Our big fat Greek adventure.

Jet setting again, this time we’re off to Athens. We spent 4 days here. These 4 days I spent mostly huffing and puffing. It was so much hotter than Rome.

We arrived in Syntagma square with two massive suitcases, in which several strops happened before actually arriving in the square because I couldn’t lift the bleeding things onto the escalators or up the stairs. Then we got lost trying to find our apartment. It ended up being down this really dark and scary corridor which had no lights and 100s of stairs, and the most scary elevator I have ever seen. But, once in the apartment it was fab. We had a cracking view and had a Greek bar below us which gave such an authentic atmosphere.

We visited everything we possibly could and the majority was in walking distance such as the Acropolis (which sold the best slush puppy I have ever tasted!), Parthenon, Ancient Agora, Benaki, Mount Lycabettus and the National Gardens. I’m guessing we visited more but literally everytime I saw a bench or somewhere to sit, you would find me straight there. The relief of getting away from the burning sun for 5 minutes was just heaven, so I excelled in trying to park my bottom wherever I could.

The food was amazing but I didn’t capture enough photo’s because I was too busy scoffing but everywhere I went I had to have a baklava. They.are.heaven. The best place we found to eat was a restaurant called Ergon. Everyone was super friendly, the food was to die for and best of all there was a restaurant cat called Salem (me being the crazy cat lady that I am).
You get such a city buzz in Athens but then in parts you get the overly touristy hot spots which we tried to stay away from, sometimes I felt like I was in Benidorm.
On one of the days we took an adventure on the tram to a beach. It was the longest tram journey of my life. I hated just sitting there for well over an hour feeling like a blatant tourist and making that awkward eye contact with the locals, makes me shiver thinking about it. To top it off once we got the beach it was overcrowded and we felt like we we’re in Weston Super Mare. So we headed back to catch the next tram back to stop off at a previous beach. The tram was desolate so we sat there for a while waiting for it to start back up, but in the meantime we got approached by a group of kids who tried to mug us. They were only about 10 years old all with tattoos. So we had to leg it back to the overcrowded beach. We sat there in misery for a good hour trying to comprehend what just happened and to recharge our confidence. We did make it home eventually and my gosh we we’re so happy to get back to the apartment, it was just one of those days but we didn’t let it ruin our holiday. It’s part of the adventure.. right?
Have you ever been to Athens? What was your favourite part?

For me my favourite part was the National Gardens, a tranquil hotspot which gave a hint of tropical-ness. That’s definitely a word now.
It was so beautiful, huge gigantic trees, ponds, wildlife and SHADE. What’s not to love. It was lush to have that balance of nature but to be in the middle of a bustling city. It was definitely the highlight for me.
It was great to visit Athens and I’m glad I can tick it off our places we’ve visited list, but would I go back? I’m not so sure. If I’m honest if it was just the two of us I wouldn’t but if you went with a group of friends I think it would be phenomenal.

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Next stop Rhodes (commence aeroplane noises).

 

 

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An Italian Adventure.

This is definitely the best time of year. I am currently sat on the sofa in a cosy red tartan blanket with the blinds closed and candles on. It’s ready to rock and roll these typing skills.
I can nearly hear the faint sound of those jingle bells. Yeah, I went there.

Earlier this year we took a 2 week adventure travelling to some hot spots in Europe. First on our hit list was Rome. What a place. It was incredible but I felt like I didn’t fully appreciate the magnificence of it until our trip came to an end. In unfamiliar territory my body goes into panic mode in which we rocked up at around 10.00pm while trying to navigate the airport and the connecting trains through very sleepy eyes. Oh and it was the Euro’s football final, talk about timing. By the time we arrived at Termini it was gone 11pm and all the trains and buses had stopped highly stressful when we had specific instructions to get the bus to get to our destination. So, Taxi it was. Then it was the realisation that we had to try and communicate, in ITALIAN. I was hopeless, in fact I didn’t even attempt because I was far too scared (such a brit), thank the lord for Ezra!

So we were in Rome for 4 days and most of those days it was 36-37 degree heat. Scorching. We did as best as we could to get around by foot, but my god the street sellers selling iced cold water were our saviours. Although it was an absolute rip off at 2 euros a bottle it didn’t half save us from heat exhaustion. The worst thing about the heat was the fact there wasn’t anywhere to cool off that we knew about, there were lots of water stations but in that heat you just want to strip off and sit in very very VERY cold water. However, the only water that could of been an option was holy water, we didn’t think that would bode well with the Italians! BUT my most handiest tip for travelling around Rome in the heat is to church dive every 5 minutes. There are so many hidden churches on every street and what a life saver they are. From the outside they don’t look that appealing but what hidden beauties they all are. Every one is completely different and incredibly beautiful, plus they are freezing. The perfect remedy for over heated tourists.

We walked over 20,000 steps a day and saw sights such as the Roman forum, the Colosseum, Vittoriano (which was by far my favourite), Trevi fountain, The Vatican (heads up the most torturous journey to reach the top) and 100’s of churches. We did visit a lot more but for the life of me I can’t remember the names of all the places. One thing I really noticed though was that all the paths and streets were super slippy, I was slip sliding my whole way. Highly hilarious but equally terrifying, especially when you’re walking up some mammoth marble steps to get somewhere.

The food was also another highlight, but the photo’s we have aren’t the best looking. Italians really do know how to cook and the ice cream is top notch. Ezra was in absolute heaven, 3 course meals pretty much everyday. Espresso and croissants from Necci every morning and a complimentary Tiramisu every evening (well it would be rude not to).
We stayed out of the city in a hipster area known as Pigneto, 10 minutes journey away from Termini. We were based on the main high street and could hear the buzz of local Italians fine dining below our windows with the smell of pizza, pasta and fine wines on our door step.
It is so nice looking back and seeing how much we did, and absorbing all the culture. My goodness is it cultural! But there are so many sites we probably missed with each road leading to something incredible, as the saying goes all roads lead to Rome. I would encourage everyone once in their lifetime to visit Rome, è bellissimo!

Next stop Athens….

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