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  • Day41

    A trip to Greece wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one of the Greek islands. For our gaycation what better island to visit than the infamous gay, Greek island, Mykonos. Promoted as the gay-friendly island and the Ibiza of Greece for its nightlife, it’s also called the island of the winds but fortunately for us the weather was absolutely perfect.

    We set out for the little gay Greek island from Athens on the Hellenic Seaways ferry, early on Friday morning. As we boarded the ferry in special economy, although we didn’t feel so special along with the hundreds of others that were travelling cattle-class, Ricky began to recognise the music playing in the background. It was a Greek, pan-pipe version of Celine Dion’s Titanic theme song. Was this an omen? Would we make it to our destination without re-enacting the famous scene of Leonardo and Kate on the bow? We had heard that the trip through the Cyclades could get really rough but we weren't aware of any icebergs. "Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on ..." or so the song goes.

    The island landscape of Mykonos is mountainous, dotted with white little houses with blue windows. Our accommodation was situated on the Southside of the island with amazing views of the Aegean Sea. While the island is only small, the only way to traverse it is to hire a motorcycle, car or ATV. As we set out on our 50cc motorcycle, Ricky was gripping on for dear life as we travelled up and down the steep mountains and narrow roads, lined with rock fences, to get to the many beaches on the island. At one point the gradient was so steep that the power of the 50cc motorcycle couldn’t handle it and Ricky needed to run (well, a slight canter) up the slope.

    Typically European, the beaches are lined with umbrellas and deck chairs for hire. And in true European style nudity on the beach is not an issue. All shapes and sizes are celebrated and the taboos of other western countries seem absent. Healthy attitudes to the body are diminished by an almost unhealthy obsession for worshipping the sun. Tanorexia, the condition where you can't be too tanned, is rife in the Cyclades, enough to make Donatella Versace and Tanning Mom proud of their disciples. In fact, we’re convinced that the Versace leather-making factory is situated along the coasts of Mykonos. Take your pick of the type of leather and Donatella will whip you up a custom-made handbag to accessorise with the latest season’s outfits.

    After six weeks of running from one iconic tourist attraction to another, the respite that Mykonos brought was exactly what was needed to recharge the batteries to forge through the next six weeks of our European sojourn.

    Next stop: Athens for one night and then Barcelona.

    See link below for video footage:
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  • Day3

    We are here! The best part of 23 hours cooped up in a plane and we made it. Weather is a lovely sunny 27°C, little to no clouds and a gentle breeze. We probably smell but are too excited to care. It's time to shower and get this party started.

  • Day17

    Early morning with verry little sleep.
    A bit of anxiety from the bed shaking all night.
    And my shoulder still isn't healed. Hasn't bruised up either.
    Now on Greek time! Bring on sailing and floating in the water.

  • Day24

    The largest Monastery of Great Meteoron at the top of the hill.

    There is history in the monastery that dates back as far as the 11th century when the monks started living on the cliffs.
    The monasteries were built in the 14th century. Out of 24, there are now only 6 functioning monasteries.

  • Day35

    After two nights in Sofía, Bulgaria, we took a bus to Thessaloniki in Greece. The bus tour was led by a Bulgarian woman, who we affectionately named Svetlana. Svetlana didn’t speak much English and wore jeans a few sizes too small, and when she bent over she displayed her black, lacy G-string. Svetlana seemed quite angry – well, that’s the impression she gave us. Maybe she was just having a bad day (or maybe her G-string was too tight and her cork platforms too high).

    The five and half hour trip took us through some beautiful country scenery of Bulgaria. The scenery quickly changed as we entered Thessaloniki, which was full of graffiti and had a much dirtier appearance. It’s a shame to see that the city isn’t maintained and that even some of the ancient monuments are vandalised or overrun by stray cats.

    We stayed in the centre of the city and on our doorstep was the palace complex of the Roman Emperor Galerius, and just up the road was the entrance to the complex marked by the Arch of Galerius and the Roman Rotunda. A few minutes further down the road from the arch and rotunda, you stumble upon the Roman Forum. Ricky was like a kid in a candy store, while Jason was bored by the "old rocks", as he called them.

    The second day in Thessaloniki was Jason's birthday, and we celebrated it by wandering the streets, eating a baklava-like dessert filled with custard and a Greek-style donut. More steps were needed to burn off the excess calories. Dinner was spent at an Indian Restaurant that you needed the exact coordinates to find but it was well worth it.

    Next stop: Athens.

    See link below for video footage:
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  • Day19

    There was a bit of a thunderstorm last night. Still managed to get some sleep, just needed to rush around and manage to close some windows.
    Cooked up another brekky, took the advice of the skipper to add feta to the scrambled eggs,
    Great choice!
    Sailed back to port. Time to use up the food and booze.
    One last dip in this amazing ocean. The sunsets are always amazing.

  • Day37

    Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world and the birth place of “democracy”, was next on the menu for our gaycation. After weaving through mountainous terrain for 5½ hours on the train from Thessaloniki, we reached our destination, near the Kerimeikos. Immediately we felt a different vibe in the capital city, compared to the north. While there was a decent amount of graffiti, it was nowhere near as bad as Thessaloniki, which seemed plastered with spray paint. Though the streets certainly aren’t the perfect postcard images that most people conjure up.

