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Curious what backpackers do in Greece? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Land ho! Would have been the cry, as we sighted our first port after 8 straight sea days.
    We had arrived in the Greek sea port of Piraeus, which is about 20/30 minutes drive from the capital Athens.
    I have been here a few times and done the Athens tour, so I decided to have a walk around Piraeus itself.
    To be honest, there is not a lot to see in the town, and since the financial collapse of the country it is even more rundown than ever, with homeless people all over the place, and these are not all "immigrants" there are a fair number of Greeks among them, which in my mind makes the situation even sadder.
    On a lighter note, I came across this small building not far from the port which I have seen before, but only from a distance.
    So as the church I was about to visit had a mass in progress, I decided to have a walk over to have a look at it.
    I'm very pleased that I did as it turned out to be a church, but the smallest church I have ever seen.
    It is the size of two large garden sheds, and inside it is stunning and complete with beautiful wall and ceiling frescos.
    I have said many times before that you quite often don't need to travel very far from any port, to find some interesting things.
    In fact most of the time when you arrive in these ports, you tend to ignore the things right outside the gate, and take a bus tour or walk deep in to the town.
    And this little church proved that point to me once again.
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  • Der Adler ist um 20 Uhr gelandet ❤ 21:50 Uhr Ortszeit- Ankunft in Kleinasien- alias Dorf. Essen bei Onkel Tasso und Tante Marika. Opa Janni ist derweil sehr gesprächig. Es werden die internationalen Beziehungen in Form von Kamingesprächen geführt- auf Türkisch, deutsch, englisch d etwas griechisch. Beim Abwasch wurde ich bei dem
    Versuch zu helfen fast verprügelt von Tante Marika, sie fühlte sich in ihrer Ehre verletzt als wir helfen wollte.
    00:30 Uhr - ich verabschiede mich von den crew Mitgliedern und fahre mit Pappou nach Hause. #homeSWEEThome❤🌺
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  • Nachdem wir gegen halb zehn frühstückten und fast vor Essen platzten....Tante Marika kochte 15 Eier .... für sechs Personen .... wie dem auch sei... jedenfalls machten wir uns dann auf nach Astakos. Auf dem Weg dorthin trafen wir dann noch kurz 279 Verwandte von mir, vor allem bei meinem Onkel Janni mussten wir halten... so bekamen wir einen tiefen Einblick in die so wichtige missionsarbeit griechisch orthodoxer Christen, die der Onkel durch seinen Reifenhandel undercover führte....
    aber danach starteten wir gen Astakos... auf dem Weg hielten wir in Ioannina... "auf den Spuren des Ali Paschas"... weil Yilmazaki es so wollte. Tranken überteuerten kaffee, packten derweil auch unsere loukoumades auf den Tisch und tiropites und tranken Wasser für umsonst. Wir vergaßen die zeit ...wie hätte es auch anders sein können... in den Fängen des Ali hatte uns wie durch Zauberei in kleine koschere Böcklein wie kocumlar oder so ähnlich... jedenfalls erschrak unser hocam, als er auf die Uhr schaute ... die Zeit war wie im Fluge vergangen ...sowie etwa ca. 8 Jahre. Er entschied, dass die Katze fahren sollte, sie bretterte den gefährlichen Pfad der Egnatia Odos in windeseile hinunter ....ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste....ähnlich wie Hermes ....
    Etliche gefüllte Waffeln mit Schokolade späte kamen sie in das nicht vielumsagte Astakos letzten Kräften wurden sie dann von einer Gorgona in Empfang genommen, die einem Schuppen ähnlich eines Oinopneumatopoiion schuftete. Man stärkte sich mit Getränken und gefolgt war Dies alles von einem Gastfreundschaftlichen Festmahl der vielumsagten Renate. Wir schlugen uns die Bäuche voll und zur Krönung des Tages ....packte unser hocam seine Torten aus... wie war das nochmal? Völlerei ist eine Totsünde? Kalinichta ❤
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  • German Version on

    The rainy weather in Albania and Macedonia had been bad on my mood. It was time to enjoy a few sunrays. Greece is known as an autumn domicile and so I went on with my trip to the Greek border with full euphoria. In Macedonia, I had thought about my further route through Greece. My dad suggested that we meet in Antalya, enjoy the sun and spend some relaxing days together. This sounded great and so the approximate direction was fixed, south to Athens.

    On the way to the border to Greece I met Keith from Canada on the roadside. He has been riding a singlespeed bike (only one gear) for several years. He was just assembling a smaller chainring to the crank because several climbs followed. The effort would be too way too much for me, but he probably belongs to a handful of people who are cycletouring like this. After it was raining again, we decided to look for a suitable place to stay. We found an abandoned house on a resting place, exchanged our travel experiences and let the evening end with good food. The next day, our paths separated. I cycled further south to Greece, Keith to the north.

