Koh Chang – White Sand Beach

White Sand Beach has been a very fun place, and even better is, I am loving my hotel.  I took a chance on this place, as there were several bad reviews, but I thought, who cares for 1 night.

The reviews were very wrong.  My room was clean, the bed was decent, and it had hot water, which I was not expecting for the price.  Online I paid 600 baht for the night, but after seeing how great it is, I decided to stay an extra few nights, and Freddy the owner, only asks for 500 baht for each additional night.  How cool is that, I got a discount without even asking!

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My first night here, at around 8 pm I heard some music playing and took a look to see what was going on.  On the hillside Freddy setup a TV and cushions for everyone to come relax and watch a movie or listen to music.  Very chill and friendly.

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I ended up becoming friends with Freddy and his girlfriend, and we had some drinks together that night.  Really loving this place.

During the day, I explored the beach and swimming.  Nice clean water, but no real fish to see when snorkeling.  There is other eye-candy though!

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The next day I was sitting eating lunch, when another guest of the hotel asked if he could sit with me, because I had the fan table.  I said yes, of coarse.

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His name is Ville, and he is from Finland.  He has been coming here for years now and everyone knows him.  We have a really good conversation, and start having beers together.  Eventually he leaves to shower before we head out on the town.

As I am waiting for him, I meet another couple from Germany.  Marie and Marco are best friends traveling together.  We all hit it off pretty quickly, and when Ville comes back, we all head out on the town.

Our first stop is Little Red Light district.  I did not know this even existed on White Sand Beach, but it does.  a Mini walking street, with, yes, you guessed it.  Ladyboys, hookers, and dancing.

We have one drink, and decide this is not for us, but Ville wants to stay, so this is where we part with him.

Now Marie, Marco and I are off to continue the shit show.

We went all over checking out different bars, drinking and just having a damn good time.  So much of a good time that next day, I think we all felt it.

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One bar that was pretty cool, was a Rock Bar where we met 2 guys from Austria, who ended up in our gang of drunks that night.  I don’t recall their names though.

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What a night is all I can say!

The next day I spend just relaxing and catching up on email, etc.  However, that night Marie messages and asks what the hell am I doing.  So, I head down the to the beach to meet them relaxing, and having a pint.  What a great place to enjoy a cold one.

This night was a little slower, but still had some great conversations.

Onto the next day, I wake up early, go for a swim and book a taxi / ferry to Koh Mak.  I had not planned on going here, but then I heard it is awesome, quite and a decent price.  So, Yeah, I am going there.

Later in the day, I meet up with Marie and Marco.  We go swimming, suntan, and enjoy our last day in White Sand Beach.  Tomorrow they are also leaving but to go to Cambodia.

That night we eat at the local Night Market.  Marie tries some of the local bug snacks.  I also tried them, and they are not half bad.

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I enjoyed my shell fish!

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Our night was awesome, and I will really miss these two crazy Germans who liked to show me pictures of dicks!  Long story, but they will know what I mean. lol.

Well, Goodbye White Sand Beach on Koh Chang!

Jomtien Beach – Pattaya – Some last fun with my friends

Back in Jomtien Beach and I know this is going to be a good couple of days.  I get to see Anastasia, Olga and Kosta again.

However, before I go visiting, I have to check into my hotel.  I booked this one online, and it had decent reviews, but some were not so decent.  You can see my review here!

How much can you truly complain at 499 Baht a night!

It is evening and I am meeting Anastasia, Olga, and Kosta in Pattaya Park Night Market for some great eats.  One of my favorite places to eat.

During dinner we talk about going to Pattaya walking street, but Olga and Kosta don’t want to go, but that is OK.  It will be a great night, if you know anything about this street.  It is crazy, full of drunks, bars, ladyboys, and just about everything else.  Example below!

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Anastasia and I finish eating and head down to walking street.  Let this shit begin!

We walk all over looking for a bar without prostitutes and ladyboys, when we find a bar with a band playing.  Looks great.  Inside it is not bad, lots of people and the band is awesome.  There is a Thai girl singing rocks songs, which is kind of cool, she is a decent singer.

After a few songs, she is done singing for the night and the other guys in the band take over.  They are pretty funny, and good.

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A few more songs and they are done for the night.  We head over to the 7/11 for some cheaper beers.  Always a good way to advance the night!

The rest of the night we spend walking around, chatting, and just having a great night, with a great friend!

The next day I spend doing some online shit, since I finally have internet.  Get this, they have 1 GB Internet connection and no I do not mean, 1 GB router network connection, I actually mean, Internet connection.  However, the router is wireless N, so you can’t use the full speed.

I did benchmark my connection to the net, and I got over 90 MB/s up and over 40 MB/s down. Explorer.net, why did I only have 5 MB connection in Canada?

My last day in Jomtien Beach, I convinced Anastasia to come to Pattaya Park for swimming and waterslides.

It was awesome!  I think we went down the slides 100 times, and we were laughing and playing like little kids.  What a day to remember!  She even got to try a Snow Cone.  How do Russian’s not have this!  Maybe it is a Canadian thing.

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After the park I headed back to my hotel and Anastasia went to Kosta’s.  I decided not to come back into town for dinner, but later thought I should have, so I could give a proper goodbye to Olga and Kosta.  They gave me many good memories!

Well tomorrow I am off to Koh Chang, where I will start traveling again.  I am really excited for this, I have been in one place way to long.

Goodbye to my Amazing Russian Friends!

 

 

 

 

Koh Larn – The Russians are here!

After last nights crazy Thai adventure, I still have to get up and meet Anastasia at the ferry around 10:30 AM.  She is coming for a night with her sister Olga, and friend Kosta.   This is going to be another 2 days of really awesome fun, with my friends from Jomtien Beach condo.

