Joined October 2021 Message
  • Day5

    Lighthouses and Good Food

    August 12 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    I slept soooo well last night. Probably had something to do with yesterday's drive. The bed is a bouncy one and a little soft for me but I guess it was okay. It is raining when I get up but it will clear later. I want to see a couple of lighthouses today.

    I made it to the first one. It is about 40 minutes away. The road to get there is a little sketchy but my trusty Escape handles the road well. The road is a dirt road and goes on for about 3 kms. When I get to the parking lot, I see not one but two trucks that have pulled 5th wheels through that mess!

    This lighthouse is called Pointe-a-la-Renommee. They have a whole exhibit there, so get ready for your history lesson. The first lighthouse was built in 1880 and was a wood construction. This one did not weather well and was replaced in 1907 with a steel one that is there today. A little about the life of the lighthouse keeper. He not only had to keep the lighthouse lit (fueling it with oil every 3 hours/24 hours a day) but in foggy weather he had to keep the fog horn going (wood stoked) continuously as well. The really neat thing about the lighthouse is that this is where the first wireless transmission system in Canada. This was installed by the Guglielmo Marconi (famous Italian inventor of wireless transmission) company. This system allowed for communication with the passing ships. It was also used for telegraph messages and radio transmission. They have a wonderful exhibit on Marconi there which is very interactive. They also have a wonderful interactive video giving the history of the lighthouse.

    This lighthouse was decommissioned in 1975. It was then moved to a park in Quebec City. This outraged the locals and it took them 20 years to bring it back. The buildings currently at the site are all replicas of the original buildings and the lighthouse is back where it belongs. This was a marvelous exhibit! After which you can walk along the trails and just take in the beautiful scenery.

    The next lighthouse of the day was Cap Madeleine. This one did not have an exhibit, so I just took a couple of pictures. They do have a campground (of sorts) there. Only $20.00/night. I noticed quite a few campgrounds along the way. I’m not sure what kind of services they have but I can say most of them have killer views of the coast line!
    One thing about this area is the amount of time it takes you to drive from one area to another. I was going to head to a third lighthouse but I only had a couple of hours until sunset and didn’t want to drive home in the dark. You know that is when I’d meet that moose on some lonely stretch of road up in the mountains! So instead, I went to dinner.
    I found a place called Captainerie in Riviere-Madel. This was a place at one of the local ports where a few fishing vessels were moored. I saw a sign and followed it. Thank goodness I did!! They usually take reservations but they had a table that was open for an hour. I jumped at it. This has been the best food I have had this side of the Atlantic in forever. I ordered was they called a rib steak. This was marinated and cooked to perfection! Juicy, tender, flavourful. I was in culinary heaven. The salad and fries were okay. The wine was very good. The price $24.00 for the dinner, was excellent! The view was great! I’m so glad I stopped.

    It took me another 1.5 hours to get home and the shadows were getting very long by this time. I’m glad I didn’t do the third lighthouse.
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    Ellen Andrews-Eydt

    Well, you know I’m enjoying your lighthouse photos and info! I’m a long time fan of their maritime tales and history! Thanks! You are an Admirable solo adventurer! Thanks for sharing!

    Ellen Andrews-Eydt

    😮

    Ellen Andrews-Eydt

    👍⚓️

    3 more comments
     
  • Day4

    Rimouski to Gaspe

    August 11 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today started off okay. I got a good start at around 9 AM. The first few hours were nice. I stopped at a rest stop and had some lunch. I like having the stuff in the cooler. This is where the views just kept getting better the further I went. This region reminds me of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. The mountains and shale with the pines and white birch. Absolutely stunning to drive through. However, the drive itself was terrible.

