A Travellerspoint blog

Heading into Central Athens

Buses and trains oh my...

sunny 84 °F

My dear friend Athina lives in the most amazing spot... It is the suburbs of athens, but feels like you are already on a greek island. She lives 100 yards literally from the ( thalasa) sea. We have spent the first few days letting the jet lag wear off and relaxing on the beach drinking freddocino cafes, swimming in the sea, and taking epic naps on the beach. Yesterday Athina comes home from her class and declares that she heard on the radio that today is national free museum day in Greece... I had not really planned to head into the city yet and quite frankly I didn't really feel ready yet... When I lived here 8 years ago I spoke pretty good greek and could run my business and do most things without having to speak english... I have been pretty good at turning that back on, however I really need more practice for it all to come back... Anyway, after she said that we decided to hurry up pack some snacks and set off to check out the Acropolis and the amazing sites of downtown Athens.
That isn't as simple as it sounds as like I said before, she is deep in the suburbs. ( its way more like countryside) SO Athina tells me the basic downloads of how to get there and how to get home... I didn't realize it would be an almost 2 hour journey each way... So we leave about 2pm... WE get dropped off at the bus stop and wait for the portokali ( orange) bus to appear... Anyway, the bus pulls up and everyone starts trying to give us their seats becasuse we have 2 little ones... how kind and thoughtful! We have to transfer onto the train and then switch onto 3 different trains... It seems easy but remember that everything is in greek... ok I can read greek but mostly i do't know what i am reading as i have a pretty basic vocabulary...
We get to the acropolis stop without any hiccups and we proceed to head into the Acropolis.
Have you ever seen Acropolis? ITs un real, The Acropolis of Athens is the rocky remains of an ancient Greek city, located at the top of a hill overlooking the current city of Athens, Greece. Although it is believed that its location was inhabited in the 4th millennium BC, construction of its buildings began circa 460 - 429 BC. The whole place is made of marble and stone. The scale is massive and it is so impressive. The whole time my four year old is saying to me, "mommy, where is the museum you said we were going to, are there toys at this museum?" He has never seen any sort of anicent ruins and the only sort of museums he has been to was on the mainland in Chicago at some childrens interactive museum. This was all quite new for him...After a long stroll through all the ruins we decide to hit up the new acropolis museum since all the museums were free... By the way we missed out on the 30 euro a piece entry cause my friend dropped us a hint about the free museum day... again impeccable timing! After a very long day of checkin the ruins we decide to eat at a taverna and head back before dark.... Again the journey home was long, lots of trains and buses and we didn't get back till after 10pm... It was a lot easier getting home though!

Posted by OhanaNomads 15:11 Archived in Greece Tagged athens acropolis Comments (0)

Finally we arrive

The Plane rides from USA to EUROPE!

Wow air travel is really a lot smoother when you have little ones with you. It seems that people are nicer, everyone is smiling at you, it is all a lot lighter! ( well besides the amount of snacks and clothes you have to carry). Anyway, I had been worrying and wondering about what I would have to being to get through immigration smoothly. I have had a few hiccups in my travels as a very seasoned traveller and I know that customs like to play a few games. Anyway, I never thought that I would get to the immigration officer and he wouldn't believe me that my kids were my kids... We do look alike... Anyway, We had to rush through the London Gatwick airport because out flight was super late and we didn't want to miss our connecting flight to Greece... Come on universe lets get to Greece already!!!! I've only been waiting 8 years to return!
Anyway, after running with 2 children and all our bags to customs we had to then wait about an hour before it was our turn... I had already coached the family a bit on what to say "nothing" and to let me talk to them...Anyway, after the officer had a bunch of small talk with us about us being from hawaii and how he had been there etc. etc. Finally after he examines all of our passports, he hands us a small business card that talks about trafficing children. Then he starts up about it seems wierd that the children don't have the same last name as us... OMG my palms start to sweat and I realize that I hadn't brought any photo copies of their birth certificates... I thought that all I needed was a valid passport. Anyway, after we talk a bit more he says "ok, I can see that these children feel very comfortable with you both, but I want to let you know that if any other officer were to be speaking with you that you would all be detained and we would have to confirm that you are both the parents..." He then stamps our passports and says move on...It was all good, but we were still in a rush to catch the next part of the huge journey... We finally board the plane to Greece and almost instantly you could feel the relaxed energy of Greece. We had the last flight we would be on for a while, which went super smooth everyone slept almost the whole ride... Then we got to Greece and had to go through customs again. This time was very different. Before we left on our trip I had called the Greek embassy to see what the requirements were to enter and they said we would have to have a return flight. So At some point in planning the trip I felt stressed because I was really hoping to just go on one way tickets and be open to leave from whenever when we were ready. Ironically enough we were waiting in line and a man pulls me and the family out of line in front of hundreds of people and lets us go first. Go figure children and women are really looked after in Greece. So we get to the officer he smiles and gets the kids attention and says nothing to us and stamps our passports and that was it... What no questions, no one caring about any return tickets... What a breeze! I love this country! After we get our bags we head outside in search of my dear old friend athina who I have't seen in 8 years... Aaron keeps asking me how will we find her? what is her car? I just keep saying, " no worries she will just appear" and that is exactly what happened we took a small walk down the arrivals area and she pops out of the car and we fill her tiny european car with our things and we are off... We have entered Greece and now ready to start our adventure! We were so blessed to have her pick us up with 2 car seats and no stress what so ever! It is always so flow with my family! thank you universe for guiding us so smoothly and gracefully with impeccable timing in all moments!

Posted by OhanaNomads 14:40 Archived in Greece Tagged a for plane last rides while! Comments (0)

Time seems to always be on our side!

The lava starts just as we enter the plane!

We have been planning this amazing trip to Europe for the last 6 months now! It has been almost 8 years now since my last journey to Greece and more then anything have I wanted to share my love of Greece and Europe with my ohana ( family). I really wanted the whole process to be quite simple and easy so I literally have been packing up the house and our things for the last 3 months...( so that I wouldn't be stressed at the last minute) My bags have been fully packed for 2 months! Anyway, I had this strange feeling inside of me for sometime that something big was about to happen Its hard to not feel that way when you live on an active volcano. It always seemed way bigger then just us going away for a while traveling, and that feeling was sure spot on! Anyway, I just prayed that we could all get off the island and start this trip already! I guess my praying worked as I remember the last few days as we were packing up our house, our life, our everything that we knew... a series of hundreds of earthquakes was taking place... I kinda felt un easy about it all , but just kept on tidying up and getting ready to get out of here already! So we finally made it to the airport and as we were boarding the plane the flight attendant showed me and Aaron a picture of big island and the nearby community of Leilani that was being over taken by lava... We could not believe what she was showing us... The series of earthquakes had opened some major cracks on the eastern rift zone and now lava was pouring our of fissures and shallowing peoples lives and homes... We just looked at each other shocked and decided that we need to focus on the present moment and witness this chaos from afar. We really could not have been luckier in our timing! Pele goddess of lava please save our home, just go around her if you need to purify the neighborhood! mahalo!

Posted by OhanaNomads 14:39 Archived in USA Tagged island big lava hawaii Comments (0)

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