A long way, back to Perugia

23 Jun

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I cannot believe that the European tour is almost over. While sitting in the train from Perugia to Rome time seems to have gone fast, but on the other hand it is like we left Holland months ago.

It was only 17 days ago that I ordered a glass of Hungarian white wine called “Utazoborond Kiralyleanyca” in a lovely Art Deco style restaurant in Budapest. When I asked the waiter what the name of the wine meant and he answered: ‘The princess of the traveling suitcase’, I new Budapest and I were meant to be. And it did not dissapoint my expectations. Although different aspects of the city are comparable with various European cities, the city as a whole is unique. The sightseeing at night is almost as impressive as Paris. It is a cosmopolitain city but has the relaxed and organised vibe of Geneva, without being boring. Not boring at all actually, as the nightlife can be compared to Barcelona; a lot of terraces out on the streets and parties from monday till sunday till early morning. The upmarket neighbourhood is comparable to the renovated old city centre of Bucharest and the architecture of the city sometimes reminds you of London. As Easyjet offers you very cheap flights from Amsterdam to Budapest and a nice apartment right in the middle of the hotspots only costs you 30 euro a night, I strongly recommend you this lively city for a long weekend. Do not forget to have dinner and a glass of white wine at “Gerloczy Cafe & Restaurant”.

An exciting trainride of 37 hours transpassing Slovakia, Serbia and Bulgary (see previous stories) brought us to the coulorful world of Istanbul. When you meet this city and it’s civilians, you just cannot imagine that we used to make jokes of the Turks years ago. You almost feel ashamed suddenly noticing that the Turks seems to know how to live, how to do business, how to cook, how to drink, how to dress, how to take care of their families, how to build beautiful churches and mosques and what real freedom of religion and speech is. And they know it. Without being to arrogant, the civilians of Istanbul know that they are living in a city that was once the capital of the world and soon will be again. No need for them anymore to be part of the EU. They are ahead of us. We soon will be begging them.
If you want to be part of the world, want to eat the best foods, buy the most beautiful pumps or visit the best clubs overlooking the Bosporus, go here but do prepare well. Book ahead and find an affordable hotel around Taksimsquare. Visit the old town at the end of the day, when the queues are much less than in early morning. Study the public transport, as trafficjams are horrifying. Bring enough money, as the hotels and clubs are expensive and the shopping, bars and food affordable but irresistable….

As all trains from Turkey to Greece were cancelled (not surprising as talking about Greece in Turkey is like swearing and the other way around…) we decided to take the bus from Istanbul to Bodrum from where we could enter the Greek mainland by visiting the Greek Islands. Not bad…
We had a short “holiday” in Bodrum and took the ferry to Kos. Getting of the boat we thought we had taken the boat to Zandvoort aan Zee… And as we coud not find “Tijn Akersloot” hosting our friends, but only frikandellen, patatjes oorlog, “Het beste cafe van Kos jonguh!” and Greek people speaking fluently Dutch, we decided to get off asap! The next ferry leaving to a Greek Island was leaving within one and a half hour and the Island was called Patmos. So we had 90 minutes to find a bar with wifi connection, to book a hostel or appartment at Patmos and to buy tickets for the next ferry. And we did.

All I can say is: ‘Patmos, Patmos, Patmos!!!’ My new favorite word and my new favorite Island! It is a qute small Island with great, happy, generous warm hearted Greek people, many different lovely beaches to choose from, amazing views everywhere you look and enough ouzo and vino to get the whole of Greece drunk. During this time of the year it is not touristy and driving around on our motorcycle often gave us the feeling of having the Island just to ourselves. Even without being religous the ancient buildings on this Island make you believe there was some help from God or Zeus or maybe even of them both. The people who we met made this little ‘break’ one to never forget. Do include Patmos in your itinerary, while sailing the Greek Islands.

After some recharging on the beach we were ready for our next trip. We were only an 8 hour ferry ride away from breakfast at the Acropolis, a 4 hour busride to Patras, a 22 hour ferry to Ancona (Italy) and another 4 hour trainride away from bringing me back to the city where I “studied” 10 years ago…..

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6 Responses to “A long way, back to Perugia”

  1. Hilje June 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Hallo Allebei!
    Eindelijk een levensteken van de andere Hilje!
    Wat gaan jullie hard, niet bij te “benen”. We leven en lezen met jullie mee.
    Enig!!! Liefs, je Hilje

    • MaHil July 11, 2011 at 9:00 am #

      Lieve tante Hilje! Wat fijn dat jullie ons ook hebben gevonden op de blog! Hoop dat jullie reis ook waanzinnig was! Dikke zoenen for you all! X

  2. nanette June 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Beautiful picture and nice piece of writing!
    And you are absolutely right, sailing the Greek islands is the stuff where the best holidays are made off!

  3. Bou June 24, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Lieve Hil, heerlijk stukje weer! Het betekent natuurlijk wel dat je straks, terug in het kikkerland, met al je ervaring uit eerste hand, de barricades op moet om dat kakelende peroxide hoofd met het IQ van een Limburgse vlaai van repliek te dienen! Keep it up!
    Heel veel liefs en tot spoedig! Alles staat al koel en klaar,
    Bou

  4. hannette June 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Ja Hil Perugia “where you studied” weet me nog een hele hoop te herinneren, onder meer dat je er failliet vandaan kwam met beeldschone serieus dure laarzen die bijna tot aan je liezen reikten…..lfs uit HK

    • MaHil July 11, 2011 at 8:46 am #

      Hoe geestig dat jij je die laarzen nog kon herinneren! Heb M de winkel laten zien waar de beruchte aankoop ooit plaats vond….

      Hoe is het daar bij jullie? Jullie zijn er wel he , begin december?! Dikke zien voor alle 5! X

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