A Travellerspoint blog

September 2009

Santorini, aka. Boot Camp

sunny 24 °C

So, just before the Thai food the other day, we had our first, um, issue, let’s call it. Mom goes to use the washroom in our new room (we’ve moved over from the hotel next door because our room was unexpectedly still occupied when we got here) and the toilet seat’s broken, and the shower doesn’t have a floor. You just shower onto the bathroom floor and there’s a drain. The room’s also quite a bit smaller, and not as cute. Then, after mom’s iffy shower, she can’t find a plug to use her blow dryer in. There’s actually no plugs in the room except for the one that the mini fridge was plugged into. So she has a bit of a break down and freaks out about wanting to move back. Kristel is fully on her side, but is sort of being in the middle saying that if we spoil ourselves now, we’re going to get used to it and want it for the rest of the trip. I’m like ladies, this is freaking 5 star compared to what I’m used to, usually there’s 2 plugs for 20 people! And I don’t want to move back up the road because we will offend Nicholas, and he’s been so nice to us! And my argument was that we’re not even in the room, and we’ve got beds and running water, so what more do we need? The ladies walk up the road and asked how much they charge, while I stayed back as I was not having a part of this treachery! It was actually cheaper than our place, so we decided to talk it over during dinner. It was pretty tense, but we made it through deciding that we would tough it out and stay, after the ladies complained to Nicholas about a few things. Now I think I want to shock them and put them in a 30 bed mixed dorm and see how they deal! Ha, just kidding… kind of.

Yesterday in Santorini, Kristel had found us an all day tour to a couple of different sites in and around the island, so we headed out at 9:30 am for our all day adventure. We got dropped off at the port and met our tour guide, a blonde, fit Austrian we nicknamed Ken Doll, ie. he was very cute. He helped us into a really cute traditional Grecian boat that we rode out to the new volcano.
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We wore our little sandals not thinking we’d actually be CLIMBING the bloody volcano, but we did. It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t imagine doing it in 42 degree weather, the norm for the summer. Once at the top we took some photos and Ken Doll gave us the info about the volcano.
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After climbing down, we rode out in the boat again to these natural hot springs. Mom was asking what we did with our stuff, and I said there’d be lockers and stuff there, just like the hot springs back home. Nope! We dove off the boat and swam towards a little cove near the volcano, and the closer to the shore you got, the hotter. It was really cool. I made a little scene as the water was extremely murky with minerals and I couldn’t see the bottom (phobia coming in!), but in the end I made it. You could float so easily because it was extremely salty water. Very cool.
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Next we got dropped off on Therissa, a little island beside Santorini, and we had lunch there with Taylor, a girl we met from Toronto. She works for Air Canada so we chatted about that over lunch, which by the way was the most expensive meal we’ve had so far. Ken Doll recommended the place, and Kristel’s beer, souvlaki, and Greek salad came to 21 euro. That’s like 34 dollars! Crazy prices! After that we hopped onto a different boat and sailed to Oia, on the northern tip of Santorini, where you can watch the best sunsets on the island. Only thing is, you have to climb 295 steps from the port to get up to the city. No big deal, right? I did that many going up the Dom in Koln, and the Willy Wallace monument in Stirling, so no big deal. Let me tell you I’ve never burned my legs so much as we did there. These steps are on a HUGE incline, and they’re about 2 metres long, so you step up a step and then keep climbing on the step, and then step up again. It was ridiculous, and we all have sore bums today! We had to take 4 or 5 pit stops, and we were sweating in places we didn’t know you could. You could hire a donkey for 5 euro, but that’s just cruel! These poor things do that their whole lives it was so sad. And the guy was whacking them with a stick on their way up. I said I’d like him to piggy back me up the fricken hill while I whacked him with a stick. Not cool. They sure left a lot of poo though, so it smelled horrible, and with all our heavy breathing it was even worse! Dodging mounds of donkey crap with jello legs is not fun. After we finally got to the top, it took us another 10 minutes to find water! The streets were filled with jewelry stores, but no water. You could sell it for 10 euro at the top and you’d be rich! But we finally found it and toured around Oia with Taylor, before finding ourselves a ledge in what was probably somebody’s cement backyard to watch the sunset. Oia is a super cute, picturesque Grecian seaside villa that you would see in the movies, it was great. The sunset wasn’t very good as it was quite cloudy, but we still got some pictures and then headed back to Perissa.
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This morning Kristel and I had booked a snorkeling adventure in the old volcano. You’re actually in the craters of the volcano, but you’d never know it as it looks just like a normal ocean. You take this little boat over to one of the old volcanic islands and jump out. The boat ride over was ridiculous; we might as well have been at six flags it was soooo rough. I actually thought I was going to hurl a few times. Kristel was just laughing away as I probably went green in the face. We were the only snorkelers out of probably 20 people; every one else was scuba diving, but we actually saw a lot more sea life than they did! Lots of schools of fish, like minnows and red fish and sort of colored fish, sea urchins, and anemones. It was cool, and you could just float as it was sooo salty, but nothing like snorkeling in Hawaii, as Kristel’s been before.
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After that we found mom horizontal on the black sand beach we have here in Perissa, and tanned with her for a few hours.
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Tonight we went out to the Thai place again for dinner, got all dressy and everything! We’re now drinking amazing wine from the guy up the street, and are off to Crete tomorrow. We’ll be in Italy in less than a week!

Posted by kmcveggie 10:34 Archived in Greece Tagged tourist_sites Comments (2)

