I have been told that my stories are very raw, detailed, and real. I love the challenge of piecing together half remembered stories from multiple sources, to create something smooth and seamless, but it also helps to have notes, and to write when the memories are still relatively fresh. I journal every time I travel, and though I do not have any final project in mind for most of my travel stories, I like to write them up from time to time in order to transition my scribbles, sketches and jot notes from my journal into comprehensive stories. Keep an eye on this page for more travel stories as they transition from my notebooks to my computer.
The path curved around the outside of the high cliffs, prickly cacti growing sideways off the rocks. “Ahhhh!” my one year old, Felix, would scream in a high pitched squeal of delight every time we saw a cat, which were plentiful along the path. We had started the trail from the parking lot that sat just below the Palamidi Castle. There had been a camper van parked there, full of kids, laundry hanging to dry on the outside. I was tempted by the idea of renting a camper and making a road trip of our time in Greece.
After several miserable attempts at adventuring with our one year old where one or all of us ended up short tempered, over hunger, and/ or crying, I scribbled a checklist reminder down in my travel journal. It is so easy to get so caught up in trying to see all of the sights and forget about the things that really matter. Because of this checklist we ended up doing a lot less then we had originally planned. That simply forced us to prioritize the things we really wanted to do, and gave us time for small adventures and little moments.
It has taken us a long time to adjust to these hours, especially since my VIPkid hours have me working until around 4:00 pm local time. We would try and go into town after work only to find it a ghost town! The shops would finally be opening up again as we headed back home to make dinner. We also made the mistake of trying to buy diapers on a Sunday. We were on our way to Olympia, and we figured it would be easy to stop in at a store on route. Every store we came across was closed! We were down to our last four diapers! We ended up finding a small family run convenience store that was open and had diapers, but the frantic search definitely added a twist to our adventure that we had not anticipated!
As the days went by we noticed more and more oranges on the ground and started to wonder when the farmers were going to harvest their crop. We asked a local, and we were told that the farmers were trying to negotiate prices.
There has been a pattern of crazy driving stories while in Europe, and there are more to come, so I thought I would discuss the differences between driving in Canada and in Europe. Primarily everything is very narrow, the rules are different, and the roads are very ineresting.
“Yes! Wait, no, not here, there.”
Our GPS was taking us on some crazy route from Athens to Nafplio! The views were spectacular, but the roads were not. They were narrow, badly maintained, and weaved up and down hills and through towns. The locals passed on corners and zipped down the road as if it were a freeway.
Seeing the acropolis at night was an unexpected treat, and a view of the famous site devoid of crowds that not everyone gets. We were moving on to Nafplio the next day, and check out was at two, so we had enough time to go back when the acropolis was open. We had been discussing whether or not to go back, as we felt we had seen it all the night before, but we decided it was worth it. Despite very little sleep, Nate was up making breakfast early enough for us to get out and back before our 2 pm checkout.
“Careful, careful!” a vendor said to Nate as he ducked below the overhanging tent roof of the fruit stand. Nate had our one year old, Felix in a backpack carrier. Nate is already 6’4”, and Felix stuck up a few inches above his head. The street market was full of locals out buying big bags of fresh produce. There was a large variety of fruits and vegetables, but what stood out most to me were the booths were loaded with fresh oranges, tomatoes, olives, and bananas. We walked from one end of the market to the other, surveying the selection and discussing our lunch and dinner plans.
Nate eased onto the roads, careful to obey the traffic rules and speed signs, as Athenians zoomed past us, motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic! The signs were all in Greek, which we could not read, so the directions on Google map were no good for us. Instead I adapted by saying “Turn left in 500 m, 200 m, 100- must be the next turn!” The stop lights were right above the intersection, making it nearly impossible to see when they turned green if you were at the front of the line up.
By the time we noticed the rabbit, Sasha was already in full sprint, bounding down the porch steps in one leap. The rabbit took off, just managing to stay in front of Sasha’s jaws as the two careened around the yard, Sasha springing over the gate at the edge of the garden. For a moment we thought the rabbit might get away, but it couldn’t find the escape route!