Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I planned to go to Lyon today, but as I so well know flexibility is key when traveling. In France, as in some other countries, if you want to use your rail pass you have to make a seat reservation, but in France especially, it is important to make your reservation in advance as there are only a limited number of “Rail Pass” seats that can be reserved. Unfortunately when I arrived at the train station this morning all of the rail pass seats for trains to Lyon were occupied and I could not get on a train. Since Lyon wasn’t a must-go place on my list (I had just picked it randomly) I asked the attendant where else I could go.
He sent me to Marseilles, a little bit further than I had intended to go, but I’m up for an adventure right? : )
The trains in France gave me no trouble – a welcomed change from the Greek transportation system – but when I arrived in Marseilles there was not tourist information office. I asked and was told to go to the city center, “just out those doors.” That was a failure. I meandered around the train station asking individuals for help (with no success) for about 45 minutes before I found a map of the city posted in the train station. I took a picture with my camera (my latest trick to help remember things) and set off to find the little “I” in italics on the map.
I got a little lost, but eventually found my way. I was given a map and the attendant recommended a few places for me to see and I was off. As I examined my map outside of the tourist office a random guy came up to me and started speaking French. I was able to decipher if he was asking me if I was visiting Marseilles. I was so proud of myself I forgot to respond in French. Oops! Anyway, he didn’t speak much English and I don’t speak much French but he managed to point out a few areas on the map and give me my transportation options (bus, tram, car, etc.) and prices for each. I don’t know that he was really helpful but it was fun to speak French and feel like I actually learned something during those three years in high school.
The main “attraction” that I saw was the Basilique Notre Dame De La Garde. I took a bus up to the top and walked around about 20 minutes before catching the next bus back down to the center. I probably could have enjoyed wandering around at the top for a bit longer, but my bus pass expired after one hour and I had validated before I actually got on the bus (oops again!) so I had less time available to me unless I wanted to spend another 1.50 Euro – which I didn’t. I mostly just wandered around the old town and bought a few things. I visited some churches and took a number of pictures. All in all it was a good day.
I think my favorite thing was that I had several people compliment me (in a way) on my French. The man I bought a postcard from asked me where I was from and when I said America he was surprised. I was surprised he was surprised and joked about “giving myself away.” He said that my accent was good and he thought I was Scandinavian. I thanked him and continued on. The random guy who talked with me outside the tourist office also thought I was Swiss or Scandinavian as well.
Lastly, when I was at the train station I had two encounters. The first was with a woman who was handing out pamphlets for something and I said “Je suis une touriste” (I am a tourist) and she laughed and said something back which I am pretty sure meant “this doesn’t apply to you then” or something to that affect. The second encounter was shortly after that when a girl asked me for change for the train. At first I didn’t know what she was saying and said my signature phrase of the day, “Je parle une petite peu Francais.” She then explained herself in broken English. I said no and “Je regrette” (I’m sorry) and walked away. As I was leaving a guy (I think from England based on the accent) called to me, “Do you really speak English or were you just saying that to get away?” I was laughed and said, “Yes, I really speak English” and he walked away.
I don’t know if people are just humoring me or if I really can pull the “accent” off a little, but either way it makes me happy to know that I can somewhat blend in – even if it’s only for a few minutes and I have to return to my native language. I am curious to see how the rest of the week here plays out. France is really the only language I have really tried to speak more than just “please” and “thank you” and so far it hasn’t been too terrible!
At the moment I’m really just excited for it to be tomorrow. My day is over and I had a great one, but I know that tomorrow Eddie finally gets here and I am beyond excited to see him.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I had originally planned to go to Cape Sounion yesterday (as I mentioned previously). Plans do change however and when I woke up yesterday morning I just did not have it in me to spend 4 hours on a bus again after I’d spent 6 on a bus the day before. I decided to take a “zero” day (as Eddie calls them) and make sure I had everything in order for my Paris departure today. Eddie convinced me to go and treat myself to lunch somewhere and so at noon I set out to find a restaurant that wasn’t too expensive.
I had looked up a few restaurants on letsgo.com and marked them on my map. I set out to find the closest one to my hostel only to discover that the address was an abandoned building. Hmm. I decided to walk down to the Acropolis where I knew there were a lot of restaurant options (probably not the cheapest, but easy to access none the less). I stopped to look at a menu at one restaurant and the maitre-d (or whatever you call the guy who stands by the menu and tries to bring business into the restaurant) talked me into eating there and having rooster with pasta.