Right on time, the ferry pulls into Naban Port and just a few minutes later I see the 3 Russians.  We all say hi, and walk back to the hotel, where they will check into their rooms and we will take our motorcycles for the day.

I have no idea what the plans is, but I think I will try and show them all the beaches, and end off the day with a sunset from Monkey Nual Beach.

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Nual Beach, also known as Monkey beach is the furthest away beach.  But come on, we are on an Island, it is only 8 minutes away. 🙂

We spend about 2 hours on Monkey beach swimming, snorkeling, and watching the monkeys fight.

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Selfies don’t always work under water

Onto the next beach.  Only 5 minutes away is Samae which is just around the corner, and over the hill.

As we are going up the big hill, the bike starts to run out of gas, but we make it to the top and easily make it to Samae beach.

Samae Beach is full of people and no real place to sit.  So we decide we want to go to Tien Beach, but before we do, we have to head back over the hill to get gas.  I am not sure if we will make it.

I was right, less than half way up the hill, it runs out of gas.

Within seconds of running out of gas, two Thai girls on a scooter stop and ask what is the problem.  I tell them we ran out of gas, but had hoped to make it over the hill.  I kind of felt like a stupid tourist!

The girls said, “wait 5 minutes, we will be back.”

While we were waiting to told Anastasia to push the bike up the hill.  She gave me a nice look, which I take it as. No, that is not going to happen.

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About 5 minutes later the Thai girls come back with a liter of gas and fill our tank.

I ask them how much I owe them and the girls says, it is 45 baht per liter.  I give her 60 baht, and they refuse to take it.  They give me 20 baht back and tell us to enjoy our holiday.

I am amazed!  This is the second time a Thai person has done a selfless act of kindness and wanted nothing in return.  I am extremely grateful.

Well, the Russians and I are back up and running.  We turn the bikes around and head to Tien beach.

Tien Beach is a lot like Nual Beach, but smaller.  We find a great place to lay our towels down, and we all jump in the water.

Tien beach is really pretty.  There are rocks on each side of the beach, and then the beach itself is soft, yellow sand, with warm water.  Just prefect.

While at Tien beach we also have something to eat, as the prices at this beach are a little more normal.  Unlike Nual (Monkey) Beach.

It is getting closer to sunset, so we head over to Nual beach for our view.

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The sunset was pretty awesome, but it is now time to leave the beaches, and head back to the hotel to get cleaned up, and go for dinner.

For dinner that night, we went to the Koh Larn Weekend Night Market, and guess who I see.  My lady friends from the street.  On weekends they set up here to sell food.  I love it.  They saw me first and yell out, “Friend, Friend, BBQ here” and as normal, are laughing like crazy.

I also see the owner of the hotel.  Wan.  I find out, the one lady is his mom.  This is really cool.  I feel like I am with friends.

Wan gives us, as he calls it, VIP treatment.  We all get discounts on the fish, and Wan also brings it back to our hotel to eat on the patio.

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Anastasia, Olga, Kosta, and the Amazing Rob!

A great meal, with amazing friends.  The best way to end such a fun day!


Day two starts off with Seafood Rice and coffee on the patio, which takes me a few minutes to wake up.  Maybe one to many rums last night. Haha.

After breakfast, we hop back on the motorcycles and head to the view point from near our hotel.  This overlooks Tawaen Beach.

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From here, we go to the next view point that over looks Nual, Tien and Samae Beaches.

This is the view point with 1 billion steps, to reach the top.  The entire way I complain about how many steps there are.  But I make it to the top.

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For whatever reason, I am getting the same heat sickness I got back in Indonesia.  Back them, it was everyday, within 20 minutes of being in the heat I would get feel sick.  I hope it doesn’t last all day.

Anyways, the view from here is awesome!

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After the view point we head over to Nual Beach where Kosta and I drop off the girls and head back to the hotel to give the scooters back.  We only had them for 24 hours.

Kosta and I take a scooter sidecar ride back to the beach, where we have a little fun accident.  As the scooter driver is going down the driveway, he locks the front brake up, and doesn’t release it.  The back of the scooter comes up in the air.  Kosta and I both fall forward, and then the bike stops.  He still doesn’t release the front brake.  So Kosta moves to the back of the sidecar and the back wheel comes back down.  Neither of us got hurt, and I told the driver, this was fun, can we do it again.  He says sorry, and I say, no worries.  All part of the authentic Thailand experience. haha!

We spent the entire day at Nual beach, and the highlight was when Anastasia got the courage to feed the monkeys.  Everything was going great until one of the baby monkey’s decides she wanted to touch Anastasia on the shoulder.  I even said, “here one comes.”  As soon as the little one touches her, she jumps and screams.  Oh My God! it was funny.  I spent the rest of the day teasing her about the little tiny monkey who scared big girl Anastasia.  hahaha!

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After an amazing two days spending with my friends, it is now 5 pm and they are heading back to Jomtien Beach.  The good news is, I will see them again in a few days when I leave the Island.

See you soon friends and thank you for the amazing time!

Video of our 2 days!

Koh Larn Island – Thailand – Day trip

The last few days I have been wanting to go to Koh Larn Island for two reasons.  1 is to see what the beaches are like, and 2, is to see if I can find a homestay or apartment rental for a reasonable price.  Researching online, this seems not possible, but I am going to try.

When I woke up and I noticed sun in between white clouds.  The forecast is calling for heavy rain, but this is the best I have seen in a few days now.  This is my chance, I am not waiting another day.

I get dressed, which means I put on my shorts and a shirt.  I then toss my GoPro and money into my day bag and start walking towards the beach, where I can catch a Pattaya bus.

I love the Pattaya bus.  All you do is hold your hand out, if they see it, they stop and you jump into the back of the truck.  You never really know exactly where they go, you just know when you get on, they are going in the right direction.

