Thursday, July 30, 2009

Greece is the word.

Well after a few busy weeks in London, it was great to finally slow down and chill out; and what better place to relax our weary London souls than in the Greek Islands!!!! Our first stop was Athens.

Athens proved to be a great jumping off point into not only the Greek Islands but also Greece’s history. We started our first day by racing the clock up to the Acropolis in order to beat the crowds and the heat (but not a tortoise). We arrived at the top at roughly 9am and were greeted with the sight of the Parthenon and the beautiful Erechtheion. After many happy snaps and much eavesdropping onto random tours, we slowly made our way down the hill past the Theatre of Dionysos and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. We then spent the better part of the afternoon wandering Plaka and tasting our first (of many) gyros. After lunch we spent a few hours exploring the much revered (yet, controversial) Acropolis Museum. Where we learnt that we needn’t have left London to see the best artefacts of Greece, most of which are held at the British Museum thanks to Lord Elgin.

The next day we rose bring and early and headed to the port for our ferry into the Cyclades, to visit our first Greek Island: Mykonos. Mykonos is what you picture in your mind when you think of the Greek Islands – a labyrinthine of whitewashed houses tipped with blue roofs and doors hopelessly and shamelessly surviving on tourism. Every street is filled with a souvenir shop, gyros vendor and the port is full of little old ladies jostling each other for your business as soon as you step off the boat. After finding our lady, our next stop on the tourist track was reuniting Jarratt with his favourite gyros shop. Only to be outdone a few days later by a better one, found by Bec. The days spent at Mykonos are a haze of drinking too much, eating too much and sunning ourselves FAR too much. Before we knew it we were waving goodbye to our beloved windmill tipped island and heading onto the next, Ios.

Ios, renowned as the party island, turned into an intimate party for two. We dipped into the savings to splash out and stay not in Hora (the town), but the upmarket suburb of Ormos, just outside the port. The next two days were spent lazing by the pool, moonlit balcony drinking sessions and a few memorable dinners, where Bec managed to break most things within reach. Before we knew it, the buzzer was ringing and we were off to Santorini.

Santorini is an island with a violent volcanic past, viewed from our ferry into port we were encircled by steep lava-layered cliffs with cliff top towns that look like icing sugar sprinkled on top of a doughnut. During our time at Santorini we hired a scooter and explored much of the island including Fira town, Oia and other sights all for 12 euro, cheering! We also spent as much time at the beach as we could tolerate as the meltemi (a regular fierce north-easterly wind) went about blowing the hot black volcanic sand all over us. Our last days in Greece were spent returning to the mainland to catch up with some deer friends and sleeping in one of the most comfortable beds yet! Cheers Nic, Mr Toast and Chicken Little!

We’re currently in Italy but will update you on that soon enough.
Not long now!
Love Us.

Acropolis, now!

Beautiful sunkissed Mykonos.

Cast and carefree.

Fira town in Santorini.

So nice....

Breakfast anyone?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It’s the final countdown….

Please mind the gap (hehe) between this post and our last, our last month in London has been busy, busy, busy!!! We’ve got a list as long as J’s…. arm to update you on. So forgive me if I forget to mention any of the wonderful things we have done with any of our wonderful friends. I’m going to do this in chronological order as I can best remember it…. *deep breathe* here goes:

We hit the track in our finest for Royal Ascot on 20th of June. Having won Royal Enclosure seats in the ballot we dressed up complete with top hat, tails for J and a substantial fascinator for Bec. So we could place our bets, shout silly horse names and wave at the Queenie (Queenie, who’s got the ball?) Bec was lucky enough to walk away a winner whilst J was left contemplating “Where does one leave one’s glasses?”

Before parting ways with Burbage (my school), I organised a class trip to London Zoo for purely selfless reasons *wink*. The day was great fun and left me sure that the only way to visit the zoo is with 30 odd 5 year olds in tow. Who knew butterflies, monkeys and giraffes could be SO exciting?!

On the 4th of July, we headed into Hyde Park for our first major London music festival – wireless. It sounds awful that it took 18 months to get to one of these, but boy was it worth it! We shook our booty to Oakenfold, wondered where our heads were at to Basement Jaxx, thought we were well fit during The Streets and saw many UFO’s during Sneaky’s amazing performance!!! It was a wicked day, one that won’t soon be forgotten! Also, on the music front, we headed to London’s leading nightclub, Pacha, for a pretty spectacular birthday complete with beach wear.

We have also spent some time escaping the London madness by heading out of town. We visited (again!) Bath and Stonehenge, thanks to our free tour won in TNT. We FINALLY made it to Oxford, where we followed Alice down the rabbit hole and visited many Harry Potter film locations, which was decidedly lost on Bec (Sorry to all my Farnham house friends ;)) The last trip, was to sleepy Rye. With a bit of time up our sleeve we decided to make the most of it and visit the coastal town. Rye is full of beautiful Tudor houses and little antique shops which was a great way to farewell Ye Ol’ England.

Also wrapping up our final week we spent an exhausting 3 hours wandering Hyde Park taking in Royal Albert Hall and monument, Kensington Palace and Gardens, Diana’s Memorial and the Peter Pan’s Statue. We have also down a mad run around town visiting some more Banksy locations, taking in the wellington arch and watching those silly guards change at Buckingham Palace one last time. Yesterday, our final day was spent at Shakespeare’s globe watching Troilous and Cressida, where finally after 5 performances the heavens opened briefly scattering the crowds leaving us with front row space and our heads to rest on the stage – woohoo!

Over the last month we’ve had plenty of visitors, farewells and fun. We’re looking forward to this last trip but, more importantly seeing you all soon.

Love always, Us.

Our attire for Royal Ascot.

Binta and Bec ride the bus to the zoo.

I love it! Just before seeing sneaky and loosing our damn minds!

Where's your head at? WIRELESS

J in Hogwarts Great Dining Hall.

I'm late, I'm late.... for a very important date!!!

Grrr.....Knights of the Rye Tower

Pretty, pretty, ye ol English country side in Rye.