Wine and Detours in Santorini

sunny 22 °C

After being rudely awaken by our hostel mate in Athens (no, no it was her room too!) we couldn’t get back to sleep, so we got ready and headed out and got the metro to the port in Athens. Finding our boat was a little difficult as we pictured a cruise ship! I’ve been told by lots of other travelers that the boats in Greece are amazing, and that they have the most fun on the ferries between the islands, but no. So we get on the ferry, and are directed towards a little coffee area on the boat. He pointed the other way and said, “First class,” and we’re like, oh, right clearly we didn’t book that. Pretty sure they see our backpacks and judge us on them! The ladies get their “Greek coffee” (which is really nasty apparently, I’m sick of their whining already lol) and I go to look around. I found us some comfy seats, but we were turned away again because our tickets weren’t first class. We headed upstairs and found a seat by the railing and close to the bar. We had 8 looong hours on this ferry that we thought would be a cruise ship. The joke was we were in steerage because of our packs. Such a great time! We were def drinking beer by 10:30. It’s a good thing Kristal brought crafts with her (insider!), even though it wasn’t on the list! (Another insider, I love these ladies.) As she packed the day before, she just packed her Canadian flag patches instead of sewing them on, so we busted out our sewing kits (um, let me rephrase that. Mom and I busted out our sewing kits, as Kristal didn’t follow the list again!) and sewed on her patches. I also painted nails, did word searches, etc. Crazy long boat ride though. Got some beautiful photos of the landscape we passed though, so that was good.
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We get to the port, and Nicholas, the guy from our hostel, said he would meet us at the port, no worries. Thing is, I didn’t write down the name of the hostel, and all these guys were standing around with signs of their hostels. I knew it started with an ‘A’, and the first one we saw was called “Anna” so we went for it. The guy with the sign didn’t have our names, it was just, “Do you have reservation? Ok, you come.” We were like ok, I guess..? Mom starts freaking, and now I’m all stressed because she’s stressed and it’s a mess in paradise. Kristal’s being herded like a cow and doesn’t care what she’s doing, just going with the flow, and mom’s not happy. Finally we asked if they knew Nicholas, because he’s the one who said he would pick us up, and they didn’t even know a Nicholas, so we got out of the van and looked again. From the back, we see a piece of paper with ‘McInnes’ on it, and mom gets all happy. And Nicholas is the most charming guy ever! We got to ride in the cutest hippy van (mom’s life dream) across the island to Perissa. It was beautiful! Once we get to the hostel, Nicholas informs us that they had a mix up and that we had to stay at the hotel next door, so for the first night we stayed in a really nice place. We went out for dinner and had amazing greek appetizers, like dolmades, homous, fava beans, greek salad, pita, and more. Even Kristal had an all veggie meal with us, and we had free wine for staying at Aroma (close to Anna, right?) hostel.
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This morning we had to move over, and the ladies were not impressed with the move. It was a freaking five star hostel in my eyes, but the ladies had other opinions and wanted to move back! I was like NO way that’s so offensive to Nicholas, who’s such a nice guy! So I talked them out of it, I think. It’s $16 CAD a night, so you can NOT complain! We headed out into town to get some groceries and things, and on the way back mom saw a shortcut she thought would lead back to the hostel. Well, after grazing through the freaking desert, dodging a ton of horse poo, dead rat skeletons, and trespassing through 3 people’s yards, we made it back to the hostel. She claims we shaved off 15 minutes of walking, but it was complete crap, and Kristal and I were not impressed. She’s actually still bragging about it now! Whatever. Anyways, after that SLIGHT detour, we headed back into town and caught the bus to a winery, talking to a very cute, nice boy from Edmonton. The winery had AMAZING views, like beautiful. Mom almost cried. We bought wine samples and cheese, olive and crusty bread platters (mom and I got bread and extra olives) and drank them on the rooftop terrace. The wine was excellent, the red being the best I think, and that’s coming from a white wine girl. It tasted like cherries it was so good. Had some laughs trying to eat the bread, as crusty is quite an understatement, but it was good. Finished off with a cheers of ice wine, mmm!
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After that it started to pour, and we caught the bus into Fira, the main city. We did a little shopping in the cute little streets, and then headed back to Perissa. Tonight we’re going for thai food to try and offset all of the greek food and olives we’ve been eating. Missing everyone at home, but having an awesome time overall in Santorini!

Posted by kmcveggie 10:03 Archived in Greece Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Athens the Great

sunny 27 °C

Last night, after uniting forces at the airport (very fun! Mom learned how and why to validate her bus ticket!) we found our way to the hostel. After forcing our excited selves to sleep last night after 3 am, we all woke up at 8am this morning. We went downstairs to see if we could get on the walking tour, and had an ok breakfast at the hostel. We did a little souvenir shopping and then headed out on our would-be 5 hour walking tour of Athens. It was really, really good though, just us and an Israeli couple, and we learned tons of stuff about Athens we not only didn’t know, but never would have found. The landmarks are relatively spread out (or so they seemed on the tour) and our guide did a great job of showing us around. We had such a funny day, especially because the three of us each got in trouble once. I went wandering into a room inside one of the sort of formal buildings of Athens looking for a washroom, and got talked to by a guard. Mom posed with a statue inside the ancient Roman Agora with her hand near the woman’s breast, and got told not to do that, with a pointed finger and all. And Kristal got kicked out of a church because her skirt was too short. TOO FUNNY seeing as how she’d asked my opinion in the hostel earlier if it would be ok. I said minus the cat-calls, she’d be fine. Oops! We did actually have a few creepers today, and I’m a little more defensive toward them now that I have backup. Anyways, besides seeing all of the major attractions of Athens (all truly remarkable to think how early they were built!), we saw olive and pomegranate trees, mom saw her first gypsies, and we saw quite a few big, stray dogs.
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We had so many funny moments, and it really made me glad they were here, even though sometimes I wanted to scream either, “We’re NOT tacky American’s, despite what this looks like.” Or I simply had to explain that the ladies just got off the boat from Canada, and that the excitement would wear down eventually. Like mom taking pictures of every single old rock in Athens. By the end, even she was saying, “Oooh, what’s over there? More boulders? Okay, moving on!” FUNNIEST quote of the day though… we’re walking in our first big ruin site, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and we’re admiring the 16 still-standing giant pillars and the ornate carved details at the top of them, built around 100 CE, and mom goes (very matter-of-factly), “So, they must have used moulds for those, hey?” MOULDS. FOR THE SOLID MARBLE PILLAR TOPS MADE ALMOST 2,000 YEARS AGO. Kristal starts crying of laughter. I’m like ya, mom, and they cut the marble out of the mountains using chainsaws. No, but I’m like, “No, mom, they carved those by hand!” She’s like, “No way, why would they do that? That would take forever!” I’m like no kidding! Hence why these things took hundreds of years to make! And we’re not talking about erecting 50 foot high pillars 2,000 years ago, we’re just talking about the leaves carved into the marble. Too funny; unfortunately for mom that one’ll stick for a while.
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After the tour, we got some bad directions for the way home (“3 lefts and a right!”) and ended up doing a huge loop extra to get back to the hostel, on our already tired feet. We made it better by shopping though, picking up a few souvenirs, and some olives and wine to snack on in the hostel. Later we went to dinner at the restaurant next to the hostel, and had some traditional Greek food like Greek salad, dolmades, Kristal had souvlaki and tatziki, and we drank free wine and had fruit for desert. Our waiter put bread on the table, and I told the ladies if we were to eat that, he’d charge us for it, and that’s it’s not like home and we just get free bread. Then when we got out bill we couldn’t read any of his handwriting, and there were exta charges than we had ordered, so we asked and sure enough he’d charged us 3.60 for the bread we didn’t eat! I was like ya right, buddy! Nice try! So there was a big confusion with the bill because then they ended up still charging mom’s mastercard for the bread, and we were like thanks anyways! We had sips of cheap ouzo before bed, and headed off!

