Life Under an Ash Cloud

I am sure by now you are all wondering if I died is Spain since there has been no blogging actions on my part by alas sorry to inform some of you no indeed I am alive and kicking I was just having to much fun exploring Spain by day and night to be bothered to write all of you and I figured a number of you may have died of jealousy if you knew what I was up to. So settle down because this will be your opportunity to step into my shoes and head to Spain. This blog may end up being slightly long so if you want to skip all the boring stuff like sight seeing I recommend avoiding sections Fifty Five. If you want to know how much fun we had I would read section Fifty Seven. And if you want to know where our trip went wrong read the end of Section Fifty Seven. And if you want to know how much better and cooler my life is then yours read it all.

Section Fifty Five- In the beginning

We started are voyage in Brussels after the scariest drive of my life. A few friends from school were flying out of the same airport the day before so Ash and I being the thrifty people decided to catch a ride to the airport with them and sleep there overnight. I must say we should have been warned before the car even started her driving may be a little erratic when the driver said “you should probably buckle up it suites my driving style” and she was not lying but thankfully after a large amount of swerving at high speeds we made it to the airport and settled in for our sleepless night on the stone cold floor. We found a nice little corner to move in on and attempted to sleep there but that did not go very well and I just spent the night lying on the floor wishing on sleep, but we did make it through the night and hopped on the plane to Madrid in the morning.
Once in Madrid we found our hostel no problem and dropped of the bags so we could begin exploring, exploring did not take us far as there was a market in the plaza across the street that tempted me with the array of colourful scarves and awesome earrings. I did pretty good the first day there only buying three scarves one even not for myself but the scarf buying would not stop there and over the next 10days of this trip I would end up accumulating 9 new scarves. After the market we found a park with some famous monument in it that I can’t remember the name of it was from Rome or something. We then walked around this beautiful park and took in the sights of Madrid.
Day two in Madrid we went the Rene Sofia museum which was pretty cool it is full of modern art, some that makes little to no sense and I think people just looked at so they could feel cultured and because everyone else was looking at them. But the rest of the art was pretty cool and they had a big section on the Spanish civil war. After the museum we went hunting for a castle but some how ended up on the shopping street. I swear I have internal GPS that continually guides me to beautiful clothes. On this street I learnt a very important lesson Spain has the greatest I mean greatest and cheapest shopping ever. This realization jumped started my love for Spain and the floral shirts it had to offer. The rest of that day was spent wandering in and out of these stores in complete bliss. Then that night we headed off the night bus that’s name would soon change to the dreaded night bus. We were taking the night bus to Barcelona to save on money but soon learnt what a terrible thing these night buses are. We got literally no sleep and wasted eight hours of our lives on that silly thing. We were smart enough to book the two seats with the most leg room though that we could also put are legs up at but I still got off the bus in the morning feeling like an 80 year old woman.

Section Fifty Six – The Sites and Nights of Barcelona

Be warned the beginning of this section is the boring part of my trip full of the wicked awesome sights I saw in Barcelona but lacking in large quantities of dancing and ash clouds. Once in Barcelona we checked into our Hostel which turned out to be the sweetest hostel ever. Took a quick nap and then began exploring the city. I would tell you what we did the first day in Barcelona but it must not be that important because I can’t remember I do remember the first night we went out to a sports bar and another bar with a very sticky dance floor in a slightly sketchy neighbourhood. The next day we got up bright and semi early and walked to the Picasso museum which was amazing as well as the Cathedral of Barcelona which was just beautiful. Man do the Catholics know how to do churches, the cathedral had a big court yard in the middle of it and extremely large pieces of gold artwork.
The next day we went with two New York girls we met to the famous Gaudi cathedral Sagrada de Familia which was pretty crazy and then we went to the Parc de Geull which has beautiful views of the city. That night we met an interesting bunch of people in our hostel from the UK and then spent the next few days attempting to convince them we needed to go to bed early since we were headed to the Dali museum the next day but they continually told us Dali is Dead therefore we better party with Lamppost and Bollard which meant we never actually made it to Dali Museum and instead I got to dance my little heart out. Instead of the museum we saw many sights inside Barcelona including a Gaudi House which was very cool and probably my favourite site. We also walked down La Rambla and went to a crazy market that was full of fresh produces and juices and also chilled on the beach and went up a mountain called Monjustraat (or something along those lines), oh and we shopped a lot and a lot and I was able to create a wonderful floral wardrobe Jealous I think so.