    As with the rest of Canada, summer is road construction season! So, every 10 kms you had construction. They would shut it down to one lane and have traffic alternate using the one lane! This of course made the delays longer. This combined with small communities where the speed was reduced to 50 kms made for a long day of travel. On top of that I missed one of the turns on the Garmin and increased the trip by 150 kms. I thought it would be that far, but it was. Needless to say, I was very glad when I pulled into my home for the next 3 nights. I’m staying in a motel that has a kitchenette. I’m hoping to get some hiking in but they are calling for rain. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

    The pictures don’t do it justice to the scenery that I came through but take a look and see for yourself. Last note here. I want a refund because they had signs saying that there were moose but I didn’t see any!
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  • Day3

    One night in Rimouski

    August 10 in Canada ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    August 10th: Montreal to Rimouski

    Today I got up early and went to get my breakfast at the bakery. I headed off around 9:30 AM. Getting out of Montreal and on my way was fairly simple. I have created a trip on my Garmin and so far it is working well. The drive I’m doing is along the TransCanada highway. Traffic is good and the weather is overcast again and the temperature is about 20 degrees. It is actually very scenic. The farther I get the more scenic it gets. This route follows the St. Lawrence River and goes through rich farm land which then turns into a more rugged country side. You can see hills and valleys and the trees are turning more to evergreens and white birch. You know you are heading farther north when you see white birch.

    I stopped at a rest stop a couple of hours in to have a bathroom break and stretch my legs. This was a very nice rest stop that had flush toilets and a nice picnic area. You could take a walk around the place and get the blood flowing again. I don’t want to just drive straight through since my back will be toast in no time flat. So, I make a loop of the rest area, grab a croissant and some water and head back out.

    I stop for gas and then for lunch. I make to Rimouski by around 4:30 PM. The place I booked here is for one night only. It is nothing special and unfortunetly is on a busy street with train tracks across the street. Not sure how good I’ll sleep tonight. It is clean though and has everything I need for one night. I take a walk down to the river and find a little place where I pickup some cheese, bread and sliced ham for dinner. This is all I really need. I head back to the room and have a nice shower, some dinner and write up my blog.

    Tomorrow, I head to the Gaspe region for a few days. See you then.

    I went down to the water this morning. They have a very nice waterfront area. There are stores, restaurants and bars. The view was nice (tide was out)
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  • Day1

    Hamilton to Montreal

    August 8 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Hi everyone. This trip is different from the last one. This is a driving trip to the east coast of Canada. I'm going for about 7 weeks. I am going to write this one a little different as well. I plan to write it based on the towns I'm in instead of each day adding a new entry. I will be having driving days when nothing really of note will be happening, so I thought this would be a better way of doing things. Let me know if you like it.

    I packed my Escape and brought the cooler with me for keeping stuff cold along the way. I haven’t been really worried about packing too much because I have the Escape. I put a couple of shelving racks in the back to hold little totes with shoes, kitchen stuff, camera bag, etc. I think this will work well for this trip. I want to see how this works because I’m planning on taking a 4-month trip next year to the west coast. (Stay tuned!)

    Let the trip begin: Hamilton to Montreal:

    I left on Monday August 8th at 5:45 AM. I wanted to beat the Toronto traffic so I thought leaving early would be a good idea. The traffic wasn’t really bad through Toronto, just slow downs but not stopped. So I guess my plan worked. Still took an hour to get through Toronto though. It is an overcast day today which will be good for driving. Once you get past Toronto it’s smooth sailing. Put on some counrty music and just watch the scenery go by. (As well as driving in a safe manner.)

    I only had to stop once for gas and a bite to eat and make it to Montreal by around 2 PM. Laura meets me and we find a place to park. They shut down Mont-Royal Avenue to cars in the summer and it becomes a pedestrian walkway. So, we find a side street for parking. Only a block from where I’m staying. I am staying at a place I have stayed before in February. It is only two blocks from Laura’s and two blocks and two store fronts from the best croissants I have ever tasted. (Yes, there will be lots of food in this blog as well!) I take up my stuff and then head back to Laura’s to catch up on family stuff. I have baked her some oatmeal cookies and brought the book I made from the Greece blog for her to see. Laura has to work and I’m tired from driving, so I make an early night of it.

    On Tuesday, Laura and I do what we do best. Go shopping! I’m not really a shopper but there are a few stores that I like. I pick up some clothes and a couple of pairs of sandals. The most fun I have is dressing Laura and she has no objections to me having fun. We stop for lunch at a crepe restaurant and then continue on. Laura has found a store that sells clothes based on the 50’s and 60’s! Laura has the figure for this, so I splurge for a few outfits. Check out the pictures! She even has crinolines on underneath them!

