26 August, 2008

Car Booked

Yesterday night, we booked a car from Hertz, just under £130 for 7 days. Hertz has a branch in Piraeus, which is convenient as we will be staying there.

We get the cheapest car, which is supposed to be a Hyndai small, manual car. It is just for two of us and won't go so far, so it should be ok.

I still have to make my luggage, but I don't think I will do it until tomorrow.

Now... I am going to watch CSI Miami and then go to bed.

25 August, 2008

Finally going back to Greece

I have not updating either this blog and Gate to Greece web site for a while. It was because I have not been to Greece for a while for personal reasons. But finally this summer, I will be back and I will have something to write about Greece and Greek stuff!

Apart from making the site, I want also to write day-to-day matters in this blog so that I can record information useful to myself and, hopefully, to others as well.

To start, this year, I bought Swiss airline ticket for £172 from Birmingham to Athens, and back, departing 28th August and returing 9th Sept. This was not the cheapest option I could chose, as I got a slightly better-timed, humanly acceptable option for the way-out. The cheapest one was about £150, if I remember well.

We will be renting a car for a week in Athens. We found a rather convenient offer on Expedia and Opodo: book 5 days, and get 2 days free. We pay £130 for a small, economy car rental for 7 days.

We decided not to go to islands this summer, and to go to Peloponnese instead. Dim, who is native Greek speaker, tried to book a hotel in Nafplio by phone, but the hotels are very expensive there and there wasn't nothing less than 50 euros even without breakfast (breakfast is not a small matter, as we have to pay AT LEAST 3.50 euros a head, so 7 euros for us two; if you travel in two and find a room for 60 euros with breakfast, there is very little difference from room for 50 euros without breakfast).

I found cheaper offers, searching www.booking.com, in a nearby village called Toló for 40 euros a night, without breakfast, but with a small kitchen and a fridge (these are great tools to save odd expenses). Toló, that we have never heard about, looks to be a sort of beach resort village, 8km from Nafplio; I found many fabulous photos in flikr.com. As we have a car, we don't have problem in moving around. The moral of the story is that the web is a great tool to look for cheap accomodation, and it is not true any more that local native speakers get better deals in Greece.

While we are in Nafplio, I hope to see an ex-colleague of mine who lives in Argos.

We plan to visit Corinth Canal, Akrokorinthos (as we had been to Corinth itself a several years ago, we don't think entering the Corinth site), Nafplio, Mycenae, Epidauros and Dimitsana. Time permitting, we will also visit Argos, Tiryns, and Tripoli.

We try to go also to Chalkida (ancient Chalkis) on a different day to meet up with our old friends, if we are not too tired from the trip to Peloponnese.

Places I want to explore this time include Glyphada, Valkiza and Voula. There are popular beaches, nice shops and restaurants, and lots of people from Athens in these areas.

I will report how the things will be either from Greece or from Birmingham when we will be back home.