Last night at 4 am, we get this rattling on our door, and I must have been having a bad dream because I think we’re getting robbed, so I get up and hold the door closed, and was asking my mom to come help me. A Spanish woman on the other side was saying that this was her room, and we were like “No, it’s not!” because I also thought I had booked us a private room. So she goes down to the front desk again, and my heart was pounding; it really freaked me out for some reason! And she comes back up, with the late-night guy (who’s fairly grumpy anyways) and he goes, “Ladies, this is NOT just your room!! You have to share it!” And I obviously would have been fine but I seriously freaked out and thought she was maybe a housekeeper trying to get in and rob us in our sleep or something, I donno but the guy was quite rude for yelling at us, and we explained that we had just woken up startled. It’s all good, just a weird story now! And we had to get up early anyways as our boat to Santorini leaves at 7:30 J

Posted by kmcveggie 18:46 Archived in Greece Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Corfu

sunny 27 °C

So this next bit is going to be something like a blog within a blog. Since I’ll be having minimal internet time on my little holiday, I decided to blog as I go on word, and then just put it all up at the end!

P.S. pics soon, promise!

Sept. 12: Travel Day and Arrival!

My morning goes off without a hitch: got up early, had a hot shower (something that was hit-or-miss at my last hostel…) had a huge fruit breakfast, and made my way to the airport. It seemed simple enough; get the blue line till the end, then take bus 200 to the airport. Metro was simple, of course, and bus 200 was waiting for me at the other side. I get off at Terminal 1 at the Budapest airport, can’t see my carrier (Malev Hungarian Airlines) and the info guy tells me they’re at terminal 2, and to just wait for the next bus to come when I got off. So I did, and another bus 200 comes in 10 minutes. Still way ahead of schedule, so no worries there. 10 minutes into my new bus ride, things are looking awfully familiar, and when I asked the guy when the terminal 2 stop was, he says, “Terminal 2? No, this bus go back to city.” I was like, “No, no, no I need to go to terminal 2!” in only a slightly panicked voice, and he just says, “Well, get off at last stop (at the metro) and start again.” I was like yea, good plan. So I did, asking about 6 times throughout the bus ride if we were getting to terminal 2, as now there was no room for error in the timetable. I’m still confused though, as all the bus 200’s from the metro go to both terminals, and that one from terminal 1 went straight back to town. The only explanation is that maybe the bus driver for that bus went to terminal 2 first? Not sure. Anyways, made it still in plenty of time for my flight, got an amazing salad for lunch that cost a slight fortune - imagine how much my salad was if a bottle of coke was 870 HUN (3.50 euro, over 5 dollars!) Anyways, my meal code worked for the flight and my teeny two-hour flight served sandwiches! I did put in that I wanted a vegan meal when I booked, but I didn’t think it would do anything seeing as how it was such a short flight, but the flight attendant came right up to me asking if I had the vegan meal, and I was like, “Uh… ya!” And she handed me my hummus and eggplant salad and fresh apple, while everyone else had their nasty chicken and cheese sandwich. Apparently being a vegan has its advantages when it comes to plane food!

So we’re cruising along, the flight’s going well, and we’re about to start descending into Athens. I didn’t know I signed up for f*cking six-flags, but that’s fully what I got. You know the hellevator at the PNE? Picture that, but, oh, 35,000 feet in the air in a hurling piece of metal. My stomach flipped and STAYED flipped, THREE TIMES. Like it wasn’t a quick, “Whoooaa!” It was a, “Jesus Christ… Holy shit!!!” moment, directly quoted, by the way. I grabbed my stomach and the armrest, and so did everyone else on the plane. Then we dropped again, and then again, both times you could actually feel yourself lift off the seat. No kidding. Like, when this normally happens in a plane it’s pretty crazy, but to lift off your seat in a plane? IS NOT COOL. Not only that, but I was totally watching 9/11 vids last night, so those were playing in the back of my mind as we seemed to be dropping out of the sky. Top it all off with a near-crash landing (the whole plane screamed) and we were finally in Athens. I couldn’t believe it! I was like, “Is this how they fly planes in Europe?!” And then the flight attendant came on a said something in Hungarian and everyone started cheering and clapping! But they didn’t say it in English! So I have no idea what went on there. All I know is I had a good scare of the day, or year, rather, and my next flight went seamlessly. Actually, my 4 hour wait in the Athens airport was aaaawesome, as there were multiple Grecian men’s soccer teams there, and another really good salad bar, AND free wifi. Talk about making a girl happy!

Once I arrived in Corfu, I waited a few minutes outside for Angelica from Angelica’s Backpackers to pick me up. She had offered to drive me to Sidari for 30 euro, in northern Corfu where the hostel is, because the buses didn’t run that late on weekends, and the taxi would have been over 60 euro. So we chatted all the way up to Sidari, and she showed me little things along the way. My hostel is suuuuper cute. I have a HUGE room/kitchen/deck/bathroom all to myself, the beach is around the corner, and there’s a supermarket down the road. Angelica gave me a big bottle of water for the night, and told me to rest and that she’d give me the tour in the morning.

Day 2: I slept in today until about 9 on the most uncomfortable bed I‘ve had yet, then I slowly got ready (with a cold shower… interesting) and walked through the town to get some groceries and make myself acquainted. It’s a really cute little town; they call it “little Brittain” because about 99% of the tourists here are British. And it’s true! There’s me and a Spanish couple, and the rest of the people are from the UK. The hostel descriptions lied a little, as it’s about 12 minutes t the beach, but it’s all good. A little extra walking is not gonna kill me! There’s a few Greek restaurants, a couple of international restaurants, quite a few beach bars, a couple of free pools with sun chairs and such, and a big, long beach. The internet is bloody expensive, at one place it’s 1 euro for 12 minutes! At another place further down it’s an hour for 3 euros, so that’s a bit better. After getting a few things at the grocery store, I walked back to my hostel (which I’m just gonna call my room, as it’s totally not a hostel!) and got changed for the beach. As I’m walking down it starts to thunder, but it’s still sunny, then it starts to rain, but I get to the beach and everyone else is still tanning away so I did too! The thunder kept going but the rain stopped and the sun stayed out so it wasn’t all bad. I get back to my room, found some English TV channels (woop woop!) and made some dinner. Just as I’m getting into a decent English movie, the power goes out! Frick. Then like 10 minutes later, as I’m going to bed, the hostel lady (who doesn’t speak English, by the way) comes down and points at the generator lights and speaks in Greek, “yadda yadda yadda… kaputzo!” I assume that meant that the power’s out, and ya, lady, I got that 10 minutes ago when the lights went out.
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Day 3: Today I didn’t do much. I woke up and wandered around the town again, got onto the internet, then made my way back to my room. It was hoootttt, so I walked back into town to find a spot by the pool. I tanned, I swam, and I tanned some more. That’s pretty much all!

