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Archive for March, 2010

We were getting a little bit tired of the big busy city, but we still had another day until we left for Santorini. We decided to just show up and catch a ferry to an island close to Athens with a couple girls we met from Wisconsin that were staying at our hostel. The travel agent at the port suggested Aegina. We bought some cheap tickets, jumped on the ferry for an hour and spent the day on the island. It was unreal sort of beautiful. The ocean was SO blue, and the island was covered in beautiful yellow flowers.

We spent seven hours strolling around the island, through the town and sitting on the beach. We ate at a little restaurant along the board walk where our table looked over the ocean.

We made friends with a street cat we named Cyclops, because he only had one eye and one ear. He was terribly ugly, but probably the friendliest cat I’ve ever met. We shared our chicken kabobs with him.

The sun was setting as we rode the ferry back to Athens. Liseanne and I decided to take some cash out when we got back to the square close to our hostel. As Liseanne went to take out her bank card, we realized that she left it in a bank machine the day before. We are having some bad luck. We do still have Liseanne’s Visa so we’re staying afloat until we can get to a bank associated with them and pick up a cash advance. Right now we’re sitting on a ferry eating trail mix with 20 euro in our pocket. I still have my passport, we’re having fun and that’s all that counts.

Love for now,

Ashley

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Losing Things in Athens

Whew. In the last couple days we have done some pretty intense sight-seeing. We’ve visited three museums, the national gardens, and tons of ruins. The Acropolis was my favourite place so far. It is up so high and gives you an amazing view of Athens, while you’re standing around the most beautiful ancient buildings. Pretty amazing.

It may not surprise any of you that I’ve gotten a small sunburn since I got here. The wind gives the city a deceiving cooler feeling, while the sun is HOT. I’ve now opted for a scarf in lieu of sun screen. (Scarf > SPF 50)

The service and food at restaurants here is amazing! They are so accommodating. They also bring you FREE tap water with every meal! This is a big deal. I’ve gotten used to people turning their noses up at us when we request tap water, but here they just bring it! And they don’t even put a ton of ice in it! I love it.

Also, they drink plain iced espresso here everywhere! Amazing!

Here is something not so amazing…I lost my wallet. (Surprise Mom and Dad, if you haven’t received my email yet) I can foresee a small lecture…
I was pretty worried/upset about it last night, but I’ve decided it’s not worth my time to be stressed about a wallet. I had under 100 Euros in it, and the rest was just plastic.


Picked an orange right off a tree!

Love,

Ashley

PS – Posted an album on FB.

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I woke up at 4:15 this morning.  To be completely honest I put on the same clothes from the day before (half of which I slept in), didn’t brush my hair or even look in a mirror and left.  I’m getting better at this whole ‘traveling’ thing. 

In my International Business and Trade course we’ve been doing a strategic business case on Starbucks.  I’m not really sure it’s fair to study a company that does not exist here.  Seriously, we looked on their website and it said they have no locations in the Netherlands.  It must be because of the oddly sized coffee market here.  When we arrived at Schiphol airport and saw a Starbucks just inside the complicated sliding doors, it made my morning.

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One grande half-sweet skinny caramel macchiato with no foam enjoyed while standing in line wearing a 12.7 kg backpack (Not bad right?) at 5 o’clock in the morning was perfect.

We connected in Switzerland, so we got to see some amazing mountains as we headed to Athens.  They were beautiful, it reminded me of home.

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 We arrived at our hostel at about 3.  It was the first time we were traveling and I felt very little stress about getting lost or getting somewhere before a certain time.  It was nice.  The hostel is beautiful and a little bit rustic. 

Apparently today is some sort of national ‘independence’ type holiday so all of the shops and attractions were closed.  We walked through a beautiful park a couple blocks from our hostel, and then went for coffee at a little cafe called ‘Libre’.  We picked this particular cafe because there was a big stack of games in the window.  We played Mastermind and sipped coffee on the patio for most of the evening.