    Afterwards we head back to get cleaned up for dinner. We are having dinner with Laura’s friends; Kate and Zack. Laura went to school with Kate and I like the pair of them. We have dinner at a place called Boris Bistro. ( http://borisbistro.com/en ) This is a very nice place that is certified gluten free (for Laura). It has an indoor seating area but the outside terrace is so much nicer. It has a nicer menu for a more upscale dining experience. I chose the duck confit and it was wonderful. It was not really that expensive considering we all had a drink and dessert. Kate and Zack are planning to take a motorcycle trip to the tip of South America. I think this is going to be a year long adventure for them. I hope they will do a blog so we can keep up with them. I brought my Greece book for them to see. They were following the blog on line and they both liked the idea of it turning into a hardcover book. We had a great time with these two! When I was in Greece, I was knitting them each a pair of socks to take on their trip, so I hope they liked them. I’m looking forward to seeing them again in September on my return visit.

    After dinner I head back with Laura. We part ways and I head home to pack up for tomorrow. I will be heading to Rimouski and that will be about a 6-hour drive. Talk to you later!
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    Ellen Andrews-Eydt

    Oh boy! On the Road Again🎶 Looking forward to traveling with you! Thank you for sharing!

    Ellen Andrews-Eydt

    Leave a comment …lead on! I hope to follow suit with our next trip' Happy blogging!

     
  • Day30

    I'm Home

    June 18 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    I’m up at 6:00 AM today because I have to leave by 8:00 AM. I have my morning coffee on the balcony and quietly say goodbye to Greece. My taxi driver tells me the zoo animals have been moved out to a different zoo where they have more space and just the turtles are left. One mystery solved.

    Here is my saga with Air Canada. I called last night (you don’t actually get a person; you have to wait for a call back). This has to be done on my Canadian Sim card, since the Air Canada international number doesn’t work! So, I wait my 3 hours for a call back and get someone on the phone. I’m trying to get upgraded to Business Class. She is very nice and I feel sorry for these operators because Air Canada is messing with so many people, they must have a lot of hostile calls. I ask about switching my seat and she tells me to contact my travel agent. I tell her that Air Canada has locked out my reservation and my travel agent cannot do anything. She tries to access my reservations and she can’t get in either. I am put on hold (again!) while she gets a hold of IT. (We know this is not going to end well, if IT has to get involved) She comes back on line and says that if I want Business Class it will be $4500.00 more, on top of what I have already paid!!!! I explain that I have been trying for a month to do this and I don’t know why I should have to pay todays price for Business, when a month ago it was $1500.00. She says that she is sorry but she can’t do anything else. She told me to get to the airport early and maybe they can do something on their end.

    I get to the airport early and am the second person waiting to talk to someone when they open. Just as an aside, I am doing better than the other guy because his Air Canada flight has been cancelled and rebooked for 3 days later. He had to be back at work yesterday.
    The counter staff tell me that the flight is now fully booked and I’m screwed. Does anyone think I’m flying Air Canada again????

    I pay to get into a lounge because I now have 4 hours to wait for my flight, since they have delayed the flight by another hour. I may get off the ground, I may not.

    Well, I got off the ground at 2:30, that is a 1:45 minute delay. I did not get upgraded but at least I have an aisle seat. I do notice that there were empty seats in Premium Economy and Business Class. I’m not peeved, honest! The food is not bad, the service is not bad, the seat is uncomfortable, but it is only for 10 hours, right? I do manage to get up and walk around a bit. I downloaded 2 movies, so I watch those, do some knitting (stop laughing, it goes with me everywhere!).

    We make it to Toronto, and we are told that only those with connecting flights are allowed off because TSA can’t handle the numbers of people. Yeah, more time in my seat. After an hour they let off 75 people at a time. I made sure I was number 67! I make it through Customs get my luggage and head out.

    I get my limo home and make it home by 7:00 PM. This has been a 17:00 travel day! I’m bushed! I have just enough energy to text the kids and let them know I’m home and then hit the sack.

