Day Fifteen 

Here I am again, stuck in Purgatory. It’s 2pm, and I’m in Athens airport waiting until 3.50pm for my flight to Budapest. I have already sat down and eaten, tried calling my parents twice (they really wanted to talk but alas), browsed the museum exhibit, and made my way to my gate. Good news is the flight is only 1 hour, bad news is the airport is not close to the city centre and it would appear you have to take either a taxi or 3 different buses to get there.

The hostel I’m staying at in Budapest offered airport pickup organisation, but when I emailed them about it they denied that statement. I didn’t bring it up, but gosh darnit. Googling isn’t proving to be helpful either.

I’ve just come from a stay on Crete. I thought it would be a serene beach stay but there were thunderstorms which the locals swore weren’t right for the time of year it was. It ended up being okay though, a good excuse to be extremely lazy.

I met up with two other NZ girls who are here finishing their med degree, introduced by the hotel owner, and we headed out on Sunday to explore Rethymnon. There was a little tiny museum we chanced upon and stopped to look at some ancient pots and jewellery. We went on to the walls, and had some lunch.

Lunch, for me, was unfortunate. The girls shared a vegetarian tapas menu, and I ordered Baklava. I asked how big it was (its very, very sweet) and the waiter shrugged and said “Eh.”

It was a huge piece, I ate maybe half because I felt bad leaving any more on the plate, but when our plates were cleared he still asked me if I hated it. No, no, no, no. Just so, so sweet. 

From there we did a little bit of shopping. I got roped into buying a “silver” ring for €10. $16NZ equivalent. Which just doesn’t happen, silver that cheap. He did say it was 75% off, but I think they might advertise high to sell low. To its credit, though, I haven’t taken it off since and my finger isn’t green, so it’s at least plated – or coated.

We went out for dinner, and this time I ordered a tapas menu.

I tried a bunch of different starters, pictured here, and then had 5 mains samples. Turns out their sample size I think was the “main” element from each dish just without the whizzbang of sides like roast potatoes, so essentially 5 pieces of the main part of different main courses. A lot of food, altogether. The server was hilarious, asking why Rachel would order a Greek salad in a fancy place like this, he almost seemed offended. But it was on the menu, she said she liked it, so he shrugs and admits that it is too one of his preferred dishes.

At the end of the meal, it appears to be custom for them to deliver liquor in a small flask for shots. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it tasted like vodka mixed with tequila, still clear, and advertised by the more fluent and westernized Grecians as Greek Moonshine. Wow. I turned down all further offers of this at the next places I got food from. Didn’t matter if it was lunch or dinner, it was served either way.

We got home at 10pm and I slept like a log. Waking up the next day only to do laundry, got to the supermarket, and have some food.

On my last day in Crete, I went to the Aquarium. It was really cool, with lots of cute little windows and exhibits. Some of the fish in there were HUGE! Also, there were sharks.

Once home, I did a bunch of research and plotted backwards from my concert in Netherlands, and forwards where I knew I was going from here, and found in the middle I have about 4 days free. I’m thinking of chucking in 4 days in Dublin for something more like home and just to hang out with people again, again so I don’t burn out looking at everything all the time.

I spent the evening with Stavros and Marcella, the owners of my hotel, and we chatted until about midnight. I left with a wooden tulip and a souvenir magnet from Crete, with a handwritten note from them. It was wonderful and they were 100%. Galatia Apartments in Kokkini if you’re interested.

So, Purgatory is finally over. I risked my first taxi (and accidentally got into a freelance one, not an official one) to get to the hostel, messaging Peter-from-work the entire time so I didn’t get Taken, or if I did someone would know and call my mum.

The hostel has so far been friendly, though SUPER party oriented. They have free dinner every night which is great, but that leads into drinking games in the common area, and onto pub crawls after that. Every night apparently. I do think I remember reading this but thought eh, fuck it, they have lockers, are in a good location, and have female only dorms, I’m in.

As you can see from this post, I did not go out with them tonight, and I’ll see how much I accomplish tomorrow before thinking of going out then (probably not) – I still need to allocate time to organise my money and see if Dublin works or if i need to just extend days elsewhere. I haven’t been keeping a close eye on my spending so far – it hasn’t seemed huge.

Time for some shut eye, I wonder if more checkins tomorrow will ruin me having a room to myself.

Regards,

Alex

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