elliemenellie

Joined April 2017
  • Day6

    Day 5 (44): Chania or Xanía

    May 18, 2017 in Greece

    Daryl was determined p have a day in bed. Good plan.
    So we got up for breakfast and had to leave the hotel, but good for him to get out before settling in, because he woke up with a lot of blood and was freaking out a little, not that he would admit it of course. So we wandered around a little and he decided he wanted to get back so we went to the bakery next to the hotel. We had pastries which I had apple and Daryl had cheese and spinach.

    So I left him around 10/1030 ish, and started off towards the lighthouse across the harbour, of which we have a cute little view from our window. I could see super heavy cloud in the mountains behind he town, so I essentially legged it out there! Once I got to the lighthouse I realised it actually wasnt as close as it looked from a different angle. I took my ime out there a little bit, and stopped a the structure halfway along the wall on my way back. It had taken me at least half an hour to make my way out there. The beginning of the wall was much further away than I thought it was going to be from my view through the window. I noticed the old Byzantine church looking building on the harbour had something to do with the battle of Crete, and locked that information away for later.

    So I wandered around and thought about getting on the bus tour, and thought about trying to find the big market, of which I couldn't easily do either. So I ended up doing a big lap. I walked from he Venetian harbour over to the harbour to the east, hen I turned inland and walked around the edge of the old town (not that I particularly knew this at the time!) and back down along he old wall to the water again, but now on the West side of the Venetian Harbour. The bus stop showed a while, so I walked down to the beach instead. And happened through a market along the way. This was a much more local market containing fruits and vegetables and olives. At the end there were a couple of clothing stalls more aimed at tourists. As I was walking back from the beach I decided to stop and have a beer. I only had €50 notes on me, so I thought I better eat something too and spend a little more! So I had tzatziki and bread for lunch. It was delicious!! And I had a view out onto the beach where I could watch the lone swimmer. Who was out there for at least 45-60mins! He got out just before I left, and I realised he had a gimpy arm and leg. Nothing weird or bad, just not something you see everyday so you can't contain your curiosity.

    I walked back to the stop through he market, which by now was mostly closed, or closing. The bus was imminent, and now had a ticket girl waiting so I thought great! I bought a ticket, waited and simply ran the thing around. Unfortunately I had to wee most of this journey, but it was still lovely and as always, some interesting things, and some things you get lost in the story telling. I did find out more about the battle of Crete, which occurred in 1941 during the second world war. One stop was also for the allied war graves cemetery.

    I got off the bus where I got on because it missed the actual last stop. I'm pretty sure he skipped stop two and took a short cut because no one said they wee getting off at the war graves. Ha, ok then.

    So I walked pretty fast around the harbour to wee at home! Daryl then came out, bought a knife and we had a snack. We then left each other and I went looking for the big Agora. The cross shaped indoor market. I eventually found it and was quite disappointed. It was so touristy. I expected it to be more like he local meat and fish market, but it was far from it. Also, being now 6pm, there weren't many people, and a handful of stores were already closed.

    I headed back to the Byzantine church thing on the harbour. Inside there was an art exhibit. Not expected. And a short video with footage and subtitles about the battle of Crete. The information on the bus was passionate about the Cretens but factual about everything else; the movie was passionate about the Cretens and angry a little bit blame-ey about the New Zealanders being taken out, WHILE GERMANY WHERE TRYING TO INVADE, and not telling anyone. Yeh I'd probably be pissed too, but it still was a little weird. Not really there fault, more the commanders fault...that's who I would blame.

    Back to the hotel. Hang out for a while before we went to dinner. Soooooo full! Too full!
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  • Day5

    Day 4 (43): To Chania (Xavía)

    May 17, 2017 in Greece

    Woke up around 9 am and went down to a breakfast by the pool which was quite nice, but daryl woke me up and then wanted to go immediately so I wasn't particularly in the mood for food.
    He went feeling very good, so he went back to the room and I went to the desk to ask about the bus to Chania, and if it was possible to stop at Rethymno on the way. The answer was yes so that was going to be our plan, but daryl decided that he was in quite a bit of pain and together we decided not to bother stopping but just to get to Chania and see how we go. We therefore used up all of our time in the beautiful Galaxy Hotel and checked out at midday.

    We got a taxi to he bus terminal and one was leaving at 1230 so we didn't have long to wait. We knew which bus we were supposed to catch, but like all foreign bus systems, you never know when it's still, and people tend to start to crowd rather than line up. So we milled around a while and then someone came along and we had to ask in English to make sure, but we got our bus on, and ourselves on, and we were off!