I decided to have some wine with my meal since I hadn’t splurged on alcohol in several weeks and figured, why not, it’s my last meal in Greece. : -D Also, since I had nowhere to be I wanted to just sit and enjoy the scene around me. My meal was very delicious and very filling. I also ate all of the bread they gave me (because they charge you for it). The glass of wine was really more like two glasses of wine – which was fine by me, but just a surprise. All in all the meal was 13 Euro – which doesn’t seem like much until you realize that it’s about $21. I never spend that much on myself at a restaurant!
After my meal I decided to slowly walk back to my hostel and browse some of the market shops on my way. I passed a store that had items from the island of Lesvos – one of the places I had planned to go but it didn’t work out. My host in Thessaloniki had told me that they have good olive oil there so I thought I’d check it out. I was standing at the oil section comparing varieties when an older gentleman asked me a question (in Greek of course). I gave my usual blank stare and asked, “English?” He chuckled and explained that he did not have his glasses and could not read the price on the large tin of oil. I told him the various prices and then he asked where I was from.
I have learned to start with a broad answer to this question as Seattle is not as easily recognized as New York – but more often than not people have at least heard of it even if they don’t know where it is in the US. So I told this man I was from the US and he asked which state, so I told him. He asked where and I said the Seattle area. He seemed surprised by this but then said that we were neighbors. I first thought he was referring to the Olympia connection (as the jeweler from Olympia had done), but then he explained he was from Seattle and asked which neighborhood in lived in. I said Ballard and he responded “You may know my restaurant!” I asked which one and he said that his name was Costas and he owned Costas Opa in Fremont.
I wasn’t really sure what to say because Costas Opa is a restaurant that I enjoy and have been to many times. I didn’t tell him that I also enjoy Olive You in Greenwood because that just seemed mean. We started chatting about olive oil and Seattle and a few other things and he said that he would like to treat me to lunch. Unfortunately I was already stuffed from my rather large meal but told him that I’d be happy to go for a drink of some kind.
So after I bought my oil we set off and found a shabby looking little diner off of the main street. He ordered some Retsina (don’t worry Mom, it was actually quite good) and a souvlaki plate for himself. When it arrived he informed me that I was going to have to help him eat the food, which I did some, but man was I full! We sat and chatted for a little over an hour and then he said that he needed to continue his shopping and errands for the day, but that he’d like to meet up later for sweets. I gave him my hostel information and he said he’d come by after a few hours.
He made it to my hostel around 7:30 or so and we went off to Omonia square and found some dessert and chatted for a few more hours. He gave me a brief Greek history lesson as well as helped improve my Greek vocabulary by at least one more word. It was fun to talk with someone from Seattle and I can’t believe the random connection and that we even bumped into each other. I told him I’d come by the restaurant sometime and say hello. I told him I’d tell the waitress to let him know Ann from Athens was there. : )
Anyway, yesterday was a good day. I ate way too much, drank some good wine, and went into a sugar coma. Today the agenda consists of traveling to Paris. I am currently at the airport waiting for my flight to begin boarding (in about 45 minutes) and will soon be on my way to France. I look forward to coming back to Greece again. I am sure that it will happen and there are already things on my list that I want to do the next time around. I have learned a lot (especially about the bus and train system) and think that renting a car is definitely the way to go. It may be a little more expensive but it’s much less of a hassle.
So, avtío Greece and bonjour France!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Yesterday I explore the ancient city of Mycenae. Legend attributes the founding of the city to Perseus (who defeated Medusa). It is the city where Agamemnon was king, it is featured in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Hercules performed his labors for a different Mycenaean king, later on. In history and legend Mycenae was an important place that helped to shape the Greek Classical age and it is recognized by the UNESCO for that very reason.
From Nafplion I took an hour bus that dropped us directly at the ancient site and for 4 Euros I was set free to explore an ancient site as well as see items discovered at the site preserved in the archeology museum. There were a few areas roped off that I was not able to explore, but as I was standing in a beehive burial chamber I had an overwhelming feeling that I was experiencing something that my future children probably will not ever have a chance to do. I have touched ruins with my bare hands and stood in former houses and rooms of palaces. I saw and took pictures with the Lion’s Gate at the entrance to the palace and walked partially into an ancient cistern that demonstrates the advanced technology of Mycenae.
