Leaving Athens

We took the Athens Metro Line 3 in Monastiraki Station at 8:30 pm. We paid €18 each for a roundtrip ticket between the airport and Athens. Remember, we flew in from Crete the day before so I purchased it when we were getting into town then. A single one-way ticket cost €10 per person .We arrived at Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (Athens International Airport) a little past 9:30 in the evening of Oct. 21, 2019. Our flight out of Athens was scheduled to depart at 00:20 am of October 22, 2019. We “checked-in” earlier that morning before we explored Athens. All we had to do, was to drop our bags and pick up our boarding passes once we get to the airport.

We picked up our luggage at our Air BnB at around 7:30 pm. Prior to that, we had dinner at a so-so restaurant near the flat. I mean it was still good, but the service was “cold”. Then again, we had such a good time the entire trip that it did not dampen the after-glow. We carefully packed our latest acquisitions of fabrics, some silver, a few packs of Greek coffee and 4 bottles of spirits to bring home. We both barely hit 23 kgs each. Our ticket on Oman air allows us a total baggage of 30 kgs Each. By the way, Oman air allows each passenger to check in two pieces of baggage as long as both baggage weight 15 kgs. each. So, just bare that I mind.

Before heading to the Oman Air counter, as planned,  we cleaned ourselves at the restroom at the airport. We washed our face, wiped off our bodies with anti-bacterial wipes, changed underwear, brushed our teeth. Not only is it a form of courtesy to other passengers, but it’s also one way of being clean and comfortable in flight. We flew 15 hours total from Athens to Manila via Muscat. I wished we were able to shower before getting on the plane, but with a midnight departure, we did not want to pay for an extra day in our Air BnB for such a short amount of time.

Checking-in was a breeze. Going past immigration, security and getting to the boarding gates did not take longer than I expected. Not all of the duty-free shops in the departure area are not open 24 hours. I was casually strolling through one store looking for stuff to spend my remaining Euros on when I was told that they were closing in 5 minutes. I just bought a Briki of €13.

PSA, There is a water fountain near departure gate A11 where you can refill your water bottle.

The flight flew out of Athens on time. We flew out on a Boeing 737-800. We sat on the same seat assignments as our in-bound flight. The only difference this time was, both our IFE system were not working. Even the flight crew could not launch it from our seats. Cholo had to transfer to the aisle seat beside him to entertain himself while I just slept. Good thing it wasn’t a full flight. The in-flight service was the same as our inbound flight to Greece. I discussed this on my blog “Getting To Greece” .The flight in general wasn’t terrible –  It was good. But there a few things that they should improve on if they want to become a hub in the Middle East. We had a 1 hour and 30 minutes lay over in Muscat.

We arrived in Manila at 9:50 pm of October 22, 2019.

Our Final Day in Athens

It is our last day in Athens. Our flight back to Muscat does not leave until midnight. We have practically packed our bags in Chania, so we were “practically good to go”. Our Air BnB host in Athens was kind enough to let us leave our luggage and return for it later in the evening.


We left the flat at around 11:30 in the morning. We did not have any plans to visit any other site  – we just decided to walk around and buy souvenirs to bring home. The good thing about deciding to return to the Air BnB that we rented when we first got to Athens was – we are now familiar with the area. Monastiraki is a good location to be at. It has direct access to the train line to the airport. It is with in the vicinity of most of the historical sites of Athens, all accessible by foot. It is filled with many restaurants and bars and it is a bustling shopping district.



We found our footing by heading to Monastiraki Square. We were nearing the metro station when I saw a signage that said “Flea Market”. I pointed this out to Cholo and we followed the sign. The alley way leading to the flea market was lined with shops and restaurants. We bought some souvenir items as we walked along it. We have learned, after travelling for so long, that if you see something that you want, buy it. If you are thinking that you will go back for it later, there’s a 99% chance of you not being able to find that store anymore. The flea market was located at the very end of the small street – it opens up into a small square that is surrounded by shops and pop up stalls selling knickknacks. A number of stores were closed, which got me thinking if the day of the week we were there ( it was a Monday) was the main reason. But there were stores that were open that gave Cholo and I a lot of things to go through. Flea Markets are the only shopping places that Cholo can lose track of time – and I just let him be. We had lunch at a small Gyros place before heading off further.


