A Travellerspoint blog

Athens - Monday, 22 September 2014

sunny 31 °C

Sunny and 31 degrees.

I had a great sleep last night, from midnight until 8am, probably because we closed our balcony doors to keep the noise out and had the fan going on low.  I also took a Polaramine antihistimine tablet to help with this allergy on my face, and they tend to make me drowzy.  The sore muscle in my backside is still giving me trouble.  I wish it would just go away because I don't know what will fix it, short of a massage from my physio in Canberra!  The anti inflamatory tablets don't seem to be doing much good.  I am falling apart!

But the good news is that the allergy on my face seems to be going down slowly, so that's good.

Phil and I went for a walk around Halandri this morning, just to kill some time before we went into the city and to try to change some Australian dollars into Euros.  Both banks wouldn't change the money as they said we had to have an account with the bank first, then deposit the money, and then we could withdraw it within two days.  However, they told us there were money changing facilities at the airport and Syntagma Square, so we decided to do it when we went into town.

Phil bought a small camera for Makis' bithday tomorrow that he can put on his computer and then we will be able to Skype each other when we go back to Australia.

We caught the bus at Halandri and after about 15 minutes hopped off at the Metro where Makis was waiting.


We all got on the train and headed off for Syntagma Square.


We were wandering around like tourists, taking photos and I noticed four young Greek girls taking photos too.  We strolled slowly along the streets, taking photos and looking in shops, sometimes on quite deserted streets, and I noticed that the girls were following along too.


We came to the tinest little church that was constructed in the 12th century.  It was tiny inside but had some lovely icons on the walls.  I went inside and immediately the girls came in too, squashing up against me and I felt a thump on my backpack, twice.  I went to leave and one of them was blocking the door and wouldn't get out of my way, so I pushed past her to get outside.  All the while, I was wearing my handbag as a back pack.

We continued on slowly down the street and they were there too.  By this time, I was becoming a bit suspicious, so I told Annetta that I thought they were trying to pickpocket us and told her why I thought that.  We went into a couple of icon shops, looking at icons, and when we came out, Annetta just stared at the girls, and they turned around and went the other way.  They knew we were on to them.

The next icon shop we went into, I took my bag off my back to get my glasses out, and I noticed it was unzipped!  On reflection, I think they must have done that when they squashed against me in the tiny church and were waiting to get close again, to grab my purse.  Nothing was missing, thank goodness!  What a lucky escape I had.  They looked like normal young Greek girls, dressed in modern clothing and taking photos as well.  Nothing suspicious about them, but every time I looked around, they were there.  It pays to be aware.


The church where the offence took place.

We wandered the Plaka for a while.  It was quite warm so we stopped for a drink at this nice place.  The waitress was so sour, I thought her face would crack if she smiled.


We wandered on some more and by this time it's about 4pm, so we decided to have a light snack, so that we could have dinner later tonight, and not miss out like last night.  Phil, Makis and Annetta all had a toasted sandwich and I just had a juice.  I am eating too much and will save up for tonight's dinner in Halandri.


Makis went home and will come to Halandri later for dinner.  Phil, Annetta and I caught the metro all the way to Halandri, and then the bus to her home.  It is now about 6.45 pm.

Just looking in my bag for something and realised that those little witches DID steal something from my bag!  I had a light, flimsy cardigan stuffed in top of my bag, just in case I needed protection from the sun. They pinched that and were trying to go in for the kill - my purse!  Oh well, at least they didn't get that, but my favourite top saved the day.  This is the first thing I have ever had stolen!

Makis came to Halandri at about 9pm and we walked down to the pizza restaurant for dinner.  We were the only ones in there, but I am getting the feeling that people are eating at a more normal hour these days.  Anyway, the pizza was nice.  The base was quite unusual, a bit like crunchy bread rather than the normal pizza base, but nice nevertheless.  They gave us some bruschetta before our pizza and a small bowl of pannacotta after the meal for free.  Another couple came in after us.

We walked home, Makis went back to his place and we went to sleep about 12.30 am.

Posted by gaddingabout 23:56 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Athens - Tuesday, 23 September 2014

sunny 33 °C

Sunny and 33 degrees.

Had another good night's sleep but the pain in my backside is still there and moving to my lower back!  The alergic rash on my face is slowly getting better.

Annetta went to the doctor this morning to get repeat prescriptions, so Phil and I went for a walk around Halandri.  I called into the chemist and found a very helpful pharmacist who helped me buy some more Nurofen and some non drowzy anti histimine tablets.  I took Phil to The Bakers, a lovely food shop over the road from Annetta's place.  He thought he had died and gone to heaven!  They have every delicious food thing in there - sweet and savoury and we bought a couple of ham and philly cheese rings for a snack for us before we went into town.


We caught the bus and the metro into the city and met up with Makis.  It's his 74th birthday today.  It is quite hot but breezy and we strolled slowly through a park to the Byzantine Museum.  It was a lovely museum, well set out and many, many Icons.  I think I was in heaven, but am now all "iconed out"!  The museum shop was of a very high quality and sold lots of books and some jewellery and a few icons, but as they were 630 Euros each, I decided not to purchase one!



We had a coffee and a snack at the museum and then Makis went home and we came back to Halandri for a siesta, and Makis will join us later tonight for his birthday dinner.


No pickpocketting incidents today.  With all the travelling we have done, I feel I have been lucky so far, not to have been robbed, but oh! I miss my little white cardigan!