Day 4: Today I did basically the same as yesterday, except maybe read a bit more. I finished my last book, “Midnight Cage”, which was a random I picked up in Vienna at an English bookstore. It was really good though, about a muslin girl from Afganistan who makes her way to London in the 1850’s. Crazy what women had to go through, and still go through in some countries. Blows my mind how women used to be treated. Anyways, now I’m onto Ken Follett’s “Lie Down With Lions,” which is proving to be good already. I’m in love with Follett after I read “Pillars of the Earth,” and am waiting rather impatiently for my mom to come with the sequel, “World Without End,” as it’s much cheaper to buy back home than here. Everything is, actually! She’s bringing me new sandals too, as my beach/shower ones keep felling apart. Hopefully they’ll make it till she gets here!
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So Angelica, who picked me up from the airport, is one of the owner’s of the hostel, along with her non-English speaking parents. I haven’t seen Angelica since I got here, but her mom is always around saying hi and bye to me when I come and go. Tonight, as I’m in my pj’s, no makeup, burnt from sun tanning too much, she comes to my room and waves her arms in an upward motion. She’s speaking Greek, but using English words too, and I make out the words “upstairs” and “people” and “talking” and “you come.’ So I’m assuming she wants me to come upstairs and socialize, but I’m in the middle of making dinner, and clearly not dressed to leave my room. Oh, and in no mood to be around couples on their holiday! I told her thanks, but that I was fine. So 10 minutes later, she’s knocking on my door again, practically leading me out of the room, and I’m like, “No, I’m good!” Thumbs up and everything. She’s like, “Ooooh, good, okay.” So that was a bit weird, but they probably don’t get solo 20 year old girls at their hostel that often! I’m totally fine being by myself anyways, but I am getting SOO excited to have some travel partners in, like, 6 days!!
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Day 5: Last night it stormed like crazy, tons of rain, it was very loud in my room. And quite freaky actually. It’s weird sleeping by yourself after two and a half months of sleeping with other people around you. I had a hard time the first night actually. Also, it’s really dark in my room, like pitch black, whereas the hostels always had some light coming in, from the streets or whatever, so that’s took some getting used to as well. Anyways, the weather was still crap at 10 (when Oprah’s over lol) so I decided to have a shower and go into Corfu town to explore, that way I wouldn’t lose any precious tanning time. Well, I go to brush my teeth and there’s no running water. None in the shower either. I settled for putting my hair up and I got ready anyways, and went upstairs to see when the buses run. The hostel lady said to me, “No washing!” I was like, ya I noticed! And she brought me out on the porch where she showed me that her husband was trying to fix it. The bus left at 11 so I made my way down to the supermarket, where it goes from, and joined in with the crowd who was also waiting. It was 11:20 and still no bus, but everyone was still waiting so I did too. Finally it came packed full, let 2 people on, closed it’s doors, and left without even explaining! Not very cool. I walked back to my room through town, stopping by a travel shop and booking a seat to Corfu town for Saturday, and the weather was starting to clear up. By the time I made lunch and got changed it was full on sunny again. So I walked back to the pool and tanned until late. Now I’m watching House and relaxing!

Day 6: First of all, I don’t know where 6 days have gone. I think the sun’s got me in some kind of trance. I like it, anyways. Today I got up, watched Oprah (it was about Obama’s inauguration; they’re waaay behind over here!) And headed to the beach! Picked up some anti-histamines en route. Apparently my skin doesn’t like sudden climate change. My skin gets bumpy first, and then red and rashy- so not pretty. It’s not thaaat noticeable- it’s only on my arms. It happened in Mexico, and in Galway, even though there was no sun there, the pharmacist said it was just reacting to a different climate. So hopefully the skin’s better tomorrow. That didn’t effect the sun tanning though, was out in full force again (SPF on Al, no worries!) and it was a gorgeous day, despite the really, REALLY strong wind. It was nice, and I probably burnt because when the wind let up every once in a while the sun was burning hot. It’s all good, it’ll look good tomorrow! I bought another book, “Deception Point,” by Dan Brown, and it’s looking really good so far. It better be for 13 euro, the starting price for books in Corfu, apparently. And I bought some AMAZING olives from the supermarket, which I’m devouring for dinner right now!

Day 7: Today I did the same old. Walked into town, used the internet (real quick!) and laid by the pool, tanning, reading, and listening to my music. My stupid book is so addicting, I’m like 250 pages in already and it’s supposed to last me the rest of this mini-vacation! But I just can’t stop reading! Oh well. I went for dinner today at one of the little Greek restaurants, and it was decent. I ordered the hummus (pronounced HOME-ose over here), olives, and the grilled aubergines (eggplant). They don’t even call eggplants eggplants in Europe. I remember Chris (Welsh guy) mocking me because I didn’t know what an aubergine was, and I was a vegan. Anyways, the hummus was different than the stuff we have back home, or any other hummus I’ve ever tried. It was almost like they mixed normal hummus with Italian dressing…. Hmmm… but it was good anyways. And the eggplants were really yummy. And the waiter couldn’t speak English but he was really nice. And now I’m watching re-runs of AMTM and House, with Greek subtitles, of course!

