Hey guys! Sorry I havent posted at all. It's been very tough keeping up with school and travelling...
DAY 75 (05.19.13): WRITTEN JOURNAL ENTRY
It's Sunday, we are staying at a hostel now and all we (or at least Bailey and I) did was eat breakfast and chill at beaches. I had very delicious pancakes! However, the pancakes were more like donut holes with cinnamon and syrup than your average American pancakes, but we will let the Greeks think whatever. Bailey had french toast, and Shannon had scrambled eggs. After breakfast, Bailey and I attempted and succeeded in finding the clay beach with the help of a nice stranger. The beach just so happens to be a nude beach, but we didn't stare. This natural clay is what people spend hundreds of dollars to shrink pores, and we were able to use it for free on the grounds of the shore. It was tough retrieving the clay from the sea beds because it was pretty much all rock.. We had to break pieces off of the main boulder to use it. We spread the clay all over our bodies and I could definitely feel the tightening of my skin after some time. The clay reminded me of my Boo Bear and his sister because we recently bought Glam Glow before I left, which is a somewhat pricey facial mask that celebrities apparently use. Billy started using it and I think he likes it because he bought another facial mask called Aztec, which I will hopefully try when I get back. After the clay beach, we travelled back to Pelekas Beach to relax.
For the first two nights of our trip, we couchsurfed in Gouvia with two wonderful guys named Chris and Basil, who were cousins (and they were British!). It was their first time hosting and it was Bailey and my first time surfing! We arrived at Corfu International Airport from Frankfurt Hahn and were picked up by our hosts and their dog Lila. Automatically, the guys kicked into 'great tour guide' gear and showed us around the town. We went out to eat with their Australian friend Brian at a local restaurant owned by another friend. Let me tell you, Greek food is amazing and it seems to be very healthy compared to where I've traveled in Europe. Some of the dishes we ate were tsatsiki, many dips that I didn't know, grilled cheese, chicken souvlaki, greek salad, and much much more! After dinner, we hopped around a few bars and even went to their bar the Navigator. I think this was the night Bailey got drunk for the first time. Finally, we went back to their place to rest on their wonderful L-shaped couch and cot. The couch was very cozy, comfortable, and spacious, I enjoyed it very much. The next morning, we woke up late because of the one hour time difference. It caught us a little off guard, however we picked up quickly and headed to the city center. The first thing on everyone's mind was to get breakfast in a place with wifi.. Yes I know.. Our generation.. Lol.. Really though, it is great to keep connected with people. Originally, we intended on visiting Glyfada Beach, but because of our problems interpreting the bus departures, we ended up going to a beach called Paleokastritsa, which was clear, calm, and beautiful. The beach is usually on top of the must-sees of Corfu and it very well had all rights to be! There weren't many people there because we visited earlier than tourist season. Paleokastritsa is also known to have the coldest waters of all the beaches, but we sucked it up and swam anyway because the weather was amazing; in the 80s. Sadly, Bailey and Shannon came home with sunburns and me? Well... I just got very tan :(. After the beach, Chris and Basil took us out to eat at a beautiful restaurant placed right along the coast of the island. It was quiet, relaxing, and out in nature. At this point, I think I officially fell in love with the island.
Our next two days was spent with another couchsurfing host named Anastacia, or Ana for short. We met her up in front of McDonald's because she lived in the city center. It always seems that McDonald's is a great marking place to meet in all of Europe. I dont exactly remember everything we did in the order we did it, but I know one of the first things we did was to visit Corfu's Old Fort. Technically we were supposed to pay to get inside the fort, however Ana worked her magic and got us in for free! She said we were Erasmus students (hehe I guess she is only half right). It was pretty cool how it was still standing after many years. The walk was quite long and sometimes the staircases were steep. The view was breathtaking although the weather was a bit cloudy. The water was as clear as day and you could see right through to the bottom of the ocean. Afterwards, we went for a coffee at a nearby cafe. The next morning we went to Glyfada beach. Although the beach wasn't the cleanest, it had the biggest waves. It was very fun to wade in the water and get knocked down by the waves :P Bailey and I built a Jayhawk sand sculpture and it turned out pretty darn good! Hardly anyone was at the beach that day. I had so much fun that I decided that Glyfada was my favorite beach. However, I think that is because of the memories we made and not the beach itself. One day we decided to go hiking up Mt. Pantokrator. During this time Shannon climbed up her first olive tree. It was quite a trip and we didn't make it to the very top because we were stopped in the middle. We were most likely on private property and were told to go back to the main road if we wanted to get up to the top of the mountain.. But that wouldn't really be hiking. Also, I finally realize that I am not an outdoorsy person because I was so afraid of all the bugs I saw on the ground including ants of all different sizes, spiders with large abdominal areas, dead lizards with its head being eaten by ants, and other random insects. Yes. I was freaked out and at this point I was probably the worst person to be hiking with. Sorriez guyz :(. However, we did make it through alive and at least the walk was a nice one. On one of our last nights we went out to a bar and happened to meet up with Chris and Basil. I had two amaretto sours and danced the night away with Bailey and Shannon. I clearly enjoyed Greek music because it was upbeat and seemed like a mixture of Spanish and electro. No idea, but maybe I should listen to Greek music more often :)
