A trip to Varvakios is not for the faint of heart! But this is the best market in Athens - you don't want to miss it.
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.
Wondering how to evaluate a hotel? No two trips (or people) are the same, so this is what I look at when I look at how to evaluate a hotel, hostel, and more.
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? Figuring out how to evaluate a hotel is easier said than done.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? At Painterly Pottery I discovered one of the best things to do in Saginaw MI.
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. Turns out all my anxiety was unwarranted and I soon discovered one of the best things to do in Saginaw MI.
A review of Wallace, Nova Scotia's Whirligigs Cafe, plus recommendations for nearby restaurants, cafes, and things to do in Pugwash, Tatamagouche, Malagash, and more.
Some of my most memorable travel meals have rendered me speechless; I barely manage a breathless "wow!" if I can say anything at all. Therefore, it threw me for a bit of a loop (or is that a whirl?) when my only reaction at Whirligigs Cafe in Wallace, Nova Scotia was "odd!" It seems like a funny choice of word, but it's the best one I can think of to describe our visit to this colorful, funky, and rather peculiar seaside café in Wallace, Nova Scotia.
As always, I strive for reviews that are honest, fair, and give all visitors an idea what they can expect. But I'm not the only one! You can see more reviews on Trip Advisor to help you plan your visit.
Welcome Home! What's the First Thing You Do?
On my last trip to Bulgaria, I awoke at 3:00 AM after a very short, very fitful sleep to meet up with a driver to bring me from Plovdiv to Sofia for an early flight to Paris, where I spent a blissful day walking and eating and walking some more. Scooting back to the airport, I caught my flight to Montreal and from there I just made it onto the train to Ottawa. Pulling into the train station, I dragged my luggage to my parked car to retrieve my parking stub, headed back inside to pay my balance, and drove home. It was SUCH a long, full, incredible, exhausting day. When I arrived home, I was greeted by an equally joyous yet exhausted doggo. Oliver himself had recently been on an adventure -to the doggy hotel as Ryan too was away that week - and a friend had kindly picked up him before closing time and dropped him off at my house so I could reunite with him without delay. With a quick walk (for Oliver) and a bite or two of macaroon (for me!), it was time for bed.
What followed was the BEST SLEEP IN THE WORLD! For both of us, actually, as Oliver was blissfully flaunting all the rules and sleeping in the bed next to me. There are no words to describe that moment before you drift away in what you know will be the perfect, jet lag busting sleep, your final day of busy chaotic travel behind you and your body swathed in soft, fuzzy, sweet scented pajamas. Sure, Bulgaria and Paris were wonderful. But reuniting with my own bed and my beloved fur boy was SUBLIME!
As much as I love to travel, I'm always anxious for the last 24 hours of a trip to pass so I can return home. As luck would have it, some of my most aggravating delays have corresponded with my final flight home, putting my fuzzy pajamas tantalizingly out of reach. Not every travel day goes as smoothly as my return from Bulgaria did. So frustrating! There's nothing so nice as sleeping in your own bed, on your own sheets, wearing your favourite pj's - you know, the impractical fluffy flannel purple polka dot ones that you never take on the road. Throw in a long, hot bath, some homemade food, a cuddly pet or two, and you have a one outstanding homecoming!
I'm not the only one who feels this way. Everyone I know who is passionate about travel is also passionate about returning home, connecting with the people and things they love as they re-calibrate from their latest adventure and adjust to 'normal life'
Find out what other travel bloggers think is the best part of coming home!
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