Friday, September 21, 2007

Day 8, Budapest, Thessaloniki, Athens – Airport, Andrea, Timed internet, Thessaloniki, Pete the pilot, Souvlaki, great company and a bike ride

Tuesday September 18, 2007

Woke up around 11 and got the final touches ready for my departure. Said goodbye to Steinunn and Maggi and Ingibjorg. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! You have been such wonderful host, doing so much for me and asking for so little in return. I’m so grateful for everything that you have done for me and the chance you gave me to experience Budapest and to spend some time with my good friend Steinunn. And even when I lock you inside your own apartment (sorry again Ingibjorg) you just respond with a smile. Steinunn you are wonderful in every way imaginable...!!!

If you ever have to get to the airport just take the blue line away from the center of town all the way to the end (as far into Pest as any line goes), get off and take the bus 200 that is right outside. That whole journey actually only took me 30 minutes and cost 1 euro for the bus ;)

At the airport I met a really great girl by the name of Andrea. She was so wonderful right from the start that I immediately trusted her to take care of my bags while I went looking for food and water (something that took 3 hours with Laci and Feri, only so long because there was a 3rd person there and the opportunity did not present itself earlier though). She also took care of my stuff while I tried to do some internet stuff on the airport. You could use the internet and it was a coin slot thing. For one Euro you got 10 minutes and I don’t know if it was seeing the time count down like that but I got nothing done…I was always looking at the count down or something I guess. So that is something I don’t recommend, especially when the keyboard is new to you and totally different to your own.

But I and Andrea talked a lot before that and we sat together on the plane and talked a lot more. There was no one on the plane. That’s when Andrea explained just how lucky I am…it’s the end of the season for flights to Thessaloniki. I couldn’t find a straight flight to Athens so I got a flight first to Thessaloniki and then to Athens. The ticket to Thessaloniki was 25 euro and this was the last flight of the season…hehehe. I’m so lucky, I love it :D Andrea is a major in Art history and is going to take her Doctors degree soon and I wish her the very very best of luck…not that you need it ;) Andrea also told me about EVS, European Volunteer Service, which is a program her sister is a part of. Her sister is in Thessaloniki as a part of the EVS helping blind children and Andrea was going to visit her there. In the EVS you can volunteer until you are 30 and you pick the country and they provide language lessons and a place to stay. If you are interested in helping others and experiencing new countries…check it out ;)

When I got to the airport it was time to say goodbye since I had to catch my connection to Athens and Andrea had to wait for her luggage. I said goodbye and walked out. I don’t know why but I got this idea that one of the girls waiting there was Andrea’s sister and I walked up to her (even though she looks nothing like Andrea) and asked her…and what do you know…it was ;) I told her how cool I thought it was that she was volunteering her time and hugged her goodbye and good luck.

When I arrived in Athens I got on the x96 to Glifada, just like Fani told me, and there I met Pete. He’s an Australian and is a pilot. He told me all sorts of interesting stories, he used to do direct flights to Iraq until a missile flew past one of the flights and they were cancelled. He told me loads of stuff about Australia and the world…he’s flying 4-5 times a week all over the world so he had a lot to say. Thank you Pete…really great to meet you!!!

When I got to Glifada, there was Fani awaiting me with her wonderful friend Elena. They took me to a restaurant and we had some great salat, Tzatsiki and 2 Souvlakis (had to have 1 for me and 1 for Helena, since she is stuck in Iceland). Man the food was good, the company even better and the combination made everything perfect. Yiannis showed up when we were about finished and we had a great night of laughing and more laughing. I found out the Elena actually competed at the OLYMPICS!!!! for her country in Judo. Amazing Elena….you are really amazing!!! The big joke that night was that I could never finish the sentence of what I was going to do tomorrow…the furthest I got was: “Tomorrow I’m going to….” hehehe

On the way home I went on the back of Yiannis’s motorcycle…great fun! We got home to Fani’s, planned tomorrow ;) and then the bed was calling…or better yet, Fani’s couch. A great day came to an end after yet another country and 4 flights in 8 days :D

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