I remember being seeing Michelangelo’s Pieta in Rome three years ago with my parents and my mom talking about how when she was there 30 years earlier that it wasn’t behind the thick bulletproof glass and commenting on how things were so different then. I wonder in 30 years what the Mycenae ruins will look like and if the same luxuries I experienced yesterday will be available to new visitors. In many ways I doubt it and consider myself very lucky.
In the museum at the site I was browsing the items for sale and was looking at refrigerator magnets. As I started at them I realized that in my travels so far (three years ago and now this trip) I had seen just about all of the artifacts pictured on that display. In the same way, at my pension last night I was walking down the hall and looking at photographs of different Greek cities and ancient sites and realized that I had been to just about all of the cities and seen all of the ancient sites pictured. How incredible is that?!?! I don’t say this to boast about what I have done and seen but rather to share my excitement. I never thought I’d be able to say something like that. How am I so fortunate to be able to say that I have seen so many wonderful things in this world?
When I returned to Nafplion in the afternoon I walked down by the waterfront to take sunset pictures and browsed a few shops. I ended up eating dinner at a restaurant in the old town. I spent a little more than I had planned, but that was only because I was invited to join a mother and daughter who were also eating in the restaurant. They had been to Mycenae at the same time I was and had ridden the same bus. We had seen each other a few times throughout the day at the site as well as back in Nafplion and it was just by chance that we ended up at the same restaurant. It was fun to have dinner with someone other than myself and we chatted for a bit and enjoyed our meal together.
All in all yesterday was a good day. I do not think that I will be eating out much more in Greece as everything I have tried so far has been a bit of a disappointment compared to the amount of money I have had to spend on it. I also think I need to be more careful at the grocery store. I have a sneaking suspicion that I ate sour cream for breakfast the last two days – but I am not quite sure. It might be that I discovered the elusive Greek yogurt that everyone keeps telling me about. It really didn’t taste like sour cream, but it wasn’t quite like yogurt either. I really have no idea but either way it hasn’t hurt me yet!
Monday, November 16, 2009
I’ve gotten pretty good at waiting for time to pass. I’ve spent countless hours on trains, ferries, and busses as well as each of their respective terminals or stations waiting. My Sudoku puzzle book has kept me company, I have read one book (well almost – I wasn’t that interested and mailed it home with two pages left to finish), written blog updates and journal entries, listened to my iPod, slept, and of course, just stared out the window. I’m used to waiting and with travel, waiting is pretty normal. It’s not my favorite thing to do of course, but I am ok with it – unless there is a way I could not be waiting.
I went to the train station yesterday to ask how to get from Athens to Nafplion today. I was told there were trains at 9am, 1pm, and 5pm and it would take me 3 hours to get there. I decided to take the 1pm train so that I could sleep in a little this morning. I arrived at the train station at 12:20 and confirmed again which train I needed to take. I was told track 2, line 2. Ok.
At 1pm a train arrives and I asked another woman boarding the train if it was correct. She wasn’t so sure that it was, but I looked at the map inside the train and it was stopping in Corinth, so I knew I’d at least get to the Peloponnese. The train ended in a town called Kaito where other people that I overheard talking seemed to suggest was where all the connections to the Peloponnese took place. So, I rode to Kaito, got off and asked the ticket agent where to go from there. I was already a little frustrated that the first woman hadn’t told me that I would have to make a connection, but such is life – it’s an adventure right?
I quickly learned that I should have gotten off the train in Corinth to make my connection. Luckily the train I had just arrived on was headed back to Athens. I caught it in the nick of time, just before the doors closed. I settled in, had my yogurt and arrived in Corinth 40 minutes after I would have if I had known I was supposed to get off there in the first place.
At the ticket counter in Corinth, the flirty old man informed me that the next train to Nafplion was at 6:23 – a 3 ½ hour wait. I had missed the last train (which left at 4:23) by about 50 minutes. Lovely. Why couldn’t the lady in Athens have told me I would need to change trains? I obviously didn’t know what I was doing and more information is always better than not enough right? Ugh. So, here I sit, frustrated and waiting for time to pass once again.
Ironically the sermon I listened to yesterday was about waiting and being inconvenienced and dealing with things beyond our control. The pastor talked about learning to be patient and understanding and accepting that God has a plan and is in control and has a purpose for these things. Sometimes things are easy and sometimes they are hard, but in all things we should not be bitter. He used extreme examples quoting Dietrich Bonheoffer when he was in prison waiting to be sentenced for his failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. The pastor also talked about Paul and his false and unjust imprisonment and eventual martyrdom. Both suffered terribly and both found a way to praise God in their circumstances.
