Vikki: It was a little sad (for me anyway) as I finished our final drive leaving Belgium for Paris airport. As we handed back the keys and papers to the car, as much as I loved the driving, it was a great relief to know that we managed with no car accidents or dings and hopefully no speeding tickets will turn up in the mail. A late night flight to Athens, which got us to our hotel at 3am was a little hard on the system but we are now in the "relax" mode as we cruise the islands and make the most of our last burst of sunshine. We had a day in Athen's, picking up ferry tickets, checking out the Monastraki Flea Market and then repacking again, leaving 3 bags behind at the hotel so we can travel lighter for the next week or so. A dinner at one of the city restaurants saw us pigging out on the local cuisine, which was fantastic. Our worry now is that with all this great food to eat we are going to be little piggies. With weight increasing some serious exercising once we get home will need to be in order. A 5.15am start and a 4.5 hour boat ride this morning saw us arrive on Paros Island for the next 4 days. Already you can feel the relaxed pace of life, we are across the road from the beach and though a windy day today, the blue water and cloudless skies will see us spending much time there over the next few days.
Raj: It's taken a very long journey to get from Belgium to Paros Island in Greece (car, plane, taxi, train and boat - a trip within a trip) but it has definitely been worth it. Greece is what I pictured and hoped for. After our orientation day in Athens yesterday (we go back there for 3 days before leaving for London), being in Paros now is just amazing. A swim in the crystal clear waters this afternoon helped reenergise and make up for lost sleep over the past few days. Bars, restaurants and people (not that many by recent comparison) line the beach creating a fantastic yet local atmosphere. The people are very friendly, particularly at our apartment. We haven't swum in the sea since Croatia so the Greek Islands are right up there and comparable to one of my favourite places to see and experience. The drink and food is delicious (stomach widening), and as we are not self-catering in Greece it's nice to eat out every night. I have become a big fan of Souvlaki Gyros (chicken &/or pork meat, with tzatziki, tomato, red onion, lettuce and chips wrapped in a thick soft pita bread). Of course there are other traditional dishes I've tried (like yummy lamb kebabs Greek style), and others I will get to around the swimming. Have to make the most of it as after Greece that's the swimming pretty much over.
Anouk: Two days ago we drove back to Paris airport to go to Greece which is our last place in Europe. Our plane left at 9:30pm and we had to wait 4 hours at the airport, and the flight took over 4 hours. We got a taxi to our hotel in Athens and arrived at 3:00am! Since it was early we went straight to sleep without unpacking. The next morning we were still really tired so we woke up at 9:00am. We went into town and wandered through a market and then we got our ferry tickets for the next day. Today we woke up at 5:00am to get on our ferry. The ferry stopped at three different islands and we got off at the first island which was Paros. It was a 4.5 hour boat ride but we played a lot of games and there were TVs so we didn't get bored. I was still tired from waking up at 5:00am so I had a little snooze. When I was sleeping I heard a loud beeping noise that woke me up. When we got off the ferry we walked along the beach and the port. The beach is just across the road from our hotel. In the afternoon we went for a swim and it wasn't too cold but when we got out of the water it was freezing cold. I like the look of Paros and one thing that I really want to do in Paros is rent a go-cart or a motor scooter. There are a lot of renting places around here so hopefully we will get to rent 1 or 2. Just outside of our room is a little balcony and we can see the sea and the other side of Paros when we look out of it.