These buses, as they call them, cost 10 baht (38 Cents CAD) per jumping on.

While on the bus/truck I check every few minutes my GPS to see where I am, and to make sure I am going in the general direction of the ferry.

About 20 minutes or so later, the bus is within a 10 minute walk to the ferry and I guess this is as close as it will go.  So I press the buzz button and the bus stops.  They don’t pull over, they just stop, and you jump off and hand 10 baht to the driver.

10 minutes later I am at the peer.

Too reach Koh Larn Island, there are a few ways, but all are by boat.  I can take a speed boat, which is the most expensive option, but fastest.  I think around 1000 Baht ($38 CAD), and a 15 minute ride.  Another option is to take the ferry.  It cost 30 Baht ($1.15 CAD) and takes somewhere around 45 minutes.

The speed boats are geared towards tourist, and the ferry is more how locals travel.  So, if you know me, I am not taking the tourist option.

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You pay as you get on the ferry, and there is no walkway or anything like that.  The boat is tied to the peer, and you just jump from the peer onto the boat.  Simple, and safe. 🙂

Too my surprise the ferry is full of tourist.  🙁 all Russians, which is 90% of the tourist in Thailand.  So, not as authentic as I thought it would be, but that’s OK.

45 minutes later we reach Koh Larn Island.

The first thing I do is grab a scooter for 200 baht ($7.64 CAD) for the day.  This includes a full tank of gas, and detailed instructions on how to ride it.

Instructions: He points to the throttle and says, “go that way!”, and then he pulls the left handle brake and says, “No more going that way!”.

I can see why so many Asian tourist get hurt on scooters every year.  Scooters are the highest cause of tourist deaths in Thailand and this is why.  Anyone can rent one, even people with no concept of how to ride.

Helmets are law in Thailand, but try and find a helmet!

During the day, I see first hand at how bad some people are when riding.  One incident was on a fully open road, which is wide enough for 3 cars, with only myself going one way, and two tourist on a scooter coming towards me.  Oh, one detail, is they drive on the left here!  So, anyways, I am on the left, riding against the shoulder, when I see them coming at me, in the middle of the road.  For some reason, I knew they were going to come right at me, instead of going stright, and they did.  I stop against the shoulder, and wait!  A few seconds later, they come straight at me.  I point to the other side of the road, but nope, they don’t seem to know how to steer.  Luckily they are only going about walking speed as they drive up onto the curb 3 feet in front of me, where they finally stop.

I laugh, shake my head and continue driving on, as I go around them.

This happens more than once, over 3 hours of cruising around.  All you can really do is laugh and be happy the Island has no cars, for there sake.

One cool thing, I got the scooter going 65 KM going down a hill.  I was really proud of myself and was smiling and laughing the entire time.

The first thing I did was drive to the quietest beach, to see if I can find accommodations.

It only takes 8 minutes to get to Nual Beach, and I find there are no hotels, homestay or anything like that at any of the beaches, from what a local tells me.

This is good and bad news. I now know I only have to look in one area, but the bad is, I was hoping for a place on one of the beaches, outside of the little town.

For the next hour I ride around to Monkey Beach, and then onto Samae Beach, just to see what they look like, since I have time.

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Then back to Koh Larn town to start looking for accommodations.

I stop at about 6 places and see the price range is between 1000 and 1500 baht per night.  Way more than I am going to pay, as I am currently paying 400 baht.

My luck panned out, and I find a place for 900 per night, which includes a breakfast and free scooter for my stay.  However, 900 is still more than I am willing to pay.  So I start my negotiations, and tell them I am staying for 7 nights or more.  He then drops it to 800 baht.

I don’t need a scooter or breakfast, so I tell him I will do 500, no scooter, and no breakfast.  he calls his wife, she comes over and says.  Yes!

Perfect!  This place includes unlimited WiFi, with AC, and at 500 baht a night, this comes out to $134 CAD per week.

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So now my plans of going up North Thailand is on hold.  I can come live on an Island, go snorkeling everyday, relax, and be far away from tourist.  I love this.

On November 8, this is this will be my home for 7 days or more.  Who knows!

My next stop is for a smoothie.  Riding a scooter in 34 degrees Celsius heat, makes me thirsty.

I find a nice local street restaurant, that has smoothies for 40 baht ($1.53 CAD). I order a Kiwi smoothie and relax, while watching the local girl entertainment.

From what I can tell, there is a mom, and two daughters running the place.  The one daughter, who I am guessing is in her 20s is a total instigator.  She makes me laugh so much, I love it.  I am coming here more often.

She teases her sister non stop.  She was either flicking water at her, or trying to scare her, and then when she noticed me laughing at her.  She started at me.  I was looking at my phone, and all of a sudden, someone grabs my sides and goes, boo!  Yep, it was her.  This girl was funny as shit.  Just an all around good person.

After my smoothie I decided to drop of the scooter and head back to the ferry.

It was only 3 pm, but I am done with the heat for today.

Getting home was easy.  After the ferry, I walked back to the area where I got off the Pattaya bus and found another bus going the other direction.  I hop on it, and 15 minutes later, I see it does not go back the same way I came, but goes close enough.  I ended up about a 30 minute walk from my condo, but since I started to feel rain.  I jumped on a scooter taxi, for 30 baht ($1.15 CAD).  The guy took me right to my condo, and just in time.  A few minutes later we had a massive storm.

Check out the end of the video below.

Well, that was a pretty cool day, and I cannot wait to move to the Island in 9 days.

Pattaya – Jomtien Beach – I got Raped!

I have been in my condo for a few days now and even though I have been a good boy, not going out and partying, somehow things still happen in Thailand.