I shouldn’t complain that I have to wait. I shouldn’t be mad at the lack of information given to me. Instead I should trust in Him and enjoy the down time. I will get to Nafplion when I get there and hopefully it won’t be too dark for me to navigate the streets and find a hotel. I have learned a valuable lesson to always ask too many questions before getting on a train or bus – but also to remember that it will all be ok. God is in control and though I may have to wait a little longer, waiting isn’t going to kill me. It’s just more time to read, journal, blog, listen to music, or even just stare out the window and reflect.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today is my Dad's birthday. :) If you see him you should tell him he's old for me. Hahahaha
Well, I’m at the end of my quiet time in Rhodes. Tonight I leave for Santorini but my ferry isn’t until 11:30 tonight. The wonderful lady here at the hostel has allowed me to keep my room for the day so that I am not alone on the streets this evening. I am so thankful for this woman’s kindness. She allowed me to be in the room for a low rate AND they have been wonderful. Because the ferry is so late I am going to have the desk clerk call me a cab to go to the port. I am sure I could walk it easily and be fine, but the little parental and boyfriend voices in my head keep telling me to take a taxi. : )
Lindos yesterday was alright. I think I was expecting more from the trip. I spent 9 euro to get there and back and a total of 3 hours on a bus, then 3 euro in town to climb the acropolis and only spent an hour and a half in Lindos. If I were a beach layer it would have been a bit more fun but there really isn’t much to do in town other than the acropolis and lay on the beach. There were a few shops in town but they were all closing down by 12:30.
Today I tried to buy the souvenirs and gifts that I had scoped out the other day only to discover that only a few shops open today. Apparently it’s not a port day for the cruise ships so many people don’t even bother opening. So, I guess I will just have to hope that things will be open in Santorini or that I’ll find something in the other Greek towns I visit. When the cruise ships are in town the town is so busy and alive and there are so many shops open, but the days they are absent there isn’t much happening – even many of the restaurants are closed down.
I climbed to the top of the Acropolis here in Rhodes Town today. It was a fun walk as I went through the new town and discovered ruins literally in people’s backyards and under the foundation. It’s quite interesting to say the least. The site was beautiful, though lacking the “amazing view” that had been promised. It was still good to get out and climb up there. On the way back to town it rained on me so I came back to the hotel and fell asleep watching Greek television. I had thought about going out to the beach but I was afraid of the rain, though I don’t think it ever rained again. Hmm … hopefully it doesn’t downpour on me when I go to the roof to upload pictures and this blog! It probably will though. ;)
I think that’s it for today. I am hoping my 14 hour ferry ride goes quickly and that I can get at least some rest. I look forward to updating you from Santorini!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It has been a few days since I updated this huh?
I left off after my first full day in Athens where I had dinner with the girls from my room and enjoyed a quiet night in. We had planned to hit the Acropolis first thing in the morning, as it is free on Sundays, and maybe the Acropolis museum. Well, that didn’t quite happen. I got up early that morning to wish Eddie good luck on his race before he went to bed on Saturday and while I was up discovered that it was pouring rain outside. At 7, when we had planned to get up, the rain hadn’t let up so we opted to sleep in and do the Acropolis another day.
Around 11 the rain stopped and so one of the girls and I headed downtown to do some shopping. She was going back to Albania and needed to get some souvenirs. The other girl left at the same time to catch a bus to an island where she would be working on an Olive/Fig farm for two months. At 1 we were back at the hostel and my friend left for Albania and I hung out at the hostel waiting for time to pass before catching my 7pm ferry to Rhodes.
I made it to the port on time and everything went much more smoothly than it did when I ferried from Greece from Italy. I had a seat this time instead of a cabin, but it wasn’t terrible. I mean I didn’t sleep all that great and there were some interesting characters there, but it wasn’t horrible. I will only have to do it one more time and I can easily handle that. In the middle of the night I woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep and then got sucked into a cheesy made for tv movie that was playing on the ship. It was an American movie that took place in Portland (the Sunset area for you P-Towners) and was subtitled in Greek. Finally at 4am I could fall back asleep only to wake up 3 ½ hours later.