Section Fifty Seven – Dali is dead

After seeing these sights we would come back to the hostel for a bit and then begin our night of dancing with a game of kings cup using large quantities of sangria. For those of you who do not know what kings cup is I am not going to tell you because you are most likely one of my older relatives and therefore I want you to continue thinking I am a grade A student who is strictly studying and taking in the culture of Europe. But for those of you who do know what it is think socialables but with better cards my favourite being Five Jive and a large mixed drink in the middle. Then we would head out into the streets of Barcelona in search of a new dance floor to take over. Now as some of you may know I like my dance parties and I have been lacking in adequate dance partners, well thank goodness I finally found some in the UK guys. I may not have seen the Dali Museum but I had enough fun each night to make up for it.
On are last night in Barcelona are trip luck began to run low though. As you may have guessed we had better luck on this trip then in Greece with no lost wallets or misplaced bank cards. Which is surprising since Barcelona is full pick pockets and muggers. The UK guys we met were pick pocketed a total of three times but they caught the guy once. But back to my story of are last night in Barcelona. We had to take the stupid night bus back that evening to Madrid to catch are plane home the following day. So that morning when we checked out the hostel was nice enough to let us store are luggage in the laundry room which was locked. Well that evening when we went to go gather our things right before we were to leave for the bus station I quickly realized mine were locked away and there was no one left with a key. So we began calling all the numbers in order to try and track one down in a short amount of time. Of course well I was trying to sort this dilemma out the others were trying to convince me it was fate and we were meant to stay in Barcelona one more night. Just as a I started to agree and cut my losses we got a hold of someone who was able to unlock the laundry room, they arrived just in time and Ashley and I dashed off the bus station barely making it but hopping on in the last second before the awful bus pulled away. From there I wish I could say was smoothing sailing, however, where would the fun be in that. Once in Madrid we prepared to catch our flight early the next morning and did a little homework I know homework on vacation the life of a student. I also decided to check our flight that evening to make sure it was running on time. Well the ash cloud struck again not only was it not on time it was cancelled all together. Leaving us stranded in Madrid, after checking the news and flights it looked like we would be stuck there for at least a few days and all the plane tickets skyrocketed. They also said don’t go to the airport and change your tickets yourself and they will refund you. So that is what we set about doing, however, the cheapest flight we could find was out of Barcelona in two days. The only way back to Barcelona was to jump back on the awful night bus one more time and loose 8 hours of my life. So after one more night on that stupid bus we ended up in Barcelona at 730 in the morning. This totalled 24 hours on a night bus.
Our actual last day in Barcelona we went for lunch with everyone and then sat in Catalunya square and tried to catch pick pockets with the UK guys. Which was very entertaining but we did not catch any in action. Then finally I got a good nights sleep and the next day we headed to the airport and then the train to make it home to Vlissingen where to my delight Auntie Jackie and Uncle Jim where waiting at the train stop. But my adventures with them will be written in my next blog. So although this wonderful trip cost me a little more then I expected I love it. Oh I should also mention we flew Ryan air home which meant I was only allowed one small carry on bag (my school backpack) which was stuffed full leading to me having to wear 7 tank tops 1 long sleeve 3 jackets 2 pairs of pants and 2 scarves on the plane ride home in order to meet the restrictions.

Much Love
Lele

Random Fact you can get a five euro massage on the beach in Barcelona and walk around naked

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Life goind Dutch

Hello all of my avid followers I have decided it is time once more to inform you how much cooler my life is then yours. You can live vicariously through me if you so wish by reading this or just hop on a plane and come gone the adventure. But well you book your plane tickets you can read this. Now you must understand the only reason I am writing this is because the clothes I need to pack for Spain today are still drying after my late night hand laundry last night or I would be busy as usual doing sweet European things.

