Stuck in the Middle – Day One

The title is a little misleading, we’re not “stuck”, we chose to come here.
We wanted to break up the looooooong trip back to Australia.

So where are we? Well, it’s HOT. There’s lots of sand and few Westerners. Oh, and did I mention that it’s HOT!!

Before I get to that, I just want to share some last photos from Rome as we left this morning. When we were on the bus I got sad about leaving but before then, I was too worried about our safety as we walked through a bit of a sketchy area. You would not believe the homeless here and the condition they are in. Half dressed, slumped in their own … well I’ll leave that right there and won’t finish that sentence. I wasn’t sure if they were all alive. It’s a very, very sad situation.

So just a few photos from the bus as we left, including driving towards the Colosseum for one last glimpse.

 

 

We arrived at the airport with what we thought was plenty of time. Because hubby works for an airline, we get discounted airfares with partnered airlines and Qatar happens to be one of them. Sometimes there are conditions though and what we didn’t know was that there is a strict guideline on what staff can wear when travelling on Qatar.

 

We lined up in what we thought was a short line, but everyone had about fifty bags and it just took so long before we were at the check in counter.
Still, we thought we had time.

The lady who was checking us in asked us for our residency papers (for Qatar) or for our exit ticket. As hubby normally buys his tickets a day or so before we fly, we didn’t yet have an exit ticket.
No problem, the airport has free WiFi so we left the counter and went away to buy our tickets from DoHa to Australia.

With that done we were back at the check in counter but this time, the worker asked if hubby, who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, had read the dress code because she wasn’t going to be able to give him a boarding pass with what he had on.
Hubby said he had some jeans in his luggage would that be ok? The worker said yes so we got our bags back off the belt and went to find bathrooms. He changed into his jeans, came out and we lined up again.
This time (a different worker) again asked if he had other clothes as he wasn’t meeting the dress code. She brought out the card with the dress code again. As it turns out, jeans as NOT ok.

Luckily, he had some slacks in the luggage so again, we took the bags off the belt and he rushed off to change into his dress pants. At this stage he still had his t-shirt on so while he was walking away I asked the worker if the t-shirt was ok. She said no, he’d need a shirt.

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He was too far away for me to call him and I couldn’t leave our bags out in the middle of nowhere so I took out a shirt from the luggage and hoped he’d be able to wear it over his t-shirt. Unfortunately it was terribly wrinkled but he/we had no choice! So as he walked back I held up the shirt and said “You have to put this on now”  What else could have gone wrong!!

We still weren’t cleared. The worker had to check with her supervisor Mauro and by now, the check in counter was closing…
Seeing as it was an hour before the flight we thought we still had lots of time though.

We were finally cleared and with our boarding passes tightly in hand, went to find our gates. The line up through security was long… but we got through that. The guy who checked our passports seemed to be on another planet. Probably just enjoyed some green stuff… He was slow and on the verge of laughter. We wouldn’t have cared if we weren’t rushing to make our gate.

Finally we were through that… and we walked, and walked and walked and our gate kept getting further and further away (it seemed)
Finally we thought, here it is! around the corner! But no, it was only a shuttle, taking us to another part of the airport. There was one about to leave so we jumped on and hubby said “is this taking us the right way?” er…. didn’t check that but luckily it was and we were at the gates a short time later. The flight was boarding when we got there!

4724f077a9ea9e9dc3f53a10ecd4411b.jpgAfter five and a half long hours we were finally in DoHa.
It’s hard to know what to write in all honesty.
I had checked the weather before we left and currently their highs are 40-42 degrees Celsius during the day and 30-32 at night.

We knew it was hot when got off the plane, but we didn’t feel the full extent until we left the airport!
We had a car waiting for us and just the walk to the car was like walking into fire! It was so engulfing!

I don’t think we’re going to be leaving this hotel. Everyone here has been so nice to us and so accomodating. Our room is lovely and big and we have some nice views.

 

 

Unfortunately you can’t really see it as there’s some sort of fog over the city and the windows are dirty. I don’t know if it’s smog, fog, a sandstorm coming or something else! In any case, it obscures the view which is a shame.

We didn’t leave the hotel as hubby wasn’t well. We didn’t even get food. We wasted  the whole evening so I don’t have anything interesting to say and hope we do something safe and fun tomorrow.

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Greece is the Word – Day Five

When we first got to Athens, we were told that there was somebody doing some painting at the Air BnB we were staying at.
When we got there we saw an older guy painting a side fence white.
You can imagine our surprise when last night, we got back to our apartment and saw this.

 


Our first thought was that someone had vandalised it but the more we thought about it and saw what was up there, the more we thought this wall has been commissioned to look like this!
Feel free to let me know YOUR thoughts on it.
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We had an early start today as we were driving to Nafpaktos but driving through Delphi on the way.

Always time for morning selfie while on the balcony drinking coffee.

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I snapped a couple of pics along the way.

We passed such beautiful scenery but it’s hard to take photos while you’re a passenger in a moving car.

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We stopped for snacks and I picked up these sesame square things. Oh my god so tasty!!!

They’re sesame seeds and honey.

They taste like Sesame Snaps but thicker and just soooo good.

Just before we got to Delphi, we passed through Arachova and our whole party must have said in unison “Lets stop here!”

We ended up doing some shopping and having lunch at a restaurant that had views of the valleys. Here are a few pics of Arachova.

 


I need to show you the views from our restaurant too. It just doesn’t seem possible that such beautiful places exist!! Oh, and while I’m on the restaurant, I’ll show you a pic of the moussaka I ordered too. I think I’m almost over my moussaka compulsion. No more moussaka until I’m back in Australia and I attempt to make it myself.

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Once we were done, we made our way to Delphi which was literally the next town over.
We were looking for the Ruins of Delphi.

I didn’t know anything about this site and I recommend doing a google search and learning a little about it yourself.
Check out the photos. This place was amazing!! The entry ticket also includes entry into the Museum. We didn’t think we wanted to go into the museum but I’m so glad we didn’t miss it as it had tons of interesting things to look at and read about.

 


After  the ruins we were still up for more shopping and I let my credit card run wild. Thank you Delphi. My family and I will be enjoying your wares for a while!

 


And finally, about 9pm, we got to our Air BnB at Nafpaktos and our hosts were the most friendly people I have ever met!! They were waiting at the door of the apartment. They hugged us and were so eager to show us the rooms. It was like we were family returning home from a long time away.

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The wife led us into the kitchen where she presented a tray with a couple of liqueurs and another tray with a cake.
Not only had she provided this to us, but she made it all herself! The liqueurs AND the cake! And they were both sooo delicious!
I can tell you the liqueurs didn’t last long and I don’t think the cake will last much longer either.

After showing us everything they said goodbye and let us get on with the night.

I just feel so at home here!

Although the plan was to stay in as we got in late, we really wanted to have a quick explore so we walked down to the Port passing so many restaurants and interesting roads and avenues. We must have looked “different” as we were getting a lot of looks but people were so friendly.
Hubby and I went into a souvlaki/burger type take away and got three different skewers, a couple of pieces of pita and fries for just under five Euro!

They also really love it when you speak to them in Greek so I really try with the few words and expressions I know. The longer I say the more it will become familiar I hope.

Can’t wait to see more tomorrow.