27 January 2016

When Hotels Are Beautiful But Service Sucks!

In keeping with my 2016 resolutions about being vocal about things that displease me...well lets see how this goes. I try hard to keep my blog positive and thought long about whether to post this about my stay in Athens. I planned a trip to Greece last summer with my sisters. I booked pretty much all the hotels, flights and researched most of the activities me and the girls were going to be doing during our trip. With this in mind, for our stay in Athens I wanted to be fairly central without blowing out the 3 different budgets I was catering for. But I also wanted the views and comfort too.

Having booked several other places I then made the final cut down to Radison Blu in Athens. The hotel was greatly located. Not too far from places to eat and station and the rooftop pool with views of The Acropolis had me sold. The room was great for three people, we were well received at reception and staff were helpful on the ground level. It seemed that's were the great service starts and stops. 

So where did it all go wrong?

22 January 2016

Exploring Athens Pt 3 | Athenian City Sights

Exploring Athens is not just about seeing the Ancient sites. When you are in the city you have to get to know where people hang out, where they sip that great coffee, taste authentic Kyros(Kebab) and that aromatic Greek salad. Where to get the best views of the city. I want to know the the shops are and where the entertainment hubs are as well as get the feel for how the local transportation works.

Our visit in Athens was at the time when the whole country was tense. Tense because of the voting Greece had to stay or walk away from being part of the Euro zones. This also meant there were protests and demonstrations around the city. It was all very civil and there were plenty of police around the capital. During this difficult time that the country was going through and the high unemployment and the banks being frozen, limits on account withdraws meant that transport was free for everyone in Athens, hotels and restaurants  were offering discounts if you paid by cash instead of card. This was because Greek banks were all closed and Greeks were also not allowed to withdraw too much money from the bank during that crisis of last summer.

Overall we still had an amazing time in Athens and Greece in General having moved on to Santorini soon after. I would make sure to follow up with a top 10/15 things to do in Athens soon so look out for that. In the meantime below is a pictorial of our stay in the capital with my sisters.

19 January 2016

Exploring Athens Pt 2 | The Acropolis (The High City)

I hope you enjoyed the first part of this Athens series. All three parts of this post will be published this week so be sure to subscribe to get notification when they first appear on the blog. Walking around the Ancient Agora leads you up the hill to the Acropolis. As I mentioned in the previous post that you have options for the type of tickets you can buy for the sights. I would highly recommend getting the full ticket. Because if you buy the ticket to Agora you will have to buy another ticket for the Acropolis. If you buy the full ticket for the Acropolis you can actually see the other sites as they are included in the ticket.

The climb up to the Acropolis is not that strenuous and there are many sites along the way too, as well as viewing points. So if you see people climbing rock faces, don't be surprised as they take to some weird and wonderful spots to get that money shot.

The Acropolis

In Greek, the name means 'High City', a name given to any citadel built high on a hill or mountain for that matter. The Athenian Acropolis is one of the most recognised sites in the world and an important site in the city. It was very much a symbol of the city then as it still is today. Statesmen in a bid to create something in honor of the goddess Athena, who presided over Athens, spared no expense in constructing the Acropolis. Skilled architects and sculptors where brought in to create what was and still is a masterpieces. From Callicrates, Mnesikles and Phidias who was claimed to one of the, if not the finest of scultors of that time. It was also Phidias who created the statue of Zeus at Olympia. The works of the skilled men went on to create what we now have today. It's remarkable that we have anything left considering the first stone to the citadel was laid in 447BCE.

16 January 2016

Exploring Athens Pt 1 | Ancient City Of Agora

We spent a few days in Athens, leisurely exploring the city at our own pace. I took way too many pictures so I will split my post in 3 parts as I show you parts of The Ancient Sights of Agora, The Acropolis and a pictorial of the city life. I will also put together a four post with the top 10 or things to see and do in Athens. So if you haven't already subscribed, you can enter your email in the popup for monthly newsletter with travel tips and be sure to follow via Bloglovin to have notification when each post gets published.