Section Fifty-Three Life with Homework
As some of you may know I came over here to study abroad in The Neth (cooler way to say Netherlands). But up until now the professors have not really given us much to study so the school has been minimal and the fun factor has been maximum. However, (notice the proper use of a comma there) this week we finally had to start some projects and therefore where left to do homework late into the night in order to not have to bring it to Spain this week. So that has been no fun and the professor still are not that good so I am not sure if are so called school work is even being done correctly. However, I really only have a month left of school so I guess the homework was inevitable but don’t worry I will not let a little thing like school get in the way of the better things in life. I just thought you should know that I am actually still studying and perhaps learning something. But that is all I will write about that boring subject.

Section Fifty- Four Life living like a Queen
I have decided next year I am celebrating my birthday the same way the queen of the Netherlands celebrates hers. By shutting down a whole country for a whole day and throwing a country wide party. So yesterday was Queens day here is the Netherlands a day full of outdoor parties and lots and lots of orange. To celebrate a bunch of us decided to head to the biggest party in The Neth in Amsterdam on Thursday night. So we packed into the two cars ours consisting of two turks, two Canadians and one French the other consisting of three Czechs one Spanish and one german. All of us decked out in orange and headed to the city where almost everything is legal to get the full understanding of what it really means to be Dutch. The car ride itself was a grand time even though traffic was busier then normal. I successfully brought the game of trying to yell though tunnels to Europe and everyone seemed to really enjoy it thank you avalanche tunnels in Canada for that one. Once we arrived in Amsterdam we had to meet the people who came by train in Dam square which was very cool because it had a huge ferris wheel and other carnival rides. Walking to dam square the ten of us soon realized we were a day early on the whole wearing orange thing making us all stick out as non Dutch but it worked out for the better because as are group grew to more and more international students it was much easier to keep track of everyone. In the beginning the weather was very cooperative and we all sat outside in leids square drinking and dancing. Then sadly it began to rain so we moved in side for a bit but then adventured back outside and found a bridge that had a wicked drum line playing underneath it so we hung out under the bridge for a good hour dancing up a storm, and I mean that literally because when we finished dancing there truly was a wicked awesome lighting storm going on outside the bridge. So after walking around the city for a bit and trying out a few different parties we decided the rain had gotten the best of us and Ashley and I headed home to Dans for some much needed sleep. I of course did not really think out the weather situation and was stuck walking home in flip flops, I have that strange Canadian mind set that just because its almost may it should be warm therefore it is flip flop season no matter what the actual temperature is out. But we made it home in one piece at the reasonable hour of 330am and quickly fell fast asleep.
The next day Ashley and I headed out in the morning to go meet up with the other internationals again most who slept in cars so thank you again Dan for letting us stay at your house. Luckily today the rain had ceased and we were able to get a full day of queens day in. Today we sure did not stick out wearing orange as the whole city had transformed into a sea of orange. Ash and I first met up with Romain and the three of us went to find everyone else who was at an outdoor concert in Museum Park. We thought it would not be to busy and easy to find everyone, how wrong we were there were thousands of people there all in orange so after trying to go through the crowd and only getting about ten feet we decided to go around them and enter throw the back this worked slightly better although we still could not spot anyone so I ended up on Romain shoulders searching the thousands of people to find our group, which I was successful in doing. After finding everyone we hung out at the concert for a while then decided to move to Vondal park. In Vondal park we found another group of students we knew who had met a travelling band so we spent the rest of the afternoon dancing to the band. Then finally it was time to head back to Vlissingen so I could prepare for Spain today. All in all though it was a wicked awesome time and I fully enjoyed myself.
Now just to give you all an idea of how crazy queens day is I will explain it like this. Think of the red mile now times it by a thousand. The whole city shuts down turns into one big party. The canals are full of party boats with music blaring, each corner a different cafe has set up an outdoor bar with different music so you have to take dance breaks frequently while walking through the city. Cars bikes and buses cant run because people are everywhere and the whole city is decked out in orange and careering drinks, because here in Europe drinking in the streets on queens day is quite aloud.

