Posted by: heatherlehrman | October 8, 2011

Eurotrip Part 4 – Greece

We woke up very early to catch the bus so we would get to the airport in time for our flight to Greece.  We had a beautiful landing in Thessaloniki.

From the airport we took a bus to the street where our hostel was. We were surprised to realize that Thessaloniki was no Greek island. We knew it was the mainland but we didn’t expect it to be so busy and city like. There are 3 main roads parallel to the water (the water is a gulf, which looks like a bay) and on these roads were shops and stores and restaurants. In my head I was imagining beautiful residential areas and old family owned businesses and beaches.

We were staying in a great hostel. We had our own room this time, which was nice. We were staying in Thessaloniki for the longest period of time on our trip, 4 full days. We did a lot of walking, did some shopping, slept in a lot, tried Greek cuisine and also went to a near by beach one day.  It took us about an hour to get to the beach. It was a small and very quiet beach but it was still relaxing.
One day we went on this awful bus tour of Thessaloniki. It was bad because the windows had black dots all over them and you could barely see out of the windows. The tour guide also put us to sleep. (We were the only ones on this tour) Unfortunately, besides some churches and statues there wasn’t a lot to see in Thessaloniki.

Other:
– Many gypsies and Caribbean people tried to sell us jewelry (watches), bags and all sorts of chotchkies. A lot of the time we pretended not to speak English.
– There are a lot of gypsies on the streets. A lot of woman use their babies or children to get money from people. They sit with infants in their arms on the streets.  They send their little kids (about 8-12 years old) to go out with little objects to try to sell to get money. They would come up to us try to be cute and make us feel bad while we ate at nice restaurants. It was hard to have a peaceful meal. Deaf people also come up to you and put objects on your table and they pick them up 5 minutes later. All of it is sad but you can’t fall for it.
– There are a lot of people with deformities sitting on the street begging for money
– The first night we went out to dinner we found this hidden restaurant on the corner of the street. I got grilled mackerel that was amazing. Greece is known for their fish. When we asked for the check they brought us dessert. We thought they were being extremely nice to us but the next 2 nights the same thing happened. Finally we noticed on a menu of another restaurant that dessert is their obligation, which is a usual custom in Greece. You have to ask for the check twice. One time for dessert and the second time for the actual check.
– You have to be careful with the water in Greece.

–  Greek people have very distinct and strong faces
– A lot of women have piercings and crazy hairstyles and colors
– The mannequins are creepy in Thessaloniki. They each have their own faces and hair color and eye colors.
–  When you go to a restaurant the waiters “never” have enough smaller bills to give you change for big bills. Very frustrating
– I tried delicious baklava and had a “to-die-for” éclair.
– The salads in Greece are amazing
– The last day we were there we missed our dinner reservations and we realized that it was because the time zone in Greece was the same as in Israel. We were under the impression throughout the whole trip that we were an hour behind (like the other countries we were in). This was another thing we couldn’t believe we did.
– Israel went through daylight savings while we were in Greece so that made things even more confusing. So that meant that Greece was then an hour ahead of Israel. Not the same time as Israel… I hope you can keep up with me here!

We were in the airport going to Athens for our layover back to Israel. As soon as we were on the line to board our flight we told the man at the desk that we never got a ticket printed for our flight in Athens. He then proceeded to tell us that Greece airports were going on strike and no flights were going out.

We were shocked. We didn’t know what to do. My sister was on a plane coming to Israel at that very moment we were suppose to fly in one hour before her. I was going to wait for her in the airport. Nonetheless we were all exhausted and ready to get back. So we decided to move forward and take the flight to Athens and figure it out when we got there. The flight to Athens seemed like 10 minutes. It was about a 20-30-minute flight. When we got there I called my mom and said to book a hotel for Ashley (my sister) for 2 nights and I would let her know what the deal was. The lady in the Athens airport said that we could fly out of Athens the next day at 2:20AM. We were on line with a bunch of Israelis in the same boat as us trying to get home. In the end the airline booked us hotel rooms free of charge with free meals. Although it seemed like the worst thing in the world, I took it as a gift.

We took a cab to the hotel, which was an hour out of Athens. Within an hour of being there we passed out. We were all totally drained.

The next day we enjoyed some free meals and explored outside the hotel. The backyard of the hotel was the port, which was absolutely beautiful. The water was clear and there was a lovely beach next to the port. Even the rocks were beautiful. It was almost as if we were given the chance to see what islands sort of look like. It was awesome.

Later on in the afternoon Jena and I went into Athens to see the Acropolis. We couldn’t go in the Acropolis though because of a workers strike, but we were able to go to the Acropolis museum. It was really cool. We got some ice cream to top off the day.

After dinner, a bus picked everyone in the hotel up and took us to the Airport. We finally made it back to Israel. It felt so good.

Overall this trip was a blast. We definitely had a lot of loopholes thrown at us but we dealt with them the best we could. GOD was with us the whole time. I mean it when I say that. Overall I’d say my favorite things in general about Europe are the meeting places. There are so many places with fountains and big spaces to “meet up” at or just to sit at and people watch. The sites were incredible and the food was amazing. It was a great first trip to Europe. I’m so glad I traveled with Jena and Ariella.

One more thing, everywhere we went we heard a Coldplay song. Coldplay was with us. #WhiteGirlProblems


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Responses

  1. What an amazing trip!! You guys are so lucky, despite the difficulties encountered along the way, to have experienced this!! I am officially jealous!! You stuck together and go tach other through!

    I can’t wait til you post the pictures!

    Did you find the moon in every country??


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