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    • Day 150

      Tag 100

      December 6, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Meine Pläne für heute sind groß und was ich am Ende mache ist klein. Am Ende genau richtig, ich habe auf meinen Körper gehört. Der Wecker klingelt um 8.30 Uhr und ich drücke im zehnminütigen Tackt auf schlummern. Am Ende stehe ich um 11 Uhr auf. Der Plan war zu einem See an der Küste zu fahren. Doch mein Körper fühlt sich heute schwer an, vor allem die Beine. Und was hab ich gelernt, Pausen machen ist wichtig und Überanstrengung versuchen zu vermeiden.🙈 Doch "nichts machen" fühlt sich auf Reisen immer für mich wie ein Verbot an. Jedoch Zuhause, egal wo, ist nun mal die Ladestation von Menschen mit introvertierter Energie 😂. Es hat gestern Abend stark geregnet und heute scheint wieder schön die Sonne. Ich setze mich stundenlang auf die Dachterrasse und genieße hier die Sonnenstrahlen. 😂. Mich besucht ein Schmetterling, der eine Zeit lang sein Sonnenbad direkt neben mir genießt🥰. Zum späten Nachmittag laufe ich noch zum nah gelegenen Supermarkt für die Snackversorgung, diesmal ein Lidl, und schaue mir gespannt die Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede im Sortiment im Vergleich zu Deutschland an 😊.Read more

    • Day 202


      October 18, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Nun sind wir am südlichsten Punkt unserer Reise angekommen. Nachdem wir nun nochmal gewaschen und uns die Stadt angesehen haben, möchten wir uns morgen, zu Fuß von der Akropolis aus, auf den Heimweg machen. Wir sind schon gespannt was uns alles erwarten wird.

      Ab morgen heißt es "nur noch eine Kurve bis Dunningen".
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    • Day 23


      August 28, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Today at 5h30 the 98th Comrades marathon got underway. Still in Athens Shirley had a bit of FOMO but we did have a full itinerary ahead of us. The early start was a short 2 klm walk to the ancient Olympic stadium where the plan was to run 🏃‍♂️ on the track. The stadium is so impressive in exceptional condition and completely made out of marble. The stadium is huge and holds 80000 spectators. The bends at the two ends are shorter meaning the straights are a lot longer giving an oblong look to the perfect track. we had fun running and standing on the podium. The museum of the Olympic stadium was not fully open when we arrived. The impressive main auditorium, accessed up a tunnel carved into the rock, has private rooms leading off it, each dedicated to each 4 year games event. The story of the distance of the marathon was interesting, it was Originally 40 klm long and the distance decided by the distance run by the Greek soldier in 490bc. Pheidippides ran in full armour from Marathon to Athens to tell of the Greek victory over the Persians and then dropped dead from exhaustion. At the 1908 games in London the Queen wanted the start to be at Windsor Castle, which added the extra distance to make the race 42.195 klm. Shirley stood at the top of the podium. Great start to the day, we had a coffee and headed to the free 3 hour guided tour. The guides name was Stefan a French man exported from Paris to Athens as he puts it. The walk was filled with excellent commentary and information from this lively little man, What a great way to explore a city Changing of the guards was precisely executed but it’s the background info that really makes it memorable. The Guards are all doing their national service. Being a ceremonial guard is a one year stint and it’s considered very prestigious. The guards stand absolutely still like a human statue for 1 hour at a time. They may not move a muscle and stare straight ahead, if the guard wants to make a report they stamp their rifle and the commander then approached,stands in front and asks questions. The guard answers by blinking 1 is yes 2 is no and 3 is I don’t know. The 8 klm guided walk covered so many sights and went by quickly. 🤨 midday heat and a short rest was followed by wine and beers on an iconic hill, Areopagus, watching the sun set and the Parthenon lighting up. Our first home made meal of the weekend was a toasted sandwich and then falling into bed .Read more

    • Day 22


      August 27, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Saturday morning of history and gods is behind us . We are all ready for the food tour . The early start and long walk in the homes of gods and kings has left us HANGRY.,……. The Greek food of Athens has many ways of increasing the activity of our saliva glands. The amazing conflicting aromas are all over and in every street. The economy of Greece seems totally dependent on the tourists that frequent the Tavernas, Bars and Restaurants and buy tickets to see broken weather worn rocks of the long dead. So good food is important and essential. There are streets for shops selling spices, prepared meats and artifices, clothing There are meat and fish markets . Coffee shops everywhere. The bakeries have bread cake croissants ice cream. You can get a beer or a coke on every corner. We started at a coffee shop making traditional Greek coffee roasting the strong syrup in hot sand. I learnt by unpleasant mistake that bottom of the cup must be avoided as the grounds are like mud. The butcher was like a shop in a colourful movie, displaying Salami’s handing from the ceiling and displays of cold meats of every description. Sitting in a cozy 5 table sampling nook at the back of the shop we ordered a platter with cold local beer. Sadly we had to go out into the noon 🌞 far to soon. The market was streets products from fresh fruit to fish. The butchers section, with the owners using cleavers on cutting blocks and whole animals hanging in the windows is not recommended for Vegetarians and the fresh vegetable and fruit section alive with colour and greenery would turn a carnivores tummy. There were trays of Octopus, Squid, prawns and all types of fish on ice. The quantities are huge and variety almost to much for choosing. The plan was lunch at a special place that chooses the best in the market and then prepared it but we were tasting at every different store and there was no space left for lunch. Home for a late afternoon siesta was now the priority. After a shower a trip to the docks and then a takeaway Gyro for dinner ended a huge dayRead more

