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Tetachuk's Travel page

Hello Everyone!
Welcome to Tetachuk's Travel Page. This is where we will be keeping a record of our travels over the next eight months for all of you to read. Feel free to leave a comment for us. We'll try to reply between discovering new places and meeting new people!

David & Danielle

Diary Entries

Thursday, 07 May 2009

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

March 22
The flight from Amman to Istanbul was short. When we arrived in Turkey we had a few hours to spare before our connecting flight to Athens. David found a shop that sold Turkish Delights (one of his favourites) so he bought a couple of boxes. We were both suprised that the candy flavour in the center is rose...had no idea!

Neither of us could believe that the entire time we were in Turkey our passports were not checked once! The flight to Athens was also short and we had some great views of the Greek Islands and the coast when we flew in. We only wish it was warmer out!

We were very happy to find a couple maps of Athens right away at the airport - we've been dreading having to rely on public transportation the past few days. Our first experience wasn't nearly as bad as we had thought and we found our way to the hotel after using the bus, metro and a short walk. Our hotel is nice, but we did later find out that the area it's located in is known for druggies and prostitutes.

I spent most of the afternoon napping while David tried to plan our last two months in Europe which is very difficult with out a travel book. We had dinner in a nearby fast food restaurant and then it was back to bed.

March 23
We went in search of a laundromat today. It took us a while, but we did finally find it. It was advertised as self-serve, but the man who was working told us it was not so and we had to pay ten euros to have someone wash, dry and fold our laundry for us.

We spent our waiting time in on the internet again trying to find an English bookstore with travel books and to researching about the train systems in Europe. We did order our Eurail train pass which was very expensive and it means we will we spending at least a few more days in Athens while we wait for it to be delivered.

March 24
We headed to downtown Athens this morning hoping to find a bookstore with the travel book we are looking for. We were SO happy when the bookstore had a huge selection of english travel books including the one we were looking for.

When we headed back down to the street we found that a parade had began with marching bands and school kids in their uniforms marching the streets to celebrate Independence Day which is tomorrow. We watched for a few minutes, but it wasn't the most exciting parade.

We went to the Acropolis in the afternoon. We weren't entirely suprised when it was under renovation. This seems to be a common thing with many other sites we've been seeing. We also saw the Theatre of Dionysos built between 340-330 bc and which held 17,000 people. While we were at the Acropolis we met a couple who were so excited and inspired by our trip. They got our blog info and gave us a few tips on good places to visit around Europe.

All of the archeological sites in Athens close at 3pm so we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get ourselves lost in the narrow and confusing streets. We found lots of little cafes and restaurants and came across many stray dogs and cats before we found ourselves on a tourist street with a ton of souvenier, clothing and gift shops. We browsed for a while and then sat in the square while we had a snack and people watched.

March 25
Today is Independence Day in Greece to most of the stores and tourist attractions are closed. We used the day to continue planning the last of our trip and I spent a few hours writing in my journal.

March 26
We are still waiting for our train passes to arrive so we spent the day seeing more of the sights in Athens with David as our walking tour guide! We visited Ancient Agra (an ancient marketplace), the Library of Hadrian, Roman Agora, Tower of the Winds (built in the 1st century by an astronomer), Fethiye Mosque, Church of Holy Apostles (ca 1000AD), Temple of Hephaistos, Temple of Zeus (it was closed so we took pictures from the fence), the Zappeio Gardens (with lots of orange trees and a fun playground), the Roman Stadium, the Royal Palace (got some pics with the guards), and finally the National Garden (with a small zoo that has donkeys, goats, chickens, roosters, ducks and geese).

By the time we finished all this our feet ached and we were tired and hungary. We grabbed some McDonald's for dinner and while we were eating a protest group of fireman formed outside with lots of riot police surrounding the area. Not sure what they were protesting though!

We walked bck to our hotel for some much needed rest and were happy to find our package had arrived with our train tickets. Looks like we're off to Italy tomorrow!

March 27
We read through the info included with our tickets last night which wasn't entirely clear so we headed to the train station early this morning with some questions and to make our reservation. The staff wasn't entirely helpful, but we did get our reservation for later today.

As we were leaving the station we were approached by a man asking us if we knew about the train and ferry to Italy (the same ones we were taking). It seemed a bit strange because he had been in line behind us so we were a bit suspicious of him and I was paranoid that he might show up when we come back later for our train. We were happy when there was no sign of him a few hours later!