But that is all I have time to write now because hopefully my clothes are dry by now since we leave for Brussels where we will most likely be stuck sleeping outside since the airport closes until 5am and we have to be there for 630am and hostels are ridiculously expensive there and full. Did I mention to Spain we are flying Ryanair therefore I can only bring my little school back pack not fun.
Hugs Lele

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Life with Sun in Vlissingen

Alright I know it has been a while since I have written but I think you should all be happy with what you get I mean at least I write, I could just stop writing all together leaving all of you with no news from across the pond. However, I have decided to appease to the masses once more and write a blog. Mostly because today I am supposed to be doing some homework but I have gotten bored of that and there are no good shows on animal plant leaving me watching a show about a swan and writing a blog. Which I will have to make quick since the next show I am watching is polar bears on thin ice which sounds like a good one. Now were did I leave you all off… right I had arrived in Mykonos, well here is what has happened since then. I apologize this blog is not as witty as some but if you want a blog don’t complain about it.

Section Fifty- Life In Mykonos
Well in Mykonos we lived a very slow paced life. Spending the three days enjoying paradise beach, lying under beach umbrellas enjoying the sunshine, the beach was great because it was not to busy yet so we could just relax and enjoy the sunshine and have a true vacation. We also spent lots of time in the town once we moved to are new accommodations which were much better. One night we met a bunch of other travellers on the hostel roof top, three girls from Quebec studying in spain, and three people from the states studying in Isreal. The eight of us decided to hit the Mykonos town since it is supposed to be the party island, which it is with a bar every two steps, however it is also extremely expensive. But it like Santorini is a beautiful island and even though we did not do much there I did enjoy every moment of it. Then sadly we had to leave the Islands and go back to Athens for one night where we ended up meeting up with a girl we had met on our second night in Athens and the three of us went out for lovely Greek dinner and then sat and had one of our bottles of wine from the Santorini wineries. The next day Ashley and I did a little bit of shopping and I found a fabulous pair of shoes. Then to the airport we went, the plane ride was uneventful, however, we were extremely worried that once we got back to Amsterdam the last train would have already left and we would be stuck sleeping in Schipol Airport. But lucky us the train was due in a half hour after our plane landed so we ran across the airport with our bags and just barely made it. Meaning we got back into Vlissingen at 1:30 in the morning but happy to be home.

Section Fifty-One Life back in Vlissingen
Since being back it has not rained once which is so awesome and it is continually getting warmer meaning BBQ season has started. I have gone to two since being back and they have both been delicious even with out the Alberta beef. Other then that I have decided to start trying to work on some of my final projects for school so I don’t leave everything for the end here, however, the projects are not going all that well since I am confused by most of these classes, but I think I can pass them which is all I need to do. Its not that the classes are hard it is just that the teachers are not that good making difficult to understand what they want. I also went to a dinner party at the French girls house and that was delicious but of course late at night. Its funny they think we are crazy for eating dinner any earlier then 8:00 o’clock. So I have been trying to embrace the European style of eating, eating late and taking hours. Tonight we are making dinner for the Germans next door and they are supplying the wine. Oh also greatest thing ever last Tuesday at ghetto bar there was a local in there who had his extremely friendly golden retriever in the bar with him who I played with a pet all night, he was so friendly and such a suck would not let you leave him alone which I was completely okay with.

Section Fifty-Two Life Biking to Belgium and Back
Yes you read that correctly I biked to Belgium yesterday. Stefan one of the Dutch students organized a bike excursion for us. So after a night of BBQ eight of us woke up bright and early for a day of biking. We took the ferry across to the other side of the straight and then biked along the coast to Belgium and the town of Knoppe it was a 50km bike ride and lots of fun. We stopped on the beach for a picnic lunch and then stopped in the town for real Belgium waffles and to play some Frisbee on the beach. Today my legs hurt little bit but I surprisingly did well on my bike and even enjoyed the bike riding and may even be looking forward to the next one. And since as of right now I may not be able to fly to Spain thanks to some unwelcome ash I may have to bike there. Its nice biking here though since there is very few hills and biking along the coast is actually quite beautiful.
But that is all for now, the polar bear show has begun and I should probably get back to my dreaded homework. I shall write to you all soon and hope spring is treating you just as well as it is treating me.