Day 8: Today I went to Corfu town. I am a little bummed because it was the HOTTEST DAY YET, and I wasted it souvenir shopping and wandering around a not-that-exciting town. I don’t know if the bus just dropped us off in a lame spot or something, but all I was around was dozens of tacky souvenir or knock-off shops, and cafes that I couldn’t eat at. The most exciting thing was stumbling across a sign that said, “Come and try our traditional Greek specialties, made without milk, butter, or eggs.” I was like SOLD. I wandered over, and this voluptuous, highly over-excited woman greets me at the door explaining that the pastries are Corfu specialties, and because they don’t have milk or eggs in them, last for 15 days without a fridge. I was like ok, creepy, but I’m down. I had a vegetable pie for lunch, which was really good, and got 2 sweets to go. I tried both when I got back home. One of them was made with the 3 native Corfu fruits, the only one I remember being the kumquat, and the other one was made with cinnamon and other yummy stuff. They were both good, but I wouldn’t get them again. Anyways, I was so bored by the end of my 4 hour trip in Corfu, that I bought a people magazine to read outside the bus for the last half an hour. A 6 euro 50 people magazine! Frick… but it was interesting.
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Day 9: Today I… wait for it… tanned by the pool!! I also made friends with an older British couple, who’ve been greeting me everyday when I get to the pool. They sit in the same chairs every day, and are there before I get there in the morning, and they stay until after I leave. We’ve always said hi, but today we actually chatted about what I was doing. It felt good telling them I was backpacking and just taking a break, as opposed to them thinking I was some crazy young woman who vacations alone from the US (ya, they would think I’m from the states! Pfff!) Very nice couple though. The weather was pretty crap, but everyone else was out, so I figured it wouldn’t be weird if I layed by the pool tanning in the heavy overcast. It even started to lightly rain for 10 minutes, but everyone stayed where they were! It got pretty hot after 3, so I stayed planted and got to catch a few rays before going to dinner. I went out to the other Greek place in town, hoping for some normal hummus. I got into the restaurant and asked the server if I could sit down for dinner, and he patted to the chair next to him. I was like haha buddy, and I was like, “No, haha, that’s ok I’ll just sit over here…” I was wearing my sunglasses, and not my glasses, so I couldn’t see what he looked like from far away, and when he came over to hand me my menu I realized he was a Greek God. No kidding. I fully should have taken that seat offer!! I didn’t need to actually, because after I ordered he sat right across from me and started asking me questions about why I was alone and what I was doing later. Greek guys get right to the point. It wasn’t weird though, and I hadn’t really had a good conversation with someone in a week, so I was glad. Hand gestures with my hostel lady doesn’t really qualify as good conversation. He goes back to being a server and mentions they ran out of hummus, so I just ordered the grilled aubergines like I did at the last place. They came fast… and with parmesan cheese sprinkled all over. And the Greek God is sitting across from me watching me eat. Awesome. It was a weird parmesan because it didn’t melt, so I just brushed it all off, and ate it anyways. So he invites me out to Greek night at his restaurant, where there’s dancing and stuff, and gives me a glass of wine after dinner, and continues to chat with me. It was nice, and the wine went straight to my head, so I stayed and we talked for a bit. I told him I probably wouldn’t come because I was by myself and didn’t dance and didn’t want to walk home alone. He said I could sit at the bar, drink, watch the dancing, and that he would walk me home later. Tempted as I was, I wasn’t about to walk through town at 10 at night (when “Greek Night” starts) by myself. I told him maybe, and left. On my way home I stopped at the internet place again, and the bartender said hi. He was all alone and seemed nice, so after using the internet I said I’d have a drink and chat with him for a while seeing as how he was by himself. He’s really nice, and says hi to me every time I use the internet there, so I thought I’d keep him busy for a while. Spiros is a car mechanic, but there’s no work so he bartends instead. He’s never been outside of Greece though! So we had a good chat about traveling. Really nice guy, and in the end he refused to charge me for my Greek beer. Now I’m ready to pass out from the 2 drinks I had. (How lame!)

Day 10: Today was my last full day at the beach! I tanned by the pool, made hostel reservations, calmed my mother down via face book, and made sure my flights for tomorrow were still a go. I’m super excited to see my mom and Kristal and I can’t wait to have someone to share the rest of my trip with! OUR trip, I should say! But other than that, pretty normal day,

Day 11: EEEEK! Get to see my mom today! Definitely never been so excited to see someone in my life! I got up this morning, packed up my messy room, checked crack book one more time, and took in the last few rays by the pool. I got too anxious to tan, so I went back to my room, finished packing and painted my nails, mostly so my mother doesn’t think I’ve lost my hygiene or something! The people at the hostel drove me to the bus stop for the 16:00 bus that didn’t come until 16:24, making me quite the stress case! I’m already anxious enough, and the freaking bus has it’s own timetable. I’ve learnt that a Grecian schedule should include “+/- 30 minutes” on it! I’ve also learned that Grecians are bloody crazy drivers. While we were waiting for the bus, we saw 2 cars fishtail, a motorcycle do a wheelie, and a big market transport truck not be able to start, roll across the street while repeatedly turning the engine over, get a push start from a teeny smart car, and then it stops on the wrong side of the road, and RACES the smart car! Wtf? Craaazy. My flight from Corfu to Athens was good, and now I’m waiting to see my mother in t-minus 50 minutes!!!

Posted by kmcveggie 14:05 Archived in Greece Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Greetings from Sidari, Corfu

sunny 28 °C

Hey all! I know this blog has been dead, but don't worry I'll soon be back to posting as usual. I've been in Sidari, Corfu for the last week soaking up the sun and relaxing by the pool. BUT the internet here is ridiculously expensive, so I've been sort of 'blogging' on my notepad on my comp, and will post it as soon as I get to Athens and have use of some free wifi again! Talk soon!

Posted by kmcveggie 01:21 Archived in Greece Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Budapest and Trip Part Two

overcast 20 °C

Budapest is a crazy city. The language is crazy, the people are crazy. When they don't speak English they DON'T want to help you, but when they do they are so friendly! Yesterday I went out exploring the city on the Buda side- the more historic side. Pretty much everything just looked older, not all that much to see I found. Finally found a grocery store though so that was nice. I really appreciate Canadian grocery stores, now that I've seen the Eastern-European ones. There's not much in them, and you can't even find everything you need in a supermarket, let alone a normal sized grocery store. And the normal ones are about as big as our Chevron's... crazy. My hostel is right downtown, literally next to St. George's basilica, so I went in there. It was beautiful! Very colourfuly decorated which was a nice change from all the beige that's normally in churches and cathedrals. I'd put pictures up but they wouldn't upload! I got a few from Berlin on though, so check those out at the bottom.
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Today I got up and skyped with Matt and Kristin (wooot!) was SO nice to hear from them! It's been a while since we've chatted, like, since I left Revy! Love you guys :)