When we returned to the station later we still weren't entirely sure how our train pass works and at the last minute we decided to try and ask again at the info desk so David ran off while I waited with our bags. Of course while he was gone the train came and I was debating whether I should get on with out him or wait in case he didn't make it back in time. Luckily, he made it back just in time, but we were the last ones on and the train was packed so we had to stand for the first half hour with our packs on - makes it a lot harder to keep our balance when the train is stopping and turning! The trip to Patras where we would be catching the ferry to Italy was very scenic. Lots of green grass on one side and blue water on the other. We were both happy to see green grass again as we haven't seen any since we were in New Zealand.

We had to change trains in a small town and had assigned seats, but apparently that doesn't mean much. Again, this train was packed and we ended up sitting on the steps near the exit for the two hour trip. As we got closer to Patras there were more and more mountains some with snow and windmills at the top. David made friends with an old man who didn't speak English, but everytime he wanted to point something out to David he would slap him on the shoulder and point!

We arrived in Patras and made our reservation for the ferry which is more like a small cruise ship with restaurants, a casino, and shops. Not a bad thing considering it's a 17 hour trip. There were cabins and dorms available, but our train ticket including the airplane style seats and it was very expensive to upgrade. Our seats weren't together and we were stuck in between a big, annoying, and loud schoolgroup. Not all the seats were full so we did manage to find some seats together and away from the group.

For the longest time there was a really awful smell that we couldn't figure out where it was coming from. We thought maybe it was stinky cheese from the restaurant next door and David went to look but no one was eating. We thought maybe it was our shoes so we smelled them, but that wasn't it. It wasn't until other people started complaining about the smell that we all figured out it was coming from a man who was sleeping on the floor in the back with his shoes off and he had VERY stinky feet....stunk up the whole room! We had to get a staff member to wake him up to put his shoes on the smell was so bad.

We were both very tired and tried to get some sleep, but the seats were uncomforable and the school group stayed up ALL night and were so noisy singing and laughing and just being annoying...we were never allowed to drink and smoke on high school field trips, but apparently that's not an issue for Italian school groups!

March 28
We arrived in Bari, Italy and together with a few other backpackers who were headed to Naples via train we made our way to the station and figured out the schedule.

We arrived in Naples in the evening and found it to be a very sketchy city. Our hostel was near the train station, but we missed our turn and ended up walking alot farther than we needed to with our heavy bags. We're still getting used to having to carry them all the time now - no more bell boys and bus drivers to put them in our private tour bus! We found the hostel in a very large, very old building with an elevator so small we couldn't both fit in with our bags!

We first headed to the supermarket to pick up some water and snacks. People weren't kidding when they said wine is cheap in Italy! The supermarket had a huge selection and you can buy a bottle for only a few euros.

We wanted to try some famous Italian pizza for dinner so we went to a local pizzaria that the hostel recommended. It was so busy inside and there was a huge lineup of locals waiting for their pizza outside. We were disappointed that there were only two kinds of pizza, Margherita (tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil) and Marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano ). We ordered to Margherita pizzas and headed back to the hostel to eat them (we had been warned by the hostel that it wasn't safe to be out late and it was already dark). I'm not going to lie - the pizza was very disappointing. The crust was like a doughy pita bread, the cheese wasn't melted and it wasn't very fulfulling. Guess we'll have to keep trying until we find one we like!


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Recent Messages

From Rockys Delivery
Hey Dave, one day we will be like you.

