A Travellerspoint blog

Athens - Sunday, 28 September 2014

overcast 22 °C

Overcast and 22 degrees

Apparently it rained all night.  This morning it is overcast but there is some blue sky appearing in the west, so maybe it will fine up.  At about 1pm we are going to the resort at Vravrona where we will stay for a week and then fly back to Australia, via Singapore for a few days stop over.

Makis arrived at about 1.30 pm and Annetta booked the taxis (we had two) and we drove to Vravrona, which took about half an hour.  It is a huge resort, French owned, hence a lot of French people holiday here.  The sun was shining and the reception area was huge and lovely.  There was a small problem checking in.  We had booked room 630 for Annetta and Makis and room 629 for us.  They had given 630 away to a person who was demanding that room, so Annetta and Makis were moved to room 530, which was better anyway, because the bathroom had been recently renovated. Our room is quite small but adequate with a balcony and a lovely view over the sea.

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We settled in and then met for coffee downstairs.  It was nice to relax and sit in the sun without the traffic noise of Halandri.

We met again for dinner at 8pm in the main dining room.  It is a huge place, with buffet style meals.  It's a bit like "feeding time at the zoo" but not too bad at all.  There are millions of things to chose from and the food is really lovely.  I actually had a salad and cold rare veal.  It was so nice to be eating salad greens after all this time in Russia and the Baltic States where they just have meat, potatoes and mushrooms.  Also the dessert table was very tempting and I must say I tried more than one delicacy.  We were actually given two free meals tonight because of the stuff up with our rooms, but from now on, we have to pay for lunch and dinner.   Breakfast is included.

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We have renegotiated our package and have paid extra to have our evening meal included. The food is really good, such an amazing selection.

The Manager came to see us at dinner to apologise for the checking in fiasco.  He seemed a very nice man.

We also have wifi access here, not in our room but down in the foyer, which is okay.  Looking forward to a nice relaxing week in the sun.

Annetta has gone to bed, I am in the foyer blogging and Phil and Makis have gone for a walk.

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Sunset from our room

Posted by gaddingabout 01:16 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Vravrona, Greece - Monday, 29 September 2014

semi-overcast 22 °C

Had a good sleep and woke up at about 7.30 am. Showered and dressed and went down for breakfast at 9 am. After about half an hour, Annetta and Makis joined us for breakfast. Later Phil, Makis and I went for a walk all around the perimeter of the hotel.

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We found the taverna up the road. It is very pleasant in the sun but the wind is very strong so it won't be good for swimming. Having a lazy morning. Will go and sit in the grounds and read my book. Everything is so slow here, I keep falling asleep.

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Our room is on the top floor just to the left of the pine tree.

When we came back to our room, there was a bowl of fruit there, compliments of the management we think as there was no note. However, it was good to have it for lunch as we are eating too much.

I read my book and fell asleep which happens all the time and at 5 pm we went for a walk to the village.

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We decided to take the road via the water back to our hotel, but ran out of path several times and had to back track up to the main road. It was a good walk and then we came back to our room, had a G&T and got ready for dinner.

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As usual, ate too much. The manager gave us a bottle of wine with our dinner. They are being very nice to us. Our waiter, who only speaks Greek, told Annetta and Makis that Phil looks like a Greek movie star, but I didn't catch the name.

Posted by gaddingabout 12:04 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Vravrona - Tuesday, 30 September 2014

sunny 24 °C

Woke up before sun rise to hear Phil scratching around with his camera and tablet as he was trying to take photos of the sun rise. At one stage he went out of our room, in his pjs, and left the door open, while I was sleeping inside! Meanwhile, a gust of wind came and banged the door shut. Is it any wonder I am tired all the time!

Annetta and Makis came into breakfast just as we were finishing and we agreed to meet Makis at 11 am in the foyer to go for a walk, either to the museum or around the point. We set off and decided to walk around the point on the other side of the bay, and go to the museum with Annetta tomorrow.

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We were away for 3 hours and figured we walked about 12 kms, just at an easy pace as Makis has had heart problems and is supposed to walk every day, but not too strenuously.

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This is a German bunker that is left over from World War II. There are a lot of them scattered over this peninsular.

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Nice view of our hotel from this side of the bay.

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Waiting for the bus that never came!

