Greece: the journey so far

I arrived in Athens, tired and worn out from my tour of Turkey. I was over being on the road, being with people, the early starts, the getting in and out of buses, the whistle stop visits and the lightning quick stays, the Whispers, the food. I desperately needed to recharge in time for the next tour*.

Athens

I love Athens. It’s a bustling, modern city which sprawls itself out along the Aegean Coast. It was hot the afternoon I arrived: a clean, welcoming Mediterranean heat, not the crowded, claustrophobic heat of Turkey.

My hotel was situated across the road from the beach, but I didn’t go exploring, because I was tired from a restless night in Istanbul the night before. So I did some washing, sorted and copied my photos onto my hard drive, recharged the camera batteries, and caught up on my blog.

By that time it was dinner, and I ate in hotel restaurant. While my meal of pork souvlaki and a Cabernet Sauvignon was pricey, it was good. Very good. A big change from Turkey. I tucked myself into bed early, and was out like a light in no time flat.

The next day, armed with my trusty camera, I went exploring. Wandering along the beachfront, I soaked up the sights of people swimming and fishing off the rocks that lined the shore. I was chatted up by Nicholas, who was tenderising his freshly caught octopus by belting it on cement. I got “moved along” by marina security, but managed to take a few sneaky pictures. I wandered along a linear park, populated by families enjoying the autumn sun.

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Yesterday, I went to the Acropolis and the Parthenon and was seriously wowed. After being all ruined out in Turkey, I was gladdened to know that a decent ruin can still impress me. I knew the Parthenon was enormous, but I had no idea it was *that* big. And the view over Athens was breathtaking. I was disappointed that there wasn’t enough time at the site, but that’s touring* for you.

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Greek Islands

The first day of the tour was an optional excursion to the islands off Athens: Poros, Hydra and Aegina. It was a long day (7.30am start, 8.30pm finish), but worth it because it was both relaxing and beautiful. I sat in the sun (I know, I know) and watched as we sailed past other islands, big and small. I will be visiting more islands on the cruise part of this tour, which I’m really looking forward to. I am convinced that it is impossible to take a bad picture in Greece!

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Mycenae

Today, I visited Mycenae in the pouring rain, which luckily stopped by the time I resurfaced from the museum. This is a seriously awesome site, just for the view alone. Think mountains covered with clouds, valleys dotted with olive tree, the Aegean Sea stretching out below the mountains and valleys. Gorgeous!

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I chatted to another traveller (we bonded over wishing people would get out of the way so we could take our pics!) who was travelling independently. She highly recommended Delphi for the view, and Olympia for just being pretty cool.

The tour

For the first time in a long time, I have a female Tour Director: Marianna. She is efficient, and makes sure everything runs like clockwork, but she isn’t a warm person (well, not yet, anyway). And Mariana is Swedish, not Greek. I find she is not as forthcoming with information as other tour directors I’ve had, and seems a little impatient.

And I’ve been trying to shake a slimy Texan-Canadian since the island cruise on the first day. He seemed nice enough to start with – and I’ll chat with anyone – but I worked out pretty quickly (after the first island) that he assumed he could just tag along wherever I went (another passenger commented that he thought we were a couple. Yuck). I lost him on the second island, and managed to dodge him for the rest of the cruise.

Then when I got back to my hotel and he called my room number to see if I wanted to “hang out” (I did not give my room number to him, so that’s creepy). I replied in the negative – twice because he was so persistent – and then worked hard to dodge him yesterday. I have also been exceedingly rude to him, hoping he’d get the hint. He didn’t.

Unfortunately, my room was next door to his last night, and he tracked me down while I was having a drink with another couple to tell me he had knocked on my door to see if my air conditioning was working (he had overheard me saying to a couple of other people that I was having trouble). I told him he was never to knock on my door. Ever. And I said this twice.

I dodged him at dinner last night, but when he asked at breakfast this morning how I had slept, I told him that I didn’t like him, I didn’t want to talk to him, and to just stay out of my way. Which he is now doing, thank God.

So what’s wrong with him, I hear you ask? Nothing specific that I can put my finger on except he is too nice, too polite, too willing to ingratiate himself with “kind” acts. My intuition screams “stay away!”. I think he is highly manipulative, and most probably a sociopath. Another couple of other passengers told me they have also “picked up a not quite right vibe” from this dude.

He is now circling other single women (he doesn’t go near the other single males on the tour, I’ve noticed). I have warned another (much) younger passenger to he careful, because he is sticking to her like a limpet on a rock. I’ve “rescued” her a couple of times, because she is so young. I would like a kind soul to look out for my daughter, if she is ever in a similar situation.

* Am seriously rethinking my approach to travel after this trip. I think I’m ready to travel more independently, which will mean more work by way of research and planning than I am used to.

6 Comments

  • BookabyeBaby October 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Ugh, glad to hear you’ve ditched the creepy guy for now :-/

    Reply
    • dileeshus October 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      He makes my skin crawl, Mel!

      Reply
  • How to deal with a Creepy Guy on tour | The Travelling Homebody October 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    […] may come a time when you need to avoid a Creepy Guy while on tour. You can spot him quite easily because he display the following […]

    Reply
  • How to deal with a Creepy Guy on tour | The Travelling Homebody October 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    […] may come a time when you need to avoid a Creepy Guy while on tour. You can spot him quite easily because he displays the following […]

    Reply
  • Susan Cooper/findingourwaynow.com October 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Wow you sure seem to have a flavor of the most undesirable “tour mates” on your trip. What was the other young man from the last one? Greece seems like a wonderful place to visit and I hope you can have a wonderful time. Be careful trying to avoid Creepy Guy. 🙂

    Reply
    • dileeshus October 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Touring is like public housing, Susan. You never know what sort of neighbours you are going to get. You assume that everyone is on the up and up, but I have now discovered this is not necessarily the case 🙁

      Reply

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