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Greek Observations and Travel Tips

I am so thrilled you enjoyed reading my blog posts! Especially since they were so long with so many photos! I’m sure I lost a few followers on social media who were “irritated” in seeing my holiday pics whilst they were stuck in traffic or in the office.

#SorryNotSorry 😉

A few people have asked for some of my travel tips so I wanted to share some of the observations and travel trips I made whilst I was in Greece.

The most popular nail polish colour on almost every Greek/European girls nails was a shade of mint green/blue from the pastels to the bright turquoise, minty colours.

Trend alert: Ankle bracelets are back and they are all the rage.

Espadrilles are also back and I’m thrilled about this.

I’m not so thrilled about the other sandals that seem to be on trend. They look like orthopaedic corrective sandals to me with their flat, platform soles.

Not a fan of the Birkenstocks either, but they’re everywhere too.

The toilets in Greece work a little differently. OK, let me explain. You don’t throw your toilet paper into the toilet. Number 1 or 2, it makes no difference. In every single bathroom there is a bin where you throw the used toilet paper into. This goes for toilets at home, in your hotel room and in public bathrooms.

In every single Greek salad, the cucumber is peeled. I think I had 2 salads where the cucumbers dark green skin was still on. I asked why, but no one could really tell me. No salad is complete without a big chunk of feta on top, origanum sprinkled and lots of olive oil drizzled over.

If you had to ask me what sound would make me think of Greece, I would say that besides the music and the lapping waves, it’s the cicadas. They screech even louder when it is an incredibly hot day.

Graffiti is everywhere in the cities. Some of it is really artistic.

In the cities, I noticed a lot of empty shops with red signs “To Rent” (in Greek obviously.) The Greek crisis has closed a lot of businesses and it’s sad to see, but the Greeks are feeling a little more positive that they will come out of it, slowly but surely.

As South African’s, we will know the slang phrase: “Yussis/Yissis!” In Greece, that is how you greet everyone. It’s like saying: “Hello!” It felt really strange to call it out, but you get used to it.

The water in Greece has a sweet, fresh taste to it. It is delicious. Whenever you sit down at a restaurant, they automatically bring you a glass of water or a jug of water. You never have to order water, unless you specifically want more or bottled. If you order a coffee, you receive a glass of water with it, standard.

Travel Tips:

  • Don’t overpack. I am the worst with this. I always think ‘I may need this dress and those shoes, oh and I’ll probably need all those tee shirts’…  especially as I was packing for over 3 weeks, but I probably wore half of what I packed.
  • You really don’t need heels or wedges. If you really want a more dressed up pair of shoes, a pair of pretty sparkly sandals will work well at night.
  • Take a pair of closed shoes/trainers for the Acropolis. You will do plenty of walking over cobblestones and marble, which can be quite slippery. Those who wore sandals/slops were exhausted trying to grip their slops with their toes as they walked.
  • Taste everything, try everything and enjoy the culture. I never understand people who arrive  in a new country and want a fast food restaurant, like McDonalds.
  • Go to Greece with a Greek. I know. It’s not always possible, but it really helps when someone knows the language and knows where all the locals go. You will experience so much more than just the typical tourist attractions.
  • Research the public transport. Find out what’s cheaper/shorter to get to your destination. Is it a Ferry? Boat? Train? Plane? Rental cars? Taxi? We used almost every mode of transport.
  • Get a local SIM card with Internet. Yes, certain places have WiFi, but on the islands it’s s-l-o-w.
  • Know your food prices. When you have our exchange rate of R14 to 1 Euro, it makes a difference. Touristy places can add those cheeky Euros onto their prices. You can compare how expensive a restaurant is, by the price of the Greek Salad. Look at the menu before hand, find the Greek salad and if it is in this price bracket of around 5. 50 Euros then you know you won’t be getting ripped off. Anything over 6 Euros is considered expensive, even to the locals.
  • Take sea shoes with you (but they’re not a necessity) for the pebbled beaches. They can be quite difficult to walk on in the ocean.
  • Get a GoPro camera. I cannot wait to edit all my footage for my YouTube channel and the selfies you can take are so fun.

Happy Travels!

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