The Rough Luck Continues Another Day

(*This post is just on our first day in Athens; for our full account of Athens please see post: “Athens“)

We planned on spending three nights in Athens and ended up adding a fourth after our failed week on the Greek Islands (see post: Travelling with High Expectations = Disappointment.) Our previous post ended with a positive note on our excitement for Athens. Unfortunately, our bad luck continued. We arrived just after midnight to our Airbnb which was more like an apartment building turned into a makeshift hostel. We’ve encountered similar situations before: someone rents our multiple rooms in their house and basically makes it into a hostel, and sometimes it works our fine when it’s run properly. This was something different, our Airbnb host rented every floor in the five-story apartment building (the bottom floor was a make-shift receptionist area). Continue reading

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Travelling with High Expectations = Disappointment (Greek Islands)

Every time we set expectations for a place we seem to regret it. With the route we were following over land through Europe, we wouldn’t have made it to the Greek Islands until sometime in late October or November. So, we flew out of our way to make it for the tail-end of high season before it got too cold to enjoy the beaches and because most of the restaurants and hotels shut down for winter. We wanted to experience the famous party scene on Mykonos and watch the sunsets in Santorini. Greece was the only spot we booked our plane tickets and accommodation in advance. We booked a room right on Paradise Beach on Mykonos to be at the party area and a more remote (cheaper) room on Santorini planning to rent a scooter for four days and explore the island. We were going to eat cheap and delicious Greek food daily, buy fresh olives, watch countless sunsets, lay out on the beach, get tanned, etc. etc. Continue reading

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Travel Day Blues

We were literally flying from one paradise to another: from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia to the Greek Islands. However, travelling is not always as fun, easy or as perfect as it sounds. And today was one of those days. On paper it was clear that it wasn’t going to be a great day: we had an early morning flight out of Split, Croatia with an eight hour layover in Rome, arriving well after dark in Mykonos, Greece; but we were hoping for the best. Continue reading

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Venice

The “City of Water”; “City of Masks”; “City of Bridges”; “The Floating City”; “City of Canals”; “City of Romance” all describe one city: Venice, a city sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. A city built up from mudflats, using closely placed wooden piles, still intact after centuries of submersion. Continue reading

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Milan: 2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix & International World Expo

We had one main reason to go to Milan: the Formula 1 Grand Prix. We booked tickets before we even left for Europe and scheduled our whole route through Italy (which doubled back through Milan) so we could be there on the day of the race. Tickets were 85 EUR each for general admission, and of course, not within our daily budget, but there are some things worth splurging for and we deemed this as one. Continue reading

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Modena: The Truth and Tradition of Balsamic Vinegar

For such a small and relatively unknown Italian city, Modena has many things to be proud of. It is a city full of traditions famous world-wide from opera to engines to cuisine, although often not attributed to the city of Modena. The hometown of Enzo Ferrari, Modena, is where balsamic vinegar originated with production documented as early as 1046. It was a family tradition, making balsamic vinegar in the attic of your house – enough to use yourself and give as small gifts at Christmas to those families who didn’t have the tradition. Continue reading

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Rome: An Ancient City in Full Restoration Mode

The founding of Rome is dated back to around 753 BC – the Colosseum was completed in 80 AD, almost 2000 years ago – and thus, it’s not a secret that many of Rome’s ancient and aging monuments are in desperate need of restoration. It appears that many high-end Italian fashion brands have stepped up to make that restoration possible. All at once. To name a couple, Fendi, one of the biggest names in Italian fashion, has donated approximately 2.10 million Euros to restore the 18th century Trevi Fountain in order to preserve this precious heritage; the first of five fountains they have pledged to restore. And Tod’s shoes founder Diego della Valle donated approximately 25 million Euros to help restore the Colosseum from its aging and deteriorating state. In addition, Renzo Russo, founder of clothing company Diesel, is providing $6.7 million to restore and clean the oldest bridge spanning Venice’s Grand Canal, the Rialto.

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