I lied, here’s one more for the road. I love this photo too much not to share.
Above: My entire Contiki group! <3
Well, I’ve been home for a day now! The blog is now officially over, I hope you enjoyed the backseat of my adventure. I now return to finding a job and moving out and walking my dog and all those sorts of good things.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have learned an endless list of invaluable things on my trip. I’ve made two dozen new acquaintances, a couple of really good friends, and hundreds of memories. Not to mention hundreds of photos! I have also discovered the amazing experience of travel and I honestly cannot wait to make my next journey to some other part of the world. Here’s my ‘awards’ to some of the best and worst things on trip! Thanks again to everyone who followed, read, or even just looked at the photos I took!
• Favorite City: Venice
• Favorite Country: Italy
• Favorite Night Drinking: Xmas eve in Lucerne
• Best Meal: Sedna in Barcelona
• Best Accommodation: Vienna
• Best Hotel Breakfast: Vienna
• Best Group Excursion: Moulin Rouge
• Best Museum: The Louvre or Natural History Museum
• Best Monument: Parthenon
• Coolest Ruins: Acropolis
• Favorite ‘Contiki’ Song: Parlez vous français? - Art vs. Science
• Favorite Contiki People: Jord, Rob, Hugo
• Favorite Church/Basilica: Notre Dame
• Best View: Top of the Theatre of Dionysus at the Acropolis
• Favorite Walking Tour: Matt’s dodgey tour through Rome
• Coldest City: Tie between Geneva and Vienna
• Warmest City: Barcelona
• Favorite New Beer: Hofbräuhaus Original
• Favorite Coffeeshop: Abraxas
• Best Hostel: Alessandro Downtown
• Best Train Trip: Any train trip that I slept on
• Worst Bus Trip: Between Berlin and Amsterdam
• Grossest Meal: Some crap chicken I picked up in London
• Worst Hotel: Venice only because they wanted to charge like 8Euros for 15 minutes of internet
• Worst Group Excursion: Monaco
• Worst Beer: No bad beer, just sick of wine!
• Worst Hotel/Hostel Breakfast: Athens Backpackers
• Funniest Moment: “SPIT IN MY MOUTH!”
• Sketchiest Moment: Either wandering Prague at night alone or the first night I allowed Jordan to lead me through Paris in the dark before I really knew him
Whew, last full day! Woke up leisurely today before heading out. Grabbed a croissant and a fruit salad at a cafe one block from the hostel where electro house was blaring inside the cafe at like,9am. Pretty sweet.
Aaron and I headed to the Acropolis right away and began the trek up the hill, passing a bunch of theatres dedicated to Dionysus along the way. The Parthenon was way bigger than I ever imagined, and awesome! The view from the top of the acropolis was sweet, too. We started on the south slope and worked our way back down the north slope, seeing some sacred caves and stuff along the way. Once we got to the bottom again, we zipped over to Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zues, where along the way we picked up a 4-legged body guard. There’s packs of stray dogs, and cats mind you, here in Athens. SO many of them and they just chill out. But this one dog started following us at a crosswalk when he came up to me and nuzzled my leg, so I gave him a pat on the head. Then he proceeded to walk with us to the Temple where he barked at a random guy and bit 4 cars along the way. I named him Steven. But Steven laied down in the grassy field at the temple and that’s where we parted our ways.
After we were finished there, we headed toward the Archeological Museum of Athens and had some lunch before going in. I also made another furred friend here, a stray cat I named Alexis who was chillin inside the cafe we stopped to have lunch at. I was eating a delicious tuna club sandwich and so Alexis lurked around me the whole time.
The museum was pretty cool, lots of really really old Greek stuff since the newer works have all been pilfered by the French or the English (for example, the French have the friezes and pediment of the Parthenon) but there was great Mycenaean stuff and some cool statues. We spent about an hour and a half there before heading back to the Acropolis to climb the Philopappou Hill, which was a hill opposite to the Acropolis. There’s a monument to the Muses up there that I wanted to see; and it was worth the hike cause the view, unobstructed by ruins, was awesome!!
I’m mad-exhausted now. The tiredness of this whole trip is sinking in since I know I head home tomorrow. It’s been an amazing, irreplaceable experience from start to finish. I have learned A LOT, from how to navigate on my own, to dealing with simply being on my own. But I also learned plenty being on tour and experiencing different group dynamics and really just a lot of independence was earned, on my part, I think.I would totally solo-travel again, and do another Contiki tour in a heartbeat. Both experiences were super, but I’d only do another Contiki tour as a solo traveller, I would never go with a friend. I found the experience of being forced to make friends was awesome, since you have nobody but the people you initiate with.
I’m already thinking about where I will travel next time I get the chance *cough*AUSTRALIA*COUGH* and while I am really looking forward to returning to Canada right now, I’m sure in a week’s time I’ll be pining for skinny cobble-stone streets and a wonderment at not knowing where I’ll end up at the end of the day.
Until tomorrow, blog! Enjoy the photos from Athens! I’ve seen more ruins now than I can shake a stick at.
Hello blog! I know I’ve added loads of photos from Venice, so below are just a few from my last day there. Took a second gondola ride with my bro and saw some cool Bosch paintings in an old Piazza that belonged to some rich family.
We arrived safely in Athens last night and had a few beers at our hostel’s lounge/bar. This hostel is really awesome, the location is primo (we’re a block from the Temple of Zues and Hadrian’s Arch) and the facilities are super. We also met a chill fellow from Los Angeles last night, his name is Brandon, who we’ve been hanging out with today and are hanging out with tomorrow as well.
Today we went with a hostel ‘adventure’ group to Delphi, yes, THE Delphi where the most famous Oracle was below the Temple of Apollo. Our guide was great, I learned lots of new mythology stuff as well as it was a nice review about architecture, friezes, metopes, columns, etc etc. All that super awesome first-year art history stuff. The archeological site was amazing, as was the museum that housed the best preserved statues and elements from Delphi. You could see all the groundwork ruins of all the different treasuries that were maintained by all the different city states of Greece like the Spartan treasury and the Thebes treasury. We also hiked all the way up the mountain to where the stadium that held the Pythean games was. It was all super interested and it was a whole day trip (we left at 9am and got back around 7pm).
Then for dinner, we asked our guide for some recommendation for good Greek eats and Aaron, Brandon and I ventured out for some legit souvlaki with the tastiest taziki EVER. Nothing will beat it, back home.
Tomorrow is my last full day in Europe - sadface! But also so looking forward to going home on Monday. Seeyas all soon! <3