We didn’t really have any particular plan or route, we just followed the shops that lined the streets. I was able to buy a Burgundy colored Greek Fisherman’s hat for 30. I loved thi hat, unfortunately, it is now destroyed because my dog Malena ate it. The steps of Monastiraki Metro Station is filled with musicians singing their hearts out for some change. I watched them from the fence of Hadrian’s Library while Cholo took a video of them.

Hadrian’s Library is right in the middle of Monastiraki Square. We didn’t enter because we didn’t want to pay for it. You can actually see the ruin from the iron fence around it. We didn’t realize that the Ancient Agora of Athens lies between Monastiraki and the Acropolis. If we only had the energy to walk farther on our first visit, we would have ended up here.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon leisurely walking around the Ancient Agora of Athens. The ancient market basks in the glow of the Acropolis. There are ruins all around. I was so amazed at seeing the ancient horologion (clock tower) right in the middle of the site. It might be  a common thing to those who live here, but what a sight to see every day. We saw one house, very modern, but the patio is made of glass. When we took a peek and we were shocked to see that there were ancient ruins beneath it. That house must be very expensive right now.  Not to mention, a small Byzantine Church lives directly across the street from it?

We remarkably found ourselves at Aeropagus Hill, which lies at the base of the Acropolis. This is where we watched the sunset on our first full day in Athens and remarkably on our last day as well. Very fitting. We slowly retrace our steps through the ruins of Athens – the sun was now well below the horizon and it was time for us to grab dinner.

Last Night In Athens

Our last night in Athens was spent with our good friend Tracey. I briefly wrote about her and her husband J. The were our missionary friends who moved from the Philippines to the island of Lesvos, yes it is in Greece, to help the plight of the refugees in the islands. We had a wonderful dinner –  pica pica style in a restaurant names The Spot, it was a very easy walk from our rented flat. We even saw the Acropolis fully lit on our way there.

We were so lucky we were able to catch up on each other. She was scheduled to fly out to Turkey the following day a few hours before our scheduled flight home.

Tracey by the way is an amazing tour hostess and organizer. If you guys are planning to tour Greece, Israel, Morocco, Turkey and/or Italy – check her out at www.followyourhearttours.com. She might just be the one you are looking for.


Leaving Chania and Heading to Athens

It was our final morning in Chania. As per usual, we had a leisurely breakfast on the terrace of our flat. We had some ham and cheese croissants from the bakery from two corners away and freshly brewed Greek coffee. I managed to create crema on top this time. We soak in the life of the locals that we’ve been privy to being in their city for the last 5 days. The Octogenarians living on the building across from us were doing their daily routine of morning conversations.



We greatly enjoyed our time here in Chania. And in the future, if we decide to visit Crete again, we will head straight back here. We packed our bags and weighed them properly. Cholo purchased some foot rags in Santorini and we’re making sure that our baggages are balanced between us and would fit the limits of the airline. Yes, I always bring a digital weighing scale with me. Always. We left our flat at around 11 am and started walking to Chania bus station. We decided to head to the airport early so we wouldn’t have to rush AND I discovered that bus schedules to the airport are known to change. True enough, the 11:30 am bus to the airport that we planned to take was cancelled – we ended up taking the 12noon bus instead. It takes 30 minutes to get there and it costs €2.50 per person.




The airport was relatively small, checking in was relatively easy and the boarding gates were in full capacity. Although Daskalogiannis International Airport (commonly called Chania International Airport) is not the main airport of Crete, it has become the main entry way to the western part of the islands. The boarding gates are quite close to the tarmac, I was able to see the planes being pushed into their parking slots. I also saw planes depart and land from my seat in the departure lounge. Cholo and I found lunch in one of the restaurants located at the far left. We shared a plate of over-priced grilled chicken and rice. The price we would have paid for a full meal in a traditional taverna, around €25. This includes two bottles of water and a can of coke.  The only thing I didn’t find at the departure lounge was water refilling / drinking stations. I even asked one of the ground staff – there was none.


We left Chania for Athens aboard Olympic Air flight OA335 at around 3 pm. We walked from the gates to the plane. The flight was serviced by an Airbus A320-100 operated by Aegean Airlines. Olympic Air is a subsidiary of Aegean Airlines, which is part of Star Alliance. I was able to collect mileage through my ANA membership card. We were seated at seat 3A and 3B. We sat at a ”bulk head” behind business class – we were separated by a blue curtain. I can’t seem to recollect anything about the inflight entertainment because I spent the entire time bouncing between looking out the window and reading the inflight magazine. I do remember we were given a small packet of snacks – biscuits. The flight arrived in Athens a few minutes past 4 in the afternoon. Our tickets, in total, cost us €258.62. This included a check baggage of 23 Kgs. each and choice seats.