    Trip stats (for those of you who might be interested):
    Number of Countries: 3
    Number of Day: 30
    Number of Footprints: 30
    Number of Photos: 322
    Number of Kilometers: 18,100
    Number of Smiles: Infinite!
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    Debbie Bramer

    Welcome home!

    6/20/22Reply
    Jane Kipp

    You didn't read this or else you'd be all over the IT comment...

    6/20/22Reply
     
  • Day29

    Last Day In Greece

    June 17 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Last day in Greece. I have my breakfast and relax for a bit before going out. I head out in the afternoon to the National Gardens which are by the Parliament Buildings. They are a few city blocks in size and have paths wandering through. The towering trees offer plenty of shade from the heat. Today is hot with sun (seems the norm here). There are plaques on the trees but they are all Greek to me. (I had to throw that one in.) They have built little nooks and crannies here and there with benches for people to have their lunch, a coffee or just sit and relax. There are not many flowers here or I have the wrong time of year. It seems to be mostly very tall, very old trees. The trees do a good job of drowning out the noise from the traffic and makes it quite enjoyable in the middle of a metropolis. I head over to the zoo (I’m a sucker for animals) but it is closed! I wander a bit farther and come up to a turtle pond. Well, there animals at least.

    Next to the gardens is an area of the city called Plaka. It is a subdivision that has many shops and restaurants. I head over to there for some dinner. I find a place called Saita Taverna. It has your typical outdoor seating and is busy. Perfect combination for good food. I find a seat and order a Greek salad with a lamb casserole that comes with French fries and a glass of wine. I don’t have lamb very often since it is quite fatty but man is it good. This one is with carrots and gravy and is nice and tender, it just falls off the bone. The salad is nice and crisp and the atmosphere pleasant.
    After dinner I walk back to my place to start the packing process.

    On the way home I stop at a wine store. I walk in to put up some wine for my last night here. I explain that I would like a dry white. The lady asks me how much I want, I’m a little taken a back. Apparently, they sell wine out of the barrel in 1-, 1.5- or 2-liter bottles. You also get to ‘taste test’ prior to buying. This is for local wines. They also have bottles if you prefer a different wine from a different area. How cool is that?? I can walk in and get a liter of wine for 3 Euros poured directly from the barrel! Yeah, I like Greece. I walk a little further and pick up a dessert that is absolutely delicious. Yes, pictures are included!
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    Debbie Bramer

    🤣 nice pun! Sounds amazing, I saw a jewelry booth, what did you get there?. Have a good flight home!!

    6/18/22Reply
    Jane Kipp

    I bought nothing. The flight home has its own challenges!

    6/18/22Reply

    I got here on the 18th for your adventures on the 17th- so strange! :) Hope your do a post-trip blog too! Ive learned from your adventured! Safe Home! [Ellen Andrews-Eydt]

    6/18/22Reply

    But of course! :) [Ellen]

    6/18/22Reply
     
  • Day28

    The Main Event. I Made It To The Top!

    June 16 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Hi there, only two more days in my trip left. After my nutritious and delicious breakfast, I throw on the sunscreen and head out for the tourist highlight of my trip. Yes, I am going to climb (well, walk but I’m sure it will feel like a climb!) up to the Acropolis in Athens. If you check the definition (I already did for you) acropolis means a citadel of ancient Greece. Hence, you have to name the city. If you go back to the beginning in Rhodes, I talk about the acropolis in Lindros.

    Okay, I’ll stop being analytical. It is bright sunshine and a little warm (26o C). I grab a bottle of water and set off. My Google Maps says 15 minutes. I am starting realize that Google Maps is a little subjective. I say this because 15 minutes is actually 25 minutes and that is to the bottom of the acropolis. The stairs up to it is another 20 minutes (exertion breaks included to gulp water!).
    The walkway up has olive trees and what may have been shops where merchants sold their wares and lived. Today it is a pleasant place to get out of the sun and buffers you from the noise of a modern-day city.

    So, after making it to the top, I am quite proud of myself. Yes, there are plenty of other people here but I’m still proud I made it.

