A Travellerspoint blog

Wil 20/3/16

Today is the first full day in Skopelos. Yesterday we arrived in Skopelos, we could see our hotel from the port. Danny came to meet us at the port and showed us the hotel, which is called The Hotel Regina. The view from the balcony is AMAZING!-

I only know a few words in Greek, Καλημέρα (pronounced kaliméra) good morning, yassou (pronounced yassoo) greeting (Health to you) You can use this to say hello or goodbye, and Καλημέρα (pronounced efcharistó) which means thank you. Google translate has a button you can press to hear the words.

Then we went to a monastery on Mt Palouki, which means "the finger". For the first bit of the way we walked. Danny had to do some work, but when he caught up to us we got to have a ride on his motor scooter!!!!!! It was soooooooooooooooooo fun, and we didn't wear helmets! The view from the top of the monestary is AWESOME,-

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A monastery is a building or buildings that a bunch of nuns and monks live in. Usually there is just one in each monastery, but there were quite a few in the hills around Skopelos. The monastery looks super cool, there is a church in the centre surrounded by bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces. It looks like a giant maze when you're inside. The church has not much in it really, just a plaque and a bunch of chairs.

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Posted by wott.on.earth 07:56 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Olive 20/3/16

We're on Skopelos Island in Greece!
The view from our balcony is AMAZING !!!! You can see the ocean, and lots of cute village houses! The ocean you can see is called the Aegean Sea.

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It's really nice. My uncle Danny lives somewhere on the hills to the right. All the cafes are by the sea shore to the left, lining the bottom of the buildings. We walked along the pier last night, it was fun. Wil and I were walking along the rocks behind the wall on the far side. On the way back we called my other uncle Warren, who sadly couldn't come home to see us because he's working in Myanmar.

We saw Warren and Danny's new house. They haven't moved in yet but it looks amazing! It's still under construction, but it's taking shape. It has a courtyard with a lemon tree, an outside shower and stairs going up to a rooftop deck.

The house used to be owned by a sea captain and it was the first house before the water but then other houses were built in front of it. Now it's behind a pretty cobbled lane and a nice old house owned by a lady who grows orange trees in her front garden. When the trees grow a bit bigger Warren and Danny will be able to pick the oranges from their balcony - I could almost touch the leaves!

Another thing I like about Greece is all the cats. There are heaps! It's like Skopelos is a city of cats! Uncle Danny has four: Fatsu, (which means face in Greek by the way) Stinky, Smelly and Skanky. He doesn't actually own them but they turn up at his house all the time, especially Fatsu.

The people leave food out for the cats and every morning the fishmongers come in their vans and throw fresh fish to the group of awaiting cats. Lots of the shop owners also leave cardboard boxes outside for the cats to sleep in.

I like how all the roads are like really skinny ally ways. Tiny little streets, with balconies hanging over them. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. It was great. We have the top balcony so we can see everyone's roof tiles, all the way down to the harbour.

Posted by wott.on.earth 07:51 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Wil 17/3/16

Last night we went to Jerome's house. Mum, Dad, Jerome and Mirjam (pronounced Miriam) looked at old photos of when Jerome and dad traveled together in 1992 and when Jerome stayed with mum and dad in Melbourne in 1999. Jonathan and I played Minecraft and FIFA 16 on his XBOX 360. I am really bad at FIFA on console, so my team lost a fair bit. The controls are harder for me because I am not used to it. I won one game 3-2 against the computer. I think Jonathan won every single match. Then we played Minecraft and I blew up an entire village, just because I could, idk. Idk means I don't know. Dad asked me to explain that idk means I don't know.

Today we went to Memento Park, just outside Budapest. Some of the statues in the city that nobody liked or made people sad, got put in this park. The reason people didn't like the statues because they were built by the totalitarian government. After World War II the Hungarian people were ruled by the Soviet Union whose leader was Joseph Stalin. His government was one party who could do whatever they wanted because there was no one who could tell them what to do. The people couldn't have a say. The farmers could only grow what they were told to grow, people had their land taken away from them and all the profits from all of the businesses went to the government and people only got paid tiny wages.