    We talked for a while, but then I just took pics and dozed and Daryl listened to music. It was fairly uneventful trip, except some of the corners were intense! Woah. But all good. We ended up in Chania around 3pm. We made our way down o he harbour and our accommodation, while Daryl used google maps, as always, to get us there. It was a fairly easy walk, and we went past a few tourist shops/streets along the way!

    So Daryl was gearing up to stay in bed and rest, and I was gearing up to leave because I was quite hungry. Dual elided he would actually come with me for food and then go back to bed. So we walked out of he house about 5pm. We went to a place on the harbour called Gallini. It was nice enough. Daryl basically picked it because the glasses were shaped like boots, so he could drink beer out of a boot! I got a medium beer which would have been about 750ml, Daryl got the big one which ended up around 1.5 L. Ahhh, that's a lot of beer! We ended up ordering three starters and the beer and that was all.

    ...then the rain started. And we basically got stuck! It was coming down and a guy started walking around selling umbrellas, quite ingenious really, all the people stuck in he restaurants could get one and go home. We didn't bother, and chose to wait it out. Well...that waiting turned into ~5hours worth!! We were comfortable where we were and not long before we would have finished our beers, it really started beating down and we started to get wet so we moved back a table or two! This was good so we ordered the smaller beers, he medium for Daryl and the small for me, which would have been a pint. Then we asked the guys if hey had cards, which they did! So we played q full game of wild, and then probably three quarters of a game of 500, with a dead hand. At one point in the game we got free apple pie cake thing with ice cream. Then we ordered another round, and not log after that we got bruschetta with tomato and feta, along with another beer about a schooner in size! By this point we were close to leaving, so we ate and drank and then quickly called for the bill. It was €75, knocked down from 79.? And we weren't charged for any of the stuff they gave us for free! So at 1030/11 it was time to go. Oh, of course, and our free raki with our bill! Can't forget that.
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  • Day4

    Day 3 (42): Knossos

    May 16, 2017 in Greece

    Landed in Heraklion at a little after 6am, maybe 630am. Got up at 7am when the voice said people could get off the boat. Had a quick shower and left the boat by 730am.
    Walked to the bus stop and I asked he guy if there was a local bus to the Galaxy Hotel, the driver next to him said yes and we paid and followed him to a bus. He told the driver where we wanted to get off and we got on and waited about 5 minsbefore he departed. He also told us when we should get off s that was nice :)

    We asked to leave our bags, but they said the room was ready!! Yay!
    So we came in and relaxed for a bit before heading out. We walked to a bus stop for the hop on hop off tour where the next stop was Knossos. The ancient Minoan city where the Minotaur came from. Expected Moe based on Daryl saying "let's go see the Minotaur" instead of "let's go see the ancient Minoan city". And really, nothing cold be done because r I a story and not tangible.
    We chose not to get a tour guide, which was a mistake, but it didn't matter too much.
    The main thing I learned was that Evans, the archaeologist to discover and catalogue Knossos, started by trying to save the ruins as is, after he found they were getting severely degraded by weather erosion, to recreating things in concrete as he saw them to be, including high relief tablets, which have had different interpretations over the years. Also, because his work was done from about 1902 (after he finished two years of uncovering), to 1930/1, they are now counted as national treasures and are also part of the Heritage Listing for the site. Winch means all of the parts you used to be able to go into to see his reconstruction is now of limits which may defeat the purpose of his work in the first place...

    So we finished and got lunch at a restaurant nearby. Daryl got, on my recommendation, the Stifado, which is a beef dish cooked with cocktail onions in a tomato sauce. It was very good and tender. I got the gyros which were really good. Our plan was share, which we sort of did, but sort of didn't. I asked for he bill as days was finishing so we could get the bus and he shushed me, which I wasn't happy about, and hoping he wouldn't force our hand to have to stay there and wait for the next bus. He waited and waited, and finally gave it to us, thankfully it was about 29.90 and Daryl had 30 on him, so we paid and ran, as we had already seen the bus turn up. We just made it, thankfully!

    So we next went to the Archaeological Museum in the city centre. We had bought anoint ticket at Knossos for one extra euro instead of paying the ten to get in! It was quite interesting, but Daryl got sore and tired halfway through and went and sat outside waiting. Lots of gold, Jars(!), and statues. A lot of Minoan stuff, as well as later periods.

    We got back on the bus and headed to the port fortress. That had been constantly I use for quite a long time, so was inquire good condition. It told us a lot of the history of the place which was quite interesting, and the fact that there would have been some sort of fortress there for thousands of years.