The first few days, I spend the majority of my time in the pool, or just walking around Jomtien Beach seeing what all there is.  I haven’t ventured much future out, or into Pattaya yet.  As I said, that didn’t stop me from seeing and having some crazy experiences.

Lets start off with a less crazy and more funny thing that happened.

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The one day I was relaxing in the pool, enjoying the sun.  There was a little girl, maybe 5 years old, not really sure how old, and her mom in the kiddy pool.  Anyways, the mom decided it was time to go and was trying to dry her little girl off and get her changed.   Well, this is where the funny starts.

The little girl was waiting for her chance, and when her mom turned for a split second.  The little girl tossed the towel at her mom, and ran butt naked towards the pool, laughing, and saying, “I am naked, you can’t get me!” and then jumps back into the pool.  Still laughing as loud as can be.

If you know my good friend Dave, this is exactly how I pictured him at that age with his mom.  Oh yes, he is the same now with his soon to be wife when she tries to dry him off, and get him out of the pool.

Thinking of Dave, and watching mom chase the little girl around, I seriously could not stop laughing.

Awwww, I love not being a parent!

Another funny story is, in the building there is a little shop that sells miscellaneous items.  The guy who runs it, is really nice, but doesn’t speak any English.  We always somehow figure out what each other is saying.  Anyways, the one day his daughter is working.  I would guess she is under 10 years old.  She speaks a little English and when I walk in, she takes over from Dad.  Telling me each item in the store and price, and tells me what Ice Cream cone I would like and at 50 cents, I am getting one.  The funny part, is when I am paying, Dad goes to run the cash register, but the girl was not having it.  She takes over and does it for him and says, she is Manager, he is owner.

She has been very funny, and every time she sees me, she calls me Sir.  Okay, that part isn’t funny.

Now onto the real stuff, the stuff most probably wouldn’t tell if it happened to them, but I don’t really have any shame left in me.

Massage in Thailand is really cheap, on average ranging from $6 to $11 dollars CAD and with those long flights, I need it.

I go during the day, knowing that when it gets dark, there is no such thing as a legit massage.  I really didn’t want Mister Pointy to get rubbed today, I just wanted my back and neck to stop hurting.

Anyways, I see a place that looks legit and they offer a deep tissue with oil massage for 300 Bhat ($11 CAD) for 1.5 hours.  Sounds good to me!

The girl giving me the massage was in her 20’s, and dressed professionally, so I think nothing of it.

During the massage, I am nude, but wrapped in a towel.  This again is normal!  I think!

She does a decent job on my neck and back, and then moves onto my legs.  Again, decent pressure, but her hands get way to close to my coin purse, for me.

Next she starts on my gluteus muscle (outside of your ass/leg), which really does help with lower back pain.

Then it happens!  Her hand goes way to close to my inside leg, and the second stroke, her finger goes into my ass hole!  OMG! I jump forward, pulling on the bed sheets.  I think I am tightening my ass muscle so hard, I almost give myself a stomach pain.

She stops and says, “Oh, you no want!”

I replied, “No, No! Only massage!”

She says, “Ok Sir!” and continues for another 15 minutes or so.

After the massage, I give her 300 Bhat, no tip, since I already got the tip!

I now know what a prisoner in the USA feels like the first night.  I have had several massages in Thailand, and never had that happen.

On my walk, or should I say waddle home, every time a ladyboy waves and says hi.  I look down, thinking that they know, somehow they know!  🙁

So much for waiting for marriage!!!

I was going to add more to this blog about the good food, etc, but I think I will stop it here, while I get a beer, and another shower.

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Patras Greece – Living with the crazy locals

From the bus stop, I take a taxi to my apartment.  It only cost 6 Euro for a 15 minute taxi through rush hour.  Not bad, if I compare to home it would have been closer to 10 Euro.

Shortly after arriving at the apartment, Nicolette, the young girl who is renting it, meets me.  She is super energetic, and full of smiles.  A very nice welcome!

Nicolette spends a few extra minutes with me, showing me great things to see in the area and where they are on google maps.

You can see the video here.

My first 2 days I spend in my local area walking around, meeting locals and finding groceries stores.  Another little adventure and you can see some of the things I bought here.

When booking this apartment I had read one negative review that said there is no hot water and at first I believed it.  I had the coldest shower ever.  I am now guaranteed to never have kids, it was that cold.  I guess that is a good bonus, who the hell wants kids.  Ewwww!

Anyways, as stubborn as I am, the next day I have another ball freezing shower.  After, I think, maybe I should call Nicolette and ask her why, or is this normal.

Well, she informs me, all I need to do is turn the switch on in the breaker panel.  Seriously, that’s it.  Well, the breakers are not labelled, so she sends me a picture showing me which one to turn on.  I turn it on, and 15 minutes later, I have smoking hot water. I quickly have another shower, and realize, I found my friend again, and he does exist.  Hi, big guy!  Awww, I am now completely loving this place.

Oh wait! Does this mean I might be able to have kids. Grrrr!

The next day, I head to Rios to see the bridge and go for a swim.  It’s about a 15 minute bus ride into the city center, and then I take a train to Rios.  I had no idea how much the train would be, but it ends up, it really cheap.  1.40 Euro each way.

One of the greatest things about traveling and not speaking the language is getting to meet people who will do anything to help you.  Before I continue talking about my day, this is a great place to talk about meeting amazing people.

While getting my train ticket, the girl at the booth was very helpful and even went out of her way to explain other options and other places to see.  This happens often.  The one grocery store I go into, only one girl speaks a little English, and every time I walk into the store, she comes over to help me find things and translate the labels.  Trust me this is helpful as I almost bought 50% cream for my cereal, and I did buy cheese in a tube, that I thought was sausage meat. Lol.  Another instance was at a convinced store where the young guy asked where I was from, and after, he told me everything he knew about Canada, and asked when I can come back to talk.  He helped me with directions, items in the store, and so much more.  Great guy.

