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Published: October 5th 2014
We finally made it to Thessaloniki! We caught the bus from the airport, and were met by our airbnb host's friend with the keys to the apartment. The apartment was close to the city centre, and that evening we went for a walk down the waterfront. Hundreds of people were out around town, it was great! We found a quaint little place for dinner - finally mediterranean cuisine and cheap wine! After 2 weeks of eating bland grilled meat, this was a welcome!! The next day we set downtown and climbed the white tower (I was sorry I didn't ask about the audioguide as all the exhibits were in Greek). However the views at the top were brilliant. After that, we decided to go to the Byzantine museum, which showed archelogical relics of churches, tombs, pottery, religious relics and attire, and of course Byzantinium paintings. A really good museum I thought. In fact, there was a tour group in English, so my ears pricked up a few times (sneaky sneaky) and listed to what the guide was explaining. After that, we decided to go on one of these half hour cruises. So there are these viking looking ships, which offer free
cruises and expensive drinks (thats how they make their money). So after an hour the boat took off for our mini-cruise. It was really nice - great views of Thessaloniki and we watched the seagulls flying and landing in the water. After
another nice dinner, accompanied by great live music, we decided to go to one of the many bars along the shoreline for a drink. It was a really nice way to spend our last night. It was also fun to see this guy double-park his BMW, put his hazard lights on and get out to have a drink with his friends! Yes this is Greece! Very early the next morning we set off to the train station to go to Athens.
6 hours later we were in Athens! We were staying at another Airbnb apartment, and met our host at his apartment, a stone's throw away from Thissio metro stop. Christos was very nice and pointed out the major sights (even though we had been to Athens before). We also had to make a decision on our next port of call. Originally, we were going go take the overnight ferry to Rhodes, then ferry to Fethiye
in Turkey a few days later. However as it turned out that involved a lot of travel, both ends, so we decided to go to Mykonos, and then onto Samos. We had lunch, sorted the tickets out and went for a walk and a spot of shopping in the Monastiraki area. As we had been before, it was familiar ground and we didn't have a burning desire to go back to any museums. The next day we went up to the Acropolis again. It is a nice walk around and magnificent views of the city, as well as the breathtaking awe of the Acropolis itself. As with last time, it started to rain as we made our way down. We stopped for sone lunch and a beer at a non-traditional pub, and went shopping!! My Greek obsession is Freddo cappucino - espresso, ice, water and foam on top. None of thise ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate and extra sugar garbage we get in Australia - but REAL ice coffee (can you tell I really liked it??). That evening we had a really nice dinner near the square and a walk around. The next morning we set out early again to Piraeus,
to catch our ferry to Mykonos.
It was a huge catamaran, and we misunderstood directions and thought we had to sit outside and I lost my temper. Everyone in Europe smokes, anytime, anywhere, and in Greece it's ten-fold. Cigarette smoke, especially in windy conditions, is not pleasent. We then sat inside when we worked out that perhaps its not assigned seating. When we got to Mykonos, we were greeted by our apartment man, who drove us to the old town. He dropped us by the side of the road where we were met by his son who took us to our apartment. Mykonos, like Santorini, is awashed by tiny cobble-stoned streets, flanked by white-washed houses. We went for a walk around the old town and 'little Venice' and stopped by a quaint cafe for a drink. We saw this huge pink pelican waddling up the town, being mobbed by throngs of tourists taking photos. It really was a sight! We stopped by a local Souvlaki joint for cheap gyros and just chilled. The next day we got up early to go on a tour to nearby Delos island. Delos is an important mythological, historical and archeological site in Greece,
and is said to have been inhabited since 3000 BC, and the locals believed this is where greek gods Artemis and Apollo were born. This island was so sacred that people who were dying were taken to another island, as well as ladies in labour, as not one could be born or die on the island. Today it is an archelogical site, very well in tact, and Delos actually recieves the most sun in Greece (hence Appollo, the sun god). We did a tour around the ruins and the museum, then back to Mykonos. Later that afternoon, we went to one of Mykonos's many beaches. Now I know we said we weren't really beach people, but a few hours in the afternoon was well spent swimming the calm blue waters of Mykonos. This is an island where people like to be seen. For example, we saw a couple posing for a photo of themselves.... For half an hour!! We swam, went to the bar and ordered overpriced drinks, and just had a lazy afternoon. Later that night, we set off for town and has another Gyros dinner, and strolled around the pretty town (nothing seems to close!) We ended the evening at a bar blasting out latin tunes. Had some wine overlooking the water, and then danced a bit of merenge to the sweet sounds of Enrique Iglesias!
The next afternoon, we set off to Samos, after a morning of shopping of course! Our kind apartment owner picked us up again and took us to port. Vathi, the capital of Samos - we stayed at a hotel right at the port, because we thought it would be easy for when it came time to leave. What a mistake, there was nothing to do in Vathi - indeed we were starting to realise there wasn't much to do in Samos! After we had purchased our tickets to Kuşadası (T
urkey) we set off on foot to find the wine museum. After a couple of wrong turns and a scared Nat of a big ugly barking dog, we found it. Museum open, free and ho-hum, but no wine tastings! Boo. We went back to town and had a swim at the hotel pool, and then went for a walk and found some nearby beaches where we stopped off for dfrinks and a nibble. The next day we got a local bus to Pythagoreio. Phythogoreio was named after Greek philosopher and mathematician Phythogoras. We went to the old castle which is now a museum, and took a long walk to the church on the hill. Along the way we stopped at ancient ampitheatre. Once we got to the church, we went into a cave, where there was a church inside. The cave was dark and cooling, perfect on a hot day! Back down in Pythogoreio, we stopped by the beach for drinks, overlooking the overweight, over tanned Europeans bake themselves in the sun. Fortunately thanks to my Thai genes I tan up quite easily just by walking in the sun even with 50+ sunscreen! Later that evening in Vathi, we went to a bar near our hotel overloking the water for some drinks. It was really nice. The next day, our final day (yesss) in Samos. We took a bus to Kokkari, a beachside town. The beaches were laden with pebbles instead of sand. While Bill had some wine and wifi, I took a long, lesuirly swim in the clear waters. After, lunch, it was time to get back to port and onto a ferry to Kuşadası!
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