Monday, November 23, 2009

Hania (!), Crete

While still in Iraklion we searched desperately through our guide books looking for a place to stay in Hania. I was looking through Pension Rea's guide book and saw a star by the description to Pension Nora - a little"turkish house" turned into a hotel. I called to ask how much a room would be and we booked, thinking that it couldnt be worse than the public bathrooms at Pension Rea.

We get to our street and a cute little man looks at us then to the suitcases and asks "Kaite?" We say yes and follow him around the corner (I know sounds a little sketch - it totally wasnt!) and through old, paint chipped double doors, up 2 flights of stairs and down the hall into room number 5. I cant describe the room to you, only homey pops into my mind. It was amazing! A mixture of blues, creams, golds; wood was every where no marble in sight! After the hotel owner left our roon we all totally pulled a "I am a teenage girl in a chick flick movie" move and started jumping up and holding each other hands, yelping. It would have been funny to watch us.(The view out our window)
We took a nap after out teenage girl moment. Kaylee had the biggest bed and didnt want to sleep alone so we all slept in the bed together! It was fun! You cant see me but I am the middle lump of legs...
At the beach, it was really freaking cold! This is one of Morgan's favorite pictures of me because I am doing me "Kaite is turning into a Kaite-sickle" face on. I tell you my feet were frozen, Morgan and Kaylee were fine though...

At the beach...
The light house that we walked by when we walked up the pier which we did every time we wanted to go somewhere. It was really pretty.

Hania was pretty, but it was a skeleton of what it looks like in the summer. It was like a ghost town, quiet and few people on the street. I would love to go back in September when tourism is still in high season but the weather is nice.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday Baking\Cooking Fun

The Pictures are out of order - you know what to do! : D

Saturday Kaylee, Morgan and I made: T'ziki sause, Mashed Potaote Hotdish, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Carmel Bailey's Truffels.
The final product, after almost 3 hours of work we say down to a delicious meal. It was great.
I am crying as i cut the second onion...

Kaylee and Morgan mashing the baked potatoe. They are offically experts at mashing potates!

Morgan stirring the heavy cream and bailey's that turned into truffels after 24 hours.
The Chocolate Chip Cookies. See the pastic bags with sharpie letters on them... My mom sent me pre-measured ingredients. It was perfect. It was interesting though because as you can see I had to melt the butter on the stove, so when i poured it it was hot and so the dough was really warm. It changed the composition of th dough because i kept adding flour so that it wouldnt be so sticky!

A Bird Eye View of Athens

It was a hike to the tallest hill\moutain that surrounds Athens. We walked across town and then the ascent began. We climbed I dont know how many blocks worth of stairs - but at least 5 I would have to say. Then we got to the base of the hill\mountain. We bought out tickets to take the trolley thing up - it was scary. I was sure that the cable would snap and we would go crashing to our deaths - but I live to tell the tale. It was a bright but foggy\misty day. Even though you couldnt see very far, it was beautiful. Athens is an alarmingly large city, i didnt think it was as big as it is - all I could say was WOW!
The Pananthenaic Stadium. As you know I live right behind it - yeah Pagrati!
The Acropolis. I know that it is hard to see it wasnt a clear day.

Beautiful Athens...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Pagrati Mc Donalds

On our way home from class today, Morgan and I decided that we sould stop into the local Mc Donalds before parting (she had class and I had volunteering to do). We stopped in with innocent intentions to only buy cheap coffee. But we were horribly side tracked by the Euro menu... so we decided to have an early lunch. Burgers and a shake!

It hit the spot, I havent had "american" food since I left America. Because even the things like Coke and Snickers taste just a little different because they use different ingredients here. (Like real sugar cane or ceal coco powder.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knosses, Crete

Me standing next to a reconstruction in the Minoan Palace. Looking at my outfit I look like an Austian adventurer... hmm I dont know how I feel about that.
Kaylee and I in a procession. You knw how those anceints like thier processions.

The epic battle scene depicted in the rare multi colors marble.

Kaylee, Morgan and I, with the Mountain as a backdrop.

Kaylee and Morgan.

Crete I

Morgan, Kaylee and I took an overnight ferry to Crete. We had Laymans tickets - so the good news was were were exposed to the elements but the bad news was we were with the other laymen... to say the least it was gross. (Good Morning!)

We arrived in Crete Thursday morning at 5am. So we sat on the deck of a cafe on the beach, we watched the sun rise on the ocean and mountains. It was beautiful, and crisp.

Our hotel opened at 8am so we arrived promptly and crashed for a few hours. Then we went to Knossos (see other post). FREAKING AMAZING!

