I’m now on a two week break from teaching as I mentioned in my last post. It really is a hard life here in France. Warning, this post is a bit longer than usual!
My first stop was Paris to meet up with my travel companion Laura before we flew to Istanbul, Turkey. What a crazy place! There are so many people and always something happening. We saw all the major sites: Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, the Grand Bazaar and the spice market. I ate what felt like my body weight in Turkish foods (Baklava and Turkish delight) and we saw some of the passion of the Turkish people with several protests taking part in the areas we were hanging out in. The police presence was heightened due to protests earlier in the month turning violent with some reports of 22 deaths.
Other interesting experiences included visiting a Turkish bath and being scrubbed clean by a half naked Turkish woman, being encouraged into shops with one liners like “I have leather bikini” and “how can I sell you something you don’t need?”. We also made friends with a Turkish woman on the tram and shopped at a neighbourhood fruit and vege market.
For the last week we have been in Greece. We started in Rhodes where we saw a lot of history and also hired a car and drove around the Island stopping at pretty beaches and swimming. Our B&B host there was super kind and we had a great time (well all except getting caught in a huge storm). The food was also excellent!
The next stop was Athens which Laura and I had both been warned about. We weren’t expecting anything great. We ended up having a great time out the night we arrived and got into the Acropolis for free, saving us €12 each! To finish up a great visit we found the most amazing vegetarian cafe with vegan and gluten free options, this is virtually unheard of in Athens and we thoroughly enjoyed the food.
On Sunday we caught the ferry to Naxos where we relaxed and wandered the city before on to Santorini where we are now. Once the cruise ships leave for the evening the town is quite pleasant. Today we wandered along the hilltop and also went to a prehistoric village which is approximately 4000 years old.
We still have 2 more days in Santorini before we have to head back to reality. More next week when I am back in France.