(I found out after this trip that you can go to your iphone and collect the data showing how many steps you took in a day, so in order to show how much dang walking is needed for this trip, I’ve included the number of steps per day after each day…no wonder my feet hurt!)
I have just returned from my amazing, beautiful, life changing trip to Europe. I have truly had the best trip of my life so far…this will be a difficult one to match!
The trip started in Seattle with hope and dreams of a smooth start to the trip…it unfortunately was not. I arrived at the airport early in order to get some beers in my belly, and I was so excited to start this adventure that I had already been awake and on the move since 5 am that morning.
Just before boarding of the flight began there was a 40 minute delay announced, then an hour delay, then a two hour delay.
This caused the flight to arrive in Canada late and I missed my connecting flight to Dublin. And they changed my flight to arrive in London, then a few hour layover there before flying to Dublin. Not enough of a layover to go see London…darn.
I had to cancel the hotel in Amsterdam, lost out on seeing Amsterdam and on the costs of the flights from Dublin to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to Athens, Greece…to say that I lost it a little on the uncaring Air Canada representative is an understatement. I was nice at first until I realized this lady did not give one shit about my plight. And the more horrible she treated me, the louder I got and the more my eyes narrowed in anger. By the time I was done talking with her everyone in the terminal knew what the issue was. Most the passengers who were heading back to England sympathized with me…at least they acted like it anyway.
I will say though, this was the first time I’ve traveled in such a large plane, and they had a tv screen in the back of every chair with free movies, games and more! That was actually pretty awesome. I did however sleep most of the long plane ride with my airline issued blanket and pillow, in between getting served a lot of food and drinks. They even had vegetarian food…score!
5,498 steps taken in day 1
Long flight to London! When I entered the airport from the airplane I was handed my boarding pass for the connecting flight to Dublin…and a voucher for 10 Euros that I could spend on food in the airport or the airplane to compensate me for their mess up. Sigh…seriously. It wasn’t even ten dollars american money since the Euro is worth more now. I tried to get them to change my flight from Dublin to Amsterdam so I would at least be able to keep my connecting flights…nope, they couldn’t or wouldn’t help me.
For those that have been to the Heathrow airport in London you know it is a big, big, big, big, enormous airport. The staff are very nice and I do love an English accent! It took eight lifts, two trains and a lot of walking to get to the boarding gate, just in time to make the last call for my flight to Dublin.
I do realize that every trip has at least one major problem occur, but depending on the size of the problem it really shows how experienced a traveler you are by how you react or how you fix the problem. Obviously I felt ok to lose my shit in Canada…but as I get into more of my trip you will see that I was not going to be that obnoxious American that most of the world thinks we all are and I really learned how to go with the flow and worked on not being so gangster…at least until I flew back to Canada!
Once I arrived in Dublin I went to Ryanair to see about the flights to Amsterdam and then to Athens. The staff was so nice…but all their flights were fully booked over the next three days. Dang. She said I could pay $100 and be on stand-by, but that would mean sitting in the airport for who knows how long to get a seat…maybe get a seat. I didn’t want to take that chance so out comes the credit card and the flight apps…$200 for a flight from Dublin to Athens. The flight didn’t leave until midnight, and I had arrived in Dublin around 6:00 pm.
Travel tip: There is a cool little booth in the Dublin airport where they will hold your luggage for you when you have time to venture out into the city. It was only 7 Euros and the guys running it were so sweet!
After dropping off my larger piece of my backpack at the luggage holding booth it only took a short bus ride and a short walk and I was drinking a big mug of Guinness in an Irish Pub. Yummy creamy cold Guinness. Not warm like I was told…you know who you are. It was so good! I don’t like it out of a can here in the states, but damn it sure was different in Ireland out of the tap!
It was raining and cold in Dublin, but I had my smaller backpack with my rain cover on it, and my REI rain coat on…I looked like an REI commercial.
I arrived back at the airport earlier then expected…therefore more Guinness was consumed in the airport lounge. Yum.
I exchanged american money for Euros at the airport. That way it would be easier to spend because I would know that I wasn’t overpaying since the exchange rate was such a long number.
Boarded the plane a little after midnight and slept the whole way to Athens, Greece!
18,045 steps taken in day 2
Arrived in Athens, Greece early in the morning. I was tired, but so excited that I would be able to spend a few days in Athens. I had already spent two days in airports or on a plane, four flights to be exact and I needed to spend more time on the ground.
As I walked out of the Athens airport I felt the warm sun on my face…felt so good after all the rain in Dublin. I purchased a bus ticket and went to go find the bus stop. Luckily I only had to wait a short time before the bus arrived. The bus ride took about an hour to get to the City of Athens. The landscape was so different from anything I’d ever seen. I saw a lot of beautiful shops with about the same number of abandoned buildings mixed in. It is an amazing city.
I was picked up at the bus stop in the middle of the city and was able to meet my hosts and their two dogs. The dogs used to be street dogs, now they are very spoiled dogs…as it should be!
After taking a shower and getting changed into hot weather clothes we went to a restaurant with an outdoor patio. I had a bottle of wine and eggs benedict for lunch. It was so good! Got some sun sitting out on the patio, felt so good.
Afterwards we went back to the house and I took an amazing nap! I think I slept for about 3 hours…maybe more. When I awoke I was fortunate enough to have a home cooked meal of stuffed veggies, and wine. The wine in the U.S. seems to be so sugary…actually I believe everything has too much sugar in it here. But the wine that was in Athens, even the Moscato, was so amazing! Not too bitter, and not too sweet. It was perfect.
After eating I got a tour of the city to see some sites! Walking through a park and coming upon a rave at an old building was very unexpected. I also was able to see the change of the guard at the Tomb of the Unnamed Soldier, the Panathenaic Stadium and many other amazing buildings.
I finished the night with ice cream and gelato…yum.
In walking through the city I saw some homelessness and some drug sales and usage, but not as much as what goes on here in Mount Vernon. And there are tons of street cats…I’ll be writing about the street animals in a future blog post.
15,640 steps taken in day 3
Watch for future blog posts about my trip!