A Travellerspoint blog

Athens - Thursday, 25 September 2014

semi-overcast 28 °C

Semi overcast and 28 degrees

Took a pain killer last night as I was going to bed and had a full night's sleep.  I am taking too many of these tablets but it's the only way to keep the pain at bay.  The weather has definitely changed and the air is cooler even though it is going to be 28 today.

I slept in later today and didn't get out of bed until 9am.  Phil was up early and is fiddling around, fixing Annetta's table.  We are waiting for Agi to phone as we are trying to arrange lunch with her today but she has a friend staying with her from an island and the friend's husband has gone into hospital as he is very sick with cancer and Agi is supporting this lady.  She may not have time today, but we'll see.

We caught the bus into town, met Makis and then we caught the Metro to Omonia Square where we walked for a while and took photos of three lovely buildings there - the Public Library, the University and the Academy.  We then walked for a couple of blocks to Syntagma Square which was very busy.

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Phil is looking for another bag strap but we were running a bit late to meet Agi, so we hopped in a taxi and were only 10 minutes late.  Agi was already at the restaurant with Rosie Kotoulous, who I met last time we were in Athens and she was a locally engaged staff member when Phil was at the Australian Embassy in the 70s.  A lot of reminiscing was done.  We had dolamades, both vine leaves and cabbage leaves, meat balls, green slimey stuff, chips and about five lamb chops on a plate.  When the bill came, Annetta noticed that they had charged Agi 30 Euros for the lamb chops, saying that there was a kilos worth of chops.  Hardly!  We would have been lucky to have a quarter of a kilo.  So they gave Agi 20 Euros back, and rightly so.

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We also had some small cakes for dessert - one made of semonlina and the other had coconut in it.  Very nice.

As they only served Greek coffee in that taverna, we walked down the street to a cafe, had a coffee and then we all went our separate ways.  We arrived back in Halandri at about 5.30 pm.  It has become very overcast and is trying hard to rain.

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This is Anneta's apartment - on the top floor with the blue awnings.

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Phil and Annetta both had a siesta, commencing at about 7pm, so when they were awake by about 9pm, we stayed in for dinner and all had a siesta.

Posted by gaddingabout 08:17 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Singapore - Tuesday, 7 October 2014

overcast 32 °C

I was having a lovely sleep when at 3am, I could hear scratching and chewing and saw a light flashing. Yes, Phil couldn't sleep so decided to get up and rearrange all my photos on the tablet. Feeling a bit peckish, he started crunching on some biscuits. I tell you, it's like living with a rat! This went on for several hours and then at about 6.30 am, he gets back into bed and proceeds to snore! How, I don't know, but I went back to sleep too and we both woke up at about 9am and then the rush was on to have a shower and go to breakfast. Everyone else was at breakfast and it was quite difficult to find a table.

The sky is still very smokey.

We went back to the Hunan Centre, and George's shop and bought the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S. It' going to be great having a flash and a small zoom; now all I have to do is learn how to use it!

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Had a little rest and then went to the pool for a swim. It was a bit cool but nice once we were in. We were speaking with a young mother at the pool and she and her husband and three boys were holidaying here from Newcastle. They had purchased 30 kgs of luggage for the five of them, not counting the weight in their backpacks. I wish I could travel so lightly!

We walked back down to Marina Square for dinner and ate at BangkokJam. Phil had a chicken, prawn and cashew thing and I had some fresh spring rolls. Very nice and just enough for dinner.

I took a night time shot of the Marina Bay Hotel and it worked out so well. I took one last night with my old tablet and it was just a blur of nothing. I even did a zoom and it worked out well too. I am so happy.

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Posted by gaddingabout 08:02 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Athens - Friday, 26 September 2014

overcast 28 °C

Overcast and cool - 28 degrees

It rained during the night and is overcast this morning and cool.  Supposed to get to 28 degrees today.  Doesn't feel like it at the moment, but will probably get there when the sun comes out later this morning.

The rash on my face has cleared up now, thank goodness but the sore muscle in the backside is still lingering.

It rained and the wind blew late in the morning, but it fined up after about an hour.  Phil went to The Bakers and bought us some lunch and we ate it before we caught the bus into Syntagma Square to meet Makis.  We hopped off the bus and went in to the Metro to catch a train for the two stops to Syntagma Square.  The train was chock a block but we squeezed in for the short ride.  I had my small bag hanging down in front of me - not getting robbed again with a back pack on and yes! You guessed it, a big, fat Greek bloke standing in front of me, tried to get into my bag.  I felt something push against my bag and when I looked down, his jacket was covering my bag.  I pushed it off and noticed that my bag had been unzipped.  I zipped it up and poked him on the shoulder and told him I knew what he had done.  I told Phil and he shoved him a few times, asking him why he had done that.  The guy just looked the other way, but all the same was embarrassed that he had been caught.  Of course, the train was packed and he couldn't go anywhere so just stared into space, until he could get off at the next stop, which was ours also. No one on the train did anything, however, Makis told me that I should have yelled out "klefti" which means "thief" in Greek.  Actually, in hindsight, I should have whacked him with my umbrella.  Thank goodness this time, nothing was stolen.  I am getting a bit sick of this and am becoming paranoid.  I got off that train and I was shaking.  Bastardos!!

