Yikes! So I know this post is EXTREMELY overdue. Here I am in September and I’m finally getting the chance to sit down and think about my life changing adventure 2 months ago. Life has been increasingly busy since then. We have a lot to talk about!
I left the US on June 5th for my month long trip to Europe. My first stay was in Athens, Greece. I had an insanely long flight from LAX to Moscow, I know right, brutal. Then after a 4 hour layover on to Athens. I arrived late around midnight. Even before I left the airport I was already struggling to getting around. I have never felt more alien than I did right then. Getting on a plane in your world and stepping off into a whole new one, one where you have no idea what people are saying or how to even get to where you want to go. I was supposed to take a shuttle that would take 30 minutes to where I had booked a hostel. I had no idea where that was. Finally after some confusion and frustration I bought a ticket and waited for the next bus to arrive hoping it was the right one.
On the bus I was so happy to find another American sitting right across from me. He could tell I was lost. He overheard me asking for details on the stop I needed and asked where I was from. To my surprise he was also from California and he was getting off at my stop. I was so happy in that moment to have someone who spoke the same language as me.
We got to Plaka around 1:30 am and I found my hostel and checked in. I asked if there was anything open for food at that hour and the guy said not much except a small little booth down the street that stays open all night. I walked there and got a greek sandwich and started to scarf it down since I was starving. A man sitting at a table waved me over letting me know it was ok to sit down shaking his head in disgust that I was standing and eating. I sat next to the man. He was older maybe 50s or 60s, sitting by himself drinking a beer at 2am. He asked me what I was doing there and where I was from. His English was good. I told him I was there to climb. He laughed and shook his head. In a nutshell he told me to be a good woman and go put on a bikini, go to the beach, find a good man and get married and have some kids and stop wasting my time climbing. I politely said I don’t think my time is being wasted, but thank you. haha oh geez.
The next morning I woke up pretty early and set out to explore Athens. One of the another fellow travelers in my hostel said he would help me find an international sim card for my phone cause I couldn’t use mine without one. That was something I learned while traveling is it’s hard to use your phone or get service especially while I was in Greece. So I bought an international sim card and was back in business. We got breakfast at a cute little bistro cafe and I said goodbye to my new friend as he set out on the rest of his journey.
I was only there for one full day so I wanted to see as much as possible. The area of Athens I stayed in was called Plaka. It’s a really unique neighborhood unlike any I’ve ever seen. I had such a wonderful day walking around by myself observing the culture and the people, and oh my god the food!
I stayed out so late that day just walking around seeing and eating everything. Athens is quite a busy crowded city. There is a lot to take in for just one day. It was hot and muggy but that didn’t stop me one bit. I walked to see the Acropolis which had an amazing view of the city. It was so cool to see the old Greek ruins. I made it back to the hostel late and since I had to be up at 3am to fly out I only got a couple hours of sleep, but it was so worth it.
My trip had only just begun and only 2 days in it felt like a week! Next stop Kos, Greece where I spent a couple days until I met up with the Vertical Sailing Crew to go on a 2 week long climbing sailing adventure!