People like this is why I travel!

Anyways, back to my day.

The train is nice and I love trains now, ever since my journey in New Zealand going through Arthurs pass.  They are comfortable, relaxing, and you get to see a lot.

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20 minutes later, I am at Rio(s).

One thing I don’t understand, is Patra(s) and Rio(s) are spelled two ways in English.  Sometimes with an S and sometimes not.  No have idea why, but my guess is, one is how we pronounce it, and the other is the correct spelling when translated.

I head straight to the water, to see what the beach is like.  I brought my ManKini just in case it is nice and it is.

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I change, find a nice spot near an umbrella and walk in.  The water is a tiny bit cold, but not as cold as the Black Sea.  As far as I know, it is called Ionian Sea.

I spend about 20 minutes just treading water and taking in the view.  The bridge is pretty cool.

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I love the water, but I am not one to spend a day at the beach, I get bored very quickly.  So, after an hour or so, I dry off and start walking around town.

On the other side of the bridge, I see something that looks old.  This is something I must see and find out what it is.

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Well, it ends up being the Fortress Of Rion that was built in 1499, with an actual mot around it.  So friggn cool!

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As I am walking around I start to think.  Can you image how many people have been killed here? How much history is in the spot I am standing?  The fort has been taken over many times in the last 500 years and is still somewhat standing.

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Some pictures from inside the Fortress.

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The fortress Of Rion is pretty amazing, but it is well after lunch.  I head back to the beach area where I saw some patios.  Would be a great place to relax and have some authentic Greek food.

I look at a few menus before I decide on this one location.  My decisions was Based on the menu having pictures and the location is right on the beach.

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The waitress as always is extremely helpful and answers all of my questions and gives me a suggestion to try the mix grill.  It’s only 7 Euro and looks great, “You don’t have to take my word for it”.  Can you guess who I am quoting? Post it, if you know!

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Rio is not a big town and was able to walk around most of it in an hour or so.

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The train ride back was uneventful, and from there I walked to the city center to catch the bus.

 

On my bus ride home, a lady misses her bus stop and decides it is the bus drivers fault.  She starts aggressively arguing with him while he is trying to drive the bus.  Fight on bus again!  She even blocks people from getting on, basically just being a real retard.  I just sit back and enjoy the show, as this is very common here in Greece.  I hate to say it, but I really have gotten the impression that Greeks are a bit rude, and selfish people.  I know this is generalizing, but this is definitely the impression I have seen over the last 14 days.  However, the good, nice people make up for the selfish, rude, and ignorant people.  And as a added bonus, the scenery is amazing.

I almost forgot about the one incident at my apartment during the 7 nights here.  It seemed to happen at least once a day where someone would ring my buzzer.  I would just ignore it, and after 3 or 4 rings, they would go away.  I had no reason to answer it, as I know no one here.

However, the one day my buzzer rang on and off for 15 minutes.  Then it stopped! 2 minutes later someone was knocking on my door.   I ignored it for a few minutes, and then I went and opened the door, ready to politely ask them to leave.  As I open the door, it is a crazy lady.  I told her, English only, but she kept talking in Greek.  I said it again, and waved goodbye.  She kept talking, so I slowly closed the door as I waved goodbye.

A minute later I heard the guy next door yelling at her.  I guess we had two different approaches to asking her to leave.  He yelled for a good 5 minutes and not softly!  This is a good example how they deal with issues, compared to us in Canada.

I just added this to my authentic, Greek experience.  This is why I rented a local apartment, to truly see how the locals live and I loved it!

Something you all need to try while in Greece, is there two Greek Hard Liquors.  One is called Ouzo, which tastes a lot like sambuca (Black Licorice) with an alcohol between 38 and 44%.  The other is Tsipouro.  This one taste like acid, and maybe like licking a 9 volt battery.

Here is a link explaining in detail what each is.
http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/11/18/a-guide-to-greek-drinks-and-drinking/

I found a shop and that actually home-brews both, and bought a small water bottle of both.

Me tasting both!

I don’t even remember drinking Ouzo that night, but the next morning I knew I had.  haha.  Tsipouro, I dumped out.  It is too nasty to drink.

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Some final pictures of my 7 night stay in Patra, Greece.  Next will be back to Athens, and then onto Thailand.

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Athens Greece – Just amazed at the views

AirBnB has been a great tool for meeting locals.  Hostels are great as well, but normally you meet other travelers, and not the locals.  I would rather meet locals, and learn how they live.

So, in Athens I booked a room with Paulina.  It is her first time hosting someone from AirBnB, and I am the lucky one. J When we first meet, she has a very big smile and I can tell right away that she is a super nice person.  By the end of my stay, this holds true.

The room is really nice, clean, and big.  She has a medium sized dog that I never learned the name of, but I really like her.  She never barks, and is a little scared of me, but I pet her a few times and show her how awesome I am.  Then I get the see the crazy wagging tail.

My first day in Athens I find out to enter all of the cool ruins, temples, etc, it cost 30 Euro.  Uhh, I am cheap.  So day 1 I decide to just walk around and find out where everything is.  Tomorrow I will make the decision if I pay to go in, or what I do.

As I am walking by one of the tour bus sales girls, I decide to allow her to give me her sales pitch.  I already know I am not going on the bus.  It is 18 Euro, and I can take the public bus or walk for less than 2 Euro.  Anyways, as she is talking, I ask her if there is a combination price, where I get the bus and entrance into each location.  She says no, but tomorrow, all of the entrances are free.  It is International day!

Well, you know what I do the next day!

I still spend several hours just wondering around town taking in the views and enjoying some mixed nuts from this guy.  Damn they were good!

