5.21.09 It’s all Greek to Me!

Olympia Travel Blog

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It's all Greek to me!

5.21.09    It’s all Greek to Me!

 

Kalispera!  We’re in Greece!  We can hardly believe it ourselves! 

 

We arrived on the ferry around 12:30 pm and drove along the stunningly blue Aegean Sea a few hours to Olympia.  We’ve eaten Greek food, bought Greek books, lotion, wine, and ouzo, and enjoyed the nice little town after all the other tourists deserted the place.  It is wonderful to be here!

 

We really enjoyed the ferry ride and the Camping On Board option was terrific!  We were lulled to sleep by the very gentle rocking and awoke to see an island off to our right.

Enjoying our coffee & tea on our Camping-On-Board deck (balcony sort of)
  Our friend, George, stopped by to visit and said that we Iokini from the Odyssey story.  We could also see it on our GPS, which was really cool.

 

There wasn’t much time after getting up and ready, doing some internet research on the laptop in the bar, before it was time to head out.  By taking a right to exit the port, we missed about 3km of in-town gnarly traffic, which was great.

 

The roads here are fine and have a two lanes with hard shoulders, so they ride the shoulder line as in Mexico.  That way a car can pass from either direction, which makes everyone happy.  None of the signs had the promised English, but with the GPS, we were all set.  The driving feels very similar to Mexico, although there are fewer cars on the roads.  It is just really relaxed on the rules, which works fine once you're used to it.

Friend, George, waves goodbye

 

We stopped for Diesel and it was just .85E per liter, which is quite a bit less than the 1.05E or so that we had in Italy!  At 3.8 times liters for gallons, those differences are really huge.

 

Lunch break was along the stunning coast.  I finally had to stop myself from saying, “Wow!” and tried to think of another word more expressive.

 

We made it to the Church’s recommended Diana Camping right in town- it is very pretty here with widely separated sites.  But the prices were 9E for the camper, 8E each for 3 of us, 5E for Lia, and then 5E for electric.  I was stunned for 43E!  When I started to squirm a bit, Lia came off the price and while we also debated removing the electric, he had it all written up and so we just moved forward.

Gas prices in Patra, Greece
  At 38E we are not staying another night, although we would probably have enjoyed it.  I think that price is ridiculous for the area.

 

But the owner was nice and brought some freshly cut roses for our camper.  He provided the most exceptional map we’ve ever gotten at a campground.  It had all the services clearly marked for the town!  What a great idea!  Markets, restaurants, museums, laundry, internet, etc.

 

We all went swimming in the sparkling, cold pool.  Jazy spent time talking with some German seniors who are on their 3-week class trip to study Greek Art- they were really nice and ribbed their English teacher a bit when he arrived at the pool, saying he needed to work with them a bit more on English.

 

We enjoyed a Greek restaurant in town, which is a very short walk down the hill- sitting outside under old trees with bending limbs, shading the brilliant sun.

Beautiful Greece!
  In fact, the outside awning had been created around the giant tree to protect it.  All the food at this restaurant was prepared fresh, everything.  So our 5E pork pita gyros were beyond good.  We were surprised that a few little French fries were included with the tomatoes and tzatziki, onions, and pork, but the whole thing was scrumptious and we were completely stuffed afterward.  We always take our water bottles with us for drinks, so dinner for 20E was reasonable in this touristy town.

 

Did you know they speak Greek here, which is nothing like French, Italian or Spanish?  Of course you did, as did we, but we are learning very quickly.  So far, we have a good hand on Good Morning (kalismara), Good Evening (Kalispera), Thank you (ephgatisto), and Please or after someone says “You’re Welcome” (paragola)- okay, so maybe I need to work on them a bit more and learn how to spell them- maybe I’ll get it tomorrow…:)   Most people do speak English, but it feels so disrespectful to just go up and blab in English without at least an attempt at a Greek greeting and then a request in Greek for speaking English.

Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia

 

We bought a book on Greece with pictures, history, legends, etc so we know what we’re seeing and where to visit.

 

We stopped by the Greek super market and loaded up on Greek foods, so we can try them:  souvlaki, soft sesame bar, green olive pate, Greek nougat and candies.  Oh and milk and peanut butter (little jar was almost 4E!).

 

All of us girls got Greek goddess dresses in filmy cotton and Charles got a Greek football jersey (we know his friend Stavros will like that!). 

 

We’re still fighting allergies with more pollen snowing through the air..  I’m hoping sinus infections don’t develop, but our throats hurt and we have trouble sleeping. 

 

It is a bit hot right now.

Lia and the Ouzo
  I’m sure it will cool off a bit in the night, but the kids are having trouble sleeping.  We’re glad we got down here while it is still May.  Our evening walk was a delightful temperature.

 

We were too late to see Olympia tonight, although it didn’t close until 8pm, but changing countries is a bit stressful and so I’m trying to manage that.  We’ll walk to them again in the morning, hopefully early, although we did lose an hour coming here.

 

I still cannot believe we’re in Greece- it is such a delightful, beautiful, exotic, fun country- one of my most favorite in all the world.  How often will we have a camper on Greece with which to explore?  We are going to enjoy it all we can!

 

 

 

 

 

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Its all Greek to me!
It's all Greek to me!
Enjoying our coffee & tea on our C…
Enjoying our coffee & tea on our …
Friend, George, waves goodbye
Friend, George, waves goodbye
Gas prices in Patra, Greece
Gas prices in Patra, Greece
Beautiful Greece!
Beautiful Greece!
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia
Lia and the Ouzo
Lia and the Ouzo
Wifi on the SuperFast ferry to Gre…
Wifi on the SuperFast ferry to Gr…
Arriving in Patra, Greece
Arriving in Patra, Greece
Arriving in Patra, Greece
Arriving in Patra, Greece
Our camping-on-board deck
Our camping-on-board deck
Arriving in Patra, Greece- the ram…
Arriving in Patra, Greece- the ra…
Heres how you drive on the should…
Here's how you drive on the shoul…
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympia…
Enjoying a Greek dinner in Olympi…
Olympia town
Olympia town
Charles Greek football jersey
Charles' Greek football jersey
Olympia
photo by: Fulla