When I arrived in Rhodes at 11am I got off the ferry and was exhausted. A taxi driver said he would bring me to the center for 5 euro. I asked him how far it was, and he said 2km, so I said I could walk. Hahaha. On my way walking a man on a moped with a girl on the back asked me if I needed a room. He said it was 10 euro and there was free internet. I said ok. He sped off with the girl to bring her to the pension and then said he would return for me. I had just about found his place when he found me and guided me back to the location.
I am glad I had my wits about me and told him I only wanted to confirm for one night instead of saying all three, because wow. The place was dirty and sketch and I know that many of you (who will remain unnamed) would not have lasted 2 minutes there. I didn’t feel unsafe, but it was gross. I did take advantage of the free Wi-Fi though and got to talk to Eddie quite a bit and get the update on how his race went. (He killed it by the way! I’m so proud of him. :D)
The other girl who was staying at the pension had a worse room than I did and she ended up finding a hotel in town that offered her a better room for the same price. She told me about it and invited me to come with her. This morning she gave me directions and I said I would consider it if my other two options did not work out. The first place I went to was nice, but it was a shared room for 15 euro and no internet. I knew that the hotel option was 15 euro and a private room, so I passed on the first location. The second one was a hostel/bar. I knocked on the door (at 11:30) and it turns out that I ended up waking the owner up. He came to the door and said he would show me to the room. It was 15 euro, marked down from 20, but was a private room with a kitchen in the room.
When I asked him about dorm rooms for 10 euro and internet access he said that since I was the only person he didn’t have the dorms open and that there was no internet access but he could show me where in town to go. He said that if I wanted a kitchen I had to have the private room. There was a washing machine in the bathroom so I asked if I could use it and that’s when things turned. He got upset with me for asking and started going off about how I wanted a room for 10 euro, but saying how I wanted all these other things along with it and that he was a business man and couldn’t just give rooms away. I told him that I understood and I wasn’t trying to take advantage of him but was just asking for information. He then started throwing up his arms and asking me if I was going to stay or not.
At that moment I decided that even if he did let me have everything I wanted I didn’t want to stay there. He was making me nervous and I did not want to stay somewhere where the owner was angry with me. I told him I was going to go and thanked him for his time. As I walked down the three flights of stairs from the room he had shown me he called after me, “Do not come back and waste my time again. I hope you never wake me again in my life.” I was glad to be rid of him.
I ended up at the hotel that the other girl from the first place had told me about. The lady was SUPER kind and I now have a private room with a double bed that has clean sheets and towels. I have a window with a fun view of an old church and a TV and refrigerator in the room. The rooms normally go for over 20 euro/night but because the other girl and I had come from such deplorable conditions she felt bad for us and gave us the rooms for 15 euro. I am excited to spend the next two nights here. The only down side is that there is no internet as their computer is broken and the Wi-Fi seems to not work without it. I can't seem to find a place to "buy" internet time from, so I am currently sitting on a bench on the side of the street using an unsecured connection that only has one bar of signal. :-\
It’s not the end of the world by any means, it just means that instead of spending my after dark evening surfing the web, I will be watching some Greek TV and reading through some travel books that I found in the common room at the hotel.
Today was a good day, especially once I get to the hotel. After I was settled in I went to the Archeology Museum and then to the Palace of the Grand Master. As I was walking around town I noticed that there were a lot more tourists around today compared to yesterday, then I saw the boat in the port. A Royal Caribbean cruise ship was in town and its contents had spilled into town. While I was at the Archeology Museum I heard some people speaking English and asked them if they were on the ship and where they were from. It turns out that they are form Steilacoom and are just beginning their trip. We chatted for a good while and I told them about my trip. They were very nice people but I forgot to ask their names! Oops! They asked for my blog address, so if they are reading this – it was wonderful to meet you!
I spent most of my afternoon browsing the streets and the shops. I bought a charm for Rhodes and found a few souvenirs I want to buy, but think I will wait until Thursday to buy them.
Tomorrow I am planning to take a bus to Lindos, a town in the more southern part of Rhodes. There is an Acropolis there that is supposed to be beautiful! I am excited to go. I will come back to town and I think I will climb up to the Acropolis here in Rhodes Town in the evening to watch the sunset. Thursday my ferry doesn’t leave until 11pm. I am thinking that I will spend that day at the beach just kind of “chilling.” I figure that if my hotel will not allow me to leave my bag here after check-out I can just haul it to the beach with me and sit there with it all day.