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Here are a few pictures from today.  Some great views!

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The next day I get up early and bus it to the busiest site.  Acropolis of Athens and yesterday it had a line-up down the road.  Today, I am there just after it opens, and there is no line up and it is FREE!  Yes, I am doing a little happy dance.

I first admire some of the stones, and then onto Theatre of Dionysus.  I can’t believe 2000 years ago people sat here enjoying their evening out and here I am now doing the same.  I sit here for about 15 minutes just enjoying the amazing view and dreaming of what it must have been like.

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Well, it is time to start walking up the hill to the Temple of Athena Nike.  I am
almost wondering if I can even do this walk.  Look at it!  But I must, this is a dream coming true being here.

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I get about half way up and see another amphitheater, Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Archeologikos Choros Theatro Irodou Attikou.  This one is bigger, and is even more amazing than I could ever imagine.  It first opened in 161 AD and my ticket today was Free!

I hope you can see what I am talking about from the pictures.  I am truly amazed at why, and how they build such a thing, in such a hard to get at area.

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Hey, can you picture 5,000 Canadians watching team Canada, beat team USA from here, again!  Yes, it held 5000 people.  Crazy!

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I continue walking up, and up until I reach the top.

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There are 3 large buildings up here and I can’t picture how they would build them back in 420 BC.  I mean, I am out of breath taking my time walking up the stairs and they only had a path!  All I can think is how amazing people are.  This is what can be accomplished when a community comes together to build something.  When everyone has a common goal!

Why do we not have this now?  Back then they had thousands of people working together.  Now it is hard to get 3 people working in tandem without bitching, complaining, and screwing up.

However, it just shows what we can do, if we really want too!

I spend a good hour or more just walking around up here.

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After my decent I stop at a local cafe for an amazing Frappe Coffee Grande.  Mmmm so damn good!

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Next I am onto the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and this place is just as amazing as the last.  Can you believe construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, and was not completed for another 638 years.  Hmm, I worked for software companies that had projects take that long. 🙂

I take my time walking through here, and imagining what it must have been like so many years ago.

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Over the next few days, I spend about 4 hours a day walking around finding new hidden gems around every corner. Just look at the pictures below.

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On my last day I head to Glyfada Beach, recommended by Polina.

 

It takes about 45 minutes on the public bus to get here on bus A2.  Definitely a nice place to spend a day!  Beach, sun, and pretty girls.  What more can I ask for?  Oh yes, cheaper beer, but that’s OK.

Little Video of that day!

Tomorrow I bus to Patra(s) Greece, to spend a week in an apartment I rented.  More to come in Greece…

Odessa Ukraine to Athens Greece – One more step!

My night starts off around 9 PM, while I am laying in bed thinking, “Oh, I better set my alarm, I have to be awake at 4:30 AM to catch my flight.”

Next, I pack my bag and organize my things, so in the morning, I do not disturb the other people sleeping in the dorm.  I mean, this is a normal thing, I think everyone would do.  However, not everyone gives a shit about others.

I share a dorm room with 5 other guys.  At around midnight all 6 of us are in bed, but one dick, decides he wants to read.  He leaves the very bright light on in the room.  I get up and turn it off, as it is after midnight.  He turns on the other light, which is just as bright.  I don’t say anything, and just try and sleep.

Well, 4 am arrives and I still have not slept because of this fucking bright light, and the guy decided around 2 am to start typing on his laptop.  Oh yeah, I asked him around 3 am if he could just go to sleep, because I have to wake up at 4:30 am.  He says, yes soon.

4:20 AM, he turns off the light and says, Good Night!  I say, “Wonderful, you are a kind person!”

I truly don’t understand people who do not think about how, what they do, can and does affect others.  It’s simple, don’t be a stuck up, selfish person!

4:30 am, my alarm does not go off!  Why, because I am awake, and turn it off before.  No point in making the noise, right!

Anyways, I am already not in a great mood, but I get over it.  I quickly and quietly, get my stuff out of the room and head to the receptionist desk.

My plan was to remind him to call a taxi, and while the taxi is coming, I will brush my teeth, and be ready.  Not what happened.

I first have to wake him up, as he is sleeping on the floor behind the desk.  Then I remind him about the taxi, and he calls.  He tells me 15 minutes and they will call him back to let him know if they have a driver.

This is not looking good.  So I try to ask him to call another taxi place, but as I am typing this on my translator, he says.  “Taxi, Taxi, Taxi” and tries taking my laptop bag.  I stop him and say, “Wait, I am not packed.  I have to toss my tooth brush and jacked in my bag.”  He then tries to take my backpack.  I again say.  No, Wait!  He takes it anyways and starts heading outside.

I am like … FUCK!!!!!!!!!  I toss my tooth brush in my bag and look around quickly for my other stuff. I see nothing as I am more focused on my backpack, running away!

I run after him and he is already putting my bag in the trunk.

Ok, so I went from not sure when a taxi will come, if ever, to, shit my bag is leaving without me in a matter of seconds.

Oh yes, so in the rush, he never gave me my key deposit back.  Oh well, it is only 50 UAH, like $1.10 Canadian.

As I arrive at the airport, I check in and get my tickets.  Everything is looking good. I have an hour before my plane.  I grab some water and relax.

My plane is about to board, and all of a sudden my stomach starts turning.  I have to shit, and I have to shit NOW!  I love IBS-D.  It is great!  I make it to the one toilet, with no seconds to spare.  I sit down so fast I almost fall off of the toilet.  Somehow I managed to shit on the seat, but nothing is on my pants, or underwear.  Score me!  I see an upside to this, except my plane is loading.

I wrap it up and get to my plane just in time.

So here is another bonus to my bad day.  The plane is full but 2 seats, and that one seat is beside me. 🙂

I take some pills for my stomach so I don’t shit myself again.  I still have another flight.

