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It’s all Greek to me – travelling in the land of the gods

‘It’s all Greek to me.’

This saying really hit home after travelling in Greece, the land of the gods. Gods who certainly had a different idea of common sense than I do.

I’ve travelled all over Europe, but this was my first time in a country where I wasn’t only unable to speak the language – I couldn’t even read it!

Staying in Athens, it was all I could do to remember my stop to get off the metro – the one with the two upside-down ‘y’s and the funny ‘O’ – Kallithea (Καλλιθέα).
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Nu parcați! No parking! Welcome to Romania

Apparently residents of Romania really don’t like their garages being blocked. The streets are filled with notices – often colourfully painted on garage doors, sidewalks and movable signs across country. I found these in the mountain town of Brașov.

Yes, Romanians have cars. They don’t all drive a horse-drawn cart filled with hay. They have an 80 mph motorway, although that is only a guideline as most Romanians tend to drive way over the speed limit (a perfect match for the large hitchhiking culture in the country).

Check out my post about false images of Romania.

See more of my Romanian adventures here.

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Mr ‘Stranded’ American and the ferry from Italy to Greece

I wasn’t expecting it to be quick. I wasn’t even expecting it to be on time.

Travelling within a slightly disorganised country can be difficult enough. But taking a 16 hour ferry from one chaotic (but beautiful) country to another? Good luck.

My expectation for the ferry’s timeliness turned out to be well-founded on a long overnight ferry from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, Greece. But the 16 hour journey was difficult enough to begin.
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Secrets of London’s Oyster Card

Planning a trip to London? Great! This post is for you.

Live in London and haven’t discovered all the perks of your Oyster Card yet? Read on.

London’s Oyster Card not only gets you around London but also offers secret 2-for-1 deals not prominently advertised and unique card designs you have to ask for specially.

Oyster Cards are more than just the travel card most people use them for. Even a Londoner can learn something here.
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Diary of a mad Icelandic volcano – Grímsvötn attacks

Everyone heard about Eyjafjallajökull (say it with me: Aey-ya-fiat-la-yo-khult, Eyja means island, fjall means mountain and jökull means glacier), commonly referred to as ‘the volcano’ or simply ‘Eya’, that erupted in April 2010.

Most of Europe was affected for weeks by the ash cloud as it coated the continent and cancelled air travel.

When I visited Iceland in December 2010 I realised why.

Even 7-8 months after the eruption, there was still ash on the ground and every wind gust blew blinding ash at us, making driving difficult and causing our cameras to fail temporarily.

The fine ash from Eyjafjallajökull got into every nook and cranny. There was ash in our car and in our bags. It coated anything that was wet or damp and created a fine layer of ash on our skin.

It was an adventure and we laughed about it, but we could easily see why it wreaked so much havoc on the continent.
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Leaving on a jet plane

I’m leaving soon. Very soon.

The last week I’ve spent packing and unpacking and packing again.

I’ve tried to think of what I’m bringing that I don’t need and what I’ve forgotten that I do need.

My packing list has been revised and edited several times. I’ve done my last-minute shopping. I’ve gone through the stress of packing with the excitement of leaving and I’m finally ready to go.

Italy, here I come!
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Hitting the pavement with Grandma

I’ve done plenty of road trips in my travels through the US. I’ve visited every state except Alaska and every state in the lower 48 was on one of my road trip routes. I’ve driven through the night, slept in my car and had some sort of caffeine constantly in my cup holder. I’ve had car trouble in Texas, credit card problems in Canada and been teased by border patrol men. I’ve had a good time. This trip will be a little different. This trip is with Grandma.
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