    We also immediately noticed the young, cute policemen patrolling the streets. Despite our attempts to get frisked and a pat down from the handsome officers, they didn’t oblige. What was also noticeable was that Greek men either smelt as if they’ve bathed in the scent of the Grecian gods or as if they have never seen soap and water, and in the Athenian summer heat the latter was not pleasing to the olfactory senses.

    Besides the continual struggle to find postcards, stamps and post offices, the other themes of our travels has been finding a (free) toilet in Europe – a basic need that should be afforded to all without a cost - and finding food. It seems that we are always chasing something better as if the oasis in the distance will be more fruitful. There’s only so many gyros and slices of pizza that you can eat.

    The first full day of our Athenian adventure commenced with the ancient monuments of the city. We set out for the Areopagus Hill, exploring the ancient Greek Agora and the surrounds. The Temple of Hephaestus captured our attention first before heading to the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s library. While at the Roman Agora under the scorching Athenian sun, we did the Aussie traditional custom of slip, slop, slap and reapplied our sunscreen, only to be approached by a screaming Greek banshee claiming that the sunscreen was somehow going to ruin the marble. We were applying it to our bodies, not the marble columns. If there’s going to be any damage to the marble it’s going to be from the natural elements and the graffiti artists (and pigeons).

    Our second day continued the ancient theme. This time, the Acropolis was the destination. The amazing structures of the Propylaea, Parthenon, Erectheion and Temple of Athena Nike provided a great backdrop for photos as we overlooked the entire metropolis of Athens. From the top of the Acropolis, we headed to the south slope to the remains of the Odeon of Herod the Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus. The ancient treasures didn't end there. We still had the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Aristotle’s Lykeion and the Panathenaic Stadium to explore.

    The following day included some more ancient ruins – it’s pretty hard to avoid in one of the oldest cities in the world, including the ancient cemetery, Kerimeikos. Time was also spent wandering the streets, people watching and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle, mainly due to the visit by French President Macron. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a glimpse of Macron.

    While throughout Eastern Europe we became a connoisseur of beer, in Athens this was been exchanged for ouzo. As they say, when in Rome do as the Roman’s do, except we’re in Athens so it’s do as the Athenians do.

    Next stop: Mykonos.

    See link below for video footage:
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  • Day24

    We said goodbye to some amazing people this morning. They are off to continue their individual journeys, hopefully our paths will cross again. Made me sad as it reminded me of other goodbyes I've had to do and will have to do in the future.
    We now have the smallest group on the bus we'll ever have while a group are off exploring Egypt for a few more days.

    I spent some time writing in my journal trying to sort out my thoughts and feelings. Started looking at jobs in the travel industry and wrote some notes for a cover letter. A top deck tour leader may not quite suit me right now, but working in the industry may put me in better steed.Read more

  • Day17

    Overnight stop at a place with water slides. Time for a beer by the pool before getting ready for dinner and Pirate night.
    Time for Greek wine and souvlaki. We literally have a plank to walk to get off the boat. Such a beautiful sunset.

  • Day18

    I'm loving being the chef on board the boat. Cooked scrambled eggs, bacon and tomatoes for breakfast. Then tomato pasta with olives, sundried tomatoes and roasted capsicum. Means I don't need to do the dishes 😊
    Snorkel Time! And we have some super classy pictures of me trying to get into the tube while in the water and wiping out.

    We have a great family on board with 8 of us plus the skipper Dim or Mr Grumpy.
    Was a bit choppy today and felt a little bit of sea sickness. Nothing a bit if a lay down couldn't fix.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Hellenic Republic, Griechenland, Greece, Griekeland, Greekman, ግሪክ, Grezia, يونان, ܝܘܢܢ, Grecia, Yunanıstan, Грэцыя, Гърция, Gɛrɛsi, গ্রীস্, གྷི་རཱི་སི།, Gres, Grčka, Grècia, Řecko, Gwlad Groeg, Grækenland, གིརིསི, Grisi nutome, Ελλάδα, Grekujo, Kreeka, یونان, Gerees, Kreikka, Grikkaland, Grèce, Grikelân, An Ghréig, A Ghrèig, ગ્રીસ, Girka, Helene, יוון, ग्रीस, Grjekska, Görögország, Հունաստան, Yunani, Gresia, Grekia, Grikkland, ギリシャ共和国, საბერძნეთი, Ugiriki, Грекия, Grækenlandi, ក្រិច, ಗ್ರೀಸ್, 그리스, یۆنان, Pow Grek, Graecia, Griicheland, Bugereeki/Buyonaani, Geleki, ກິຼກ, Graikija, Ngeleka, Grieķija, Gresy, Грција, ഗ്രീസ്, Greċja, ဂရိ, Grit, Hellas, Grekenland, ग्रिश, Griekenland, Griekanmua, ଗ୍ରୀସ୍, Грекъ, Gresya, Grecja, Grécia, Grisya, Ubugereki, Греция, Greika, Gerêsi, ග්‍රීසිය, Grécko, Grčija, Giriig, Greqi, Грчка, Grekland, கிரீஸ், గ్రీస్, Grésia, Юнон, ประเทศกรีซ, Kalisi, Gris, Yunanistan, گرېتسىيە, Греція, Hy Lạp, Grikän, Orílẹ́ède Geriisi, 希腊, i-Greece

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