I then went out to the turkish baths, from which I expected a relaxing time... and it was relaxing once I finally got in! The baths were huge, and the menu wasn't in English, and the counter girls didn't speak English either, so I tried using hand-gestures to indicate that I needed a towel. "Inside. Inside towel. Rent." The only room to change in is a little side room right out in the open in front of all the other women! Can I get a Ravensong, old-lady flashback circa '98? Anybody remember those school trips where the old ladies just changed, right there? Ya, I am now that lady, changing in front of everyone. Eeek.. Then I go to rent a towel, and I only brought 300 HUN because that's what the lady said it was for a small towel (around 2 CAD) and I thought that's all I'd need... well a "small towel" to the Hungarians is apparently a very large bedsheet! The lady hands it to me and I was like, "How do you figure I'm supposed to dry myself off with this?!" And she's like, "You can get big towel for 600," Holding up a fairly small-sized beach towel. I was like whatever... and took the sheet with me. The bath's were beautiful though, but there were a TON of old men staring at me which was really creepy until I realized they were just checking out my tattoo lol. There aren't that many tattooed people around, so it wasn't that creepy afterall. I didn't stay too long as all the warm water was making me sleepy, but it was really relaxing.
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I then walked around Pest, checking out a few memorials and statues and such, and then went searching for this vegan restaurant that I found on HappyCow that apparently has the best vegan pizza in Europe, and they don't lie. It was unreal, and the "cheese" was even melted! Yum! I also had a salad with a vegan creamy blue-cheese dressing. Ohhhhh ya.
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I forgot my map at the restaurant, and of course got lost trying to find the metro. Every corner store pointed me in a different direction, which was so not cool, but it's a good thing "metro" is the same in Hungarian, or else I would have been really screwed. Finally found my way home though!

I'm now sitting in my cute little hostel in Budapest, shaking with excitement as tomorrow I fly to CORFU. Yep, I have 10 nights booked in this tiny little hostel, in basically my own room (2-bed, but apparently they try to put you by yourself), where the beach is an 8-minute walk away, Sidari city is 20 minutes walk, and a little village is 10. I can't wait! I plan on running every morning and night (setting the bar HIGH people), eating fresh greek salad and hummas every meal, and drinking plenty of wine and coolers on the beach all day... so on second though there most likely will not be an evening run happening, but still! There won't be internet I don't think, so I'll probably only be able to get on a couple times while I'm out there, but I'm freaking stoked. Then, on the 22nd, I fly back to Athens and meet my mom and Krystal at the airport! They get in just over 2 hours after me so it's perfect. Can't wait to have some travel buddies! Ones that I can boss around too :) Just kidding ladies... mostly! But it will be fun. I've had the time of my life, literally, travelling solo, seeing new places, meeting new people, meeting AMAZING people, and experiencing new things, but I'm ready to start sharing my experiences with someone! Ready to have someone to share bottles of wine with, and take pictures of me! Haha. Part 1 of my trip has been awesome, and Part 2's got big shoes to fill, but I think it'll do just fine :)

Oh! And here are some pics from Berlin, sorry about the lack of photos but it's frustrating for me too when they won't upload!

Brangenburg Gate, famous historical site in Berlin
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The holocaust memorial, once you walk in it gets colder and quiter, very well done in my opinion.
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Showing how tall it gets once you're inside
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Standing in 2 places at once! Standing over the line that marks where the Berlin wall used to seperate East and West Germany
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Entering in Sachsenhausen concentration camp was this sign, it says, "Work will set you free"
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The neutral zone, where you were shot if you entered. It leads to many other obstacles like barbed wire, dogs, and hugh walls so you can't escape. If you stepped foot into the neutral zone, you were shot by guards who got extra pay and rations if they got a shot in, so often guards would throw a prisoner's hat into the neutral zone and demand that they get it so that they would have to be shot. Sick.
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And on a differrent note... a very excited 'walk' man!
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Posted by kmcveggie 08:54 Archived in Hungary Tagged tourist_sites Comments (2)

Day 70 - Wien

sunny 24 °C

Wow! 70 days have gone by, and I don't think I've ever been this exhausted or exhilerated in my life. I'm in Vienna, after a 5 hour train ride from Prague, and doing laundry to wash the old man off my towel (yuck!). I wandered around a teeny bit of Vienna today, and it's really beautiful, but I'm afraid it's just gonna be a pit stop for me this time. I thought I'd go sight seeing tomorrow and leave my pack with my hostel, but I have really annoying blisters on my feet, my back is killing me, I've been dealing with a massive headache for over a week now (I get it everytime I wake up, and around 4 in the afternoon, wtf?) and I can't be bothered to explore the city. At this point I'd much rather settle in Budapest for 3 nights, get the most out of that city, and leave Austria for another trip. Sad, but that's life! At least it's sunny here, and only get sunnier in Budapest and then Greece!
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Posted by kmcveggie 10:20 Archived in Austria Tagged train_travel Comments (1)

Pretty Prague

sunny 25 °C

Prague has been pretty good, and I’m a little sad to be leaving tomorrow! Tonight will be my last of 5 nights, and I feel so comfortable and settled here! Oh well, on to different things I guess!

I’ve been pretty chilled out overall in Prague, and it’s felt awesome. I went on a walking tour a couple of days ago and learnt about the city, met a cool welsh guy, and a really weird French guy, who was traveling solo as well. I was also approached earlier that day by a random guy from the states, asking me where the shopping mall was. Surprisingly, I didn’t know, as I’ve yet to find it as well and have just been shopping in the streets. After I said I didn’t know, he was like, “Oh! You speak English!” I was like ya, pretty sure everyone here does… and he started on this random story about how he went to Vancouver and thought it was beautiful and now wants to shop in Prague, and I was like ya Vancouver is cool, he was like, “Oh, have you been there?” I was like ya I live in BC, and he was like, “You’re SOOOOO lucky!” I was like ya… ok overly-nice creepy guy needs to peace out, as I was getting closer to my hostel and didn’t want him to see me get to my hostel! Right after he finishes his rant about Vancouver he’s like, “Wanna have coffee with me?” I was like nope! I’ve got somewhere to be, with my friends, who are back at my hostel.” YES. I did it, I lied to a stranger!! This has been really hard for me to do, but I guess I can do it well under pressure. Shopping mall guy takes the hint and peaces, without first telling me his name, because I’ll of course need that in the future (??). I’ve forgotten it already!
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After the walking tour my room was full of 5 English guys, who I got the pleasure of listening to all night. No really, I loved it! Makes me want to go back, just for the accents. It’s something about their choice of words and the way they, like, flow their sentences, I just loooove it. My future husband should definitely have an accent.

