after the work tour had ended I had some time to travel on my own! I went to santorini and mykonos and also visited venice, copenhagen and berlin.
more photos are up on facebook
(like...hundreds) and I've also got some up on instagram
, too.DAY TEN
my coworker and I got up early and caught a ferry to santorini from athens. it was about a 6-hour ride and by the time we got there we were part exhausted and part ready to do some exploring and see the island. our hotel was in fira, which is right in the centre of the island of santorini, so it was pretty well-located. we dropped our bags off and then took a bus to thera and akrotiri, right on the southern-most end of the island. I explored the ancient archaeological site of akrotiri and we hung out by the sea and watched the sunset. we spent the rest of the evening walking through fira enjoying the nightlife.
the next day we woke up refreshed - our first day without a schedule or wake-up call! we walked through fira, had some ice cream and took a cable car down from the top of santorini to the old port where we walked around for a bit. on our way back up we took donkeys! we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in fira before taking a bus to Oia to watch the famous sunset. the sunset was indeed beautiful, we headed to the touristy spot where many others had gathered to watch the sun set over the caldera. afterwards, we had the best gyros I've ever had and headed back to our hotel.
on day twelve we boarded another ferry (my last one - finally!) and headed to mykonos island, about 3 hours from santorini. we found our hotel (it was so cute!) and went for a walk. mykonos is kind of like ibiza - it's a big party island that people from europe fly to to go partying/clubbing - so during the day it's pretty quiet as everyone's sleeping. we visited the windmills (this is also what mykonos is famous for) and little venice and tried to make sense of the labyrinth-like streets of the town. mykonos was probably my favourite island out of all the ones we visited - I think it's kept up the best for tourists and it's beautiful, clean and friendly.
this day I had my final breakfast in mykonos with my colleague before catching a flight to venice. I stayed at an airbnb in venice, which was a little bit of a scary adventure to find (long story short: it involved a local bus ride to nowhereville with no instructions and a sure-to-be-expensive phont call to my host.) I got into venice, had a gelato and a coffee with my host and just relaxed for the rest of my evening.DAY FOURTEEN
I got up bright and early and caught a bus into venice centre (my airbnb was in a suburb about 15 minutes away.) I spent the day walking and exploring. I saw san marco square, the bridge of sighs, many gondolas, the doge's palace, a few food markets, the lagoon and enjoyed my time just walking around.
up at dawn again to catch my flight to copenhagen! I love copenhagen so it was a real treat to be back
amongst my people
. I landed and found my hotel (SUPER amazing location, about 50m from the train station) and spent the rest of the day walking. and by walking, I mean walking
- I did about 25km that day! my legs were tired! I saw the amalienborg palace, kastellet park, christianshavn and the saviour church, slotsholmen, nyhavn and the main shopping streets and city hall. the weather was alright and I wanted to make the most of my time so I explored until my feet told me to stop. I had supper at wagamama (yayyy! one of my favourite restaurants from the UK that we don't have in canada) and meandered my way back to my hotel.
I had a bit of a lie-in (but not too much..), packed my things (did I mention I only brought one carry-on bag for my three weeks away? pretty impressive, if I do say so myself..though, it was a lot of packing and unpacking and tetris) and met up for my bike tour (I'm sure anyone who knows me has been waiting for me to mention "bike tour" haha.) the tour was great - we saw copenhagen university (where my bestie, michael, did an exchange year of universtiy! so neat to see), slotsholmen (where the danish parliament sits), the library garden and the black diamond (the black diamond is a huge public library..apparently the weather is so dismal in denmark most of the year that there's nothing to do but go to the library and read) and the little mermaid. it was also just so much fun biking through the streets of denmark like a copenhagener - I loved it! for my lunch, I treated myself to two smørrebrød (these are like open-faced sandwiches on hearty rye bread with any kind of toppings you like) which ran me about $25 (ouch, denmark) and explored a food market. I also visited the thorvaldsens museum (for free!) and checked out a neat modern art exhibit. I climbed to the top of the tower at christiansborg (also free! one of the tallest points in copenhagen where you get a 360-degree view of the city) and visited the meat-packing district for a coffee. I happened upon the EF office in copenhagen, which was pretty neat, and then headed back to the airport to catch my flight to berlin.
the night before, I arrived at my hotel minutes before reception shut for the night - it was a bit scary, but I made it! my room was great - it was so comfy and cozy! I got up, had my breakfast (a granola bar and tap water..) and walked to alexanderplatz where I caught my next bike tour! it turned out to be a 5-hour tour, which was great because it covered so much ground. we saw humboldt university where the book burning took place in WWII, we saw checkpoint charlie and the berlin wall, the holocaust memorial and stopped at a biergarten in a forest for lunch (berlin really likes its meat..I had a pretzel and apfelsaft [like fizzy apple juice] for lunch.) we carried onto the reichstag, hitler's bunker and the brandenburg gate before finishing our tour biking through unter den linden. it was so much fun and I was so happy to have seen so much by bike, rather than by foot. I finished the day off by joining the crowd of thousands watching the germany v usa world cup match at the brandenburg gate fanzone (a couple kilometers of food and drink stalls, loads of big screen tv's televising matches, etc.) it rained (and hailed?!) most of the match, but I was lucky and ducked under an awning and didn't get too
I got to sleep in!! I enjoyed my bed (it was like being a human burrito...SO COZY) and finally got up and headed out to hackescher markt (a food/drink market.) since I'd seen so much the day before I just took it easy, with no plan, and wandered around. I went to museum island (the germans are very literal people.."museum island" is literally an island with museums on it) and checked out a nazi museum near an intact segment of the berlin wall (this museum was tough, emotionally. I spent a couple hours there and it was hard.) I walked around a bit more, had some custom perfume made (it's called "tulip" and it smells divine!), ordered an ice cream (completely in german! ..ok it wasn't that
difficult of a conversation, but still) and shopped my way back to my hotel where I packed up and got ready for my 3:30AM wake up call. from there I got to tegel airport and made my way back to toronto.
all-in-all, a great
trip! I'm so blessed to be able to travel so much and see so many cool things. I've had great experiences, I've learned a lot and really enjoyed my time in europe. so much love for my living :)