As I am sitting here, thinking, it’s a bit cold.  I think, “where is my jacket.”  Every curse and bad word is now running through my head.  In the rush to the taxi, I left my very expensive Burton jacket sitting on the counter in Odessa.

I love this jacket!

OK, so I try to think positive.  Maybe they can mail it to me, but wait. I don’t even know where I will be from one day to another.

I dunno!

Anyways, we make it to Kiev, where I will be catching my next plane to Athens, Greece.  This makes me smile again, because this has been a dream to see Athens.

As I am waiting in line to go through the security, I always seem to get someone behind me who doesn’t know personal space. Just because you are in a line, does not mean you have to stand on the person ankles in front of you.  However, the guy behind me does.  After the second time, I asked.  “Can you not do that?”  He says sorry and does it again 2 minutes later.  That time I turn around and said, “Thanks”.

This next part I am going to put on the bonus, good side of my scale.

As my ankles are getting bruised, I am watching this other guy get security checked.  They choose him for a random pat down.  These pat downs are very quick, and they miss a lot.  Anyways, as they finish patting down his back, the officer says, “Please sit here.” and points to a chair, while they check his bag.  The guy heard it as, “Please bend over” and the guy touches his toes like he is going to get an anal check.  OMG, I tried so hard not to start laughing.  This was awesome and I apologize for laughing at someone, but this was funny.

Then there is this lady with a zipper sweater on.  The officer asks her to take off her jacket as he thought it was a jacket, not a sweater.  She has nothing on under it but a bra, and actually starts taking it off.  The officer is like, “Oh, no no, keep it on.”  Again, I loved the show and laugh a lot inside.  I love Europe and their free way of thinking!

My next plane arrives and we load.  Great, full plane, and I am sitting against the window, with a giant beside me.  The only thing I hate more is when there is a screaming kid.

Oh but wait,  the seat in front of me is a mom, dad, and a little boy and you guessed it.  He is very well behaved! Not!  The little ass climbs the seat and starts trying to grab my sunglasses.  I say, somewhat nicely.  “GO away!” and give his dad a look.  If I climbed over seats at that age, I would have my ass kicked by my dad, and then if mom got mad, look the fuck out.

They finally, somewhat control the little monster.

Then it happens.  A SCREAMING, and I mean SCREAMING baby is 5 rows back.  Please make it stop.  I am actually starting to contemplate what would be worse, listening to it scream, or opening the door and tossing it, while chancing crashing, and killing everyone on the plane.  Well, we would have at least 1 minute of peace?

So, yes, the plane ride was long, for a 2 hour flight.

But wait, good luck comes my way.  My bag is one of the first off the plane.  Score me!  Customs goes easy, and I am now in Greece.

Some pictures while landing in Athens.

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As I exit the airport, I remember I have Euro’s still from when I was in Finland.  Score me again!

My AirBnB host left me a message saying I catch the bus 95 into the town center, and then A2 to her place.  Sounds easy, and it actually is.  I do take way longer than if I knew where I was going, but that is OK.  I am in Athens, Greece.

Here is one teaser, for the next post!

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Odessa – Beach Life – Great Friends

So what’s been going on the last few days.  Well, I move into my new place, which I rented from AirBNB for 19 CAD per night.  It is 4 minute walk to the beach, and not far from my friend’s Lesya home.

Check out the video here!

While renting my beach house, I noticed a tone of dogs walking all over the streets.  I was pretty sure they are not owned by anyone, and just wild.  Later Lesya confirmed these are wild dogs.  Something you would never see back home in a city.

The one little dog, who I have nick named, “The Instigator” walks up and down the street and barks at other dogs, and when they start barking uncontrollably, he leaves and goes onto the next dog.  This is the first dog, I think I would kick, and maybe even have a competition on punting distance. 🙂

OK, dog lovers, get over that comment.

I would say, that is the only negative I have found while living at this house.  I really like it, and the price you cannot beat, and to add to the positives, it is a 5 minute walk to a nice, small beach, with beer.  And if I have the energy, I can walk the beach 2 KM down, to the more popular beach.  I did this a few times.

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The first Saturday night Lesya met up with me, and we went out for Sushi and drinks.  Our conversation is always random and pretty funny.  Again, our intentions were to walk around, but we ended up just having drinks at the Sushi restaurant.

During the week, Lesya was busy with work, so I just went to the beach everyday and enjoyed the good life.

Checkout what you can buy on the beach for under 2 dollars.

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The next Sunday, it was the first day, were it was no hot, so no beach.  However, this ended up in my favour because Lesya’s beach plans were canceled. We can now hangout.

This is another random, funny day!

We meet around 11 AM, at the bus stop close to my place.  I was hungry and craving Sushi again.  So we walked to the same place as last Saturday.  At the restaurant the waitress, was happy to see us, and tells us she was hoping to see us again.  OK, I don’t remember making any kind of impression last time, but I guess we did.  She even told us, she wants us to come back more often.  Very random, but cool!

During lunch, yes, you guessed it.  Wine was way to good, and the next thing I know I am drinking Ukraine Cognac.  This is actually my first time ever drinking Cognac and for a dollar a drink, I have a few.  I really like it!

After lunch, I am feeling pretty good, Lesya is obviously feeling happy as I can see in her eyes, a little buzzed look.

We walk to a local grocery store where we buy more wine, and she buys stuff to cook us dinner as well.

Lesya buying bottled wine.

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While buying wine, a girl and her husband start talking to Lesya.  My understanding is he is a marine pilot, and Lesya works at another marina office for cargo ships.  They end up exchanging information and the next thing I know, we are invited to meet up later for drinks.  Very random!