Today I got up with a sore throat, puffy eyes, and a pounding headache, even though I’d had plenty of sleep. I made my way down to a veggie café for lunch, buying a super cute top on the way (the cure for all ailments) and had a really yummy, healthy, sort of Mexican lunch. After that I joined in on the Prague castle tour, and met a bunch of other solo travelers, and had an awesome tour. Got to see great views of the city as well. Our tour guide was hilarious. She’d go off onto these random tangents about stuff it was so funny. Wore the wrong shoes for the tour though and have mega blisters to deal with for the next couple of days. I met 2 other Aussie guys, traveling separately, who both seemed really cool, until the end when the three of us were walking back towards the main square where our hostels were, and the one guy starts talking about how cheap coke is in Prague, and I was like, “Coke?“ thinking Coca-Cola, as the prices of it does fluctuate quite a lot throughout Europe, and he was like, “Ya, cocaine.” Like it was no big deal. I was like, shit, who is this guy? And he had clearly bought some because the end of his story was how the dealer was telling him to tell all of his other Aussie friends to come and buy from him too. Strange, he seemed so nice! The other Aussie just kind of agreed, and then talked about taking it back to Aus and selling it for what it’s worth there, and I was like well, my hostels that way so… see you!
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I get back into my room and read my addicting book for a bit, and the 5 English guys, lads if you will, were in there so we were chatting, then an older English guy (who just got in today) comes in and grabs his bag and heads out. I kept reading and was chatting with the English boys. I got up and changed and did a bunch of things around the hostel and I was just about to go to the café where I’ve been getting the wifi when I notice that my towel is gone. I always hang it in the same spot, so I figured maybe the maids thought someone left it behind and took it to the front desk. I checked, and they said that the laundry would be back tomorrow around mid-day. I said that could work, I’d just take a later train to Vienna, but she gave me another clean travel towel that someone else had left behind, and said if I wanted to take it I could, so I said thanks. I go back to my room, and there’s my towel hanging back on the bunk! I was like, “What the hell!” And all the guys looked at me like I was crazy (I was pretty loud), and I was like where’d it come from? And they kind of looked from me to the old guy, who’d clearly just had a shower. I asked the old guy, “Is that yours?” He was like, “Ya…?” And I was like, “NO it’s not! It’s mine!” He was like, “Oh, I just assumed it was mine because it was hanging there.” Like SO nonchalantly, and I was like, “No that’s mine! That’s my towel.” He said back, “Oh, well I won’t be using it anymore, I leave tomorrow so you can have it back now.” I was like NO SHIT IT’S MINE!! No, I didn’t say that but I did say, “Um, ya I would think so! Seeing as how it’s mine!” And then I looked over at all the guys and they just shrugged and looked at me like, oh ya lol. Cool! Good times in hostels, good times. My final words were, “I’m going to get a drink.” And the guys laughed, and I hope the guy realizes what he did because he didn’t even say sorry once! If he’d have been like, “Shit! Sorry I didn’t realize!” I would have been semi-okay, but he didn’t even think he did wrong! Anyways, weird. I returned the loaner towel to the front desk lady, who was confused as I was just there, and told her where my towel had been and she’s like, “Ooooh, that’s weird.” I was like TOTALLY. Too funny, makes a good story I guess looking back now. Except that I have to go out of my way tomorrow to find myself a laundromat to wash my stuff! In Vienna, a town I don’t know yet! Great, should be a fun adventure. Anyways sorry about the absence of pictures again, there has been no good wifi around; all the signals are low and it would take hours to upload just a few pictures, but once I get some good stuff then I’ll put them all up for sure. Off to Vienna tomorrow, Budapest next, then the sunny beaches of Greece for a mini-vacation!

Posted by kmcveggie 11:34 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Berlin and Prague: Day 1 From Hell

rain 15 °C

Berling was such an amazing city. Unfortunately, travelling got me again, and I was feeling a bit queasy on my last full day there. I didn't get out of the hostel till around 1, and I decided to go see the east side gallery, which was a huge part of the wall that they paint over every year and let artists paint a new section. A lot of the wall was still white, but the sections I saw were good. Next I went to a giant Humana second hand store, found myself a cute dress! This makes for an even worse time closing my bag (I literally DREAD having to pack, because it's hit-or-miss weather it will close or not!). I had dinner and went to bed early, trying to avoid getting run down again!

So yesterday is travel day, and I head off to Prague without a hitch. I'm reading Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth," so I was stoked to get almost 5 hours to read it. The train ride was really uncomfortable, but the scenery going through the Czech Republic was awesome. I had directions written down for my hostel, so I get out of the metro station and walk down Valentinesky, getting to the end and not finding Elinska Krasnohorske, where I'm supposed to turn left. It starts to POUR, and I figure I'll just duck into a store, ask where it is, and they'll help me. Well, no one knew the hostel, but they directed me down a whole nother set of streets to find this Elinska Krasnohorske. I walk down it in the pouring rain, with no luck of finding the hostel. Finally I found a rental car business, where a lady looked up the site and found the address, which said it was on that road, and the number. She called it and the owner, who could not speak English, told me what road it is (in Czech, which I couldn't understand... "It mean's spirit in English!" well that REALLY helps me lady!!) and told me it was in between the Spanish Synogogue and the Church. So the lady at the car place lead me down there, which was another 10 minutes away, and I went between the two buildings and couldn't bloody find it. At this point I'm soaked, pissed off, and ready to just sit down and cry! It had been over an hour of searching now, and I was not happy.

I go into a clothing store and asked to use their phone and called this woman again. She is like, "Why you not see, there is sign! Go to sidewalk between Spanish Synogogue and zee Church!"I was like, "I DID and I can't find it!!" She was like, "Stand on corner of synogogue, and I will meet you," I was like, "Thanks!" So I'm waiting for 10 minutes, and I can't find the lady. A guy from a walking tour came up to me and told me everything was going to be alright lol, and he gave me a map with two recommended hostels in it, and a bar crawl flyer for later, I was like thanks I may need that! After all this the woman still hadn't found me, so I found a cop and I was like, "Can you call this number and talk to this woman for me and find me my hostel?!" He was like um, no? But he knew the hostel and walked me to it: It was a plain building with the door set farther in with a tapes up paper sign saying "Hostel Center". NO WONDER I COULDN'T FIND IT!! How do you expect anyone to find that? And He told me if I was staying there to be careful because there had been reports that the owners stole from the guests, I was like, "There's NO WAY I'm staying here!" So I rang the doorbell and this bitty czech woman came out and was like, "You called me I was looking for you," I was like whatever! She told me things like, "You don't know Prague so I will tell you what to do and I will give you map- I am here to help you." I was like whatever woman, I'm not staying here! The internet didn't work, the kitchen was in HER living space, and I was just creeped out. I dropped my bag and took my valuables, walked to one of the recommended hostels and they had room for 5 nights for me, walked back, paid for one night and peaced out of there so fast! Grrrrrrr! There are days when you just wish you don't have to deal with this crap, but you do, and you move on! My hostel now is AMAZING and I've met a ton of people so far!

