A Travellerspoint blog

Third time is the charm

sunny 38 °C
View Round-the-World Trip on RobertaS's travel map.

My first stop here in Athens, Greece is about to come to an end, flying down to South Africa tomorrow. Thinking back, I can’t believe it has been 10 years since my first time here in Athens. TEN YEARS!! That was my first big European trip (I am sure Farah and Janice remember that trip well :) I don’t remember what my first impression of Athens was. We were here only for a few days and it was the last stop of our 5-week trip. Athens is an old city. Streets are narrow, cars and motorcycles everywhere, many buildings and even children’s playgrounds are unfortunately marked by graffiti. Currently Greece is going through a tough time economically. The country has borrowed billions of euros, but yet the downfall continues. Many people have lost their jobs or have taken large pay cuts. Unhappy with the drastic measures that the government has taken to avoid bankruptcy, there are more frequent protests and strikes (since I have been here, there has been no taxis on the road). On a better note, tourists are still pouring into the city and nearby islands for their vacation. So I hope things will turn around soon.

On my first visit to Athens, we did try to visit the landmark attraction, the Acropolis, but we got there too late, not to mention, we got scammed by the taxi driver. How many people go to Athens and not visit the Acropolis?? So ten years later.........my third time here.........I have finally made it up to see the Acropolis! This landmark dates back to around the 5th century BC. It’s incredible that parts of it are still left standing (okay there has been many renovation projects taken over the years to preserve the structures). To my surprise, I found out later that parts of what I saw were actually replicas of the originals! Many of the sculptures and structures have been taken to museums, in fact, if you are ever visiting London, UK, you should go visit the British Museum (excellent museum!)---Why? Because they have some of the original pieces from this rich historic landmark! One thing that is interesting as you walk around Athens and around the based of this Sacred Rock of the Acropolis is that you are bound to come across ruins from the Ancient times. Some are protected archeological sites, while others are simply left surrounded by a fence.

Onwards to Africa for the next four months! Ironically I am looking forward to escaping the heat of the summer by going to South Africa! I need a break from the heat :)

Til next time......

Posted by RobertaS 14:52 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

This is it!

the adventure is about to begin......

Wooo hoooo My very FIRST blog!!

The day has come, in about 24 hours, I will be flying over the Atlantic Ocean heading towards London. Once in a while I'm still amazed that I have planned to travel for one whole year. Unlike some people who have planned a trip like this for years, for me, I guess I took the short cut. I have not calculated how many kilometers I will travel, but this will be a round-the-world journey to many diverse environments.

Here is my travel plan, countries I plan on visiting:
Toronto---Athens---South Africa---Tanzania---Malawi---Zambia---Botswana---South Africa---Hong Kong---Japan---New Zealand---Chile---Argentina---Peru---Costa Rica

Even though I am planning to visit all six major continents (wish to go to Antarctica one day), it's not one of those jam-packed-see-it-all kind of trip (sadly I couldn't fit India and Nepal in there). I didn't want to hop from hostels to hostels and be a tourist all the time. I wanted to take the time to explore and to get to know the people and culture. Will I experience culture shock? I don't know. I want to say "probably", but I am from Toronto afterall and I have a fairly open mind. I'll have to wait and see and tell you that later.

I will also be working on my photography skills on this trip! I've always like to take pictures when I travel. I hope to be able to capture the beauty of the countries that I will be visiting---and hopefully get you all travelling to these places one day :) (So all you expert photographers out there, please give me tips and pointers.)

Here are 10 things I am most looking forward to: (in no particular order)

1. seeing elephants in the wild (their natural habitat)
2. climbing at least one mountain (>4000m)
3. seeing family and friends overseas (thank you in advance for the hospitality :)
4. travelling through picturesque New Zealand
5. spending one whole month in Kruger National Park (South Africa)
6. working in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica
7. learning new languages (Swahili, Spanish, Japanese.....)
8. eating lots of delicious foods in Hong Kong and Tokyo (and of course shopping too!)
9. spending lots of time outdoors
10. hiking, hiking, hiking! (Inca trail, Milford track, Patagonia.....)

I don't know how often I will be able to provide updates and post pictures, especially when I am in Africa, I would imagine that internet access will be very limited, but I will try my best to provide updates as often as possible.

Happy travels to you all!


Posted by RobertaS 19:18 Comments (1)

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