    The following days in Greece were very rainy. At first I was still on gravel roads, but I remained stuck in the mud, so I switched to paved roads. In the evening, I fortunately found in a canopy, under which I could sleep. I just arrived at the new sleeping place, two small dog-puppies ran out of the abandoned side building. There was no trace of the mom.
    Both dogs, who I dubbed Blacky and Whitey, spent the whole night with me. I would have loved to take both with me.

    In the morning the sun finally came out and the landscape became greener and more mountainous. In the late evening I arrived in the small village of Meteora. The name sounds very special and so is the landscape surrounding the small village. Huge ridge towers rising in the air as if they had fallen from the sky. I stayed couple days to go hiking and enjoying the views.

    After three days I set off again. I stopped at the supermarket and to my surprise I met two other cyclists. Ruggero from Italy and Brian from the USA. Both of them met in South America and went cycling together for a month. Meanwhile, Ruggero has been on the bike for two years and is about to end his trip. Both had arranged for a trip to Greece and were also on the road to Athens. We decided to go to Athens together, which was a great pleasure to me. We three were immediately on a wavelength.
    We cycled through lonely mountain roads, fought rain, found shelters in churches, were invited by local people to have breakfast and a Ouzo (which usually amounted to three / four). The people were incredibly friendly and helpful.
    Arriving at the sea, we took a bus to Athens, where we spent two days together and walked through the city. Then our paths separated. Meanwhile, Ruggero has returned to Italy. Brian is now biking in Central Asia.

    My path now led to Turkey. There was the possibility to take either a fly or a ferry. I chose the ferry, which is much more relaxed with the bike. The ferry drove over night to the Greek island of Rhodes. I arrived at noon, but on the same day no ferry left for Turkey. I checked on the mobile phone the size of the island, which is with a length of about 100 km is not too big and decided to circumnavigate the island in two days. The sun burned down and the 32 degrees caused my first defect on the trip. My tires had too much pressure, whereupon the front tube burst. In the parking lot, where I just changed the tube, a couple tried to get their scooter to run. A tube on the engine was torn and my broken tube was quickly misused. A few minutes later the scooter ran again. Apparently, it was no coincidence that this should happen at this parking lot.
    After 220 km in the legs I arrived the next day on time at the port and took the ferry to Turkey.

    Greece was full of surprises and everything came out quite differently than I had planned and expected. These are the moments that make such a trip so special.
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  • We've got a four room party house, next to the Metro 's last station. Wow, ths Athens tube excells for newness, quietness, lack of graffitti, employees on duty, seems safe, fast ride to the Acropolis. No broken escalators!
    The germans must have built it.
    There's a new museum called the Acropolis Museum . It has a life size replica of the top of the Parthenon, and they've taken all of the remaining friezes off the building and assembled them indoors, at a level where you can actually appreciate the art.
    For 2500 years people have damaged their necks trying to see the sculpture, way up there 80 ft high. Rubber necking , too, was invented here
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  • We arrived at Greece airport around 1:05am.

    Of course.. Murphys law, our bags were the last ones to come out

    The original plan was to uber to our airbnb because it would take half the time & it was late. By the time we got our bags & got outside, there were no ubers to be found. The taxi was 38€ to city center but we couldnt justify spending that much money on a cab... Twice in one day.

    With 5 minutes to spare, we caught the last bus into town. We google mapped it & got off at the good stop.

    Both of our phones are dying at this point.

    From the bus is was a 17 minute walk so we grabbed a cab -- we also had no idea where we were going.

    Let me tell you about this cab driver. He was probably in his 70s & used a magnifiying glass to read my cellphone screen. Once he typed in the adress to his gps, that took 10 minutes to write, he sped off at 70km/h down these tiny roads.

    He dropped us off at our place, but turns out that wasnt our place. We walked around looking for people to ask. We asked a local & they had no idea. We asked a cop & he told us to back away from the car then pointed us in the right direction.

    We FINALLY found it.

    After our 6 flight walk up with all our bags, we made it.

    Our host is awesome. Super cool guy. We have a clear view of the acropliois from the balcony.

    We are currently sitting in the room at 3:45 in front of the ac to try to cool down.

    22 hours of traveling.

    Stay tuned for more adventures of frick & frack.
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  • Today we woke up early after very little sleep (as per usual)... This time due to our ability to find each other absolutely hilarious when we get a bit tired. After a quick pack, we called for our über (we freaking love über in Europe.. Never use a cab in Europe EVER AGAIN) and headed to the port. We got there, grabbed our peinted tickets and boarded with little difficulty.

