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Trip report European honeymoon

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May 23rd, 2016, 05:45 PM
  #1
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Trip report European honeymoon

Well here we are. Our first day on our honeymoon.... I decided to do this report day by day so I would have a written account of our journey. We will be visiting London, Greece, Rome, Almafi coast, Venice and Paris. Sunday we flew out of Chicago on Iceland air to London we decided on Iceland air because it ended up saving us around $900 over flying directly into Greece on other airlines. .. So we arrived in London by Way of iceland. Our hotel is very close to Victoria station so we opted to take the tube rather than a taxi It was during peak time so our tickets were about 6 pounds Each. In case you are wondering how to get from Heathrow to Victoria station… Just take the piccadilly line terminals 2 and 3. After about the seventh stop you get off at Hammersmith and literally walk 20 steps and switch To the district line train which will take you right into Victoria. We checked in around 2:30 PM and began walking around London Asking a local gentleman for a good pub in the ambassador District... He not only told us of a good pub but actually walked us to the front door. It turns out that this pub on an obscure and beautiful street is one of the oldest pubs in London. It was called the Grenadier. Had a couple pints of bear… Fish and chips… Great conversations with some of the locals. After that It was back to the hotel for a quick power nap followed by some Shakespeare at the globe Theater. After the show we walked around by the river then hopped on a cab and checked out Chinatown for some good food and Soho and Piccadilly Circus....well it is now well past midnight … My formula for avoiding jet lag…just stay up past midnight... get a full eight hours of sleep and when you wake up you'll be right as rain So nothing left to do on day one but get that eight hours sleep

-Stephen
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May 23rd, 2016, 06:12 PM
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You did get a lot in on your first day. The Grenadier looks like my kind of place. Congrats on the wedding.
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May 23rd, 2016, 11:54 PM
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on for the ride
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May 28th, 2016, 11:17 AM
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I'm back... Sorry for the delay... I'll pick up where I left off. Morning of the second Day in London, we woke up around 10 am. Had a cup of coffee and headed out to explore the town. We decided to do the hop on hop off bus tour. The guide we bought the tickets from said it would only be a three hour tour. " a three hour tour". Well the weather never got rough but after hour five we got off at tour bridge and took the tube back to our pub for one last bite to eat and a nice pint of founders before our flight to santorini at 10:00 ish. Although a long ride, we did see and learn a great deal. We may even do it in Rome and Paris.
The tube back to hethrow was just as easy as into London. Small layover in Athens And we landed in santorini at 7:00am...the rental car guy was there waiting for us. So, with map in hand, we headed to our hotel in Oia.
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May 28th, 2016, 12:27 PM
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London has SO MUCH to see, rather spread out, so hop-on/off bus makes a lot of sense there... but do NOT board one in Athens!! All the sights are clustered in the center, walkable, AND there are many no-cars lanes that surround the sites... so the hop-on/off busses are limited to big traffic-filled avenues and you spend much of the time sitting at red lights, staring at boring office buildings. I took one just for "research purposes" on my 4th trip to Greece and ever since, have been warning people away from them.
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May 28th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Most people suggest not doing the one in Rome as you do not get near the main sights and the city is very walkable.
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May 28th, 2016, 01:17 PM
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And I wouldn't do the hop on hop off in Paris. It's such a wonderfully walkable city - between your feet and the metro you can get anywhere. The Hop on Hop off in Paris is a way to sit in traffic for hours!
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May 28th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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Awesome advise..,, no hop on/off busses for us for the rest of the trip.

Alright, I've got three days backlog to catch up on...

Day 1 santorini. We arrived at our hotel in oia around 8:00 am (golden sunset villas). Being way early they offered us breakfast. Then out of the blue they offered us the windmill apartment which was ready to move into. That was a blessing for we were exhusted and got an amazing nap in before heading out to explore Oia, stock up on drinks and snack food at the nearby mini mart, and get situated for sunset at the base of the windmill.

After sunset we found an amazing restaurant off the beaten path...recommended by a gentleman at the hotel. I can't think of the name right now but I'll get it later.

After dinner we had drinks at a night club on the main drag...great atmosphere mostly a local crowd. Again the name escapes me.

On the way back home we took some night photos and finally got to bed around 2:00 am.

I have to say the room at golden sunset villas was very quaint. The hotel staff was beyond top notch.
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May 28th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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Great! Looking forward to hearing more abut Santorini.
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May 31st, 2016, 04:54 AM
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Day 2 santorini....

We woke up early and had breakfast with an amazing caldera view... Walked through town and then jumped in our car and headed out for some beach fun.