    We then decided to walk home and that was fun. The city is a lot different to Athens, a lot cleaner and as Daryl pointed out,less desperate. It's hard to tell if that's because they are going alright Crete, in terms of financial economy, or whether it is a by product of less people. There are still homeless, but we did see less, but we have only been here one day.

    So back to the hotel and down to the pool for a little bit, it is getting really cool and will be jeans weather for dinner tonight, speaking of which, I'm getting quite hungry :)
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  • Day3

    Day 3 (41): Archaeological Museum

    May 15, 2017 in Greece

    FINISH

    Woke up late :)
    Much less haze round today which was nice. Checkout was at 12 so we took advantage of that! I think we both slept for close to 10-12 hours. Yes!!
    We decided, well I decided, I wanted to go to the archaeological museum. So we thought we would take the hop on hop off bus there. We got on, and it was lovely and sunny, and we went past a few things we could've seen, but decided to get off at the market area. It was mostly a meat and fish market, but the other side of the street had fruit and olives. It was coo walking around and all of the Greek voices in cacophony. The floor was wet, as yy would expect, but the fish didn't smell, mostly they were frozen; Daryl suggested they would have been frozen at sea when they were caught and thrown into the hold. I'm not sure, but I do know there were more frozen fish than fresh, and that was more than expected.Read more

  • Day2

    Day 2 (40): Sparta

    May 14, 2017 in Greece

    FINISH

    Four point something million Greeks in Athens, about 10 million oral.
    3000 islands.

    300 inhabitants and 150 with more than 50 people.

    Closest island to Athens samali, where Persians lost to Athenians after Sparta.

    Catara =curse. Won't way to peloponese and many got ambushed.

    Canal separate north and south.
    East to Italy, West to Turkey.
    Corinth very wealthy due to getting boats through canal area. Half cargo in pay.
    Acrocol Corinth acropolis.

    Peloponese means pelopes was the king 3000 years ago.
    One third of Greece
    Most of olive oil from here.

    Lakomea province.
    Best oil, best oranges and lemons.
    Where Sparta is.

    Visited the statue of Leonidas.
    Then the ancient Sparta archaeological Park. Hard to tell if anything from ten or not.

    Mystras castle from Byzantine era, in Greece was 500 to 1200.

    Spent two and a half hours in mystras castle. There was an entire village of ruins and chapels and church's to discover and we consciously didn't see all as we didn't have time!!

    Good lunch of lamb and potatoes for me. The woman was lovely.
    Then a sleepy trip home.

    A lay down, and hen out by train to acropolis for a huge but delicious dinner with limited but acceptable views of the acropolis.
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  • Day38

    FINISH

    Wakeup hung hover. Sleep until late.
    Walk around a bit. End up at lunch, hen to the palace and too late to go in. Kinda pretty upset.
    Got there for the changing of the guard.
    Kinda cool. Thirty dollars or something to go in. Too much for half an hour. Sad, decide to walk around.
    Walked back to hotel and decided just to take a taxi as it was basically the same amount as on he rain br less hassle.
    Got on plane and got to Athens.
    Super awesome taxi driver who didn't speak much. Tried a bit but also let us chill in silence. Taught me "affgaristo" means thank you, haven't tested it yet. Kinda want to confirm with someone else, more my pronunciation rather than his teaching!
    Room service where I had pasta, and then sleep about 1am!

    Test words
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  • Day36

    Day 36: Skansen

    May 10, 2017 in Sweden

    So we had a fairly rigid plan which we hadn't had for quite a few days but was kinda nice. The plan was to ride the hop on hop off bus and go to Skansen, the folk open air museum which I went to last time. 

    We walked down the seemingly main street and got breakfast at Espresso House. The first of three of these chain stores down the main shopping strip.

    We got to the bridge and over to the island where Th old town is, and where I go the bus last time. When I was here the time before, I remember it being so crowded and heaps of people almost jostling for your business on their hop on/off bus. This time there was nothing, but at least the stop was still there. A guy turned up when we walked to the sign and sold us the tickets. Alison and faj bought their tickets and got on ok. Then the guy checked his paper supply in he machine, decided it was fine and I bought Daryl and my tickets. Turns out the paper supply for printing was not fine and stopped halfway through. The guy then ripped off he ticket and shoved it in his bag. He then asked for my card again and I asked why I already paid. He asked me where my ticket was and I told him you have it in your bag. And voila, he pulled it out immediately. He tried to tell me it was cancelled but I was a little sceptical.  In the end I took the paper and Daryl paid and if I have charge, I will be complaining big time. 

    So we got on and went to Skansen. Mumba decided to split up. I was a little sad about that because I had told them they had to go there, and I didn't get to see them look at stuff and chat with them about it on the way round. I still had fun with Daryl, but I thought that was more a preplanned regardless of Daryl thing. 