    • Day 21


      August 26, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      It was up at 6 and goodbye Corfu our walk across the island was completed, now for a chance to experience some Greek mythology in Athens. The incongruities of rules were waiting at the airport. We checked in and I was told to take my backpack to the oversize counter ( and pay) needless to say I ignored this and walked to the security check carefully removing the flight tags in order to carry on. I was stopped and told to unpack : a small jar of honey a gift tin of olive oil, bottle of water ,some sun block and two jars of Shirley’s makeup cream were deemed unsafe and confiscated but my leatherman knife was ok. Crazy. The metro trip from Athens airport to city centre was 55 min and cost 13 euro we then bought a 5 day all transport ticket for another 8 each at last a rand bargain. Our apartment in central Athens is spacious and central and having a washing machine (with powder ) meant a real clean for our 3 sets of clothing. Scott and Fran arrived and a visit to Lycabettus hill was planned. Lycabettus hill came to be when Athena a Greek god who was helping build Athens, dropped a rock and it landed outside Old Athens. The two gods Poseidon and Athena were competing to be chosen as the god of choice by the people. Athena offered a olive branch and Poseidon a bowl of water and Athena was chosen hence the name Athens. The hill is the highest point in Athens with a 360 degree view of the city and is favourite for sunsets. Couples often climb the steps to propose as the sun hits the horizon. The spectacular sight of Athens from the top is breathtaking. There is a small chapel ( and a very expensive restaurant) at the top the chapel is dedicated to Agio Georgious., the saint whom the two towns we visited in Corfu were named after. There are many steps up and many steps down. Halfway down sitting on a low wall watching the orange ball of the sun sink, accompanied by an Athens feral cat was a great place to share a bottle of red wine.Read more

    • Day 73

      Live and in Action! 🔥😂🚴🏼‍♀️

      July 22, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

      Die Fotos sind entstanden als ich während einem Aufstieg auf ein paar polnische Motorradfahrer getroffen bin, welche Fotos bei einem Aussichtspunkt gemacht haben. Ziemlich am Anschlag hatte ich doch noch ein paar Kraftreserven übrig das Ganze zu geniessen. Die Bilder hat er mir netterweise später per E-Mail zugestellt. 😂Read more

    • Day 70

      ATHEN 🇬🇷

      July 19, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Nach einer Nacht, welche in die Kategorie "gar nicht mal so übel für Luftmatte und Schlafsack" einzuordnen ist, geht es heute in die letzten Züge Richtung griechischer Hauptstadt. Knappe 90 Kilometer und vorwiegend flaches Gelände standen auf dem Speiseplan. Die Strecke führte mich zunächst überwiegend durch eine Industrie-geprägte Region mit vielen grossen Unternehmen, welche einen Saulärm veranstaltet haben. Zwischendurch ging es aber auch wieder direkt der Küste entlang - inkl. heftigem Wind, of course! Bei Megara ging es das erste Mal auf die Fähre, welche für die Überfahrt zur Insel Salamina nur 5 Minuten benötigte. Einmal quer über das Eiland geradelt, wartete sodann die nächste Autofähre. Ich wollte nach Piräus und habe dies beim Billettkauf auch erwähnt, doch die Dame meinte wohl, dass ich dann von Perama mit dem Fahrrad weiterfahre. Ich habe natürlich auch sehr schlecht recherchiert und dachte, dass ich einfach in Perama auf eine andere Fähre müsste - naja, so war es dann nicht. Es war aber alles halb so wild und so fuhr ich halt von Perama über Piräus nach Athen, was ca. 15 km zusätzichem Effort entsprach. Wie immer in grossen Städten ist es mit meinem Velo eine ziemliche Zumutung und erfordert Geduld und ein starkes Nervenkostüm. Trotzdem habe ich auch diese Hürde gemeistert und kann die nächsten 2 Tage ein bisschen Athen erkunden und das Nichtstun geniessen.

      Have a nice day folks! ❤️
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    • Day 26

      Last Stop....Athens

      June 14, 2022 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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    • Day 24

      Welcome to Athens!

      April 22, 2023 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Our ship docked in Pireas Harbour at approximately 6am. We all slept well and were ready to check out the Cradle of Democracy.

      We couldn't check in straight away, so we left our bags at the reception of the apartment and headed out to stretch our legs. We hadn't walked far before coming across the Temple of Zeus, and Hadrian's Archway. Some pretty amazing monuments dating back nearly 3000 years. We continued up into the Plaka district and got ourselves lost in the winding, narrow, enchanting laneways. Fred needed to make a phone call, and we eventually found somewhere for breakfast.

      We continued wandering without a fixed destination before we got to an area for the kids to have a play. Tom thought it would be a good idea to spin Fred on the play equipment until he had whiplash... It was getting closer to check in time, so we started to head back to the apartment to get our bags and settle in. Our apartment was in the Koukaki district, just south of the main attractions. It's not the most glamourous suburb, but it had a cool vibe of an area that's being gentrified, with nice cafes, shops, old men spending hours solving the world's problems over thick coffee and thicker cigars. Our apartment was a spacious three-bedder across the road from a playground and basketball court. The afternoon and evening were spent relaxing and a home cooked pasta meal and a movie finished our day off nicely.
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    • Day 28

      The Main Event. I Made It To The Top!

      June 16, 2022 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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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Filopáppou, Filopappou, Φιλοπάππου

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