I really didn't like the park because there was nothing to do except walk around and look at them. Mum made us pose in the exact pose that the statues were doing which was annoying but I like the photographs. The statues where really tall because the government wanted to emphasize their strength and power. One of them was about 8 metres tall and another about 10 metres tall. There were about 20 statues in the park.

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On the way back we went to a huge market that I got a new T-shirt that says 'Rockin Budapest' on it. With a cat singing into a mouse microphone, AKA about to eat the mouse. There hundreds of market stalls that have from fruit and vegetables to clothing spices.

Then we went to a restaurant to have goulash, which is a meaty and vegetably soup, which is usually served with bread. It tasted really good, my favourite part was the meaty chunks.

When we got back we just hung out until dinner time when we had Hungarian sausages. They look like sausage shaped pieces of raw meat but they actually taste sweet and delicious, :).

Posted by wott.on.earth 07:37 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Olive 16/3/16

Today we went to some thermal baths called Gellert Baths, with Luca's dad Brett. He said that there were actual hot natural springs under Budapest, which supply the water from deep underground. There are heaps of minerals in the water which some people say are good for your health. You can read more about this on their website, which is gellertbath.hu The description says that it's like having a bath in a cathedral. It was! After getting into our bathers, we went into the first room. It was incredible! There were 20° pools, 36° and 38° pools, and 40° pools, plus steam rooms, dry saunas, wet saunas that were as Hoyas 55° and two cooler plunge pools, which were 15° and 18°. After a 55° and a 50° sauna, these were freezing! It was great, then when we thought we'd found everything, we found a whirlpool! The water jets pulled us along, they were so strong! Wil and I tried to swim against them but we were pulled back. It was actually hard to get out, the currents were so strong. Dad had to drag us out, I wish we got there earlier so we could have stayed longer.

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Posted by wott.on.earth 07:31 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Olive 15/3/16

Today we went to a teacher's rally, in the Parliament building. It was all in Hungarian, so we didn't understand it at the time, but it was about the government's education policies that will make it hard to even buy pencils without loads of paperwork. They are also worried about changes being made to how they teach.

It was the biggest Hungarian rally for two years. It was pretty difficult getting through the huge crowd of people, the newspapers said there were about ten thousand people there.We found ourselves stuck in the middle of the crowd, it was really hard to get through. People were singing and chanting, and there were moments of silence. Nobody wanted to move into the rain to let us pass, even for a second.

We got through the crowd. FINALLY! And found an awesome ice cream place. They did special flower shaped ice cream! It was great. One flavour on the inside, like a rose, and the other flavour on the outside as extra petals. We loved it. I got raspberry on the inside and mango on the outside.
Wil got Oreo ice cream on the inside, and passion fruit, papaya,and peach ice cream on the outside.

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They were the best ice creams ever!
Later that day, we went to the Basilica Budapest, a cathedral sort of thing. We watched part of the service in the grandest hall I've ever seen!

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On the way home we passed a monument
that shows Archangel Gabriel who is a symbol of Hungary, being attacked by a huge eagle who represents the Nazis during World War II. The government built it to say that all of the Hungarian people were victims of the Nazis too. But that wasn't really true. There were Hungarian people actively helping the the Nazis to persecute the Jewish people and there were lots of people who did nothing to stop them, which is just as bad because it's letting the bullies be mean and bad which means they were bullies as well. The Hungarian government was on the side of the German Nazi party during the war and together they killed 565,000 HungarianJews. Some died in Hungary and others in camps in other countries.

The Hungarian people knew that the sculpture was wrong, so they placed shoes, photos, suitcases, flowers and other objects to tell the lives of the real victims of the war, the Jewish people. The government has allowed this counter monument to stay and has never cleaned it up.

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It made me feel kind of sad and kind of happy. Happy because even if it made the country look weak because people were fighting against their government or if it made them look bad because they were pointing out their own faults, they did it anyway because they knew the government was wrong. It made me sad because it told a very sad story.

Posted by wott.on.earth 07:16 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

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