    We found a spot on the top deck and settled in for the 4 hour ferry to Mykonos. Me being the nap queen I am, I managed to sleep the first little bit of the voyage BUT when I woke up Taylor and I witnessed the whitest couple known to man. I'm talking unbutonned shirt money belt picked your nose/ear and smelling it selfies like crazy white people. They provided our entertainment for the duration of the trip and before we knew it, we docked in Mykonos!

    Once again, we disembarked with no incident and found the shuttle that would bring us to our hostel. Our bus driver was an absolute crazy man. He srover the bus 100 km/hr through tiny roads big enough for ony one car that wound through the hills, and stopped to yell at every car that gotnin our way. He also turned on classic greek music and taught us to snap and clap to the beat - of course this meant his hands werent on the wheel.

    So we arrived at the hostel and had to wait for a bit to check in. When we could check in, it was absolute pandemonium ... Everyone was pushing to the front and there were these guys behind us who were annoying us.. But finally we checked in and waited to be led to our room.

    Now heres the thing, when I say "hostel", I use the term very VERY LOOSELY. I am pretty sure camping would be preferable to the canvas dome we are in. Fortunately, it's just a place to sleep so its not really THAT horrible. It could be way, way worse.

    Anyway, of course the first thing we did was throw on our bathing suits and head to the beach. The beach is gorgeous, though insanely hot, and the water was so warm! We spent some time beaching it up before eating.. And then started drinking.

    And drinking.

    And drinking some more. By the pool, by the bar, by the beach. Just had some quality drinks. And some paint thinner.

    And let me fast forward a bit and summarize the night by saying:

    My liver wasn't ready.
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    Up bright and early to head to the centre to fill out forms, we sat down in anticipation (obviously the forst ones to arrive) as everyone else filed in. On the boat, there were 3 instructors, 5 snorklers, 4 certified divers and 3 "discover divers" .. That's us! We got to scuba dive without certification but had a very good guide with us at all times.

    So we wiggled into our wetsuits and got to the boat, 16 of us squeezed into this tiny dinghy anf held on for dear life as we hit open waters at full speed. Partway into the journey, however, a fuel line broke amd the boat stopped moving... We were rescued by a yacht passing by and they pulled usnto safety.. But of COURSE that would happen when we went out to dive. Murphy's Fecking Law.

    Anywayyyyy after being slowly pulled into our dive spot and the boat getting fixed (hey we technically went sailing!) we sat there in anticipation wating to get into the water! The snorklers went in first.. Then the certified divers... Then the three of us had a mini scuba lesson before suiting up and jumping in the water. We learned about the tank, flotation device, regulator and emergency regulator, hamd signals and how to equalize our earsrums under water. We got strapped in one at a time to very heavy scuba suits and were tossed off the boat backwards... It was slightly scary but once you were in the water it was fine.

    The firat step was to "snorkel" with the regulators.. Learning how to breathe normally underwater. Next, we were emptied of air in our flotation devices one at a time and sunk to the bottom where we could kneel and get comfortable underwater.

    My mask kept flooding with water and I panicked (i don't do well underwater as it is) so i kept asking to be pulled to the surface. The instructor gave me his mask and I felt incredibly determined, and finally got to the bottom without panicking. I did grib my regulator into my mouth using my hand like it was my day job, though... Usually you just hold it in your mouth like a snorkel but my anxiety would not let that happen.

    We went on a quick 15 minute dive exploring the area, and I felt more and more comfortable as time went by. I spent the first half holding the instructors hand and eventually felt good enough to let go and and explore on my own. When the firat dive was over we surfaced, took off our gear and climbed back in the boat to head to our next dive spot.

    At the second dive spot we entered the water in the same order. At this spot, we were to do nearly rhe aame diver as the certified divers BUT we couldn't go into caves due to lack of certification. TOTALLY FINE WITH ME.

    So once again we got in, the three of us... But the guy we were with panicked, started shaking uncontrollably and decided not to do the dive. Taylor and I now had a private dive.. What the actual heck. This was too good to be true.

    So we sunk to the bottom (12 metres) and I handed. The gopro to the instructor so he could film our whole adventure... I can't wait to get home and show people the video because it was so incredibly surreal!

    We went through some amazing caverns and saw some reef/volcanic rock and sea life that is indescribable unless you have been underwater. We went through a bunch of small arches until we finally came to the cave that we werent supposed to go in.

    And he took us in.

    One at a time we went in to see the memorial for Jacques Cousteau that his grandson put there after his death. The cave was incredible and honestly an experience that we never wpuld have had if the guy didn't decide to opt out of the dive!