After getting lost a couple of times we found our way to the first beach we wanted to visit (red beach). It's a bit of a walk/climb down but the view is awesome the whole time. Very steep red volcanic cliffs rise straight up from the beach. Lying down and looking I couldn't help but wonder how bad it would hurt if a rock hit me from way up there...I quess it would depend on the size of the rock. We spent a nice while there then headed to see other beaches. First was Eros...a dusty dirt road winding through strange rock formations leads to parking just off the breach. The last beach was Perissa beach. A long stretch of talc soft black sand. It reminded me of a black sand version of siesta key beach in Florida. After that we headed back to the hotel ...this time we didn't get lost. Once back we got our drinks, cameras, and GoPro ready for sunset. After sunset it was back to the same restaurant for another amazing dinner. (Still looking for that business card). Walked around oia and turned in for the night around 1:00am.
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May 31st, 2016, 10:02 AM
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Day 3 oia:

We are in Rome now trying to get caught up on this trip report....I feel like I'm in school again. Always running behind.

On day three we slept in and got some much need rest. Besides we were planing on doing the hike from Fira to Oia. So, around 11:30 we got in a cab to Fira. Walked through Fira and bought some white shirts (when in Greece...) then he headed up hill to the trail head. I've read many posts about this hike. Most said to start in the morning to avoid the strong afternoon sun. I would have to say you should follow that advise. Both of us were fighting a nice sunburn for the next few days after. The other thing I heard was there wasn't anywhere to get a drink or a bite to eat along the trail. Save for the last hour I would say is complete nonsense. Most of the trail is just going through a series of towns, breathtakingly beautiful but lots of opportunities to grab a seat at a restaurant and enjoy your time on the trail.
As I said the trail is beautiful and somewhat of a physical challenge but doable for apparently every age group. A must while on Santorini.

The hike was supposed to be around 3:00 hours but we managed to make it into a 5:00 hr experience. One highlight was finding a very chic hotel along the caldera's edge. We walked in and went up to the pool bar pretending to be guests and ordered two very refreshing cocktails. Sat by the edge of the pool and enjoyed the view sipping away at two of the best cocktails we've ever had.

...to be continued...heading out to see Rome.
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May 31st, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Back from our first day in Rome...more on that later. Back to santorini.

After our picturesque hike from Fira to Oia we walked down the 214 donkey dung ladened stairs to almoundi bay. We were planning on jumping into the sea to cool off but decided to sit down at one of the restaurants that we've heard so much about.

Our table was on the waters edge... I was so weak from the hike I almost fell in. Then both of us decided we were too hot to eat and decided to just pretend we eat there. What a great meal. Got a cab to take us back up to our hotel where we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the pool. After a refreshing dip and a coctail, we headed back to our patio to watch our last santorini sunset.
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May 31st, 2016, 04:12 PM
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Santorini day 4/Milos day 1

After breakfast we headed to the port to catch a ferry to Milos. Met the rental car guy there and an hour later we jumped on the ferry. At the Milos port we were met by the owners of the hotel we were staying at and were given transport to the hotel.

After getting settled in we headed out to explore the town and have a bite to eat before sunset. We cut the night short because we had an all day boat trip early the next day. Well it's 1:00am ish here in Rome and I'm all beat up. Time for some rest. Hopefully tomorrow I can get caught up...or a little closer anyway.
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Jun 1st, 2016, 04:42 PM
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Ok..,Milos was awesome...the boat ride, the day expiring beaches...hot tub at night.....

Last day Milos first day Rome::

We flew out of Milos at 9:00 am...landed in Athens and had a five hour layover. Grabbed a cab and saw the Acropolis and hung out in the plaka.... Back to the airport... Landed in Rome and explored Rome that evening....Spanish steps, the park, piazza popolo... Piazza nevona...pantheon...trevi... And back to the hotel...
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Jun 1st, 2016, 04:44 PM
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Next day.. Today. Slept in and headed to coliseum for our tour... Had a blast in Rome... Now on caught up.
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Jun 4th, 2016, 10:55 AM
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Rome was amazing... Now we are on the almafi coast... We woke up from a nap after spending the day on a boat touring the coastline and Capri. Now ifs off to dinner and partying at the club Africana. Tomorrow we hike the path of the gods.
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Jun 4th, 2016, 12:57 PM
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great report, Steve, and congrats to you both.

let us know about the Path of the Gods when you have time.
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Jun 4th, 2016, 02:24 PM
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Will do......just had our first bad meal in Italy....the old adage that the quality of food is inversely proportional to the view has been born out. Taking a power nap to try to get back to some sort of normalcie before heading out to the club.
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Jun 4th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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it had to happen sometime, Steve - if it's taken this long you've done well.

And you did have the view!
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Jun 4th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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I agree...we've hit it out of the park every meal till now...Milos was the best. Small town called pollonia.... So quaint, locals with their families everywhere.
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