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By this Author: rshotwell

Beerfest/Going back to Cali

0% chance I'm coming home.

sunny 22 °C
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Day 10 - A day to forget.

I woke up @ 6am in Athens and headed to the airport via the metro. Arrived and checked in for my 9:45am flight. The flight was delayed until 11:00am and then til 12pm. Then the flight was cancelled. At that point there were no more flights to Munich. Thanks to the slow response time by my friends at Olympic airways to took 2 hours to get re-routed. My options were to stay the night in Athens and get on a flight the next morning or take a flight to Brussels wait there for 6 hours and then fly to Munich putting me in Munich around 2am. I choose instead to fly to Frankfurt and take the train. So they switched me to Frankfurt and of course that flight was delayed. Also no one told me that the flight went to Thessalonki first. So I had a layover there. I finally reached Frankfurt and made it to the train station. I jump on a tain that I thought was headed to Munich. It wasn't it was going to Basel Switzerland. I got off the train in Manheim, Germany. I barely got on the last train to Munich. I arrived in the train station @ 11:45pm. When I got to my hotel to my surprise Scott was at the hotel bar waiting. A long day, but I made it. In summary 17 hours of travel, 3 flight delays, 1 flight cancelled, two trains, and one really good tasting beer.

Day 11 - Oktoberfest
We got up and headed to Oktoberfest earlier @ 10am. They don't start serving beer until 12pm. There was supposed to be 500,000 people there and I believe it. In addition to beer there are all kinds of rides, carnival games, and parades. Its also an event that families go to. We entered the first tent we say and got a seat. We waited until about 11:30am. We found out that someone we had entered the only wine tent. They served beer but not in liters, this was not going to work. We attempted to find another seat for 2-hours with zero success. So we left the Oktoberfest grounds and went to a nearby Beirgarten. There we ate and had a couple of Liters. We headed back and were able to find a seat with some guys from Chile. We stayed there late and stumbled home. Good times.

Entrance to park
2:30pm ish morning crowd headed home
Scott and I
Lowenbrau Tent

Day 12- Hangover Day
We slept in and went back. Between the two of this we pieced together most of the night before. Went back to Oktoberfest and bought souvneirs. I went with Scott to the train station and saw him off. Since it's Sunday most of the town is closed. I went on a walking tour and took some photos. Up tomorrow for the train back to Zurich then home on Tuesday.


Posted by rshotwell 11:57 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

I heart Greece

15% chance I'm coming home.

sunny 32 °C
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Day 9

Decided to take a cruise of three local Greek islands. The tour included the islands of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina. All three of which were a welcome change from the big city of Athens. Poros was the first stop. It's a small island with one main city.

Second stop was Hydra. There are only two options for travelling on this island; by foot or donkey. There are no cars. There are several traditional stone mansions that line the hill side. This island was at one time used by pirates as a safe haven. Since this island is farther from the mainland the water is very clear.

Final stop Aegina. This was by far the largest island. It is a resort for many people that live in Athens and is only 40 minutes by boat.

Day 10
My final day in Greece. I went to the Archeological Museum and Temple of Olympian Zeus. The museum has primarily classical greek sculpture, but there are also Roman and Egyptian items. The temple sits just to the east of Plaka at the base of the Acropolis. Also saw the new Acropolis museum under construction and a temporary exhibit of items found during excavation. No photos allowed. Greece was much cleaner, safer, and more beautiful than I expected. I will definately return. Off to Munich.

National Archeological Museum
Sculpture of Odysseus c250AD
Sculpture of Dionysus c50BC
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Temple of Olympian Zeus

Posted by rshotwell 06:12 Archived in Greece Tagged boating Comments (1)

Athens...... finally

65% chance I'm coming home

sunny 30 °C
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Day 7
I woke up early and traveled to the Rome International Airport. I found that navigating an airport in a foreign country is no small chore. I must have asked 4 or 5 people for directions. When I found my gate I discovered that I had another flight delayed. This time it was for 1-1/2 hours.

Finally I arrived in Athens. The countryside reminds me of California. I found my hotel and luckily it has a rooftop bar with view of the Acropolis. Photo below. I wish my camera took better night photos the view is much better in person.

Day 8
I took the metro to the burrow of Plaka at the base of the Acropolis. I was expecting the metro to be similar to Rome’s; dirty and congested. To my surprise the metro is extremely clean and well maintained. The Acropolis is a huge national park with the pantheon at the top. It takes quite a while to walk the step incline, but definitely worth it. After my hike I enjoyed a few minutes at the top admiring the views of the city. Unfortunately the museum was closed. Maybe next time. Tomorrow I’m taking a cruise of some local islands.

View from my hotel's room
Steps to Acropolis
Caryatid Porch, next to Partheon
Skline from top of Acropolis

Posted by rshotwell 10:58 Archived in Greece Tagged foot Comments (1)

My feet hurt

75% chance I'm coming home

sunny 27 °C
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Day 5
We took the train to Florence. We waited in line to see the Statue of David. There is now a glass wall around the sculpture and photos are forbidden. However Ash snuck a couple of pics see below. We continued on the tour of Florence past the Duomo to the Ponte Vecchio. We left Florence and took the train to Pisa. There we took lots of action photos.

Statue of David (Illegal photo by Ashley)

Ponte Vecchio

Tower of Pisa

Day 6
Said goodbye to Ash and the gang. I went to the Coliseum today. Actually went inside the Coliseum for the first time. Also walked the Forum and returned to the Spanish steps for some daytime photos. Off to Greece.



Spanish Steps

Posted by rshotwell 09:52 Archived in Italy Tagged foot Comments (1)

I am Roma

85% chance I'm coming home

28 °C
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September 13

Took a train trip through the Swiss Alps and Italian Countryside. This is torture. Found Ashley and her Entourage. They are staying 3 blocks from me. They weren't pleased with Rome. It doesn't compare to their earlier stops Paris/Rome/Venice. We visited the Spanish Steps & Trevi Fountain at night. Photos below. Found a little bar and had one maybe two.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps

September 14
Went to Vatican City. I went into St. Peters Basicalla for the first time. It was quite a site. Every corner had a picture. Also visited the Vatican Musuem including the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed). Also attached are some photos. Tomorrow off to Florence & Pisa. Sunday the Colessum & Forum. Ciao

Piazza San Pietro

St. Peters Basicalla

Vatican Museum

Posted by rshotwell 13:01 Archived in Italy Tagged train_travel Comments (1)

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