Part 1 of the 3-Part Series | Ancient City of Agora

In addition to wanted to see the Acropolis for a long time, The Agora was also high on my list of things to see in Athens. For more than 5 centuries this place was the place to gather. A market place, a place were people assembled as the meaning of the word Agora. People assembled here to talk business, politics and current news of the time. As it stands today, it's hard to imagine just how important it was and just how busy and lively this place might have been as the majority of its structures have fallen and with it the evidence of its splendor with it.

12 January 2016

Oia Visual Diary + 7 Reasons To Visit Santorini Now

The island that most honeymoon, wedding  photos and romantic getaway Pintrest boards are made off. Yes, I am sure you have heard of Santorini or at least seen pictures of this beautiful Greek Island in the Aegean Sea. When you read about Santorini, Oia is not so far behind. Oia is the picturesque cliffside town with white-washed Cycladic cave buildings overlooking Caldera. Luxury sea-facing boutique hotels, art galleries, clothing and jewellery boutiques, wineries and restaurants serving up mouth watering Greek food to endless beaches. Tell me why it took me this long to visit Santorini! Although Oia is the most famous of the island's towns, I would highly recommend you also take the time explore surrounding towns like Akrotiri, Fira, Perissa to name a few.

It's easy to understand why people flock to Oia, with its labyrinth of alleys and narrows streets to easily get lost in, the beautiful and iconic blue domes, the magical sunsets and beautiful atmosphere the blue hour creates as the lights from the town's cliff-side buildings start to flicker on. If you are lucky enough to be staying in a hotel offering uninterrupted views of the Caldera then that can help beat the queues for a prime spot to watch the sunset over the Aegean's horizon. If you are staying in Oia while visiting Santorin then you can scope out the best spots to watch the sunset without crowds of hundreds all rustling for the same spot. If simply visiting for the day then stake out places earlier as it can get pretty hectic as people start to rush to the edge of the island just before sunset.

Below is visual diary of our stay on the island exploring Oia with my sisters with links(below) to more posts on the blog of our explorations of Akrotiri, Santorini's beaches, sailing around the island as 7 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Santorini.

9 January 2016

Best Of Travel In 2015 | A Year In Review

Where on earth did 2015 go? Seems like it flew past in true "Gone With The Wind" style but not without a few enjoyable and memorable moments. For the past 3 years I have enjoyed putting together a year in review post as way to look back on all the places I have been in the previous year. In a way it brings back memories of all the crazy planning and fun moments experienced through the journeys I have taken.

Every year my boyfriend and I take on a one major holiday(in  addition to the weekend trips), sometimes it's multi-country and sometimes is a road trip through one. Last year we road tripped through Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and the year before we took on Israel from North to South. This year has also been exciting, travel-wise, that is.

In 2015 I managed to travel to 12 countries, 21 cities, stayed in 20 hotels, 2 Airbnb stays, 1 hostel, 3 house rentals, took 24 flights, 21 road trips, 2 international train trips and 3 sailing trips. On average I have been away at least once a month. I guess it helps that the first part of the year I was travelling a lot to the northern part of the UK for work, which made the need for 'a little getaway' that much more necessary. So without further ado, the travel run down from 2015.

3 January 2016

Happy 2016: NY Resolutions + Its All Bee Turns 4!

Happy New Year!! - A Toast to the new year.

I hope you had a lovely start to ringing 2016. I, on the other hand am still recovering from jet lag having returned back to London from Kuala Lumpur yesterday - after nearly a month of travels in Asia. 

New Years Resolutions : Dare To Dream

With the new year comes new years resolutions. I guess it's natural for anyone to want to do and be better than they were in the previous year. As I know that most of these tend to get foiled before the first month is even over, so key is not to make unrealistic goals. In doing so use methods that help keep you forced on those goals.