We walked around for a couple of hours with Makis and Phil bought a phone card for his phone.  He had to verify his identity by producing his passport, which we didn't have on us, so we bought the card in Makis' name.  Identification is required these days because terrorists can detonate a bomb via mobiles and then they are easy to trace via the sim card.  But now Phil keeps getting messages in Greek!  We tried to buy a bag strap to replace the missing one, but no luck there.  I think the best place to try will be Athens Airport on our way to Singapore.

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We looked at the new Samsung Tab S and am more keen than ever to buy it, with the zoom and flash.  I will look at one in Singapore on our way home.  The Samsung Tab S in Athens is 100 Euros dearer than Berlin.

We had coffee with Makis and then caught the Metro and the bus back to Halandri and got back at about 6.30 pm.  Annetta was asleep.

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Makis arrived at about 9pm and we walked back to the Italian Restaurant, Portofino to have another pizza.  This time, being Friday night, it was full, but they found a table and we had a nice dinner.  We hooked in to their wifi and our emails and facebook things were downloaded.

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There is quite a cool breeze blowing and we didn't get home until 1.30 am and into bed by 2.

Posted by gaddingabout 07:29 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Athens - Saturday, 27 September 2014

semi-overcast 17 °C

Sunny, slightly overcast, cool wind - 17 degrees

After our 2am bed time last night, we didn't wake up until 9.30 am!  We are turning into Greeks.  We have just finished breakfast and it's already 11am.  They waste the day here and are the noisiest race of people I have ever experienced.

Phil and I went for a walk to get the password on his mobile checked and reinstated and walked down lots of little streets, looking for a bag shop to purchase a strap for Phil's suitcase.  Couldn't find one and asked some people in the street and they directed us to Hondos Stores which happens to be almost next door to us!!  They had one strap left and it was about 27 Euros but it looks like a good one and it has a combination lock on it.  We bought it.

On our return, Agi phoned and we decided to catch the bus down to her for lunch.  We had lunch in a nice little taverna that I had had lunch with her and Annetta in last time we were here.  I asked for "micro" portions, and this is what I got.  They have no idea what small portions means.

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We went back to her place for coffee and looked in all her old albums at the photos from the time when Phil was working in Athens.  She gave me a tiny icon for my collection.  We waited a long time for the bus back to Halandri and arrived back at about 6.15 pm.  It is quite cool and windy and overcast.  It is trying very hard to rain.

We had a light dinner at home and watched a Greek movie and went to bed.  Moving to the resort at Vravrona for a week, tomorrow.

Posted by gaddingabout 07:07 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Singapore - Monday, 6 October 2014

overcast 32 °C

We arrived at our hotel, the Peninsula Excelsior, at about 7am, in the dark. We were hoping our room would be ready but of course it wasn't. We were so tired and the most unhelpful person on the desk said we would have to wait until later for our room and he didn't know when that would be because check out was 12 noon and check in was 2pm. Eeeeeek! Even though we didn't have a room number to quote, they let us go down for breakfast.

After breakfast we came back up to reception and I fell asleep in the chair. Phil asked someone else if a room was available for us in the position we like, overlooking Marina Bay, and yes, there was, but on the 19th floor, which is the smoking floor. We took it and it is fine. Doesn't s smell at all. In fact, all the smoke is outside because Indonesia is burning its forests again and the smoke is blowing over to Singapore. It's really bad. It's a lot worse than this photo shows.

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We had showers and a little nap for a couple of hours and then went to visit George, a Chinese Malay man who owns a computer shop to check out the new Samsung Tab S, that I am thinking of buying while we are in Singapore. Phil changed all his Euros into Singapore dollars.

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George was pleased to see us and has the new Samsung Tab S on display so I could have a play with it. It was 100 Euros cheaper in Berlin than in Athens, but here it is approximately the same price as Berlin. Thank goodness. I am thinking about it, but will probably go back tomorrow and get it.

We also need to get the battery changed in my current tablet and George gave us the address and directions of how to walk to it. His directions weren't too clear, and hip hip hooray, finally Phil has started asking for directions from passers by, instead of wandering aimlessly in the wrong direction!

So we finally arrive at the Samsung Service Centre and are given a number and told we have to wait an hour and a half to see someone. Well, we weren't very keen on that idea because knowing our luck, we would get to the head of the queue and just to find they don't have any batteries. So, when we saw a free person, we just asked about having the battery replaced and the answer was "we don't support that model any more". Gosh, it's only 2 1/2 years old! Now I am definitely buying a new tablet and maybe even a spare battery for posterity! I wonder if they go stale. Will have to check with George.

Had "happy hour" and we are both feeling very tired so decided to go out and find something to eat. We went to the mall right next to our hotel and must about everything was closed. We found a pizza place and it served a nice pizza but we were the only ones in the restaurant. I thought Singapore was the place that never closed!

I finished reading "Eleni"today. It is one of the best books I have ever read, but made all the more special because it is a true story and I was in Greece while I was reading it.

Posted by gaddingabout 06:51 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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