Hugs Lele

Random Fact- The last time this Volcano erupted it continued erupting for 2 years… also polar bear cubs are the size of a gerbil when they are born

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Life falling in Love with Santorini

Santorini is pretty much the greatest place. Over the last five days I have fallen in love with the Island. It was nice because the time of year we have come has met the greek islands and not overly crowed and busy yet meaning we have gotten to live the full out Island lifestyle with money to spend and all.

Section Forty-Six- Life jumping in Volcanoes
Our second full day in Santorini we decided to take a boat tour to the active Volcano and ocean hot springs. The volcano itself was pretty cool and we got to get off the ship and walk around it to check out the smoke coming out, its supposed to erupt again in about ten years. Then after we walked around the volcano we went to the hot springs, which are in a little cove off a small island in the ocean. To get to the hot springs they make you jump off the boat and swim through the ocean, which at this time of year is not so warm and nor is the hot springs as I found after being the first person to jump off the boat and swim to them. I would call them more of a moderately warm springs nothing like Banff. Then the boat took us back to port which is at the bottom of the cliffs and instead of walking back up we deciding to ride donkeys, which was hilarious, those things can go deceivingly fast up the side of a mountain and stop for nothing they just kind of go. That evening we also did something I have dreamed of doing my whole life. We went horseback riding along the ocean, which was so cool I had a pretty feisty horse though that was not content just walking, fine by me though. Also it was super hilarious, it was just Ashley our guide and I and at one point he jumped of the horse to take what we thought was just one picture of us. But then proceed to take like 30 in a row at different angles, it was like are own private horse photo shoot. Then that evening we ate dinner on our balcony and went for an evening walk along the beach.

Section Forty-Seven- Life on the road
Our last full day in Santorini we decided to rent a quad to better explore the whole island. It was super fun we went up to the top of the mountain to get a wicked view and just drove around the whole island, stopping at a bunch of winery’s for some wine tasting, were I did most the tasting since Ashley was driving which worked well for me. However, now we seem to have a few bottles of wine that I have no idea how we can fit home. Now if you don’t want to hear about how Ashley and I got the quad, which may not be in the most legal way possible, I would recommend you stop reading now, however if curiosity has gotten the best of you please continue reading, since Ashley’s blog some how missed this oh so important detail. Now as you may have read we ran into a few hiccups in Athens with Ashley’s wallet being stolen but had moved passed them, however, an important piece of identification was in that wallet her licence. Now this would not have been an issue if my licence had not expired ten days after I arrived in Europe. Leaving us with no valid drivers licence and dream of riding a quad, this dream could be fulfilled though if only we could get our hands on a photocopy of Ashley’s licence since they said that could work. So we put our brains together and she emailed her dad (who does not always approve of quad ding so maybe don’t mention this to him). To see if he had a scanned copy of it kicking around not mentioning what we wanted it for and low and behold he did and he emailed it back to us. Now before I go on I would like to remind you all I am half way across the world so whether or not you agree with the decision we made after this, there is not much you can do about them. But back to the scanned licence, once we received it we were ecstatic we could finally ride our quad, however upon opening the document we soon realized it was her old licence and also expired, leaving us with no option but to work some paint magic on it and strategically change the expiration date making it valid once more fulfilling our childhood dream. Now I know you all may be thinking we committed fraud and yes it may sound like that but really you don’t need a licence to drive a quad it’s just really a formality and really Ashley does have a licence it is just being passed around the black market of Athens right now. And really we were wearing helmets and being safe unlike say a family of four we were riding behind all crammed onto a motorcycle with no helmets and holding on the baby with one hand. And if any of you are shaking your heads at me now I would like to remind you I warned you and told you not to read on so this is your own fault.

Section Forty-Eight- Life with a Greek Easter
So it was good or as the Greeks call it big Friday yesterday, and man do they do it big. We went to the town of Pygros last night to partake in the festivities of it. In the town they put lanterns which are more like metal pots full of lighter fuel and stuff that burns for awhile on the roofs of all the houses and as soon as good Friday mass ends, hundreds of little boys with blow torches (and your worried about us an a quad) light the lanterns and the whole city lights up. Fire safety seems to be the least of there worries but man does it look amazing. The pictures I took do not even describe the incredibleness of it. And then the priest and an alter and a bunch of people go on a procession through the lit up town. Some how Ashley and I ended up smack dab in the middle of this procession with little greek ladies throwing holy water on us from all angles. I think they new about the quad and were trying to rid us of our sin.