    One of the first sites you come upon is the Theatre of Dionysos. This is a large open-air theatre can hold up to 5000 people (bring your own seat cushion!) This is where ancient plays were performed. Today they actually have performances here as well. I bet the acoustics are great. (I included a photo of this summers performances)

    At the top of hill, you see The Temple of Athena Nike. A small but important temple where women of day who were pregnant would go to bring offerings for a successful pregnancy. The view from up here is as well. Athens is really a very large city. I know that sounds silly, but I have been on islands for the past month where population of the major town was 10,000 people. Athens has over 3 million people.

    Back on track now. The walkway up here is marble and very slippery, even when there is no rain! I am very careful of my footing because I’m not sure how they get a stretcher up here. The imposing structure behind me, otherwise know as the Parthenon it massive. You are not allowed inside it but you can walk around it. You have to wonder how the marble slabs were erected. I’m sure it is somewhere on Google. Built between 447 and 437 BC it stands almost 14 meters high and is 73 meter long and 34 meters wide. The columns are ‘slices’ of marble that are carved and then placed one on top of the other. It is not hugely busy when I’m there so I can take my time and wander back in my mind to flowing robes, gold jewelry and educated people wandering around doing their day-to-day business.

    As I wander around, I look off into the distance. There is a monument quite far away. I later check on line to find out it is the Monument of Filopappos, who was a prominent consul and administrator of the time. I don’t know if my pictures do it justice, but you can come here and check it out. (Hint, there is climbing involved!).
    Another word of warning is that there is no shade up here. If it rains, you and your camera equipment get wet. There is also no amenities like a bathroom or water, there are at the bottom of the hill, so be prepared. After I get my fill of history, I head back down slowly. (Marble is just as slippery going down). I make it to the bottom and am in need of food and drink.

    On my way home I find a restaurant called El Greco. It is not too busy and it has shade. I have a nice meal with a salad and souvlaki with a glass of wine. There wine here is very good. I always ask for a local wine and have never been disappointed. I head home for a shower and some much needed rest.
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    Debbie Bramer

    Great ending to an amazing trip!!

    6/17/22Reply
    Debbie Bramer

    Great pictures, I can only imagine how many more you have!!

    6/17/22Reply
     
  • Day27

    The Museum and Excavation Site

    June 15 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Good morning, all! The bed here is super comfy and I don’t think I moved all night. They have roll down window ‘shutters’ here (I’ve seen these elsewhere in Europe) and they act like total blackout blinds and noise barriers. You can have them all the up or down or a partial way. (Wish I had these at home on night shift!) I have my breakfast of yogurt, fresh fruit, muesli, and honey. The place I’ve rented is fairly close to the main attractions so I can walk. Today I’m going to the Acropolis Museum.

    It is a very warm walk (up hill) to the museum. It is only 15 minutes (according to Google Maps) but it seems longer. Along the way I notice that the trees have oranges on them. They have planted orange trees up and down the street. It looks like they are ready to pick as well. A quick Google search, tells me that these are bitter oranges and are not good for eating. Still, it looks pretty!

    The museum is a very modern building covering some very ancient ruins. The building was started in 2004 and opened in 2009. The exhibits inside are wonderful, however the exhibits underneath is surprising. As you walk up to the entrance the walk way is actually glass. I normally hate these but this one show that the museum was built over an old ancient settlement that dates from the 7th-9th century AD that has been excavated! How cool is that? I have to talk a little about how the building was constructed. The old settlement had been found in 1989 when they were excavating for the current building. Excavation was stopped while the settlement could be studied. It was then decided to use a floating design for the building so that the settlement would not be ruined. Now you can see the exhibits inside the museum and under the museum.

    Several of the artifacts in the museum are very well displayed and the stone column statues of the women were actually moved here from the Acropolis and restored for preservation. After viewing all the exhibits, you can then wander underneath the building on walk-ways to check out the city below the museum. You can actually see the clay pipes used for plumbing. You can also see where they would have had outside patio space. Amazing! Check out the pictures.