- Your favorite current delivery boyz
From DL's Mom
Welcome home D & D!!! :)
So happy to have you both home again...but I do have to admit that it is going to take a bit for me to break my habit of logging on every morning to check for updates so that I knew you were ok!! lol
From DL's Mom
Just a reminder...17 more sleeps...can't wait!!! I'll soon be able to count the hours down!! :)
love you and miss you lots
Response: Only 11 more sleeps today! The time is going waaay to fast! Feels like we just left!
Love D&D
From Lana & Jason
Hi guys, sounds like your still having an amazing time. I guess your time is getting pretty short and youll soon be heading home. We cant wait to see you guys! Take care.
Response: Hello!
Still having a good time, but very much looking forward to being home again soon. See you soon! D&D
From Amber MacKinnon
Hey guys! I read your entire blog this evening. WOW! It must be wonderful knowing you have been to some of the most beautiful places on earth. I would love to see the pictures when your back. That is after you sleep for a week straight. Life will be so boreing for the next few months after you are home. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
PS. I am SOOOOOOO jealous
Response: Hi!
That must have taken you awhile! And we're still over a month behind on it! We've got about 3 weeks left and over 10,000 pictures already so it may take a while to look at them all! Talk to you when we're back.
David and Danielle
From Hayley
Just missing you. Call me when you get home. I wanna see you. =(
Response: I miss you too! We get home on May 31. I'll try to call you as soon as you can. David
From Gramma M
Hi D&D
Only one month to go. Looking forward to seeing you. Hope all this snow is gone before then.
Love Gramma
Response: Hi Gramma!
Hard to believe that's all that is left....seems like we just left! We're hoping the snow is gone by then too! Love D&D
From Ann Miller
Your trip is almost over D&D hard to believe. I love reading all about what you two are doing. Did you like spain and Italy. Are you going to the UK as well. Enjoy the rest of your adventures.
Ann
Response: Hi Ann!
It is very hard to believe that we've already been away for over 6 months! We really enjoyed Italy - spent two weeks there. We'll be in the UK for the last week or two. Great to hear from you! D&D
From DL's Mom
Hi D&D,
Hope you are enjoying Europe.
Only 38 more sleeps...can't wait to see!!!
love yas...mom
Response: Only one month to go! Getting excited to be home.
From Dl's Mom
Hi D & D
Happy Easter!
Hope you are enjoying some R & R at Alessandra's before your journey continues.
Only 51 more sleeps!!!! Yeah!
Have fun and stay safe...(please avoid being in the same country as any more natural disasters...Sandy and I can't handle anymore of the added worrying!) love yas...Mom, Si and Braeden
Response: Hi! Happy Easter to you too! I was happy to find the easter bunny came to our hostel in Nice and left some chocolates for us! We will try to avoid any natural disasters, but we've done a pretty good job so far! We're in Barcalona next so we should be ok other than some rain!
Love D&D
From Gramma M
Hi D & D
Happy Easter. Hope you are somewhere where you can get a chocolate bunny. The snow is finally gone. It's 13 today, not as warm as I would like it, but it's better than -13
Hope it is nice and warm where you are. Am looking forward to seeing you soon.
Love Gramma
Response: Hi Gramma!
Happy Easter to you too! Glad to hear the snow is gone we were starting to think Pincher might still be covered by the time we get home! We've been in Italy for the last two weeks and tomorrow we go to Nice and then on to Spain for a few days. Say hi to Ralph! Love D&D
From Shiloh and Andrew Ja
Hi David and Danielle!!

It was a pleasure meeting both of you at the Acropolis in Athens. You're an inspiration to us, and we're both insanely jealous of the experiences you're both having. Hope you continue your safe travels and enjoy the rest of your time in Europe. Let us know If you're ever in Washington DC and we'll give you a tour of the city.

Best,
Shiloh and Andrew
Response: Hey guys!
It was great meeting you too! We've already added in a few extra stops in Europe from the tips you gave us! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Greece. Feel free to contact us if you're ever in Alberta or if you ever need any tips on planning your trip around the world!
David and Danielle
From Lidona
Hey Guys!

Last leg of your round the world journey! I cant believe how fast it seems to have gone! I'm sure you feel it has gone even faster...

I just have 2 words for you while in Greece...YOGURT and ORANGES!!!! Yummm!
Response: Hey Lidona! We can't believe how fast it's gone either. Sometimes we can't wait to be home and other times we're sad that it will all be over soon! I did try the yogurt while in Greece, but not any oranges...guess we'll have to go back! Talk soon!
From Gramma M
Hi D & D,
Wow! What an experience you are having. Can't imagine sleeping with wild animals that close. We are still having winter here. Snowed last night. I am really looking forward to spring, if it ever gets here. Miss you and are looking forward to seeing you in June.
Love Gramma
Response: Hi Gramma!
It was scarey knowing that the hyenas were so close! We can't believe how much snow you have been getting this year! Not long now til we're home and hopefully we'll bring some warm weather with us! Love D&D
From Lana & Jason
Hey guys, we love reading what you guys have been up to. Theres not much exciting happening around here so we're living vicariously through the two of you. We can't wait till you guys get back, what is the date you come back again? Anywho hope all is well and sorry to hear you guys havent been lucky enough to somehow avoid getting some sort of cold/flu. Anyways take care and keep us updated!
Response: Hey guys!
Pincher sounds like it's still lots of fun! Sometimes we feel like we can't wait to be home again and then we remember how boring it is! We'll be home on June 1st - just in time for summer and camping! Keep in touch! D&D
From DL's Mom
Hi D & D!
The new pictures are amazing!! Can't wait to see all of them when you get home...only 89 more days!!! WOOHOO!!! My favorite picture is David sitting behind the monkey...and you both on the camels. Talk to you soon, love ya!