So, that is the scoop with me. I arrive into Santorini on Friday at 1:30 and my hotel is picking me up at the port. I will stay there for two nights and I am excited about that hotel as well. They have a swimming pool and are close to the main town. I have heard that Santorini is pretty cheap because it is the low season and there aren’t many tourists around. My hotel room is once again 15 euro, but it is advertised at 15, not a special rate just for me. Hopefully it will not disappoint in the cost department. :)
I probably will not post again until I am in Santorini and may not be able to get pictures posted for awhile, so hopefully this will tide you over until Friday or Saturday when I get a chance to blog again. Have a great week everyone!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
It is ironic that I just posted my change of plans yesterday only to discover today that the changes I made don’t work.
I set out this morning to buy my ferry ticket from Thessaloniki to Lesvos. I thought there was a boat leaving tomorrow and that it would only take a few hours to get there. No, I discovered today that when the website had said the boat was leaving at 1 it meant 1am not 1pm. The ferry was scheduled to leave tonight/tomorrow morning at 1am and arrive in Lesvos at 4pm tomorrow. I told the lady at the travel agency that I would like to buy this ticket, but she discovered that she could not make the reservation because it was too short of notice. So, I tried to find the ticket office at the port.
Unfortunately I failed at finding the ticket booth and was directed to go to another travel agency. At this office they informed me there was no ferry scheduled for tonight, but there was one on Friday night/Saturday morning. I was going to buy a ticket for that ferry when she told me that I could not receive a student discount or my Eurail discount. So I left and went back to the other ticket office.
En route I decided that it was silly for me to even go to Lesvos that late because it wasn’t high on my priority list to begin with, I was just going for the sake of going. The only problem was that the islands I wanted to go to were in the southern part of the sea. I had couch surfing arrangements set up in Samos already so I hoped I could get there. The ticket agent informed me that there were no ferries going to Samos in the next 4 days. She suggested I try to go to another town that was on my list of places, Momemvasia.
I then took a bus to the main bus station to buy a ticket to Momemvasia. The travel agent had told me it was about 3-4 hours away. When I got to the bus station they informed me that the bus was actually a 10 hour ride. So, I went back to the travel agent to ask if there was any way I could take a ferry directly to Rhodes or Santorini or even Myknos. She said that there were no ferries from Thessaloniki to those islands and I would be best to go to Athens and visit the islands from there.
So, I am giving up on going to Lesvos and Samos. They are pretty much lost causes at this point and not islands that I really cared about going to. Now I will go to Athens on Friday and catch a ferry to Rhodes on Saturday night, arriving Sunday morning. I will stay in Rhodes for two nights and then go to Santorini. Santorini is pretty cheap this time of year because the tourists are not so common, so I will stay there three nights I think. Then I will continue with my plan to visit the Peloponnese and then move into Athens for my day trips and so forth. I think that I will try to go to Momemvasia from Athens either as a day trip or for one night, because I have a few extra days to play with now that I am not going to Lesvos or Samos.
Wow, the last two days have been mentally exhausting trying to figure out all these details. The nice thing is that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in a sense. While I am not wishing my trip to be over, it is comforting to know that in a few weeks all my future plans will be set and I wont have to continue adjusting and re-adjusting my plans. When I get home I am looking forward to not having to think or worry about where I will sleep, what I will eat, or how I will get from place to place. It will be good to just be!
My feet and legs are also quite tired. Today I spent most of the day walking in circles (or so it felt like). I got lost walking from my host’s apartment into the downtown area. I eventually found my way and then spent a few hours going back and forth from the port to the bus station and then finally at 3 set off to go visit some museums. Unfortunately I did not realize that the museums closed at 3, so I walked around until about 5 visiting the places that I will return to tomorrow and actually go inside of.
Today was quite an adventure – this is certain. I am glad to be relaxing now and enjoying a nice hot cup of tea. Which reminds me… has anyone found my tea yet? My new friend that I helped in Florence is from Australia and has offered to mail me the tea if I cannot find it at home. At least I will not be without it even if it is not sold in the US!
I will work up uploading pictures tonight and tomorrow afternoon. I think I have to start a new album. This will be album number 8. I have also been backing up my pictures and videos on SD cards and flash drives. I have backed up about 11 gigs of data and think that I am going to have to buy another 4 gig card to back up the rest of them! Man, I take a lot of pictures!