European Odyssey

February 2017 - June 2023
An open-ended adventure by Joel
Currently traveling
  • Day 610

    Day 611: The Next Adventure

    October 18, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Leisurely check out from our hotel, along with tasty French croissants from the local bakery. Our flight wasn't until 7pm so we had basically a whole day to kill. We ended up checking out at about 11am since the hotel wifi wasn't great and didn't feel like paying for a 4pm checkout, so we hopped in an Uber to the airport.

    The wifi here was much better, surprisingly, and we just found a quiet corner to park ourselves for the next 6 hours until we could check in. Unfortunately our flight was delayed by about an hour, so we had a bunch more time sitting around!

    Also had difficulty finding somewhere for Schnitzel to have a final pit stop before getting on the flight - apparently the only grass anywhere in the vicinity of the terminal buildings (that wasn't next to a runway!) was at a different terminal. In the end we found a bus turning circle with a few weeds growing - I ripped them out of the concrete cracks and piled them on the ground, which was enough to trick Schnitzel into peeing on them!

    Lots of kids running around the departure gate area which kept setting him off barking, and he kept being unsettled on the plane too - a first! We gave him some cuddles out of the bag (against the rules!) and eventually he settled down, thankfully. It was a super budget airline and the seats were built to match, very cramped and with no leg or elbow room. I had the window, Shandos in the middle, and a guy on her left on the aisle, so we were all a bit cramped. Not my favourite way to spend 8 hours!

    But we eventually arrived in New York, Shandos slept most of the way while I just watched my laptop and listened to podcasts. We'd been warned that immigration and customs at JFK could take ages but we breezed straight through with absolutely no lines, and our plane had parked at one of the closest gates so we were plane to exit within about 10 minutes. Though we did have to wait another 10 for our bags, which we used to feed a very hungry little dog.

    Decided that since it was already 11:30pm, we weren't up for taking three trains to our apartment and opted instead for an Uber. While we were waiting, Schnitzel threw up his dinner inside his bag, and had some diarrhoea on the grass too. Since he'd had the lump on his side for the last 24 hours, we were suddenly very nervous!

    Our ride arrived and we headed to Brooklyn with no further incidents, thankfully! Let ourselves into the apartment which was a bit weird considering it's a) someone else's apartment, and b) they're asleep in the next room!

    To be continued, in another trip!
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  • Day 609

    Day 610: Flying to Paris

    October 17, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    One of the great complications of travelling with a dog means that you don't have the flexibility that you have otherwise. So we couldn't go directly from Athens to New York, even though it's possible with several airlines. Instead we had to fly to Paris, where we'll catch a separate flight tomorrow.

    So off we went, back on the subway out to the airport in plenty of time, onto the plane for the long 3.5 hour flight across much of the continent. Arrived in Paris on time, and out of the airport by around 8:20. It's been a long time since I've been in Charles-de-Gaulle, and I'd forgotten how massive it is!

    Getting the free shuttle bus to our hotel proved to be an ordeal - we had to get the train from terminal 1 across to terminal 2 which took about 30 minutes, then waited another 15 minutes for the shuttle to arrive. It wound around through a few other hotels first, then eventually got to the Campanile where they had no record of our booking. We were at the wrong hotel! There's two Hotel Campaniles located near CDG (it's a chain we've stayed at before), and we'd come to the wrong one. 30 minutes and a 15 euro Uber ride later, we finally got to the right hotel and made it to our room.

    Made sure to stay up late since Paris is already an hour different from Athens, but will need to adjust our body clocks for a longer time zone change tomorrow!
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    Trish Forrester  Oh' the joys of travel! I bet you were 'peeved'

  • Day 607

    Day 608: Working in Athens

    October 15, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Spent today working and doing various things. Decided against heading out to see anything more of Athens, just stayed in and worked instead.

    Trish Forrester  It's good to have a few 'nothing in particular' days!