Response: Hi mom! I just counted how many days were left this morning too! We can't believe how quickly the time is going and how quickly the last few months will go. Hope you have a few hours to see all the pics - we've got close to 10,000 so far! Talk to you soon! Love D&D
From Gramma M
Hi D & D
Happy Valentine's Day. It is cold and snowy here, hope it is nicer where you are. It seems like you have been gone a long time. I am looking forward to seeing you in June.
Miss you and love you
Gramma
Response: Thanks Gramma! The weather was very nice in India and yesterday we spent the day in Cairo, Egypt where it's a bit cooler, but still very nice. Today we're in Kenya and it looks like it will be a nice! We're so tired after two days of travelling! We're looking forward to coming home too...only 3.5 months left!
Love D&D
From Mike W
Hey, Where abouts are you goin in africa cuz i have a buddy thats origanlly from there... 67% all around for my diploma tests as well as my final test and my overall score was 67 to...
Response: Hi Michael,
Good job on your diploma! Did you only write for one course this semester? We're going to be in Tanzania for most of the time in Africa and we pass through Kenya.
Talk soon. Love D&D
From DL's Mom
Hi D & D
Just a quick note to wish you safe travels to Africa. Enjoy the 'hike'...we'll be thinking of you. Looking forward to seeing the amazing pictures you will have.
Puerto Escondido is great...some changes since our last visit but still my favorite place...wish we had more than two weeks!
Stay safe and have fun...love yas and miss you lots!!! Mom, Si and Braed
Response: Hi! We've arrived safely in Kenya and are waiting for our bus to Tanzania now. We're hoping the hike will be ok. According to one weather website it's about -10 min. at the peak so that's not too bad if it's accurate. Hopefully it will go well! Enjoy your last week in Mexico! Talk to you soon! Love D&D
From Lidona
Hey Guys!
Off to Africa soon! I don't imagine you will be able to check messages on Kili so I thought I would drop a line and wish you good luck. I know you will make it to the top...and of course it will look like all the brochures and you will see the sunrise in a clear sky! (no snow at all, ha ha)

I am working on my business plan right now but no other life changing news yet.

PS. Are you interested in working in the travel industry when you get back?
Response: Hey Lidona!
Only a few days now until we leave for Africa. Can't believe how quickly it's going - we're already more than half done! We're hoping the hike will go well...I've just got another cold so hopefully it will be gone by then. So does that mean everything is going smoothly with the sale? The travel industry is definately an option when I get back - not sure what I'm going to do so I'll keep it in mind! Say hi to Gavin and anyone else you run into! Talk soon! D&D
From Mike W
Hey guys! Hows your trip been going? Hope you've been enjoyin your travels! I got a 67 on my final for english but i havent got my diploma marks yet... Fingers crossed... haha... anyways I hope you guys enjoy the weather and keep safe Love yas
Mike
Response: Hey! Things are good. India is a bit crazier than some of the other places we've been, but it's good! Good job on your final - you did better than David! Let us know when you get your diploma marks. Say hi to Dad and Cathy and Amy if you see her!
Love D&D
From Tony C.
Love the pictures. Great haircut Dave. You must be getting tired (certainly not bored). Deliveries going well with Greg T. doing most of it. King's up for sale. The real estate market is coming down nicely. I can't wait to hear some of the stories you must have. Take care. Talk to you soon.
Response: Hey Tony,
We are getting tired always being on the go, but still enjoying it. I guess you better buy King's - an italian cooking chinese! My haircut is almost as good as the one's you give! Can't wait to get home and show everyone our thousands of pictures and the stories behind them all! Thanks for the delivery update - it's always interesting to know what's going on back home. Keep in touch.
D&D
From Chris
Hi D&D...
HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY.... ( I really wish we were all back on that beach today!!)
Have a great time and keep safe.
Response: Thanks Chris! We too would love to go back to the Dominican...India is great, but the Dominican was much more relaxing! Keep in touch! D&D
From DL's Mom
Happy Anniversary D & D!!
Hope you have a wonderful first anniversary and have the opportunity to do something special today on your tour of India. May the coming years be as adventurous as the first!!
Love Mom, Simon & Braeden
xoxoxo
Response: Thank you! We did have a good day...we'll write about it soon. Love D&D
From Gramma M
Happy 1st Anniversary! I know it's a couple of days early, but we are going up to Kathy's and Joey's tomorrow and I won't be able to send a message on the 31st. Can't believe a year has gone by already. Wish we were on a sandy beach now. Maybe you guys are. Anyway hope you have a great day .
Love you
Gramma
Response: Thanks Gramma! We wish we were back in the Dominican too! We had a good day...a sunrise walk to the top of a temple and then we had a romantic dinner. We can't believe how quickly the year has passed. Talk soon. Love D&D