    After this I head for some late lunch/early dinner at a place in a little square on my way home. It has been a pleasant day.
    I could see the Acropolis staring down at me from the museum, goading me to walk up and check it out. That will be tomorrow’s adventure!
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  • Day26

    Last Stop....Athens

    June 14 in Greece ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    I’m in Athens! Final leg of this journey. I grab a taxi to my last place and follow the directions to get the keys. Hey, guess what? No stairs!!! I have an elevator!! Very small but an elevator none the less. I’m on the 5th floor, so in goes the luggage and me. Up we go! This place is located in central Athens. There are local shops for food and groceries. It feels like a regular residential neighbourhood. I have a balcony that overlooks the street. This place is clean, modern and spacious. It also has a nice bathroom, mirrors and two working air conditioners! I get settled in and head out for some groceries. I had lunch in Syros, so just a little bit will do for dinner tonight.

    I poke around the apartment here and find a washer, ironing board, iron, plenty of hangers in the closet. The kitchen is well equipped. It even has a microwave! This is the first one I have seen in Greece. It must be the difference between the mainland and the islands. The other first was a toaster. Yep, none of those on the islands either.

    I hop in the shower and thoroughly enjoy the rain shower and so much room in the shower. The last place I had, the shower curtain kept sticking to my butt and the taps were sticking in my stomach. This one just makes you go AHH! I throw in a load of laundry and make myself something to eat. I check out what I have planned for Athens and how to get there.
    Next thing I know, it is time for bed.
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  • Day25

    I Found a Roman Catholic Church!

    June 13 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today is the last full day in Syros so I’m taking myself up, up, and away to the Ano Syros. This is the original town that was built high on a hill (Surprise!) to keep the marauding pirates at bay (literally!). Back in the day, pirates would plunder coastal villages, so this one was built high up. Now, I would like to elude to the fact that I walked up (you can, if your in your 20’s and are fitter than I was in my 20’s) but I walked down to the port and grabbed a taxi. He dropped me off at the beginning of the town (no roads up here) and I start my climb.

    I have come to see the Cathedral of St George. Originally built in 1200’s it was destroyed in 1617 by the Turks, who then hanged the bishop and his vicar. In 1652 it became the cathedral for the Roman Catholic diocese for Syros and Mykonos. There are only 50,000 Roman Catholics in Greece (left over from the Venetian rule) and most live on Syros. This is not a huge church as other cathedrals are in Europe however; it is just a serene and beautiful. The walk up is through little paths that lead to people’s homes. I have no idea how people found their way in these little villages. They must have known everyone and just kept thinking: “Turn left at Mary’s house, up three sets of stairs, turn left at Peter’s house with the cat, up two sets of stairs, turn right and Paul’s house is the first one on the right”. Other than a different house plant on the stoop, I can’t tell the difference.

    I do make it up to the church (there are signs and my trusty Google Maps). There are not many people up here today, if I have passed 6 people the entire time that would be pushing it. The church sits at the very top of the mountain and has a commanding view of Ermoupoli below. It is quiet and peaceful up here. The church has columns and a walkway around the entrance to shade you from the elements. Inside the church is cool and quiet. It has the same blue colour of the Orthodox churches I have been in, which makes me think that this is just the colours in Greece and not a secular thing. It looks as if some repair work is being done on the ceiling but the overall effect is very nice. There are some wonderful paintings but no stained glass that you would expect in a cathedral. The baptism is the oldest part of the cathedral and is off to the one side of the main church. There is a grave stone inside the church but I couldn’t find out who is buried there.

    I leave the church and make my way down the village to the camara which is where the village begins. On my way, I find sleeping cats, houses adorned with flower pots on their door steps and only one other person. I do see a pharmacy but no other stores. Where do they get groceries? Do they drive down to Ermoupoli for their food and stuff? Don’t know. When I get to the bottom, I find a taxi dropping someone else off. Bonus!!! I ask if he will take me back to port and hop in. Yeah, I’m a wimp but I have more than made my step count every day (most of it up stairs and hills!).
    Back in Ermoupoli, I pick a restaurant for dinner. This place was called Mammo and was on the main port street. Service was awful, food mediocre, the view is what saved it. I ordered an appetizer, glass of white wine and a main. The main course came, with no wine or appetizer. I called the waitress over (someone else delivered the dish) and she went and got the rest of my order. She never came back to check on me. I had to get up and walk into the main part of the restaurant to pay. Guess how much her tip was!

    I head back to my place and pack. Tomorrow I’m off to my final destination in Greece, which is Athens. Talk to you there!
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