Section Forty-Nine- Life eating in Greece
I have terrible breath constantly but I am loving it. For lunch we continually went to this little place called Luckys (were we met lucky who was missing a few teeth) and had delicious gyros and then are last night in Santorini we went to the restaurant next to our hostel which was amazing. We were greeted at the entrance by the cutest stray lab puppy ever who proceed to follow us to dinner and sleep under the table. I named him Oliver and really really wanted to keep him but Ashley said I couldn’t, I was trying to device a plan how I could send him back to Canada as a surprise but none of my ideas panned out. But sorry back to the restaurant. We decided to just try a few different appetizers Fava being one of them which Santorini is famous for. And it was pretty wicked because the owners wife was serving us and she came up after we finished our first half litre of wine and was like you girls going anywhere tonight or driving and we said nope, so she just gave us another half litre of wine on the house. And we fully enjoyed the European eating style of dragging out your meal and enjoying the night.
But that is all for now all. We moved to Mykonos today which is beautiful but I don’t know if it compares to Santorini. So far instead of seeing really cute stray dogs we have just seen two dead cats on the side of the road, not cool. And we were really unhappy with our hostel and the guy who was supposed to be helping us, however, the owner his sister came over and apologized and is moving us to another hostel tomorrow morning right in city center which will be much better. I am looking forward to the next few days here though and enjoying the sunshine and beaches. We are looking for a paddle boat for our next adventure.
Hugs
Lele
Random Fact- 80% of all Canadian people are actually Greek (well at least according to some old Greek man we met walking down from the acropolis)

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Life with a bag of Trail Mix and 16euro

Section Forty-Three- Life without Money

So funny story as you all may remember the last entry I wrote Ashley’s wallet had departed from us with all her wallet belongings inside it leaving me as her sugar mama for the next week, well turns out I make a terrible sugar mama as when I went to take out money for her two days ago my bank card went the way of her wallet deciding to ditch us leaving us with very little. A bag of trail mix, 16euro and my beloved Visa, which I now must guard with my life, however, my visa is not connected to my bank account making it near impossible for my to take out money, and leaving us with very high interest charges. But don’t fret with a little help from mom I think we have got this all figured out and we will not be stuck in Greece for life, however at this rate I wouldn’t mind all that much being stuck on an island. So tomorrow hopefully all this will be sorted out. Not that I am all that worried about it or letting it interfere with my wicked awesome Greek experience.

Section Forty- Four- Life testing out the Islands

Yesterday before I realized we were money less we had an amazing day. That morning we got up bright and early with two other girls staying in our room at are hostel from Wisconsin who are studying abroad in Lancaster England. And the four of us headed out on an adventure, the day before we had decided to head to the port and just find the next available ferry that left for a close by Island that we could go to for the day, and that is exactly what we did. So after an hour long ferry ride we ended up in Aegina a seriously amazing Island just of the coast of Athens. Once there we walked around the little town and put our feet in the ocean, then we found a place right on the ocean for lunch, once we sat down for lunch I found a cat lounging about under our table. I named him Cyclopes because he was a seriously ugly cat but so sweet, he was chubby, missing half an ear and blind in one eye and spent all of lunch purring in my lap. This cat knew how to work a crowd for some free food, understanding he was ugly so he better be overly friendly and lovable which he was. Then after lunch after I gave Cyclopes half my kebab we headed to a bar/cafe that was built over the water and had really fruity girly drinks, then sadly we had to board the ferry back to Athens after a wonderful day filled with sunshine. Then back in Athens is when I realized we were down one more bank card so I spent a portion of the night on the phone trying to figure this out since our ferry for Santorini left at 730 this morning.