We then made our way to the train station where we took the hour-long train ride to Athens and back to the flat we rented when we first arrived in Greece 19 days prior.

Our Final Night in Chania

Our final night in Chania was spent in Nea Chora. We decided to have dinner in the first restaurant we ate at when we arrived here.

Manos Taverna is located near the main entrance of the promenade as you head to Nea Chora Beach. The vibe here is different in the evening, romantic. I saw Octopi hanging on the line as we passed by it earlier in the day. That’s when I told Cholo, “We must eat here tonight!”. We headed back to our flat to change for the evening.

When we got to the taverna, we were surprised that it was full. Although it was a Saturday night, I was expecting most of the people would be spending it in the Old Town. We were able to find a table near the water’s edge of the old port of Nea Chora – which I have to say added to the atmosphere of the entire dining experience.

I indulged in some grill Octopus while Cholo had Moussaka. I was taught how to eat it, I would have to slice it in thin pieces and soak them in olive oil and vinaigrette. It was so good. As I have said in my past posts, I have learned how to appreciate Rosé in Santorini. We had the house Rosé to complete our final night in Chania. The cherry on top? The Raki and lemon cake with vanilla ice cream that came before the bill.


Of Gyros, Greek Coffee and Greek Leather Sandals


This trip has been an amazing introduction to Gyros, amazingly delicious Greek coffee and those leather Greek Sandals.



Speaking of Sandals, I wrote about buying sandals Greek leather sandals in Mykonos – as a nice reminder of our trip the the island. We were told by the owner, that during the early days of business – the sandals that were being sold in Mykonos were made there. But since times have changed and most artisans prefer living in a place where it doesn’t close down for 4 to 5 months in a year, most of the sandals sold in Mykonos are actually made in Crete. This is what makes the prices in Mykonos a little more expensive. Aside from the fact that it costly to ship things, the cost of living in Mykonos is more expensive, given that it is a very popular island.

Now, if and when you are traveling through the islands and making a stop in Crete, it is best that you purchase Greek leather sandals when you get to Crete. It is 50 percent cheaper plus you will have wider array of designs to choose from.



For Greek coffee, do not buy them at stores catered to tourists. It will be too expensive. Head to the nearest convenience store or supermarket. You can get one as cheap as €1.30.

A Wet Thursday Night in Chania


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wrapping up dinner in Oinopoieio.


It was a wet Thursday night. That afternoon , the sun would peek through the clouds as we lazed on the beach. Our evening was spent in the quaint town square of Chania. Here there are many restaurants and shops you could choose from.

It rained earlier that evening. After checking Accuweather, it said that there will be no more rain by 8 pm. We were to have dinner at a restaurant recommended by an acquaintance. According to Goggle maps, it is a 15 minutes walk from the flat. We passed through small backstreets, dimly lit alley ways, through typical residential areas and the occasional ruin.


We eventually arrived in what appears to be the shopping district of Chania, the old town. We were not sure if we were in the right place, but after a few turns we got to the restaurant. Oinopoieio is a Greek taverna that specializes in Cretan cuisine. The taverna is located in an area bustling with restaurants and a few bars. The place itself was very charming and rustic. It was decorated with a lot of oak(?) barrels, hanging herbs and antique decor. This taverna must have been around for quite some time. It was full. We wanted to be seated in one of the outdoor tabes, but alas it was reserved. We ended up by the table near the main door. Cholo and I shared Cretan salad and for mains, we shared some Chicken fillet with Gruyere cheese which we paired with the house Rosé. We ended the night unintentionally tipsy when we were given some Raki paired with some kind of blueberry dessert that reminded me of pannacotta.



We wanted to have a night cap in one of the bars. With Google maps at hand, we went through the old cobble stone streets of old Chania heading for The Black Rooster. When we got to the location, it was closed. So Cholo and I retraced our steps and headed back to restaurant row. We remembered seeing a small bar and we decided to have some Gin and Tonics there.  Emprime was a cozy cafe/bar located at the street corner a few meters from Oinopoieio. You won’t miss it. I am not sure if the Black Rooster and Emprime are gay bars per se. In Emprime it was a mix crowd, but there were more men than women. So, just take a hint. The vibe at Emprime was great, the music choices were excellent and there was more Gin than tonic in my glass.

We stayed a little bit after 12 midnight.