    Anyway, Daryl and I started by getting something to eat as he was still on antibiotics and had to eat to take his medicine which he forgot about at breakfast. I got a cake and Daryl got nuts and coffee. He had some cake too thankfully. I think it was a chocolate cake, and I was offered cream with it, duh, im a Swedish Wallin, who would say no to that? Oh yum. Oh scrumptious. 

    So after that we started on the animal side. We saw the Gotland sheep and the Gotland pony and a tonne of wild geese. We also saw the wolverine running around with a stupid happy grin on it's face.

    We, by we I really me I, spoke to a lot of people in dwellings. Thy gave a lot of information on the dwelling they were in and we're free with the info, yy didn't have to drag it out of them, and we're more than happy to answer questions. One lady in the schoolhouse just kept asking for your language as you walked through and then started telling you about it! One thing that resonates, even now as I write this on the plane home (yeh, yeh woops), you can tell the environment the people who made the dwellings were living in based on the size of the structure and the building materials it is constructed from. For example, low houses made with mud indicate not a lot of trees, so any wood used in house building must be used sparingly and when necessary. She was in one of he numerous, different styled, farmhouses across the museum. She told me that meant the dwelling had come from further south. 

    That is one of the things I love about Skansen, all of the dwellings are brought in, they are real and once housed real people. Skansen began in he late 1800s and he first structure to be brought in was in 1890 or 1889 or 1898, somewhere around then. I think it was also a structure from Norway, and was at a time where there wasn't, or wasn't really, a boundary. Once the countries were divided, the creator of the park decided to stick exclusively, or close to, to Swedish artefacts.

    Met for lunch, and didn't have anything because the lunch spot was closed. I think we decided it wasnt close enough to summer for everything to be open yet. When Daryl and I came across the market area, we also thought the same thing. 

    We kept going around the park and saw the reindeer. Speaking wth them later, I found out Alison and faj had only seen one, the shaggy one. And not the three little cuties, the kids(?) fawns(?). 

    We went around to the bread making which Alison had recommended,  and yes, the traditional flat bread was delicious, and freshly made that day :) we watched a little bit, but we were at the end of the process and didn't bother hanging around waiting for more. 

    We went to he glass blowing and spent ages. Towards the end Daryl was ready to leave, but I wanted to stay to the end and see he end product. He made a jug.

    We then took the bus the whole rest of the way around and got off back where we started. We then took a stroll through old town and into some souvenir shops and a bar.

    We then went home and decided faj and mumba would chose the restaurant tonight, and Daryl and I would do tomorrow. We found one hat is a Michelin recommendation,  and booked it in on our way to dinner where Alison found. The one she found turned out to be south American with a Swedish twist or something. All I know was it was really really good and I would recommend it, but it was closing down that weekend. It was also a really fun restaurant. 
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  • Day35

    Day 35: Gotland

    May 9, 2017 in Sweden

    Got up and it was patchy cloud, and not as cold s the day before, but on a scale of hot to bloody damned freezing, it was bloody freezing!

    We determined we could get a hire car at the ferry terminal from a "second hand car hire" place. Yep, our car was a bomb. But it got us from a to b. Perfect.

    It took ahile to find, and we were in he wrong place, but we were told to look for a red shed, and turns out, the shed is no longer red. Not that helpful really. But we got it, and had to put fuel in straight away, which we did, then we drove south to Eskelhem. A place, unconfirmed by us, but visited by Lester and Lee when they were out there.

    We found it pretty easily, took a couple photos and moved on to Högran. We also took some pick here, and as at Eskelhem we wandered around the cemetery attempting to find people. The problem appears to be that prior to Lars Peter Wallin, who came out to Australia, they had changing last names such as Jonasson (Jonas son), or Larsdotter (Lars daughter), not the simplest o follow and who knows if the ones with Graves cold be related.?!?!?

    We decided to head further south to a town called Kintehamn. After we had driven through s number of 'towns', including Eskelhem and Högran, we realised, thesewere just localities and not actually towns. Perhaps a collection of houses, but certainly not a town. This meant, according to the map, that there are only 5 or 6 towns on the whole Island of Gotland. And about 50% of people live in Visby. 23,000 out of 57,200 total on the island. This information from the museum we went to yesterday.

    The place we find for lunch didn't speak English but we somehow figured our way to four kebabs. These turned yt to be donor, and fine, but definitely small town we only serve one dish, kind of food.