Section Forty-Five- Life with a bag of trail mix

We got up at five this morning in order to make it on time to our ferry so that was not at all fun, but we made it on time and then proceeded to try and sleep in super uncomfortable chairs at a super uncomfortable table so my neck now has a super uncomfortable kink in it now, but we did sit with two other girls we met at our hostel in Athens fro Rhode Island so we chatted with them for most of the eight hour ferry ride. And we finally did make it to Santorini which oh my gosh is beautiful and cliffy. Our hostel is also the greatest thing in the world, we are in a twin room and we have are own kitchen and deck that is right beside the pool and we are only steps away from the beautiful black sand beaches where I have already befriended a new stray dog who I named Torino (I know not very original). Once we got to our hostel though we had to make a 30 minute walk to the closest grocery store that will take credit as we still don’t have any money but that was not bad as we are now stalked up on food and have a fabulous greek salad for dinner paired with a wonderful box wine whose labels describes it as reddish. But that my friends brings us to now. Me relaxing enjoying the Island lifestyle and excited for what tomorrow and the rest of the days have to bring, not worry about the small things and being extremely grateful that I am able to experience the amusingness of what life has to offer.

 Hugs

Liseanne

Also if you want to see a few photos check out ashleys blog

Random Fact- You can not flush toilet paper down the toilets in Greece

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Life in the land of Feta

Hello all I am sure you have all been wondering how our adventures in Athens have been going thus far. Well with only a few bumps we are having a splendid time taking in the sights, smell and sounds of Athens. I even wrote that with no sarcasm. Pretty impressive I know.

Section Forty- Life in Ancient Greece

We have packed many sites into the last 4 days and seen some pretty cool old stuff. The first day we went to the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus and the theatre of Diesis (spelt wrong sorry). They were all really awesome. We hiked to the top of the Acropolis and walked around there, how cool is that its so crazy to be standing in ancient Greece, the weather was great Ashley even got a little sun burnt, I loved the sun though. We then went to the temple of Zeus which we got lost trying to get into so that and ended up walking around the whole outside until we found the entrance right by a massive Arc that you can see from anywhere that used to be the entrance into Agora. After all the ruins we headed back to the hostel in search of dinner and found an awesome little restaurant and had a wicked Greek meal for super cheap. Then went back to the hostel and hung out with are hostel mates. Then Friday we got up bright and early again to see some museums and take a bus tour. The bus tour was great because its a hop on hop off kind of thing so we got to see the whole city, learn about it and get off and on as we pleased. We first got off at the Archaeological Museum and wandered around it for a few hours it was great, then we walked from there to Omonia Square which has a big shopping center but is also pretty sketchy because its were kind of anything goes and there are super hardcore druggies. But I had a delicious spanokopita   for lunch there. We got back on the tour at Omonia square and took it to the Acropolis Museum and checked it out for a bit but Ashley fell asleep in the video about the Parthenon so we came back to the hostel after that, hung out for a bit then headed out to find a new dinner spot, again we found a sweet little restaurant and ate delicious Greek food. Then today we had a slightly later start of 10 o’clock because it was daylight savings today but we still packed a lot in First we went to the Athens flea Market which was super cool and full of massive amount of cheap junk for some and treasures for others, then we went to the Temple of Hephaistos and the Stoa of Attalos which are located in ancient Agora so we got to see how the city used to be laid out, after that we stopped for some more Greek food then walked around the markets for a few hours, then to the National Gardens. Did I mention the greatest part of all these sites and Museums is that they are all free because we are EU students so awesome, I am saving so much money here.

Section Forty-One- Life not just looking at Ruins

Athens itself is a very interesting city, there are stray dogs everywhere including lying in the middle of the Parthenon. They our all well fed though but I want to take them home with me I met the cutest one yesterday that I played with for a while and it broke my heart to leave him behind. There are also stray cats in many areas to but the dogs hang out more in city center and for the most part just kind of do there own thing. The people of Athens are strange to some our stuck in old country and others our not so far I have not found anyone rude though all though some of the men are slightly creepy. Its also strange because the street peddlers are not overly pushy like in other countries if you say no they just move on. Oh and the coffee is great and normal sized. Also the service here is better then any other European country and they even bring you free water. The only problem we have really had so far is last night Ashley lost her wallet so that sucks and we don’t know if it was forgotten somewhere after dinner like in the park were I was feeding the cats my leftovers or taken but none the less she is taking it very well and it could have been worse.

