Greece Trip Report (June 22, 2012-July 1, 2012) and then some

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by WeLoveABD, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Oh, and how many euros did people bring with them? I think it's about time to order them!

    I'm doing 2 pre- and 1 post-night in Athens. They're through ABD, so breakfast is included. Besides that, and for On Your Own time, how much did folks spend (per person if possible!)

    Sayhello
     
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  3. acndis

    acndis Earning My Ears

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    Sayhello,

    I was on the trip with DMarq and I second everything she says. My son (4 at the time) and I did not do the donkeys. We did not walk. A bus drove us up. It was really hot that day and we had just gotten off the sailboat (awesome) and we did not feel like we missed anything taking the bus. The views are gorgeous when you reach the top. My husband did the donkeys and he said it was fine.

    As for Euros, there's a convenient ATM in Athens so we just got money there. There are few cash machines in Santorini and nothing in Crete. Also, almost no one takes CC so be prepared with cash. We did very little shopping but also spent almost no money. When all was said and done, I think we spent between $500 - $700 (not including Tips for Guides).

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. tufbuf

    tufbuf Disney Addict!

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    There is a van who will take you up Oia. I would not recommend the donkey ride if you have physical issues. You really have to hold on tight and they crowd each other. My leg almost got scraped by another donkey's stirrups, I got my leg out of the way to avoid and serious cut. You also hold on to a tiny thing on the saddle which is metal and can be slippery with sweaty hands. Once up in Oia, you will head on to a photo op spot where families will be rejoined. Gorgeous view up there!! I am sure you will not miss it. Some complaint on that stop was that it was too long, so I'm not sure if they will tweak that.

    I find Greece to be inexpensive compared to other European countries we have been to. We always bring way extra euros, just a cushion, to keep me secure. :) But the pp suggested 5-7 hundred which I think is reasonable.
     
  5. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

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    For our group, not a single person opted to take the bus to the top--surprising our ABD guides and which resulted in a donkey shortage. I was the last up the hill--waiting for add'l donkeys (and some local donkey handler drama!). As you go up, you need to use your feet to kick at the walls closing in, to avoid scraping...but donkey rides are one of THE things to do (we watched the donkey owners herding their groups of donkeys down the main road in front of the hotel each morning, and then each evening). As tufbuf noted, the time in the Oia village was a little too long--but we found a great little restaurant nestled in the hill with a shaded outdoor patio overlooking the bay--we went for the Ouzo...somehow after that I woke up in a hay loft and, well, I digress.

    I would highly recommend the Hop On Hop Off for Athens--we pre-purchased them on line and used the email ticket to board (very easy). We found sufficient shops and restaurants on the trip that did take credit--but still used cash moola for gelato, gyros and gratis (for taxi trips).
     
  6. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Do any of you think it would be worth it (or doable) to climb the stairs to Oia? Donkeys is not going to happen, so it's climb or take the bus. :)

    And did you need any "nice" clothes?

    Sayhello
     
  7. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

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    It is very steep so go for the bus! As for clothes it was all pretty casual.
     
  8. abbyjt

    abbyjt Mouseketeer

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    Say Hello,
    It is all very casual. I brought 2 really easy little dresses and rotated them at the dinners. It wasn't necessary, but I like to dress a bit nice. I just wore the same flat sandals I wore all week. Heels would be difficult in the streets of Athens. Towards the end of the week I wore one dress as a cover up. The day we kayaked to spinalonga. We put our cover ups and stuff in the transfer boat and retrieved them when we got across the water. It was easy to just throw the dress on over my bathing suit. It was hot enough that I dried quickly too.
    If you're not doing the donkey, you might not be kayaking. There were enough of us kayaking that we had to spit that activity in two. Some kayaked there and some kayaked back. I don't remember if anyone took the boat both ways, but you certainly can.
    We used the atm in Athens and one at a beach in Santorini. The atm's in Santorini near the hotel didn't work so well for us and the guides mentioned no atm's in Crete. Most places we tried took credit cards. We did bring money with us because it was when Greece was voting on whether or not to stay on the Euro, but you get the best exchange with an atm.
     
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    OK, I'm curious why you say, if I'm not doing the donkey, I might not be kayaking? Is that because it's difficult? Hard on the back? I was really looking forward to the kayaking. The donkey thing is both the bouncing, etc, caused by riding a donkey, plus I previously had a blood clot from ankle to groin, so sitting on a donkey (or a horse or a bicycle) is a no-no for me. I hope I can kayak! :(

    I'm so torn about the whole euro thing right now. The exchange rate is way down, but I'd hate to buy them 2 months ahead of time and find that the Euro Union is kaput by the time I get there... Would they still honor euros? I sure hope Greece still has an economy when we get there... :worried:

    Sayhello
     
  10. tufbuf

    tufbuf Disney Addict!

