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Jun 7, 2005 - Hello from Athens, Greece

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

Athens, Greece

. . . we know it has been the longest time in between updates, but internet cafes in Italy were adding up, some of them were 10 Euros per hour, which is like $14 Canadian!

Been at this cafe here, doing this now for 2 hours and thank goodness it is only 2 Euros/hour, I can answer some of them 51 messages today!

We left Italy couple of days ago . . . and actually glad to be gone, it was time for a change from the hustle of the Italians, who really did not like the fact we did not speak their language! Florence and Bari were the most friendly.

We took a ship from Bari, Italy on the east coast, headed for Patras, Greece.  It was a great venture, took about 17 hours, but most of it during the night...  Met some great people and it only cost us 80 Euros for the crossing, with a private cabin! It was like a cruise ship, holding about 1800 passengers! We danced, drank and were up until the wee hours of the morning!

Then, once in Patras, we had another 4 hours on a train to reach Athens, which, as I mentioned, where we are now.

Greece, so far is much more reasonable for everything, (thank goodness, as I think we spent about $6,000 so far!) and the locals here are so much more willing to help us with directions and just everything.

Will have to post pictures maybe tomorrow, as I am getting a bit cross-eyed being in front of this monitor for so long, and it takes time to download this pics, and want to wait until my memory card is full, which won't be long!


Marc and John

P.S. hmmm, John got a bit bored watching me here doing all this stuff, and went for a walk about an hour ago, hope he is not lost, Athens is a BIG city, and I don't have any money as he is carrying everything ! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ???

later...

Jun 8, 2005 - An update from John !!

Yes this is actually me typing instead of Marc.

Just wanted to say a few things about some of the highlights of Italy that I found especially impressive.

Pompeii

This was by far the most impressive thing! This entire ancient city just outside of Naples was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 64 A.D. The survivors rebuilt it to it's previous splendor by 79 A.D. only to have a disaster strike again!! This time a nearby volcano erupted and buried the city completely in 20 feet of ash and lava. The volcano which is still active today (YIKES) continued to erupt for 3 days straight. The city remained buried for 2 thousand years and was eventually forgotten. 1600 years ago archeologists discovered some ruins and since then have slowly uncovered the entire city. All the palaces and temples shops and homes, forums, squares, and theaters etc...!! Truly amazing to walk through...which we did for 4 hours!!

Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo spent 4 years on his back painting this amazing fresco which is on display in the Vatican City museum. We sat for an hour in this one area of the museum looking up at it and the surrounding walls that were painted by some of Europe's most influential artists of the time!! Amazing that Mike didn't want to do it originally because he considered himself not much of a painter, more of a sculpture....Hello !!!

St. Peter's Basilica

I thought I had seen amazing churches in Canada and throughout Europe up to this point. Well this was the most amazing beautiful church that I think we both have ever seen!! Pictures and words could never describe this one!!

You could also climb to the top of the church dome and see an amazing view of all of Rome. Which of course we did...

Anyway that is my two cents

John :-)

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