Greece is the word, is the word that they heard…

Olympia Travel Blog

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Kalimera! Ok, so, the bus to Olympia ended up being 4 buses and about 8 hours total… By the time we got to Olympia it was 7pm, the rain was absolutely pelting down, and I had no idea where we were cos I was trying to find my way there without a map… I mean, really, who travels without a map! But we jumped off the bus, and tried to ask the man at the local shop if he knew where the hostel was, or where Praxitelas Street was, but he didn't speak English so well (or at all!) So, it turns out my stupid Greek ex-boyfriend was good for something, cos in broken Greek I managed to find out where we were. Woohoo! I didn't realise how much of the language I still remembered until we were here and I found myself listening in to everybody's conversations! So anyway, set off to find the hostel, with a little more help from another local (he only helped us cos he wanted to take me out for a drink) we found it, and then it started hailing… It was a real cold night, and the next morning I woke up itchy as, well, I don't know, just real itchy.

Of all the times for me to have a massive allergic reaction, I choose now. Went to the pharmacy, they sent me to the hospital where I had a needle in the ass, tablets, and cream. What a nightmare - did I ever tell you how much I hate needles? And really, was it necessary to do it in my butt, or do they just do that for fun…? So yeah, sore ass and covered in hives, I was so lumpy that I kinda looked like I was stuffed full of grapes. The antihistamines threw me a bit, so, stayed in Olympia an extra day til I was at least strong enough to carry my pack again.

Spent a very relaxing day shopping and hanging out there, the town is beautiful. Compared to the hectic life in Athens, it's a really nice change.

It's a tiny little town, at the moment it kinda seems like it's surrounded by a big shadow - everything is black an account of the recent bushfires, you can see the devastation every way you look. The people are friendly, and the hostel is simple but nice (yay for free hot showers!).

The other day we were wandering through the tourist shops and came across a lovely little round man… Everyone here talks A LOT, I think at this time of year the only people that are visiting are bus tours, we quickly learned to run for our lives when they arrive - they are absolute mayhem (hundreds of American tourists who are far to loud and arrogant for my liking…) So anyway, this man starts telling us about carrying the torch in the Olympic torch relay when he was a boy, and showed us photos and everything.

Then he showed us the torches he's been collecting for years, and I got to play with the torches from 8 different Olympiads! I even had my photo taken with a couple of them. It was fab, and distracted me from scratching my hives for a few minutes. It was nice to be able to spend a day with absolutely nothing to do, in the few days we were there we met pretty much the whole town, and it seems like everyone wants to take you out for a drink, but it's still lovely.

From Olympia, my brilliant plan was to get a bus to Pyrgos, then a connecting bus to Athens, then a bus to Piraeus and then jump on an overnight ferry to an island, any island would do, but I decided on Chios, cos I can get a ferry to Turkey from there.

Now, remember me telling you about the 8 hour trip from Athens to Olympia? Well, left the hostel at (10:45am), waited for the bus which went to Pyrgos (11:15). On the bus we were told that the next connection to Athens was at 2:30pm cos we'd never make the 12:30 one. That would screw my plan up entirely. Arrived at the bus terminal (12:29pm) and made a mad dash to the ticket office, and just scraped our way onto the Athens bus (12:30). The bus ride was long and boring, we'd already seen all of the scenery on the way there, and the bus was packed so there was no room to breathe, let alone curl up for a nap! But, eventually we arrive at Athens (5:20), caught the bus to Omonoia (5:22) which took us to the Metro (5:40) then caught the metro (5:45) to Piraeus Station and made a mad dash to the ferry ticket office, then a courtesy bus to the boat where all of a sudden we had 20 minutes to spare.
Until then, all of our connections had been a minute or 2 apart, and by the time we sat down on the ferry we were so exhausted from doing nothing but watching the clock that we just slumped out on the deck. Everyone was rolling out sleeping bags in the halls and under the tables in the dining lounge, but we're tough Aussies, and decided to spend a night under the stars. It was fun, we were the only ones dumb enough to sleep outside, and it was absolutely freezing, I'm sure my poor little toes were blue, but at least the cold wind took the edge off my itchy hives (ok, ok, I'll stop whining about them now…) By the time we arrived at 4am, we were freezing, starving, and tired, (yeah, only got about half an hour sleep, but of course I'm too stubborn to go inside once I'd decided to spend the night on deck…) In summer it would be amazing to go island hopping on the ferries, roll out your sleeping bags under the stars and camp out in the middle of the ocean, but in winter, well, only if you're a fan of hypothermia.

Chios is a nice island, it's massive, just off the coast of Turkey. But, despite having no place to stay, no map of the island, I have faith in my random travel plan. I desperately wanted to watch the sunrise, the view was amazing across the water, with turkey faintly visible in the distance, so went and had coffee to pass the time. The coffee was terrible, but a couple came in off their guts, (I'm pretty sure she was charging per hour and he was paying in grams…) and I saw her gross pimply butt cos he felt the need to pull her skirt up for a few minutes, and she didn't seem too bothered by it. It was the ugliest ass I have ever seen, so much so that it made it to my blog. People are strange here. Oh, almost forgot, on the metro train, these waaay too sickly nice americans wouldn't stop trying to talk to me, and when I told them I was from Melbourne, the guy (uneducated w**ker) said "Oh, Melbourne… I've heard of that place… Is that where you have the big shell thing?" Even the Greeks on the train were rolling their eyes.

I mean, really, if you don't know where Melbourne is, don't say anything. So anyway, there was, like, a dozen of them, and one of the women leans over and says "are you into love stories?" I had already figured they were gonna start on a religious rant, so I told her I hated love stories, and she went on to tell me all about the book of John. Now, having taken all my jewellery off (yeah, cos of the hives again) I'm not wearing my cross at the moment, but who do they think they are making an assumption about my religious beliefs, and do they really think that it's their right to try to convert me or anyone else to any religion? I wanted to tell her that if anything she was putting me off religion, but that would be rude. Why can't they just be happy leaving each to their own. I don't need someone to sell me their beliefs. Ugh! So anyway, clearly I'm rambling again. I'll get to the point. If I have a point. Hmmm… J

Spent the night in a stunning apartment in Chios, right on the beach, metres from the waves, and went for a swim in the ocean in the afternoon, sunbathed for a while and drank wine in the sun, fell in love with a puppy I've dubbed Scabby (don't ask, or I'll just ramble about it) and in the morning, caught the ferry across to Turkey (the guy who rented us the apartment gave us a ride there, picked us up in the morning, and took us into town, then gave us a ride to the port! So, anyway, next time you hear from me, I'll tell you all about my Turkish adventures!

You know how it goes, miss you all, love you all, catch you all soon.

Louise, cuz, if you're reading, I hope you had an awesome birthday, tried to text you but couldn't send, cos I'm a tightass traveller with no credit!

Until next time,





PS - The blog posting is a little delayed, you can blame the stupid telco strike that shut down whole networks... Ugh, stupid telco's!!!

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photo by: Fulla