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Trip Report of bathrooms and breakfastso

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One of the glories of traveling is experiencing a world that is different from the one you are used to. Sometimes this can also be a bit of a challenge. I think of it as "the way we do" and each locality has its own way of doing things that seems like the "right" way - normal and natural, and when we experience different ways of doing it often feels strange and even "wrong." We ran into this in the matter of bathroom etiquette - to be specific what one does with used toilet paper - and as no one warned us about it, I thought I would pass it on to others who might be on their way to Greece for the first time.

We experienced it at first after we left Athens (although perhaps cluelessly I didn't notice it in Athens), little signs above the toilet that say "please don't put paper in the toilet). At first I thought they were referring to sanitary products or paper towels as such signs indicate in the States. But then I began to notice the trash bins full of obviously used toilet paper. It made sense in places like Meteora where the bathrooms are retrofitted in hopelessly old buildings, but I began to notice it other places as well. Finally we decided we had better figure out what was what and "googling" the issue learned that this is because old plumbing is too skinny to handle the paper and if you don't throw it in the bin the toilet will back up regularly so now we are with the program whenever we don't slip up and revert to old habits. I am hoping that I am not single-handedly responsible for ruining the plumbing throughout Greece!

On the plus side, for the most part public toilets have been incredibly clean and pleasant, and in the hotels (except for the first one where the shampoo stripped the color from my hair) I have loved the toiletries (the olive oil lotion is incredible).

On the other extreme end of the spectrum so to speak (: I fell in love with European breakfasts two years ago in Portugal and Greek breakfasts (in hotels at least) have been equally incredible - fresh cheeses, incredible varieties of bread and croissants and fruit and pies and pastries and fresh orange juice and cappucino or esspresso for the asking - oh my. It will be hard to go back to cold cereal and coffee :( - maybe I will start eating Greek yogurt again.

I offer these observations in the hopes of forwarned is forarmed.....

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