• The Great European Adventure

    Relaxing Off-Season Travel in The Greek Isles

    There’s this thing about backpacking and long term travel, and it can be hard to admit at first: sometimes you would rather relax than sight-see. I know, it’s hard to believe that you can buy a plane ticket to another continent and have days when you would rather watch tv than visit another church, museum, landmark, or charming sidewalk cafe. If you’re spending a weekend away or even enjoying a week-long trip somewhere, it’s possible to sight-see for 16 hours a day and crash every night. But that’s not sustainable when you’re traveling long-term and, although I’ve written about this before, I think it bears repeating. The first time I…

  • The Great European Adventure

    The Harrowing Ferry Adventure

    Katie and I left Athens to take an off-season jaunt to the Greek island of Kea. Our couchsurfing host in Athens helped us choose Kea because it’s a short ferry ride away from the mainland (as opposed to Santorini) and it’s a lesser known but lovely island, which still had ferries going to it regularly. By November, a lot of the smaller islands have limited ferry schedules, with boats departing every other day or once a week. Kea still had two ferries per day (most days) and we were hoping to make the 5:00 pm boat. At least, we were pretty sure it left at 5:00 pm… Even with a…

  • The Great European Adventure

    Despite What You May Have Heard, Athens is Pretty Nice!

    After Istanbul, Katie and I hopped a flight to Athens, Greece. I’ve spoken to a number of travelers who found this city too dangerous, too dirty, and too touristy. I have one friend who, when you ask her about Athens, replies, “well, I stepped off the bus into a drug deal, so, that was my introduction to the city.” While I can’t blame her for fleeing to the Greek Isles after that experience, based on my own time in the city, I think it’s worth spending a few days in Athens. For starters, the city didn’t feel dangerous to me. This may have been because Katie and I were couchsurfing…