After the grocery store, we walk over to Lesya’s house to give her mom some of the groceries.  I get to meet her parents and see where she lives.  It is a nice condo/flat and her parents are really nice.  They do not speak English, but with a little help, we have some good talks.

We head over to my place where she cooks grilled wraps, and I have to say, she is one hell of a good cook.  It’s a few days later as I am writing this, and I am craving them again.

Few pictures of us before the drinks get rolling.

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I did not know this, but in Ukraine, a girl does not pour her wine, the guy always fills the glass, and it better not get empty.  I know back home, if I was to touch one of my old girlfriends wine bottles, they might bite or hit me.  Never touch a girls wine. lol.

The couple we met earlier messaged and are going to come to my place for drinks, and a few minutes later, one of Lesya’s friends also messaged and is now coming also.

I will skip ahead to all of us drinking on the patio.

The guy’s wife is crazy, and drunk.  She talks a mile a minute, and seems always upset.  The guy is also a bit moody.  If I do not pay attention to him, he gets a little attitude, but i’ts all good.  We have a pretty good night.  He brought Vodka and Gin and he kept giving me shots.  By the end of the night, I know I was more drunk than I wanted.  Not what I was planning 12 hours ago.

He also gave me two gifts.  One was a picture of I dunno, I am not religious, and the other was 25 Soviet Union Roubles.  This is really cool, as they do not exist anymore.  I will definitly keep the 25 Roubles with me!

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Lesya’s friend, Korina is really cool.  A very sweet girl.  She only speaks a little English, but enough we have some good conversation.  I can see why the two are friends.  Both really great people.

Well the night eventually ends and everyone leaves.  I see a pretty good mess, and I only clean up the food, so no animals get into it.  Tomorrow will have to be clean up day.

The next day I was a little hungover, and I am very happy I do not have to checkout of the house until 3 PM.  This gives me time to clean up, wake up, and pack.

3 PM arrives and the owners show up, with their daughter.  She speaks English and can translate. 🙂  This is a needed for sure.

She helps me get a taxi and also adds me to Facebook, on her mom’s request.  They want to keep in touch and read some of my past blogs.  They are really nice people.  Someday I hope to come back again and stay in this place.

Well, I am now in a hostel in the city center.  In a day I will be flying to Athens, Greece, leaving this amazing country.  I will miss hanging out with Lesya.

We are trying to meet one last time, but it is raining like mad with some good wind, so we might not be able too.  If not, I know I will keep in touch with her on Facebook. Hopefully we will meet again.

Odessa – Ukraine – Beaches, Boating, and Batman?

Beach time with Mike and Yusif has arrived and I am heading into Odessa city center to meet Mike.  I have been here for a few days and have yet to actually swim in the Black Sea.  This is always really important to me.  I love swimming!

I meet Mike and just across the road is Yusif.  Yusif tells me he had a wonderful sleep.  He woke up to cockroaches in his bed.  My first thought is of the movie, Joes Apartment. LOL.  Yusif doing a little song and dance with them, and they all living happily ever after.  However, he tells me this did not happen, and he has moved to a new apartment.

Instead of walking to the beach, Mike tosses his thumb up to hitchhike right in the middle of the city.  This is a little new to me.  I guess if you speak the language, you can make a deal with a local to drive you to the location you want, for a fee.  Normally a little cheaper than a taxi.  Almost like car pooling, mixed with taxi / hitchhiking.  Not recommended if you do not speak Ukraine, or Russian though.

A lady picks us up and drives us to the beach.  Pretty cool, considering in Canada, I waited 2.5 hours and never got picked up and here we get a lift from a lady!

At the beach, Mike gets us a bed with a large umbrella for 200 UAH ($10 CAD) for the day. You don’t have to rent one of these, but it is nicer than sitting in the sand.

Mike and Yusif sitting on one of the beds.

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The day at the beach was really nice and relaxing.  I am sure I fell asleep for 10 minutes while laying on the bed.  The water was cool, but refreshing, and the girls. Amazing!  I love you Ukraine!

Later in the day, Mike and Yusif take a ride on what is called, Batman.  It a big blowup thing, that they use a Seadoo to pull.  If it goes fast enough, it gets lifted off of the ground.  I did not go on it, because I was worried it might hurt my back.  I have to say, watching the video, I am a little jealous.

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Some random pics from the beach.

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The beach was pretty fun, but its time for Mike’s next adventure.  He is taking us on a boat cruise around Odessa.

Mike’s friend, and his girlfriend, pick us up in their car and take us to the boat.  For whatever reason, I do not remember their names.

Anyways, the boat tour was pretty awesome.  It lasted about an hour and we got to see some nice views of the beach, and water front.

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After the boat tour, we were all hungry and headed to the best place in Odessa for pizza.

I wish I had some pictures of the pizza, because it was awesome.  I ate way to much, that is for sure.

After pizza, that was it for the night.  It is late, close to midnight and I decide to walk back to the hotel from the city center.  Almost a bad mistake!

I was a few blocks from my hotel, in that really nice area I told you all about.  As I pass 3 younger guys standing on the side, walk.  One starts to follow me, and quickly gets beside me.  I had a bad feeling about this and also noticed there is no one else in site.  So, as he says something in Russian, I know the best thing to do, is not to let him know I am a tourist.  I say nothing, but my hand directly in his face, in a stop position.  Give him, I will kill you look and keep walking.  They end up following about 5 meters behind me until I cross the street to my hotel.

I still have no idea what he said to me, but I know it was nothing good.  Maybe asking for money, or asking if I want to fight.  I heard random guys will do this in the streets.  However, I cannot confirm this, as I do not understand what he said.

Another amazing day, hanging with friends, ended with a little heart racing.  Still wouldn’t change any part of it.

A few pictures of the area my hotel is in.  During the day, not so bad 🙂

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