Sunday, December 18, 2011

Internet Cafe

I finally got to go to a proper internet cafĂ©! My aunt’s been super busy taking care of things with my granma, so my needs sort of fell by the wayside, but then again I didn’t make much noise about my needs because I understand that some things need to be prioritized.  Well, today she drove me to Oropo, a small(ish) place near where we live, but big enough to have a lot of cafes, some of which have net access. 

This is what I saw from my seat for the couple of hours I sat there.

It’s nice to sit down and finally try to catch up but it’s crazy how quickly emails can pile up in just a matter of a few days. I’m not sure how long this will take me to get through but I do have enough time to try my first Greek beer. I ordered what the locals drink a lot during the summer, a Mythos beer but it was a bit bitter for me. At least I can say I tried it.
I liked this place, the vibe, the music but not the fact that you’re allowed to smoke inside, because the locals really do smoke, a lot. Ugh. Apparently the laws passed are the same as in Canada and you're not supposed to smoke indoors, but they don't enforce it so everyone smokes when they feel like. That is just not for me.

Till next time!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

After the rain

I woke up to something that sounded like a thunderous waterfall. What was that noise outside my door? Rain. I stuck my nose outside for a minute to see what looked like a tsunami. I immediately hoped right back into bed and didn’t want to get up yet. 

When it finally calmed down, the view from the balcony of the mountain looked like this.
I decided to take some photos around my aunts garden.
The banister and tree in front of the house.
In the garden, my aunt has lemon trees...
... orange trees...
... and some flowers. They all look pretty with the water droplets dancing on their surfaces.

By mid-afternoon, the view was back to its normal, pretty self.
Till next time!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Golden Hall Mall

Today was an early start for us. My aunt needed to go to a hospital to do some tests and rather than leaving us all at home, she decided to take us with her to Athens. This meant being up at 6am and out the door at 6:30am. Yeah, I’m not much of a morning person, but since this meant that we’d see some things in Athens, I wanted to come along.
I'm still not used to seeing palm trees randomly growing here and there. Whenever I'd see palms in pictures or videos, they make me think of exotic places. How about these weird trees dipping right into the traffic?!
After a lengthy wait in the car, we got to the Golden Hall Mall, it’s close to the Olympic Stadium. Since I didn't get a closer view, here's the Olympic Stadium in the background of this parking lot.
Golden Hall Mall, I think they're ready for Christmas, but for me it's rather strange to have sunny weather and almost 20 degrees Celsius and try to get into the Christmas spirit.
Outside of the mall, there are some cool things to see - this old vehicle...
... a fountain to sit down at and enjoy the weather...
... a carousel for the kiddies.
Inside the mall, do you see what I see?
Yes, for those coffee freaks, they have Starbucks Coffee here! Since I don't like coffee, this did nothing for me.
I’m not sure how the locals can afford the prices that I saw in the stores there. This mall is filled with expensive stores, including Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rolex and more. 

Outside of the mall, I saw this little car I thought was cool, it's a Mini.
Till next time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Today my aunt took me to a local Casino. The Regency Casino in Athens is on top of the mountain and in order to get to it, one can either take a lengthy drive up that mountain or leave the car at the bottom and take the Telefreak (cable car) up to the top. 

We drove on the highway to get to it and it seems that you can't take the highway in Greece without having to pay for using it. There are tolls everywhere.
You have to be careful which line you take. I've seen many cars pull up to ones where there's no attendant (as they're only for those who have a pass) and they then had to try to back up.
The casino is on the way to the Olympic Village...
... on top of that mountain.
My aunt decided to not drive up the mountain, but rather take the Telefreak. Um yeah, I'm scared of heights. First we had to enter the building that it's in and the inside had me distracted enough to not think about the fact that I'm afraid to take the ride up.

First up is the walls with birds on them - neat.
Then there was the enormous glass chandelier, I've never seen anything like it. This is the view from the bottom...
... from the middle, it's like a work of art!
Close up of the chandelier, neat eh? I wonder how long something like this would take to put together.
Ok, enough of the pretty, it's time to go up on the Telefreak. Eeeeeek!
 This is safe, right? RIGHT?! Ack! I'm scared.
 Side view of the mountain. There's still green everywhere here, even in December.
 Almost at the top.
I know you're not allowed to take photos in casinos but I don't always follow rules, especially when it comes to taking photos. Here's the machine my aunt and I spent some time at and no, we didn't win.
Of course when you stay in a casino, time flies by quickly and before you know it, it's night time and time to go home. I wish I had a better camera to take the night shots, but unfortunately this is as good as it gets. It was quite the view.
Till next time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What? No hot water?!

How’s this for an interesting fact about where I am in Greece. Most don’t have hot water unless the sun is shining. A lot of people use solar panels on their rooftops here for energy to heat their water with. So at night you’re better not hoping for a hot shower, it’s not going to happen. Unless of course you have those radiator type heaters indoors & they heat up the water. So far I’ve had a couple of times where I had to do dishes with cold water and had to wash up with cold water too. It’s not fun.
This is what the solar panel looks like. My aunt only has one so far. I ventured onto the roof to see it. I hear that the government is actually willing to subsidize those who fill their rooftops with the solar panels, but to install those things it’s super expensive. 

Till next time!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Share with me

Today grandma and I had a bit of a hiccup. I’ve never been around her this long without a break and she can get a little trying on ones nerves. We believe she has the start of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I’ve never had to deal with either one of those diseases and am not really sure how to handle things without going crazy myself.

I’m curious if any of you have dealt with anyone with either of these diseases and maybe have any tips. I can’t continue repeating myself when I have to explain something or listen to the same stories over and over again. The constant looking for something and relocating of items and then accusing someone of stealing them is tiring too. It’s almost like dealing with a child but it’s a grown person doing it all.  She can even get a little snarky with her answers about things and then when you call her on it, she has no idea doing it.

I’ve heard that there are support groups for families that have elderly ones that have these diseases but am wondering if any of you can share any personal stories. 

Till next time!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Acropolis Part 2

Yesterday I showed HERE a part of my adventure of how I got to the Acropolis. Today here is the actual Greek ruins.

Even though it's December and I left cold winter weather in Toronto behind, the sun came out today for my tourist-like trip around Athens. Here's the entrance to Acropolis. I didn't realize that it was such a hike up the hill to the Parthenon.
On the way up, the first thing I saw was an amphitheater and lucky for me it's closed for winter so I was able to get a shot without people in it. The rest of the ruins were full of visitors, so I was less lucky.
It's quite the view walking up through the ruins. I really love seeing the city below.
Once on the top, my aunt insisted on taking a photo of me on the way, looking down. Eeep! I'm scared of heights. That's not a smile on my face, that's the look of fear.
Here's another shot of the amphitheater from the top. It's so cool looking.
This photo is of the Parthenon and I must say that the look of it surprised me. I didn't realize that there were still not finished with the restoration project. I guess I've always seen it in photos of movies and never with cranes and stuff all around it.

Yep, getting a shot without people in it wasn't going to happen. So I might as well have a photo of me in front of it too. Well, my aunt insisted again.

 How about some shots of Athens from the top, looking down. It's pretty awesome.

And back to being upstairs. I'm not sure what this building was called. I might have to do some research on these.

Before we left, I took another shot of the stairs. I wish there could have been no people all around, but once again, it's a busy day here.
Till next time!