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Back at the hotel and we had a snack for lunch and then spent a few hours in our room, reading and resting after our marathon hike! Today we received our travel instructions from Scenic Tours re our South American/Antarctica trip in February 2015, so it was good to have some quiet time to read it thoroughly and make some notes about what we have to do re visas etc.

The weather is getting better, but not quite warm enough for me to swim. Maybe tomorrow.

Had another nice dinner in the dining room. It was Greek Night so there was a lot of lovely Greek food. Annetta wasn't feeling very well so she didn't come down to dinner. Phil and Makis have gone for a short walk.

Posted by gaddingabout 11:34 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Vilnius to Warsaw - Sunday, 14 September 2014

Drive through the Mazurian region, which encompasses 4,000 lakes in a pristine setting.

sunny 31 °C

Sheraton Warsaw Hotel - Room 427

We left Vilnius at 8.30 am and as everyone was on the bus early, we left 10 minutes early for our long drive to Warsaw, approximately 550 kms.

We made a quick stop before the Polish border so we could spend all our Lithuanian coins and then we were on our way again. Due to the European Union, all these borders have shut down now and you just drive straight through. The country side is forest and fields that have been harvested or some have been planted with winter wheat that will grow a few centimetres and then will survive under the snow and grow again in the spring.

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We gained an hour when we crossed the border.

We called into Augustowa for lunch and the roads into the main town we closed off too, like Vilnius, for a marathon. The bus got pretty close to the main square and as we walked to the square we passed a catholic church where a service was in progress. There were a lot of people standing in the grounds of the church listening to the service which was being broadcast. Tim said they stand outside if they are late for church and are too embarrassed to go inside because the priest will glare at them, or if they only want to stay for the blessing.

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The square was abuzz with children dancing on a stage with very little loud music, waiting for the runners to come in. We had a hot dog and hamburger for lunch, wandered around for a while and then strolled back to the bus.

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I gave these kids a small koala and they seemed to like them very much.

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When we got back on the bus, Tim was pouring champagne for us. How nice was that?

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My travelling companion!

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There was quite a traffic jam on the outskirts of Warsaw, but we finally arrived at our hotel and our room is huge.

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We went for a walk and passed a few monuments and things, but they are all in Polish and we haven't a clue what they say. Hopefully our guide can tell us tomorrow.

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Our hotel.

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We all had dinner together in the hotel. It was cod fish WITH GREEN VEGETABLES! First we have had in the Baltic States.

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They eat lots of pork and chicken and potatoes and mushrooms, but no green vegetables. All the way along the road today, people were in the forest collecting mushrooms and then selling them on the road side.

Posted by gaddingabout 12:42 Archived in Poland Comments (0)

Tallinn to Riga - Thursday, 11 September 2014

Visit St Peter's Church, the city walls and Riga Castle

semi-overcast 19 °C

Hotel Royal Ridzline, Radisson Blu

Early start today. Bags out at 7am and on the bus at 8am for the trip to Riga, the capital of Latvia. The driver is required to stop every two hours so we called into a shopping centre for a 30 minute break. On the road again and we made a detour so we could see the beach and put our toe in the Baltic Sea. This is Riga Bay. No waves and the water was pretty chilly and it is not very salty either.

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We stopped for lunch at the border between Estonia and Latvia. It was just a truck stop cafe and pretty basic.

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I slept a lot of the way to Riga. Tim played a movie called The Singing Revolution which was about the Estonian quiet and bloodless revolution to gain their independence from Russia and Germany.

We arrived in Riga and while we were waiting for our guide, we wandered through the museum of the occupation, which was about all the atrocities suuffered by the Latvian people during World War Two. It was awful and I wish we could have spent more time in there as there was so much to read and understand.

Our Riga tour guide, Edita arrived and we proceeded on a walking tour of the old town for two and a half hours. We went right up the top of St Peter's church. Marvelous views from up there.

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The old town is lovely and it was lovely strolling through it.

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Checked into the hotel and am very pleased to find that I can download photos into my blog. I have a lot of catching up to do and will give it my best shot.

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We all met at 7.30 pm and walked a couple of blocks to our restaurant for dinner. Most of us had the pork and it was lovely.

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Posted by gaddingabout 22:12 Archived in Latvia Comments (0)

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