I've had a strangely pleasant 24 hours but for someone who claims to be super-organized, would you believe that I could turn up in Greece (night time I might add) not knowing where I was staying??? Well, that's actually what happened...
Various important document print-outs were one of my many remaining tasks I planned on doing the day before I departed but it transpired the lads had other plans and through a surprise Sunday into the mix meaning I was up at 9am for a Scarletts breakfast and then didn't return until 3pm after a session of Football Zorbing. This is where blokes tightly don an inflatable bubble ball and bash into each other whilst attempting to play football. It was a brutal hour let me tell you but equally it was a great a laugh and definitely one to try people.
Later than evening my friends and family arranged a farewell gathering on Weston Pier. This was an amazing effort (and turnout) considering nobody new of my plans three weeks ago! I think it was a great few hours had by all and some memorable moments, wouldn't you say attendees? :-)
How stunningly designed was this cake!
The biggest regret? Not taking a group photo of us all! :-(
Anyhow, back to the post...
So I realised shortly after taking off from Gatwick that I didn't know where I was actually staying! I didn't know the name of the hostel, the name of the street, I didn't know a single thing. I was very apprehensive and these darn heavy bags I have strapped to me didn't help but I didn't panic and am chuffed to say worked out just fine. The airport wasn't busy, the lady at the information desk was helpful, the Wifi was free and the metro was fast and well priced. Fantastic. So I got online, re-discovered where I was staying, downloaded instructions how to get there to my phone and off I went in search of The Athens Backpackers hostel. At about 10pm Greek time I located my hostel, exchanged pleasantries with the chap on reception, checked in and proceeded to tread slowly upstairs not knowing what or who I was soon to be faced with when I entered 'the dorm'...
Well, OK, it didn't quite look like that but I thought the above would make an excellent contrasting photo as this was where I had the pleasure of washing my bits the very night before. I have to say Andy/Sarah, easily the most stunning residential bathroom I've ever seen.
Here is what was to be home for the night. I can admit that upon opening the door, I let out the immortal words:
I continued to process my surroundings and can admit to having stopped breathing heavily a couple of minutes later. Ok ok, maybe five minutes later.
Still, at least there were no roomies present - just all their unsecured belongings which I found a little unsettling. Anyhow, I was able to take this opportunity to take a shower and just settle so I was thankful I could familiarise myself to my new surroundings in private.
Before mid-night and whilst I was still on the computer, two more people from the three remaining beds entered the dorm. For a first timer like me, it was definitely a slightly weird feeling when you greet the people you are staying with whom you have never met before whilst aware they had checked in well before you. You kinda feel like you're intruding into their space...
What were these people like? Where did they come from? Did I sleep OK? Was the room noisy or smelly?
Tune in tomorrow folks and I'll have all these answered - along with hopefully the name of the winner of the 'Where's his first destination' raffle draw. Speaking of which, Kennedy - who won this in the end as nobody has contacted me so far. The second place bottle of Champagne is still being chilled for second place whenever I decide to move on.
The unlikely traveller