    We continued our dive and headed back to the boat , but at one point my left ear wouldn't equalize. Every metre or so underwater you are suposed to plug your nose and blow to pop your ears (like you would on an airplane) but my left one wouldn't pop. I started to panic but our instructor helped me out, walking me through the steps i needed in order to rise up, re-equalize and head back to the bottom of the sea.

    We continued our dive without incident and got back to the boat.

    It was legitimately one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Not only am i terrified of being underwater (i literally will not put my head under in and water... Pool, ocean, sea.. Nothing) and terrified of people touching me underwater, ll of the fears slipped away as the calm of the sea took over. I have to admit, whenever something went alightly wrong I did panic (my flipper fell off twice, my ears, the goggles filling with water) but a little determination goes a long way.

    After the dive we were both so giddy we decied to just grab some food and snacks amd spend the evening with each other.

    Tomorrow we leave Santorini... In 2 days we are home.

    Im not ready to go yet.
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  • So our first night in santorini, we found a diving club, & we looked into how much it would be to do a discovery dive. We ended up leaving with it booked to do on Tuesday.

    The morning of, we woke up, returned our ATVs & went down to the club. We arrived & they had some snacks & juice out for us. We filled out some paper work & health questions & waited for everyone else to get there.

    So there was this girl there also, who was just doing a dive (already certified) & was so butt hurt to find out that we were going on the same dive as them. (But not with them. We had our own instructor) She actually went inside to talk to the people because she couldn't believe it. I know what you're thinking.... Ugh shes one of those.... A fun sucker.

    Anyways, we got fitted for our wet suits & we were on our way. We got a shuttle to the port where we all hopped in the boat. We were all too heavy to push out the boat. We got out, they pushed out the boat & we got back in.

    Off we went.

    Bree & I were at the front of the boat & caught some air when we hit those waves.... Probably the same ones that made everyone puke on the seajet a couple days ago. They were telling us that it was pretty windy all week & the waters were more rough than usual.

    We got to this calm spot & he stopped the boat to show us the red beach & the white beach.... Then the boat wouldn't restart. The fuel line broke. We had to get towed by this beautiful yacht.... So we also went yachting.

    The driver (our instructor) fixed the boat while everyone else was getting ready to go in the water.

    There was 3 of us in the discover scuba lesson. He did a little bit of theory before about signals & equipment but was basically going to take our equipment for us (the BCD & our meters)

    Our first dive was only 15 minutes just so that we could get used to how it feels to be under water. He brought us down one at a time.. Of course I'm the one who volunteered to go first 🙋🏼 It was the coolest feeling ever. Once everyone was under, we swam for a little bit before coming up.

    We got back on the boat & had a light snack with some juice before we left for the second diving site.

    This one we were under for 35 minutes at 12 meters deep. The other guy who was with us backed out so we got a private dive. On our dive, he said we would see the opening of a cave but wont go in... We ended up going in. We saw a plaque that was placed there in honor of Jacques Cousteau, it was his grandson that put it there because it was one of his favorite dives hes ever done.

    There wasn't much marine life because of the volcanic eruption that happened but all along the bottom was all volcanic rock. It was lava that bubbled & sank. It was so cool.

    We came back up, got on the boat & went back to the club where we got our certificate.

    After diving, we came back, took a shower & went to go get food. Guess what we got.... Greek salad 🙋🏼

    We went back to our room & just relaxed for a bit.
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  • Well, the vacation within a vacation has come to an end... Crack of dawn start this morning to catch the ferry from Corfu back to Igoumenitsa. Today is a long travel day, as we essentially cross the entire country of Greece with a stop along the way at the man-made Corinth Canal.

    We expect to arrive at the Athens campsite about 7pm... Greek-ish time. Then it's our last dinner with those that are only doing the first half of the trip, as The Big Chill (my trip name) is basically made up of two other trips (The Southern Trail is the first half that wraps up tomorrow and the second half is The Northern Trek that goes on to Amsterdam/London). Ten people drop off and we gain ten more; two guys are leaving, but we're only gaining one, so I'm going to officially get my own tent!

    The morning drive was slow going, since the roads were narrow, winding and filled with switchbacks... Fun in a car, but not so much on a coach!

    The stop at the Corinth Canal was interesting to see, but the half an hour so was sufficient. Apparently constriction started around 200 BC, but it wasn't actually completed until the 19th century. Also, is not actually very functional because it's not wide enough for larger ships and doesn't save a huge amount of distance. While we were there, we did get to see someone bungee jump from the bridge we were standing on - not my cup of tea, but each unto their own.

    We rolled into the campsite relatively on time, but dinner was a bit delayed and we weren't eating until 9:30. The next day was our full day in Athens, so it was pretty much bedtime after dinner.
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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