After I checked in, I went to the grocery store to get some dinner and stuff for the next few days, and my bill came to like 490.00 kc's! It's so weird trying to deal with this currency. It's really hard to convert in your head, and it feels very strange handing someone 300 crowns and then getting a coin back in change! I guess its about 1 euro to 25 crowns so that's a bit easier? Weird. Like my strongbow last night was 100 crowns. Crazy!

I decided to go on the pub crawl last night, and I ended up seeing the guy who came up to me yesterday when I was lost, so I thanked him. I was walking along with the mass crowd to the first bar, and I looked beside me and saw Sarah, who I met in Bruges! She wasn't feeling well, and we didn't get to chat all that much, but it was nice to see a familiar face! I met some really cool people from California and a couple of Aussie guys and overall had a fantastic evening, to top off a crazy day.

Today, I didn't get much done. I woke up late, went for a very intense thai foot massage. I say intense as in I think she ripped my muscles off of my calves, but it felt good-ish afterwards. My feet needed it, and it was cheap. Not so much relaxing, but good. Then I went (wait for it....) shopping, and couldn't resist buying a top, even though my bank account is startlingly low and my pack no longer closes! You only live once, right?

I met a guy while cooking dinner, Larry. The opening line was, "Hey, are you the vegesaurus?" haha I was like, "Am I the what now?" But I wore my veggie pj shirt to breakfast and he's a veg too so he took notice. We chatted and now were having soy chai lattes. Fun!

Posted by kmcveggie 11:12 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged backpacking Comments (5)

A Visit with an Old Friend and Berlin City!

sunny 29 °C

Wow, neglecting this thing once more! And thanks to my mother for pointing it out, the pressure's on to get a new post out! And unfortunately, due to a slow wifi connection, no pics on this one even though I've got some good ones! :(

I spent Friday and Saturday with Max in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, in Bavaria, Germany. We had a blast! He picked me up from the station, we quickly caught up on the last 5 years, and bam! We get along great. And with the mention of wanting to become a veg, we were BFF in a matter of hours. Friday night we rented a movie in English, made a stir fry for dinner, had some wine, and chatted. Max even helped me buy semi-permanent hair colour so I could give my do a little refresher. So Saturday morning when Max went to work, I had the luxury of an empty house (one I haven't had in over 2 months! It's crazy the things you take for granted at home, like privacy!), so I died my hair and hung out all morning until Max got off at one. We then went into Erlangen, got some dinner stuff, returned the movie, and got me an English book (The Pillars of the Earth, so far very good!) We made vegan pizza and a yummy salad, and drank more wine and chatted about the world and all it's problems, it was great! Took it easy again; Max was tired from the night before, and I couldn't be bothered either, so we called it off with his friends and just relaxed again. We even got to puppy-sit for his mom while she was at the neighbour's pre-wedding party; Afrau and Paule were two very loving German Short-hairs, who were freaking adorable. It's funny though, you feel REALLY dumb when even the dog doesn't understand you. I'm trying to tell them to sit or lay down, but they're German too and have no idea what I'm saying! I realized that and had a good laugh lol. The party was next door, and everyone in the neighbourhood couold come and eat, drink, and break old plates on the sidewalk. No kidding, we heard them all night! But it's a German tradition, and it was cool to watch through the window.

On Sunday, before dropping me off at the station, we went to Max's Grandmother's house to play with the dogs once more, then I was off on my way to Berlin. The journey was pretty long, but I'm getting used to travelling long distances, and the second train I had I shared a cabin with a really nice Austrian lady and a very finatic German guy who insisted he tell me everything I should see in Europe. Was a good source of info, that's for sure! Got into Berlin late and was exhausted, so I chatted with my really cool dormmates and we all had an early night.

Yesterday was my first full day in Berlin, and of course I went on the free walking tour. I was a little disapointed in the guide I got, but it was a good tour nonetheless. We started out in the Pariser platz, and saw the Brandenburg Gate, and the hotel that MJ dangeled his baby out of. We learned a TON of history during the tour, saw the remaining part of the Berlin Wall, saw Hitler's Bunker (now a car park, but we were literally standing over the place where he killed himself), walked through the Jewish memorial, which was quite moving, saw the memorial to the burnt books, which was quite eerie. It was plexi glass in the pavement, where you look down into quite a big white library full of empty shelves. Gave me shivers! Good tour. Met two really nice Aussies, Sarah and Victoria on it as well. The only part that made me mad was when our tour guide was talking about Hitler, saying he was vegetarian, and that no one that clean-living should be trusted! I was like, there goes half of your tip! I just about said something, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself; it doesn't sound that bad now, but it was harsh at the time! After the tour I went window shopping, and then headed back to the hostel and once again chatted with my dormmates for the rest of the night.

Today I met up with Sarah, her friend Nicole, and a fellow Canadian Elise on the non-profit tour of Sachsenhausen, the concentration camp half an hour outside of Berlin. It was a heavy day, but I learnt a ton, and I think it's important that these places are preserved and that tours go there to teach about what the people had to go through during this sick time. It was eye-opening and amazing. I'm not going to write a lot about it, because it was really sad and gruesome, but I did learn a few things. I learned that there were more gypsies killed in the holocaust than there were jews, and there were other groups of people who we don't hear about, that makes it all the more sad and disgusting. Also, I learned about so many companies who contributed to the holocaust, and how they used the prisoners for their own slave labour. It was something else to walk through the same gates, the same houses, and the same concrete fields that all those people did just 70 years ago. Something else.

After that everyone was in a bit of a mood, so we all dispersed and had naps at our hostels! It was a hot, hot day and a mentally exhausting one as well. I had dinner at a yummy vegan cafe, and now here I am finally updating this blog!

Posted by kmcveggie 13:12 Archived in Germany Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

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