Destination, Greece, Preparation

Project Greece

As always, I plan my trips with Excel. Here’s the one I made for Greece, cleaned up just a bit to remove notes for our group (everybody had access to it), and fixed the formatting a little. I’ve also included a sheet with my actual travel expenses during the trip, and another sheet with these travel notes:

Temple of Zeus
The Temple of Zeus with the Acropolis in the background

Electrical plugs
Greece and the rest of Europe uses the Type C or Europlug. My biggest gripe with their sockets is that it’s set lower than normal, so your plug has to be right in the middle, and it has to be round so it can fit. I don’t know how else to describe it, so just check it out this photo on Airliners.net.
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Greece, Travel Budget

Travel Expenses: Greece

First foray to Europe, and was pleasantly surprised that I did not go over budget! Of course, the airfare was expensive, and the visa application also cost me a couple of thousand of pesos (I did not include them in this list of expenses), but the overall expenses during the trip was lower than expected.

It helped that I wasn’t traveling solo: I was with two friends, so some costs were divided between us three. Aside from that, according to my two companions who both have been to Europe before, Greece is cheaper than the countries in the western regions. Where a 500ml bottle of water can cost you €1 in Paris, you can buy a 1.5 liter bottle for €0.23 at a supermarket in Chania.

We also managed to save some on transportation costs by booking places right in the city center, which cost a little bit more, but it gave us the freedom to explore on foot and make more discoveries. We also saved by cooking and preparing some meals, specially in Mykonos. Only two of our hostels provide breakfast, so for the rest, we just ate packaged croissant (or fresh bread in Myokonos and home made panini in Santorini), fresh fruits, and juice or coffee. We ate out a maximum of two times in one day, but we have ice cream, gelato, or frozen yoghurt at least once a day.

Save for our tour to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon, most of our activities centered around the ruins: the Acropolis, Knossos, Delos.

Overall, it’s not a bad deal for a two-week trip. It’s not super cheap, but not a complete splurge either – a good mix of budget and midrange options.
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Destination, Greece

Snapshot: Mykonos

I love Mykonos. No fancy words, no flowery sentences. I love this place. I didn't really have any expectations for the place. It was Chris who added it to our itinerary, and apart from knowing it's one of the most visited islands in Greece, I know nothing about Mykonos. After nearly three hours at sea, we clambered down the gangplank…read more
Destination, Greece

Snapshot: Santorini

"Why would you go with him, he's gay," said one of the touts that met us when we docked into Santorini's port. Suddenly, I was reminded of our time in Fez, where touts and scams followed us in the medina. Santorini, for us, did not give a good first impression. The white buildings and blue domed churches are few and…read more
Destination, Greece

Snapshot: Heraklion

Heraklion was a bit of a letdown. After the beauty of Chania's old town, and the breath taking views of the sea we saw during the nearly three-hour long bus ride, we were underwhelmed by Heraklion. Iraklio, as it is sometimes spelled, is the main reason why we're in Greece in the first place. The Palace of Knossos, which was…read more
Destination, Greece

Snapshot: Chania

When people talk of Greece, Chania is hardly ever mentioned. People talk about Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini, but never this small town with a beautiful harbor. We wouldn't have known about Chania, if it were't for our original travel plans that included a short trip in Rome for some tennis. I don't want to backtrack as much as possible, and…read more
Destination, Greece

Snapshot: Athens

When I was reading up on Greece prior to our trip, I came across some comments that dismissed Athens as a dirty, chaotic city that's overrated and only serves as a gateway to the Greek islands. I don't know where they stayed or what happened to them in Athens, but our experience so far has been nothing short of amazing.…read more
Everything Travel

The other side of Hong Kong

Just as I was starting to get settled to being back in Manila, I received an e-mail from Tigerair: I have a flight coming up in a couple of days. Though I keep close tabs on my flights, it’s still great to receive a reminder, as I know some might forget, specially if tickets were bought way in advance.

tigerair
Isn’t that a lovely gesture?

Tigerair Philippines operate its most of its international flights from the Diosdado Macapagal Airport in Clark, Pampanga. I booked the first flight out of Clark, which departs at 7 am. Of course, that meant I had to be at the airport by five in the fricking morning. Luckily, there’s a shuttle from Trinoma that leaves at 3 am, so I was at the airport with plenty of time to spare.
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