-Getting psyched for Greece!
-Getting stuck in Bari
Guys! It's August! Aaaaaaaaaaaand that means we are exactly halfway through our trip! That's crazy-sauce! It is both happy and sad. Happy because we are still alive. It's been a solid 3 weeks and we have survived having NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. That is impressive, to us at least, who are more aware of our weaknesses and how things could have gone so terribly wrong than all of you. Sad because I have a feeling the second half is going to go way faster than the first half, and before we know it we will be back in real life, where we'll have jobs and things that will keep us from being each other's only company for 24 hours a day. It is bittersweet, but ce sa facem? (What are ya gonna do?) We just better live up these last few weeks!
So we are now exiting the Italian phase of this trip and entering the Greek phase, which is a little terrifying to both of us for a few reasons:
1) Greece is the place we are the LEAST prepared for. We don't know where we'll stay, what we'll do when we get there, how we'll get places, etc. They have very little helpful information online (at least that we could find) making us so frustrated when we were trying to plan it that we almost
cut it out altogether. But then at the last minute, we threw it back in, hoping we could just figure it out when we got there. Hence, the little preparation.
2) Who even knows ANYTHING in the Greek language?! Unless you were in a sorority/fraternity (which neither of us were), it is like Chinese. Except it's Greek. Navigating our way around is going to be a little trickier.
3)The Heat. That is all.
But despite our fears for this chapter, we are also really excited to fly by the seat of our pants and see how it all turns out. What better way to have an adventure, than to actually be adventurous?
That said, let me tell you, sometimes failing to plan bites you in the behind.
The one plan we did have for Greece was to take a night ferry on August 1st (tonight) from Bari, Italy to Patras, Greece. Then we would split our time in Greece between Athens and Santorini until we fly out to Romania on August 8th. We'd figure out all the logistics later.
However, because the websites for the ferries are all so confusing, we could not figure out how to reserve a ticket. We figured we could just buy it day-of.
We got to Bari this morning (a city we know basically nothing about), planning to buy a ticket for the ferry that night and then bum around on the beach until it left. That morning, in a purely joking manner, we were like, "That'd be hilarious if the ferry was all full." "Haha, yeah, so funny."
NEWSFLASH: It wasn't funny.
We took a bus all the way out to the ferry port to buy the ticket, where we met the meanest lady in the land who told us the ferries were sold out for like three days. WHAT?! We were sure she had to be wrong, we couldn't possibly be stuck in this random coastal town for three days, missing out on all of our Greece plans! (Maybe she just seemed like the meanest lady ever because she was giving us the worst news ever, but really, she wasn't very nice). We tried to keep asking her questions, but she could not be bothered to give us any more information than that. We have had very few unpleasant encounters on this trip so far, but this was one.
We stressed and talked over what to do and finally went back to ask her for something else. In the process, she discovered that in fact there were open seats on the ferry just one day later than we'd planned (not three like she originally said). So we jumped on it, bought them and then tried to figure out what to do in Bari for a full day and a half.
A SUPER nice lady at tourist info went above and beyond and found us a really cheap b&b for the night, so we went there, relaxed for a bit, and then went exploring through the old town. (Our faith in humanity is restored).
This city is very different from others in that I don't think we ever saw a single other tourist. It was actually really cool, we were living among real Italians for a day! (At least from what we could tell). There were no tourist traps, no crazy flower men, no scams, just people making a living. It was awesome. We went walking down by the sea and happened upon a bunch of 14-year old boys playing soccer. Because Robbie was immediately enthralled, and I have dragged him to a lot of museums and such, we stayed and watched those boys play for over an hour. And I think it might have honestly been Robbie's favorite thing we did the whole time we were in Italy. We even gave all the boys nicknames (not to their face, obvi. Just in a secret, creeper way):
-"McConoughay" (sp?) because he played shirtless
-"Val Kilmer" because he had bleached hair
-"Slater" (as in A. C.) because he had cut off sleeves
-"Yeah-yeah" because it just fit
-"Tobias" because he was wearing all blue
-"Slick Willy" because he was good
-"Neon Trees" because he had a neon goalie jersey on
-"Ham" cuz he was a big boy all in pink.
They were really good! Rob says that if he was back in his soccer prime days he might have been able to keep up, but not anymore. They were skilled. We spent a long time drinking smoothies, watching them play, with Robbie giving them actual cheers by nickname (but only loud enough for us to hear) while I made up things to compliment them about. (Since I didn't know what any of Robbie's cheers meant). "Nice backwards kick thing, Yeah-yeah!" It was a blast. We probably could have stayed even longer, but it got dark and the boys stopped playing.
Needless to say, Robbie was a happy boy going to bed.