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    It could be a windy day when you go kayaking and I believe a couple of the kayaks turned over. There is a technique to get back up, just an fyi I guess when abbyjt mentioned that, just in case it would be difficult to get back up in the kayak or if you do turn over. There will be someone watching you all the time and if you're in trouble they'll talk you into getting to cross to get to Spinalonga. Anyway, one of the kayaks that turned over was my DH's BUT he was kayaking alone, went parallel with the wind which turned him over. Well,... that was his excuse.:goodvibes But he's a good swimmer and doesn't mind getting wet, the Aegean Sea is so clear and warm!!!
     
  11. tufbuf

    tufbuf Disney Addict!

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    It will be a looong climb up. I don't even recall if people were using the stairs we used to go up with the donkeys since I was watching my DD and concentrating on my own donkey ride all at the same time. You probably will have less energy to climb then since it is in the afternoon after you do the walk on the Kaldera. That was the most strenuous day of the trip, I'd say.
     
  12. acndis

    acndis Earning My Ears

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    Sayhello,

    This was my first time Kayaking and I went with my husband and 4 yo son. We LOVED it! It was not easy to get across but we made it and had a wonderful time. Everyone in our group except a woman in her seventies gave it a try. We did not have anyone turn over and our guide, Landon, was with us the whole time to make sure we didn't have trouble.

    You might want to pick a seasoned partner to join you in your Kayak (maybe one of the guides if you are traveling alone), that should make it very do-able.

    I second all the comments about dress. If you haven't seen it, our trip was featured on the ABD facebook site. If you go into photos, you can see lots of pictures from the trip. It was posted a while ago so it's near the bottom. There are photos of Kayaking and what everyone was wearing at every event. Our trip was first week of July and it was HOT. It may be a bit cooler when you are there but hats, sunglasses, and lots of linen is very important.
     
  13. abbyjt

    abbyjt Mouseketeer

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    The kayaking was fun and hard, but not really hard. Like tufbuf said, we had a strong wind that day. I went with another mom and we turned over. The boat was there for us within a minute or less. They helped us back on and then towed us to catch up. I didn't now why you weren't doing the donkey ride, but I thought if you weren't doing that you might not do this. Just ignore me.
    As for money, we only got money in advance because Greece was threatening to leave the Euro and we were afraid there would be a run on the banks. Even if they leave the Euro, it would take a year or more to change currency. It was very hot. I'm sure there was a trip report from a May trip to Greece and some of the museums had more limited hours then.

    Don't forget to go up to the rooftop restaurant at the hotel in Athens at night. You don't have to eat there they are very nice about letting you hang out up there. There are beautiful views of the Parthenon all lit up. It is a Michelin one star restaurant so it might be worth eating there. We didn't.
     
  14. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

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    Do go to the roof! Nice couches and chairs to sit in to have a glass of wine and take in the view! Kayaking was a lot of fun-harder due to wind but do-able. There is a must read book about The island as a leeper colony (forgot title off hand-might be in my trip report)
     
  15. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    I guess turning over is always a risk when you kayak. I've only kayaked in a little fiberglass kayak, and didn't go far, but I liked it! I'm really, really bad at getting back up into things in the water, but I can hang on with the best of them until help comes! :) I'm a pretty decent swimmer. And if the water is clear & warm, I don't think I'd mind being in it, as long as I have a bathing suit on under my clothes.

    Yes, from what you & the others are saying, I think I'll pass on the stair climbing and do the bus. It's good to know your limitations! :thumbsup2

    Landon! :) He was one of the Guides on our Knights & Lights trip. I adore Landon. (Of course, I adore all the Guides I've had!) If we have him, I'll try & talk him into partnering me.

    I'll check out the pics on the Facebook page. I think I may have looked through them a while back, but *DUH*, did not think to check out what people were wearing. I'll be sure & do that. I'm hoping May is still not too hot.

    Thanks. I'm glad you said something, because it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask about that. I think I'll be OK, and I have no problem with being towed if necessary!
    I guess that makes sense that the conversion will take a long time. I've heard that Cyprus is not doing the whole 10% of the bank accounts thing, they're looking to Russia for a loan. We'll see. I should probably buy the euros soon regardless. I hope it's not too hot. That's one reason I picked May. We shall see.

    Oooo, that sounds cool. Maybe I'll check it out for one of my pre-nights in Athens.

    The roof sounds really nice. I think tufbuf posted a picture of it on your Report. I'll have to go back and look for it. And go back & see if you gave the title of that book about the island (I think you might have called it "The Island").

    Thanks everyone for all the info and help! :goodvibes I can't believe this trip is coming up as quickly as it is.

    Now if I can just decide what to do about my poor tooth that has turned hyper-sensitive. The conservative measures the dentist took have not helped. I'm thinking it may turn into a root canal. I'd best get it fixed up before I leave the country!

    Sayhello
     
  16. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

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    Yup-"The Island"-a MUST read before you get there. It really gives you a deep appreciation for the island and the people who lived and died there. It will enhance your visit there 10 fold!
     
  17. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Thanks, WeLoveABD! I'll hit Barnes & Noble on my way home from work.

    Sayhello
     

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