    We decided we could cross the island and head up to just further north of Visby, button the east coast, not West. We noticed orsie of the town Slite, was a place called Spillings, and there appeared to be a marker on the map which said there was something to look at. So we went there. The maximum speed on he Island is 80km/hr and I think it was about 30km, so it took us longer than you would expect with towns and other places to go past quite frequently. 

    And then....nothing, couldn't find a thing. As always, maps with icons like that aren't very good at telling you where exactly it is, but rather a large area between a couple of different roads. This was the case for us and we tried a few different roads to no avail. We decided we would just head back to Visby, park in the square and wander around a little until it was time to leave.

    So we did, and because the cruise ship in the harbour had finally let it's people onto land, the jewellery store I wanted to go in ws open. I didn't find a bracelet or necklace with a map of Gotland in silver, but I did get a glass ball, similar to designs we saw behind glass in the museum, so that was cool. I also got an axe head type thing with Celtic/Norse symbols on it.

    To the airport! It was very simple, and the woman's instructions on where to drop he car where simple enough. It did, however, look a little like someone's house who had a car scarp yard. Check-in want open so we stopped for a drink, and then it was a quick, chuck your bags through baggage, go through security, and boarding. Weirdly it was free seating, so Daryl and I got on quickly, but it wasn't a full plane, so we got to sit together, and mumba and faj got to sit together also.

    We got to Stockholm and got out to get a taxi. We were not used to he jostling and cajoling that goes on when you are picking a taxi, it seems a little beneath them really, like it belongs more in an Asian country where driving and road rules don't really exist, not a county leading the way politically, educationally etc. Anyway, he got us where we needed to be.

    Alison and faj decided thy didn't want dinner so Daryl and I went for a walk and ended up at the place almost next door. We only just got in on time and had to order quickly before Thu closed the kitchen. That was fine. I got a pesto something or other which was very nice but so filling and I really wasn't hungry enough for noodles probably.

    FINISH

    Got up and it was patchy cloud, and not as cold s the day before, but on a scale of hot to bloody damned freezing, it was bloody freezing!

    We determined we could get a hire car at the ferry terminal from a "second hand car hire" place. Yep, our car was a bomb. But it got us from a to b. Perfect.

    It took ahile to find, and we were in he wrong place, but we were told to look for a red shed, and turns out, the shed is no longer red. Not that helpful really. But we got it, and had to put fuel in straight away, which we did, then we drove south to Eskelhem. A place, unconfirmed by us, but visited by Lester and Lee when they were out there.

    We found it pretty easily, took a couple photos and moved on to Högran. We also took some pick here, and as at Eskelhem we wandered around the cemetery attempting to find people. The problem appears to be that prior to Lars Peter Wallin, who came out to Australia, they had changing last names such as Jonasson (Jonas son), or Larsdotter (Lars daughter), not the simplest o follow and who knows if the ones with Graves cold be related.?!?!?

    We decided to head further south to a town called Kintehamn. After we had driven through s number of 'towns', including Eskelhem and Högran, we realised, thesewere just localities and not actually towns. Perhaps a collection of houses, but certainly not a town. This meant, according to the map, that there are only 5 or 6 towns on the whole Island of Gotland. And about 50% of people live in Visby. 23,000 out of 57,200 total on the island. This information from the museum we went to yesterday.

    The place we find for lunch didn't speak English but we somehow figured our way to four kebabs. These turned yt to be donor, and fine, but definitely small town we only serve one dish, kind of food.

    We decided we could cross the island and head up to just further north of Visby, button the east coast, not West. We noticed orsie of the town Slite, was a place called Spillings, and there appeared to be a marker on the map which said there was something to look at. So we went there. The maximum speed on he Island is 80km/hr and I think it was about 30km, so it took us longer than you would expect with towns and other places to go past quite frequently.

    And then....nothing, couldn't find a thing. As always, maps with icons like that aren't very good at telling you where exactly it is, but rather a large area between a couple of different roads. This was the case for us and we tried a few different roads to no avail. We decided we would just head back to Visby, park in the square and wander around a little until it was time to leave.

    So we did, and because the cruise ship in the harbour had finally let it's people onto land, the jewellery store I wanted to go in ws open. I didn't find a bracelet or necklace with a map of Gotland in silver, but I did get a glass ball, similar to designs we saw behind glass in the museum, so that was cool. I also got an axe head type thing with Celtic/Norse symbols on it.

    To the airport! It was very simple, and the woman's instructions on where to drop he car where simple enough. It did, however, look a little like someone's house who had a car scarp yard. Check-in want open so we stopped for a drink, and then it was a quick, chuck your bags through baggage, go through security, and boarding. Weirdly it was free seating, so Daryl and I got on quickly, but it wasn't a full plane, so we got to sit together, and mumba and faj got to sit
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