A trip to Varvakios is not for the faint of heart!
An old man is sprinkling salt on his cold, hard boiled eggs. A very large, very dead fish of unknown origin is staring at me with its milky, unfocused eyes. In fact, eyes are all around me - teeth, noses, tongues, and tails are too. A tiny plate of bread, olives, pickled hot peppers, and grilled meats are in front of me - strong foods, says the chef, as I need something to regain my strength. For I'm at the Varvakios, otherwise known as the Athens Meat Market, and I just caused a scene.
How can you objectively evaluate a property when no two trips (or people) are the same?
My passion for travel has taken me all over the world - and has seen me end up in all kinds of accommodations. From campground to glamp-ground, from one star hostels to five star hotels - I've seen and slept in them all!
It's not always easy to objectively evaluate a property. No two trips are alike and all properties are so unique. So how do I rate what's good, what's great, and what's gross? Here are the three things that form the foundation for my every evaluation: The Story, The Sleep, and The Value.
Is Vargo's Hexagon Wood Stove Up To The Job?
In case you haven't heard, I have a bit of an obsession with ultralight packing. The lighter, the smaller, the better! And one of my biggest pet peeves is when travel items described as "lightweight" are anything but. So when I had the chance to test Vargo's ultralight titanium backpacking hexagon wood stove, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical that a stove could even remotely be described as 'light'.
Legends, luxury, and John Lennon - all for the cost of a regular hotel suite!
Have you ever wanted to party like a rock star when you travel? Or live the life of a legend, sitting in the lap of luxury? Or follow in some of the most famous footsteps in the world? With a little luck, you can enjoy all three when you stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and have a slumber party with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
In late May, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrived in Montreal following their first Bed-In for Peace in Amsterdam and a one day event in the Bahamas. The Fairmont wasn't their first choice of location but many other hotels had turned them down.
As it turns out, I think the Fairmont was the perfect choice and a little bit of that musical magic is still felt in the halls today. The four adjoining rooms of the Bed-In (now configured as one large suite) were used to record Give Peace A Chance and played host to likes of Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and dozens of other visitors.
Would I be a hot mess or show artistic finesse?
It's not very often as adults that we have a chance to do something fun and creative and not be afraid to make a mess of things. I was tense and anxious when I first arrived at Painterly Pottery in Saginaw, Michigan. I was concerned any artistic efforts on my part would look amateurish, worried that anything I'd create would be a second rate version of what I really wanted to make.