I totally understand people were laughing when I told them I was exhausted from visiting the best luxury resorts in Maldives. But as you have probably read in my last week’s adventures I was still so lost that I forgot my MacBook when I left for my Greece trip.
What could I do? I couldn’t change it anymore, the next couple weeks I was going to be a blogger without his equipment. At least I had my camera so I could produce the required content. But first I had to buy a new SD-card to store my photos and an adapter to make it possible to charge my battery. My first day in Athens ever was going to be a day of shopping finding these essential electronics and that on a Sunday! Everything was freaking closed! Really? This trip started fantastic! I managed to get to see some ruins though, things that make this city unique!
Traveling feels like work sometimes
The majority has still no clue what a blogger exactly does and thinks I drink cocktails at the beach all day long. It is funny to explain them what I really do and see their surprised reactions. I told people I was going for work to Greece and would travel to Lesbos and they were like but that is amazing.
Yes I realize I don’t have to go to the office and stare at a screen for 8 hours, but I felt exhausted. I had a red-eye flight to catch and another flight to make it to Lesbos Island, then rent a car, drive for 1,5 hours, a short night sleep and had to start creating content early the next morning. It was most probably the first time ever but, my trip to Lesbos literally felt like work.
Press trip to Lesbos, Greece
Luckily I was not alone on this press trip and I was more than happy to be on the side of Sabrina from @justonewayticket. Her happy face and positive energy felt fantastic and I knew we were going to have fun exploring Lesbos.
In one week we drove more than 400 kilometers around the island and ticked off all the cool things to do in Lesbos. We saw the most idyllic towns, beautiful bays, learned about the history and got a taste of the Greek culture on this lovely island, which is rated as a UNESCO heritage site. It was funny to travel to Lesbos in a time that the island was preparing for off-season. All those lovely beach towns looked so extremely peaceful and quiet that drinking a coffee on the seaside literally felt like bliss! The temperatures this time of year were still nice so I could walk around in shorts, during the night though it got pretty cold. From locals I learned that the Greek islands up here in the Northern Aegean even see snow in cold winters. Our schedule exploring the best places to see in Lesbos was pretty tight but we squeezed in a lot of museums, deserted beaches, picture perfect towns, churches, castles, lovely coffee places, several pita gyros, spa’s and a lot of kilometers driving around this beautiful island. For a lot of amazing photos check out the article in the link above.
A week later we arrived back in Athens and rented an Airbnb somewhere North of the city center. It was a pretty standard place but for a 2-bedroom apartment we only paid €15 p.p.p.n. Housing in Athens is pretty cheap and although we found some really affordable luxury deals on Agoda we decided to use our Airbnb credit. Also want to gain $40 Airbnb credit? Sign up for Airbnb through this link! If you already have an account then sign up with a new email address!
This time I had a chance to explore Athens and see the incredible ruins which makes this city so unique. At first I did not get the feel with Athens I hoped I would get. The city center is extremely busy and touristy and prices for simple things are pretty high. But when you roam around a little you will find lovely places to drink coffee, little squares and cozy restaurants in and between the many shopping streets and I slowly started to like Athens!
A little bummer was the high admission price to see the main tourist attractions like Acropolis. For a day pass they ask €30! Although this includes all the cool places to see in Athens I have seen too many historical cities around the world to go from one tourist spot to another all in one day. I don't like to hang out in a city as a tourist anymore, I want experience cities like a local. Therefore we got lost in a bohemian district full of street art. I think if the city of Athens promotes this a little more and also enhances some of the murals I am sure this will become an amazing tourist attraction!
Art district Athens Greece Metaxourgeio
When I saw that there was actually a massive crane next to Acropolis I was off anyway. If I am going to see one of the most amazing places to see in Greece I want a good picture, not one with a crane in it! Ok Athens I will be back and ask Greece Tourism Board for a free visitor pass! Haha, sorry travel bloggers sometimes get snobby! LOL :)
Yeah you might think I am writing this blog post because I was invited to Greece by its tourism board but that is not true. Yes my trip to Lesbos Island was sponsored but Athens was not part of it. I requested my flight out a little later so I had the chance to explore Athens and get a feel of the city before I flew to Bulgaria. Plus I still had to do a little investigation to find out to cheapest prepaid data sim card for Greece and write an article about it!
Country nr. 81: Bulgaria
Flying from Athens to Sofia marked visiting country number 81 for me. Greece was already a new country I could add on my list of visited countries and 10 days later I could also tick off Bulgaria. If you have read my adventure from last week you know I did not stay long in Sofia because I forgot my Macbook in Holland. Therefore I decided to cancel my trip to Romania, Albania and Montenegro and return to The Netherlands. While searching for a flight from Sofia back to Holland I realised this was going to be my first flight in 2017 I had to pay for myself. It was almost November and I made some amazing journeys through Asia and Australia this year like my trip to Israel or all the adventures in Bali and living and working in Sydney. So far I had been a good year in terms of sponsored trips. Luckily traveling in Europe is cheap when it comes down to flying and I was able to find a flight for only $40.
In Sofia I also rented an Airbnb somewhere in the middle of the city center. When you travel to Bulgaria then definitely make sure to check out some great deals on Airbnb. Roaming around through the city felt like stepping back in time with all those massive buildings and cathedrals.
It was a great Snapchat journey seeing all those cool places. Unfortunately it was the beginning of the week and there were not that many options to go out. The weather was good though and a lot of the terraces were full of young people. I learned that the majority of the Bulgarians are either rich or poor and there is no real middle class in this country. Don't expect Sofia to be just a random Eastern European city I think it was pretty hip.
Besides finding out the what was the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Bulgaria I mostly just hang out on terraces drinking coffee or tea as even though the sun was out it was almost November!
Thanks for keeping up with Traveltomtom…
Next week my adventures from my first time ever visit to London and a long weekend in Scotland.