I (actually we all did) loved Iraklion. Most of the Greeks dont like the city, but that is probably because it is a city on an Island and not a islant town on a island. I loved the cute shops and the square. I had the best chocolate there, it was Tiramisou. Oh and the Bougatsa! Ah, they certainly know how to treat the palate! (Kaylee, Morgan and I in front of Four Lion Fount in Four Lion Square.)
Thursday night we ate at The Mexican. It hit the spot. I had chicken enchiladas - OMG, I thought I might melt. It was so good.

So our hotel... to say the least it was FREEZING. I slept in: sweatpants, a sweater, 2 pairs of socks and a hat that is "child size" but is so big on my head that is goes down to the tip of my nose. Then I was using 3 blankets - I was warm but the room was soo cold. Next topic of the hotel, it had a public bathroon. This was my first encounter with a public bathroom and I am hoping that they can remain few...
On Friday we searched for the (lost) Palace of Malia. No it really isnt lost, we just coulndt find it. We spent an hour and a half looking for this pile of rubble and never found it. We did find the beach, and I went to see if the water was cool but instead of only dipping my fingers in I under estimated the wave and it got my entire foot plus part of my leg. (Kaylee and Morgan waiting for the bus to take us back to Iraklion.)

Then we ventured to Hania...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crazy Europeans and Thier Soccer!

Uhm... yeah it was insane. they sang and chanted then entire 95 minutes of the game. They had flares that were burning in the stadium, they threw stuff on the field when the opposing team scored a point and if they didnt like the reff opinion of something... yeah they are crazy.
SO, it is hard to see but they are waving flags and chanting...
Yeah - I told you there were flares - they lit them at the begining of the game and when Olympiacos scored a point.
The end of the game, look closely you will see a variety of garbage thrown!

Yeah I'm Getting Fat...

SO, I have started to exercise on top of all the crazy distances I walk on a daily baises! I walk on the paths that are behind the Pan. Stadium - there are some amazing views - and run on the track at the stadium. I cant wait until I get the box with my running shoes - my feet will hurt less than.

The View from of the Acropolis (zoomed in).
The view of the Acropolis.

My future house. : )

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thessaloniki Part III

On Saturday, we left Thessaloniki and headed north toward the Bulgarian boarder. It was a 2 hour trip - and beautiful. The Mountains, were awe inspiring.

On the boarder, there are fortications that were used in WWII, the were crazy. When Greece decided to build it they hired Greeks from the Islands and Southern Greeks to build it, and they were only allowed to work at night. They did this so that the locals wouldnt know about the project and wouldnt be tempted to tell the Germans.
Here is a video, of me walking through the underground fortification. I have more up on my photobucket.

Thessaloniki Part II

The Parade was intense. The first half was of different costumes of people who had helped first against the Italians and Germans during WWII. Oxi Day is celebrates the begining of WWII - unlike most countries. Greece celebrates the begining of the war because the end was devasting for Greece. The War ended in a civil war. Oxi day is the day that the dictator Metaxas said no to Musillini about invading Greece.
The second half of the parade was a military show. It was exciting and terrorifing. There were tons of tanks and military cars and guns. When the tanks drove by the ground vibrated. We were told to pretend that we were in a W. European country during WWII and that were there 10 times as many tanks and soldiers marching into our town to occupy it. It was a terrorfying thought. (On photobucket, I have video of the tanks passing by)
This is in Pella, the birth place of Alexander the Great.
We went to the School of Aristotle, where he taught Alexander and his friends. It was beautiful. The colors had changed, and the mountains in the background and the stream babbling near by. I understand how the Greeks thought that Nyphs inhabitated the land. This is Morgan as she enters the cave where Alexander had class.
This is the view from the ledge near the cave. The trees reminded me of home, and I started humming a country song - "it feels like home to me, it feels like home to me..." I didnt want to leave, I wanted to snuggle up on my favorite chair in my screen porch with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Thessaloniki Part I

Thessaloniki is a 6 hour trip from Athens. It is a beautiful route, with the mountains on the left and the ocean on the right. We passed Thermopylae, and Mount Olympus - just to name a few.
A picture from the drive up, beautiful? I think so!
Most people slept on the way up. I took short naps but the view was to pretty to not watch! Morgan slept though!
Before the Parade, we stopped at the catacombs. It was cool to see where the Christians held services while being persecuted. I drank from some of the "holy water" that they had in the underground sanctuary - it is supposed to have healing qualities. The Catacomb was originally a Roman Bath.
The White Tower, with Andrew and Hunter in the foreground. The White Tower is an easy point to orient yourself while wandering through the city.
The view of port near the White Tower.