  • Day 606

    Day 607: Back to Athens

    October 14, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Six hours in the car today, long drive! Left our place in Corfu early in the morning, as we needed to catch the 9:30am ferry since the next one wasn't until 12:30. Made it with no issues, and then drove the five-ish hours across Greece back to Athens, where we arrived around five pm.

    Dropped the car off with no problems thankfully, then caught the train back into the city where we arrived at our apartment, the same one we'd stayed in three weeks earlier. Last few days in Euroep!
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  • Day 605

    Day 606: More Relaxing in Corfu

    October 13, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    This was our designated relaxing day, so again we did a bit of work and went to the beach etc. We'd finished with Greece's World Heritage sites, aside from a couple on islands in the far east, close to Turkey. We'll save those for a later time. Also realised that our next site will be on a different continent!Read more

  • Day 604

    Day 605: Relaxing in Corfu

    October 12, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Today we'd hoped to get over to Albania and check out a nearby World Heritage site (Corfu is literally just a couple of miles across the water from Albania), but we'd literally missed the boat by just a couple of days - it was now low season and the tours were only running on certain specific days.

    So we suddenly had a spare day, which we used doing a bit of work and swimming at the beach.
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  • Day 603

    Day 604: Old Town of Corfu

    October 11, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    The main reason for coming to Corfu was to visit the Old Town, which was about 15 minutes drive to our north. So off we went - it's a World Heritage site, naturally. It's not particularly "old" by Greek standards though; the most notable features are fortifications built by the Venetians in the 13th-17th centuries, and then improved on by the British in the 19th century.

    Took ages to find a park since the parking lot was full, and we had to wait about 30 minutes while people slowly dripped out of the lot. Huge mounds of trash piled around as well which was quite off-putting; apparently the bin men have been on strike for a couple of years as the landfill is full. The government built a new, second landfill but in an illegal spot too close to houses and water sources and the riot police are currently keeping the peace. Apparently the situation has been dragging on for years and with no end in sight. Not super impressed with Corfu so far!

    The fortresses were interesting enough, though we've definitely seen better ones, though the town itself was OK. Lots of tall and narrow streets, which reminded us a bit of Genoa or other classic Italian port cities. Quite atmospheric. But otherwise - not so great, and we headed home mid-afternoon.

    At least our place is right on the beach!
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    Trish Forrester  From your descriptions I don't think Corfu will be at the top of my 'must visit' list! It's just a stone's throw from Italy of course, but quite a way from Venice. A good stopping point by sea for Venetians though coming out of the Adriatic

  • Day 602

    Day 603: Across to Corfu

    October 10, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Long day of driving today, about five hours worth. Headed across the north of Greece to the western coastline, where we caught a ferry across to the island of Corfu. Checked into our apartment, though we weren't super happy with it - it was quite a bit smaller than it had looked in photos, and there was basically nowhere to sit that wasn't on the bed.

    And worse, the bedroom had no windows, only floor-to-ceiling glass doors with wooden shutters. Several semi-stray cats in the area, so we couldn't leave the doors open because otherwise Schnitzel would run out and chase them. And of course having the shutters closed means you get no light, and that's pretty horrible too. Oh well.

    Went out for dinner nearby to a nice restaurant which was really good - had a great meal of Greek food which I think we're both going to miss.
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    Trish Forrester  It looks on maps like that drive would have been quite a rugged one as well

  • Day 601

    Day 602: Meteora Part Two

    October 9, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    More exploring around Meteora today. Although we'd seen most of the monasteries, the landscape is still pretty crazy so we spent a few hours doing some hiking around the hills which was quite cool.

    Headed home not long after lunch as we were getting tired, but had a rest before heading out again to get some photos during the sunset which was pretty spectacular.
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    Trish Forrester  They look spectacular from photos I've seen! I think I'd be a bit nervous in them on a windy day, but they've stood the test of time so far!