Our last three days was spent at the hostel I was talking about called Sunrock. It is located right on the edge near Pelekas Beach. We nearly got on the wrong bus until the hostel person told our bus driver where we needed to be dropped off and he picked us up from a bus stop. Overall I don't know if I am a hostel person, but it was interesting staying there. The main problem I had was the toilets that sometimes didn't work, but we learned how to fix them later, and also that sand would never leave your life from this point on, and yes, I even accidentally brought some back in my suitcase lol. We had free breakfast and dinners because we were kind of far away from Corfu Town. However, the food at the hostel was great because all of the vegetables and eggs were grown from their very own farm. We met wonderful people there from Canada, Australia, and even the USA. Many days were spent soaking up the sun on Pelekas Beach. Pelekas is a very interesting beach and is a mixture of Paleokastritsa and Glyfada because it had waves and it was very clear. Also, I was able to wade out into sea for about 100 ft or more from the shoreline and the water would still be to about my waist. It was odd, but great! The hostel had many fun times and toward the end we got closer to our hostel mates. One night while I had trouble falling asleep I heard a single giggle (everyone was asleep at this point). The next day I asked Bailey if she had heard anything at all, but she responded in a cheery, "Nope, I didn't hear anything. Why?" BUT I didn't want to bring it up because I was so freaked out. I was already paranoid sleeping there anyway. Shannon later brought it up that Bailey giggles in her sleep (Shannon slept under bailey in the bunk bed) and so the dots were connected. I was glad I wasn't the only one who heard this demonic giggle, now I know that Bailey gets possessed with giggles at night. Another night we heard cats fighting in the hallway right as I was falling asleep. If you didn't know, the sound of cats fighting is terrifying.. Sarah, one of our hostel mates from Australia, went out to stop the fight and the rest of the night I forced myself to fall asleep. During our stay at the hostel we wanted to go on an excursion by boat from Pelekas Beach to the other side of the island, but we had a lot of trouble and were turned down because the waters were too rough. However, because we were turned down we rented a car instead. Sarah drove this car; she was used to driving on the left whereas in Corfu they drove on the right hand side. We somehow fit six people into this tiny fiat: Shannon, Bailey, Maria, Josie, Sarah, and me... It was amazing. We drove to Paleokastritsa Beach and took a boy band photo. We were finally able to go on our excursion and visit the caves on Paleokastritsa. We visited Corfu Town and went to get more sweets from Rose's bakery (our favorite bakery there!). We went back to the hostel just in time for dinner. I believe this is also the night we decided to buy some alcohol and meet in the other US students Chris, Emily, and Beth's room to hang out. I didn't drink because ouzo doesn't seem to be something I'd like. However, everyone drank and Chris was drunk (maybe?) because it was his 20th birthday. After drinking, some decided they wanted to go skinny dipping. I didn't do it because I wasn't drunk and the water was freezing cold. I wasn't originally planning on going down to the beach with everyone, but the cat was in the hallway and I was too afraid that it would follow me to my room. I ended up going to the beach with everyone else... and it was a night of many full moons. Our last day was very sad because we were going to leave paradise. :( But someday I wish to be back.
DAY 79 TO 82 (05.23.13 - 05.26.13): BERLIN, BERLIN, BEYONCÉ
Although it says that we were in Berlin for four days, we were technically only able to explore the city for two of the four days. We stayed with our couchsurfing host Sebastian and he was a sweetheart! He picked us up from the Berlin hauptbahnhof and showed us his place. It was very nice and in a quiet neighborhood. The weather in Berlin wasn't in our favor the entire time we were there though. For the first day we ate breakfast with Sebastian and visited Alexanderplatz shopping area. Did some sight seeing. One of the days we also visited the Holocaust Memorial and went into the museum to learn more bout the history and the people. We did the audio tour for about two euros (I think???) and it was well worth it. The memorial museum was great and helped to breakdown what happened before, during, and after the war. The second day I believe was the BEYONCE concert. For the first part of the day, we went to eat and went to a thrift shop called Colours. I was able to get three skirts, three scarves, a tank top all for 25 euro. YES! I was very excited. I could have spent the entire day in the thrift shop, but I had to meet up with Rachel, Heather, and Colleen to see Beyonce. Afterwards, Bailey and I met up with the girls and John and we headed out to see our Queen Bey. This was my first real concert and it was a huge one! I was so excited because I am actually a pretty big fan of Beyonce. AND NO I don't only listen to her.. Guys... I know everyone 'thinks' they have the best taste in music, but not everyone really does. So don't be shallow and judgmental.. She has pretty good music. Anyway... So when Beyonce came on the stage, I was ecstatic! We screamed, sang, danced, and jumped! We were literally in the center of all the seats in the second row. In the row ahead of us were about four or five guys and they sat through nearly the entire concert (which was great for us because we could see everything!). She sang my favorite song, "Love On Top." When "Single Ladies" came on, I swear that all of the benches were bouncing. Even the guys who were sitting in front of us were bouncing in their seats from the vibration. It was too bad we weren't allowed to bring in cameras and my camera phone died :(... Androids... Damn you lol.
The next day we went thrift shopping at Humana and I bought two outerwear pieces for about twenty euros. Bailey and I were very touristy this day and walked down the street to the Brandenburg Gates. Construction was lined all over the street so it made it hard to enjoy the great architecture and buildings. At the end of the day we ate at Cancun, a Mexican restaurant, and coincidentally caught the soccer championship game. Good thing I bought a Munich jersey before they won, because prices probably would have jumped. :P
Sorry.. Writing about everything is hard to do + keeping up with school + traveling mushes together into one... MUSHED BEANZ (aka refried beans).