat – Mykonos

One middle-aged Italian couple strutted around like they were god’s gift to everyone – he probably wasn’t just too bad but the woman was a real piece of work. Looked like she’d had lip fattening gone wrong and wore her bikini top with the neck strings tied around her body instead of around her neck so everyone was copping an eyeful of her nipples all day – not cool at all. Then there were a couple of guys who had eyes only for each other – they preened all day and I kid you not, if they rubbed sunscreen on each other once they must have done it ten times.

One of the quiet parts of Mykonos

One of the quiet parts of Mykonos

The rest of the passengers were nice and fun to talk to, more Italians, some Brits and a couple of sisters who were Argentinian although one lives in London. We stopped a couple of times to swim, had a yummy bbq lunch and a couple of wines, saw quite a bit of the coastline of Mykonos and soaked up the beautiful weather.Even though it was after 5 when we docked it felt like we still had a whole day left to do more. We had a swim and sunbathe back at the hotel and had more treatments at the day-spa before we even went for dinner. The Thalasso Spa Centre is just gorgeous. During our stay we had pedicures, massages and enjoyed the Thalassotherapy pools. There are five pools in one big room, each pool is a different temperature and salinity and contains different minerals or oils. It was great, wonderfully relaxing.

The days are just so long, they never seem to end and it’s soooooooooooo much fun.

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All aboard the bus around Athens

25th June 2012

View from dining room, Astor Hotel, Athens

View from dining room, Astor Hotel, Athens

I thought the view from the rooftop of La Palma in Stressa was impressive but this morning I found another view just as jaw dropping. The dining room is on the top floor of the hotel and when the lift doors opened I’m afraid some very “ocker” language slipped out – the view was astounding. The Acropolis was just there in front of us – well, actually it was probably a few kilometres distant but it took my breath away. I couldn’t stop looking at it and marveling that today I was going to see another of those places I’ve been reading and dreaming about for years and years.

We had a huge day around Athens on the hop on hop off buses. First stop was the Acropolis for a few hours – I was just so happy to be there. I feel inadequate that I don’t have the words to express how I feel when visiting places like this but to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks and to see and touch the stones they carved thousands of years ago is truly a dream come true for me. Sharing it with Sarah is a nice change because even though I’ve been with a tour most of the last month I’ve usually taken in the big sights on my own. We took miles of photos, probably none that haven’t been captured millions of times before but we had a great time. A few people also took pity on us trying to take “selfies” – we must look like a pair of dills at times because we usually laugh hilariously at our results. I have to tell you the freshly made lemonade at the kiosk outside the site was most welcome after wandering around out in the sun and is easily as good as the Italian version at Pompeii.

Great spot for lunch in Athens

Great spot for lunch in Athens

We made good use of the buses, visited more of the ancient sites and found a lovely little shady street full of cafe’s and shops for a yummy lunch and window shopping. After lunch we boarded the bus again and took in the sights down around the port then late in the afternoon made our way back to the markets we’d seen earlier in the day. By the time we got there most of them had packed up so we sat and had a wine and more food because of course we had to keep up our energy.

Markets in Athens

Markets in Athens

Then just because it was meant to be we found a few market stalls still trading as we made our way back to catch the bus. Sarah bought a couple of cute old ornaments and I bought a few old postcards and photographs of Athens. They are little treasures, one was posted to Paris on 13/4/36 while another shows the Parthenon and is dated 28/12/52 – not worth much really but great reminders of a fantastic day.

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Athens

24th June 2012

Due to my new-found love of a glass on wine at just about any time of the day or night we had a nice cold glass of white in the bar before heading out for a quick walk. We spent most of the time catching up on each other’s news but took quite a few photos as well. We are staying pretty much in the heart of the city, quite close to Syntagma Square and the Parliament.
We saw some really sad sights this arvo, lots of abandoned and graffitied buildings as well as quite a few beggars. I’m not sure if it’s worse here than other parts of the city but it certainly feels quite depressed. There wasn’t much in the way of restaurants open so we resorted to a Pizza Hut for an early dinner with a carafe of sangria. Sarah enjoyed the sangria but it wasn’t really my cup of tea although you never know if you don’t try do you?
Don’t quite know why but it took a bit of work to find our way back to the hotel – probably talking too much and not looking where we were going. Between Sarah’s phone and our somewhat dodgy sense of direction we found our way back to familiar territory. Another lesson learned though – we should always have a map of some sort! Sarah was astounded that it was still light at nine at night, that’s us Queenslanders for you, no idea what daylight saving is like at all.

 

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I’m off to see the islands, the wonderful islands of Greece!!

23rd June 2012

I said good-bye to Italy today, hopefully not for good but just for a while and started another leg of my journey, to Athens this time. I got myself to the airport, through check-in and immigration and boarded the plane without any dramas. There were just a few butterflies worrying whether I would know where to go and what to do but it was quite easy really.

Can you tell I'm in Greece?

Can you tell I’m in Greece?

I had originally planned to leave Rome a couple of days ago but changed my plans so had contacted the travel company and changed the day of my airport to city transfer in Athens to today. As luck would have it my daughter, Sarah, arrived at the airport about 40 minutes before me and not knowing I had changed plans she convinced the driver he was only collecting one person not two as he thought- so she took my car!!!

I must have spent 20 minutes reading  and re-reading the transfer drivers signs hoping to find the one with my name, it didn’t matter how many times I looked none of them magically changed. I still had the Italian sim in my phone so couldn’t use that and couldn’t find anywhere to buy a Greek one either. I found a place to make phone calls but the travel company didn’t answer and neither did Sarah. They really were minor problems but I was wandering around the airport like a lost sheep for a while. Eventually common sense kicked in and I just caught a cab. Luckily I had the name and address of the hotel written down so could just show the driver, he didn’t have much English and my Greek is non-existent. That’s the second time now I’ve unexpectedly had to find my from an airport to hotel, something to think about in future I feel.

Don't judge a book by it's cover?

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?

I was a bit worried when he pulled up, I couldn’t see the hotel sign,  there were rubbish bags piled on the street corners and it all looked a bit dodgie but the cabbie kept pointing just over the road and nodding so I figured I’d better get out before he kicked me out. Anyhow the hotel was just diagonally across the road and Sarah happened to be in the foyer when I walked in so yay me again – I got from Rome to Athens!! Sometimes I think we’d be better off without mobiles, maybe we’d  think things through instead of just having a knee-jerk reaction and reaching  for the phone to yell for help whenever things don’t go exactly to plan. Then again, my phone does give me a sense of security so maybe I just need to  think instead of hitting the panic button. Yeah, that’d probably be a better plan.

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