My first visit to Turkey was in 2010, at that point I was part of a tour group. The tour focused on the Western side of Turkey. During that time, most of my meals was taken cared of by the tour company. I didn’t get to choose the restaurant or budget. There was menus in Turkish and English. The tour company looked after the logistics of hotels and transportation. I just followed the leader and took lots of photos.
This time in 2014, I spent 2 months (cumulatively) in Turkey. I traveled alone, met fellow travelers along the way, some we simply connected in the hostel others we toured the location together. One travel friend met up with me in 5 different cities within Turkey, it was quite the experience of separation and reunion over the span of 2 weeks.
My first time in Europe was back in 2002, I pre-purchased a EUrail pass and traveled to multiple countries in Western Europe. That was the thing to do with a backpack. Pick the number of travel days within a limited time span and a number of countries and you are set to explore the continent. Though expensive, it made traveling between countries and within each country scenic, fast and efficient. EUrail also has a historical significance as that was the method in which millions of travelers moved from one location to anther for decades in Europe.
In 2006, I visited 5 different countries (England, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany). The 4 of us flew with Ryanair within the European continent. I still remember the flight between Milan to Paris was only 1 euro plus applicable taxes which cost us less than $25 CAD in total. However, we failed to consider the additional costs required to commute between the city center and the smaller airports that Ryanair used. Though I think it was still much cheaper than traveling on the train and took us less time.
12 years later, in 2014, I’ve discovered bus travel in Europe as a new method to save money and see the landscape! After arriving in Hamburg, Germany my friend spoke of her 15€ bus ride between Hamburg and Berlin. When I moved into a hostel, my dorm mate took a 11-hours bus ride from Gothenburg, Sweden to Hamburg.
Hamburg ZOB – main bus station
Earlier in June of 2014, I was ready to leave Northern Greece for the South. I had arrived in Greece on a bus from Istanbul and thought I would continue my odyssey by bus – to save money and see more of the landscape as I could afford the time.
I started searching online while I was in Meteora and Corfu about what’s there to explore between the North and Athens. There are countless points of interests depending on preferences. Direct buses does save money but I have to consider what I really want to see.
So I paid more and spent a bit more time and decided that on my way to Athens from Corfu, I would make a short visit in Olympia. If you’re not aware, Olympia is where the very first Olympics where held back in 776 BC. So I figured it would be worth the trip!
Brace yourself for a taste of “The Amazing Race” style of traveling.
If you’re on a budget when traveling in Greece, then here are some quirks I’ve noticed and might save you some money.
Meal Time Savings
Pay attention to your bill at the end of a meal
Bread – Unlike North America, the bread basket is NOT free!
From my research for this day trip or over night journey I was getting mixed messages on forums, websites and face-to-face discussions so I thought I’d make it short and sweet here.
First there are 2 long distanc bus terminals in Athens, don’t go to the wrong one!
Head to the bus station at Liosion 260.
Athens bus station at Liosion 260 to Delphi Greece
Typically I do not write “How to” posts for a destination… However, as I am traveling in Greece I’m noticing a lack of information for those who want to wander about on their own.
If you have taken long distance buses in South America, try not to reminisce too much. There is no comparison.
Nepali rides on top of the local bus
When I travel I like to try to immerse myself and be part of the local customs. While visiting in Nepal, I noticed the locals not only ride inside the bus, they are on the roof with cargo and animals. It was Diwali and everyone was heading home, so all the buses were extra full.
Yes, it is not safe and definitely exceed the occupancy allowance. However it looked like fun. Continue reading