Had a little catnap, while trying to finish reading Book 3 in the Trilogy of The Bronze Horseman.

Agi and Makis arrived and at about 9.30 pm we walked up the road to a restaurant for Makis' birthday dinner.  There was a complimentary glass of Retsina on the table for each of us.  It was awful.  I didn't drink mine.  Makis ordered so much food and most of it was pretty nice, but I didn't eat the egg plant ones, because I don't like egg plant.  There were a lot of people eating in the restaurant and we finally got home at about midnight.  Agi and Makis caught a taxi home and I finally got into bed at about 12.30 pm and read until 1 pm.  Almost at the end of my book.

Posted by gaddingabout 23:30 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Singapore to Sydney - Thursday, 9 October 2014

semi-overcast 21 °C

Up at 3am for our 7.05am flight to Sydney. We were in bed and asleep by 10pm and woke up at 1.30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so we'll be exhausted by the time we get to Sydney.

The guys at the front desk of our hotel assured us that we wouldn't have any trouble getting a taxi at 4 in the morning. Well, what would they know? The street was bare and Phil had to go to the main intersection to flag one down. Arrived at Changi Airport at about 4.15am and had to wait for the check in desk to open at 4.30. We were the first to check in and then went to the Customs Refund Centre to collect some money back on our purchases of the tablet and the camera. We were given $77 which is better in our pocket than theirs.

Now having breakfast in the Singapore Airlines Gold Krys Lounge before boarding in about an hour's time.


The flight to Sydney took 7 hrs 15 mins and it was pretty smooth. It was a full plane and as we boarded there was a woman sitting in the centre section, crying. She was probably in her fifties, but I'm not real good at judging ages. Anyway, turns out she was Swiss, coming to Australia for a conference and hadn't been on a plane since 1990. Her travel agent promised her that she would have a window seat and when she didn't, she started to cry! Give me a break! Anyway, the airline staff asked the people in the row in front of us if they would all move around to accommodate her and they did.

Salt lakes, somewhere around the Western Australia/South Australia border.


I love a sunburnt country ...


We're baaaaaaaaaaaack - nice welcome home.


Booked into Rydges Airport hotel, collected our hire car keys and went back to the Dank Street Cafe at the airport for dinner. We both had fish and chips and salad. It was lovely. Great to be eating the food we know and love! Don't get me wrong - travel is all about eating different things and meeting different people and experiencing new sensations, but it is also nice to be back in the country where we can speak and understand the language!


Posted by gaddingabout 03:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Athens - Wednesday, 24 September 2014

semi-overcast 27 °C

Semi overcast - 27 degrees.

I had a bad night with the sore muscle in my bottom.  It seems to be moving to my centre lower back.  I didn't take any pain killers and by the time I thought I should, it was too late as you are supposed to take them with food.

Up and showered and finished breakfast by 9am.  Phil and I went for a walk while Annetta was just rising.  Then we went back out with her to buy nails and screws so Phil could fix her table.  We are having an "at home" day today so hopefully the rest will help my back.  My allergic reaction skin rash is so much better today.

Went to The Bakers and bought some lovely rolls for lunch, same as yesterday.  We love them!



Slept most of the afternoon.  We are turning into Greeks!  We watched a Greek movie that Phil had taped for Annetta and Makis and by the time it was over, we just had time to get dressed for dinner and Makis arrived.  He brought some photos with him that he had meant to post to us by hadn't.  They were from our time in Prague and when they came to lunch with us on the Scenic Ruby.  Makis also brought the lottery results.  We didn't win anything.

We went to a restaurant in Halandri for dinner and were ordering by 10 pm.  The hours these Greeks keep!

Home in bed by midnight after a very lazy day.

Posted by gaddingabout 05:31 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Singapore - Wednesday, 8 October 2014

overcast 33 °C

Last day in Singapore today. We both had a better sleep last night though Phil woke up in the early morning. He had a couple of things on his mind - whether to buy a small tablet like mine or a new camera, same brand as his current camera, a Lumix, but with South America/Antarctica in mind, one with more pixels and heaps and heaps more zoom. The camera won and we went shopping for it at Harvey Norman (of all places) in the Hunan Centre. The zoom is amazing.

We came back to the hotel and caught a taxi to the Gardens on the Bay which is a huge area with fabulous gardens and a Cloud Garden inside a huge building with a waterfall and lots and lots of ferns and orchids. It was stunning. I have always wanted to go there and glad we made the effort.



This was really scary. We were right at the top of the dome, walking on suspended pathways. My stomach was doing backflips when I looked over the side!


A water fall from both sides.



It is quite hot and humid but the Indonesian smoke is stopping the sun from beaming down so it's quite bearable.

We walked quite a long way to the restaurant area where we had chicken satays and humus for lunch and then back to the main area to visit the Cloud Garden.


This is how the workers clean the windows of the dome!


Phil is having slight tummy troubles and keeps finding the loos.

Back to the hotel by 5.30 pm and went to the pool for a cooling swim. Lovely.


We had our final "happy hour" drink in our room and then wandered next door to have a pizza for dinner. Phil had a medium supreme, thin crust, and I wanted a small Hawaiian thin crust. Well no, I can't have thin crust on a small pizza. Why, you would wonder? Anyway, I had a thick crust and left most of the dough on my plate. Also, it was a bit lacking in pineapple - there was only one tiny piece per slice, which meant there were four pieces only!


Back home to pack for our early morning flight to Sydney. The holiday is over!

Posted by gaddingabout 04:54 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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