Oh yes, I figured out how to post pictures.

Love,

Ashley

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 Our adventure to Greece started in a bit of a complicated mess.  We arrived at Middelburg station a little later than we expected to.  The ticket booths had closed, leaving us to buy our passes to Amsterdam from the automated machines.  Our lack of Dutch ‘digital money’ and the machines inability to accept paper money left us with one choice.  We paid almost 60 Euros in ‘one’ denominations coins (Euro-Loonies?  Still not sure what they’re called).

We’re staying the night in Amsterdam, our flight leaves early tomorrow morning for Athens.

I don’t think I forgot anything yet.  That might not be possible really because I took almost EVERYTHING.  I may be exaggerating a little bit.  I feel that this morning like I exercised a good amount of self-restraint when I repacked.  Hopefully these shorter trips will be good practice for ‘packing light’ on our two months excursion this summer.

PS  – Amsterdam is way cooler when its not raining.

Love,

Ashley

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Finding chase can sometimes be a challenge.
.
 Irina Maria March 21 at 6:15pm
No worries … we have vodka … I’ll show you how ex-communist countries drink it 🙂
 
…I love the people here. ❤

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I love the smell of rain

 I bought a 2 kg bag of onions for .99 cents last week.   You may or may not know how much I love onions.

It was like a sign that I picked the right place to be right now.  Just kidding, sort of.

The reason I was purchasing an overly large bag of onions is because Liseanne and I cannot stop ourselves from continuously planning dinner parties.  When we are surrounded by large amounts of people, and under the influence of any amount of alcohol we make dinner plans with anyone and everyone.  It’s great, most of the time.  Unless you invite more than 10 people and need to have a BYOPlates shin digg.   I think if we continue to acquire bottles of wine and hard liquor from having people over at this rate, we may never run out.   

I almost dyed my hair last week.  I bought the box of hair dye, it was a medium auburnish colour.  It would have been very nice, but I figured it would  fade quickly in Greece and I would never get my natural hair colour back.  So I took it back.  Crisis averted? 

When I took my hair dye back I remembered I was almost out of deodorant, so I went to check out the european selection.  They do not carry sticks.  The choices here are roll on or spray on.  Terrible idea!  After I put it on in the morning I walk around with my arms in the air, drying and looking like a dork before I can get dressed. C`mon Zeeland, get with the program.   

We moved today.  It didn’t take us very long, we had lots of help.  

pro·cras·ti·nate [proh-kras-tuh-neyt, pruh-]   

1. The intentional and habitual postponement of an important task that should be done now.  

 

My suitcase is still sitting in my room, and it is full.  I wonder how long it will take me to completely unpack.

Love,

Ashley

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Happy One Month!

We just celebrated our one month in our new house!

Here are some things that I should tell you about;

I have grown to like raisins (Thanks to Courtney and her trail mix)

I have learned to ride my bike against the wind, with the wind and in spite of the wind

I have established an efficient process for doing laundry in my sink

I (we) clean my entire flat at least once a week. (Weird right?)

I have bought and broke two umbrellas(Really the winds fault)

We have not bought or used saranwrap once.

We have established a meat-less day in our house

I have been grocery shopping more times than I have in my whole life. (We went almost daily for the first two weeks)

I have invented the ultimate vegetarian chilli recipe.

I watched the worst movie ever.  ‘The Bad Lieutenant’ (At Sneakapeek)

My favourite Dutch discovery so far – Winkle Wagon = Shopping Cart (Still makes me happy every time I see it)

I bought a tea pot and a hanging plant pot for a euro today at my favourite second hand shop on the corner by my flat. This place is seriously awesome. Liseanne and I found a black fur head band in there for 3 euros. Worth every… euro cent.

For anyone I’ve given my address to, we’re moving to flat number 162 instead of 50! We’ll be forwarding our mailing address anyway, but just FYI.

With love for now,

Ashley

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