From Athens to Italy with love

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It was April the 3rd when Bill and I arrived in Sorano, Italy and my first-ever experience of driving on the right-hand side of the road in a left-hand drive vehicle. It was not so much travelling on the right-hand side of the road that was a little stressful, but approaching roundabouts – it was very disorientating to say the least but, we made it to Sorano with our friendly GPS to guide us (a must!) and not to mention Bill’s support in advising me when I was getting a little too close to the kerb!

It was dark by the time we arrived but the soft, ambient street lighting in this medieval village gave me a feeling that I had now entered a fairy-tale land. Our host Clara was there to meet us in the village square. Together we made our way to our apartment, which was organised through Airbnb (a website we always used to rent apartments throughout Europe and Australia – https://www.airbnb.com). Our rental car vehicle could not be left in the village square as parking is limited, so after checking out our apartment and seeing how everything works we would later need to go back and park the car elsewhere.

The apartment is beautiful – it runs over three levels and looks out over the valley where a river flows through. It’s small but very comfortable (especially the bed – it’s like going to sleep on a giant cloud). The place is so incredibly peaceful. Waking up in this village, I feel like I have been transported back in time – like I am Rapunzel (without the long hair) or Snow White (without the seven dwarfs).

Our host Clara came with us to show us where to park the car – it was a little distance away but there was a short-cut back via a cobble-stone pathway meandering through old stone buildings. At the time, I could not find the hand-brake for the rental car so I became slightly anxious, but my anxiety was eased when we did a search on the internet about where to find the hand-brake in a VW Tiguan (a button you lift up). Thankfully the car was still there the next day!

Yesterday Bill and I went for a stroll through the beautiful and ancient lane ways back to the village square where we first arrived but found most shops closed except for a couple that sold an amazing assortment of meats, breads, preserves and more.

Very few people speak English so I’ll be needing to get a few basic Italian words up my sleeve. We decided to have lunch in one of the ristorante’s namely FIDALMA. It was very nice – I had gnocchi and Bill, tagliatelle.

Today was market day near the village but we were unable to make it today but next time!

It’s such a quiet and peaceful village – quite the polar opposite to Exarcheia, Greece, so for the next few weeks we will lap it up.

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From Melbourne to Athens

What a relief to arrive in Athens. Firstly a 13.5 hour flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi with a 3 hour stop-over, then a 5 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Athens (normally 4.5) due to a slight detour because of the no-fly zone over Syria, then a 30 minute train ride from the airport to Amelokopi train station, washed down with a speedy drive by taxi to our apartment for a couple of days in the vibrant Exarcheia!

Feeling exhausted Bill and I hopped out to get a bit of shopping but not without first dropping into the local Greek cuisine shop to chat to the owner and his family (name of shop later!). Returning to our apartment we then napped for three hours and still feel flat.

Tomorrow we are off to freshen ourselves up with a walk around Exarcheia and I hope to find myself a new camera! My first DSLR (entry level). Until then .. love the life.