Section Forty Two- Life heading to the Islands

Woopy I am very excited for this part. Tomorrow we are going on a day trip with two other girls we met at the hostel to one of the Islands close by maybe Hydra (the Island with no cars). Then on Tuesday we leave Athens at 7am for the Islands for 8 days. First we are staying in Santorini from March 30th to April 3rd then we leave Santorinin on the 3rd heading to Mykonos where we will stay till the 7th when we take a ferry back to Athens and then fly out on the 8th. I wont tell you what we are planning on the Islands just yet because it may involve mopeds and four wheeling and that might worry some of you.  Personally I wish we were spending more time on the Islands but there were so many have to sees in Athens it just was not going to happen and I am not to worried about it because I will be back to Greece for sure. And its not peak season yet so the weather although it is warm is not warm enough for me although I am loving the sunshine. Also you will all be very happy to know that I have not seen a single riot and we even went to Parliament and watched the changing of the guards which was pretty funny if you ask me.

Hmm but I will not make you anymore jealous for now about my tales from Greece so cheers for now because I am off to find some more feta and pita.

Hugs Liseanne

Random Fact: Before the 2004 Olympics Athens poisoned 3000 stray dogs so there city would have a better image… not cool

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Life on a Permanent Vacation

Since I cant let Ashley beat me in telling everyone about Athens and getting here I will right you all a short message about it and also so that everyone know I am safely in Athens ready to explore days without rain and the greek culture.

Section Thirty Eight- Life in Transit

So yesterday we started our journey to Athens, it began with our friend Stasia dropping us off at the Middleburg train station. We then went to buy are train tickets only to find out the kiosk was closed so we had to use a machine. There is only a few drop backs when using a machine 1. They do not accept Visa or Mastercard 2.They do not accept Foreign bank cards 3. They do not accept paper money 4. They only accept coins 5. A trip for two to Amsterdam costs 60euro 6. Are train came in five minutes, all of these lovely issues left us with one option change 60euro into 60euro dollar coins stuffing them into the machine in under 3 minutes so we could run to the train which we shockingly made. Sometimes I wonder Netherlands are you before your time or behind it you legalize weed but don’t have the sense to create functional ticket machines. But never the less we made the train and got to Amsterdam just fine. Once there we decided to stay at the hostel we stayed last time because it was close to the train station were we had to be at the lovely hour of 430 am. Which meant it was supposed to be an early night if only I could sleep which did not seem to happen so when my alarm went at 415am I had gotten maybe 2 hours not fun. Of course Ashley slept just fine so I woke her up then started to get ready only to notice she had decided to steal a few more hours of sleep so I woke her up again this time with a snap and a stern glare which worked. Then we went and caught our 445 train to the airport for are 7 o’clock flight. Once we got to the airport we were able to have a special treat Starbucks. There are no Starbuck in the Netherlands except at the Airport. W e had been talking about the Starbucks for days and even though I wanted to sleep I was not going to miss this treat. Then on the flight we went had an hour stop over in Zurich then on to Athens

Section Thirty Nine- Life in Athens

We made it to our hostel no problem which was a nice change especially since there is officially no English here and all the letter look different so even though I had the street address written down it looked nothing the same. Once we got to our hostel which is very cute and there is only 5 ppl in our room nice change from 18, we checked out the neighbourhood. Turns out today is a national holiday so officially nothing was open which left us with eating McDonalds and walking around in the sunshine. We walked through a really beautiful park and then stopped in a coffee shop where they had board games so we played mastermind and drank delicious iced lattes outside. The table beside us were two exchange students studying in Athens so we talked to them for a bit and they gave us some great ideas of what to do. Tomorrow we are going to find a travel agent to figure out the islands and also do a bus tour and then hit up some sites.

 But that is all for now nothing witty in this one sorry just didn’t want you all harassing me for a new blog even though you could easily find out what I have been up to through Ashley Blog, but none the less here you go.

Also random fact changing your address in Vlissingen not an easy task, turns out it takes about ten steps and your passport, which is ridiculous since we are already registered in the computer and city with photocopies of our passport in the file and computer yet they need another copy of the same passport they had just looked up on there computers to put with the new paper work they had to make to change to just change are number from 50 to 162. Darn Socialists

Hugs Liseanne

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