Five things I’ve learnt on my travels this week
1. Virgin Atlantic Upper class is infinitely better than any flight you may experience in your life.
On my flight to the UK, I had the extreme luck of being upgraded to Upper class on Virgin Atlantic. What a pleasure! I’ve never had such a comfortable flight overseas before.
On boarding my flight, my coat was hung up and I was greeted with a drink. I then made my way to the massive cubicle hotel room they called “my seat”. The seat was a couch-like chair with a foot stool that, at the press of a button, flipped over into a full bed, complete with duvet and pillows.
There was a crap-load of tv shows and new movies to watch while dinner was brought to me (Course by course, I might add) on a table dressed with a tablecloth and little airplane shaped salt and pepper shakers.
Fingers crossed for an upgrade on the flight back. Minus the annoying talkative British lady in the next seat, who, incidently, moved from her previous seat because of an annoying neighbour.
2. Seeing 20-plus falling stars in one night counts as witnessing a meteor shower.
I was told by family that I was on the coast of Greece at the perfect time to witness the annual Perseid meteor shower. The 12th of August 2010 was marked as the peak night to view falling stars during a week-long meteor shower. I stayed up until 3:30am on the 12th to see as many falling stars as I could. I managed just over 20 that night. The next two nights also had few, but they weren’t as clear.
It was seriously pretty though, and I think it was probably even more stunning in the darker parts of the country. Totally worth being tired 4 mornings in a row.
3. Does this dress make me look fat? No, the thousands of kilos worth of Greek pastries make you look fat.
You totally understand the concept of obesity when dining in Greece. The unhealthy/healthy food ratio here is seriously unbalanced. There is so much good (and fattening) food here, I think I may just end up rolling my way back to South Africa. Also, I think my family has made it their mission to feed me until I pass out. (I’m not complaining, but there is only so much elastic in my wardrobe.)
The restaurants are also way more creative here. I wish we had more themed restaurants back home. It really makes the dining experience more pleasurable.
This beautiful little place is the 50s themed “Route 66”
Burgers, fries, onion rings and a jukebox. Good music, good decor, good food. LOVED it.
Really yummy ice-creams here with an incredible city/ocean view. Definitely worth a visit.
This is heart-shaped cheese being sold in Harrods at the Heathrow airport. I just thought it was cute.
4. 70 Euros? On sale???
Europe is incredibly expensive. I can’t emphasize this enough. Our Rand to Euro exchange is already a little bit of a crap one, but the cost of living here is just way too pricy!
I happen to be here during the country’s holiday season, where the shops close early and everything is on sale. (Due to the intense 40 degree heat and everyone going away on holiday.) I was like “HELL YEAH, sales!!!” But honestly, Greece’s sale items cost the same as, if not sometimes more than, our full-priced items in South Africa. I’ve found a few decently priced things, but I’ve walked right past numerous stores because of their stupidly priced products. (Sigh.)
5. People drive like maniacs here.
I don’t think I have prayed so many times in a car as what I have being a passenger here in Athens. Holy guacamole, people drive like complete loons here. Speed limitations are invisible and driving at 15okm/h in a quiet residential area is completely normal.
Orange traffic lights are a warning to speed up and red ones are a warning to dodge on-coming cars. None of the roads are marked and the driver often isn’t sure if they are on a one-way or two-way road. All the parking is parrallel parking, which doesn’t give the driver any reason to slow down at all.
When you’re a pedestrian, you have the right of way and when you’re a driver you have the right of way. It’s basically a game of “Chicken”, where the loser is the person to move out of the way first. Scary stuff.
Besides almost dying while travelling, I’m having fun and I’ve turned a darker shade of pale. (YAY for sunshine!) This past Sunday was an important religious holiday here, Panayea (The feast day of the Virgin Mary). We went to church and visited a market-like festival. Fun fun fun.
Also, Happy Birthday to my mommy!!! I wish you were here with me. I miss you all very much! 🙂
PS: All photos my own.