How to get from the (Buharest-Athens) bus station to the city centre in Athens…or how not to do it.

Let me start off with saying that you should bring good shoes if you try to do what I did in Athens. I didn’t wear my hiking boots, so I got blisters. It’s my own fault.


I arrived somewhere in Athens at around 8 o’clock in the morning. I had no idea where I was. I just knew, I didn’t want to take a taxi to the city centre. I’m sure there’s a bus to somewhere. I set off to find a bus station, which I do very quickly. After waiting for a while and witnessing some funny secret cigarette sales the bus arrives. I, being as stupid as I am, got on to buy a ticket, but was told I had to get it at the kiosk. Of course. Whatever, I’m not going to wait another 15 minutes for the next bus to come, so I shoulder my backpack and start walking to where the bus took off.

If I walk along the bus stops I’ll get to where I have to go, right?

Yea, if I would actually follow the bus stops…
Somehow, I lost them…I don’t know how. But I followed the road signs to a square that was actually on the map in my little “South Eastern Europe” guidebook.

Inevitably, I got quite lost…looking up all sorts of streets I suddenly saw something that looked like it would be a large square. I walk towards it, and lo and behold there was a large square filled with cars, mopeds and tired pedestrians.

There was even a metro station!

I skip down the steps to the metro station, because I still had no idea where I was. After consulting my trusty map and the metro stations I conclude that I was one station away from the city centre.

Despite carrying a 10kg pack and my little backpack converted to a frontpack-with my water, passport and money in it-I decide that it’s not far enough to pay the E1,40 ticket. I head back to the square and go to look for the street I need to take. After a short couple of minutes of looking around I find it and am on my way to the Acropolis. It wasn’t until I had the first ruins infront of me that I realized that I was smack in the centre of Athens.

So to conclude…I could’ve just taken a bus that would have dropped me off exactly here, but I decided to spend quite a long time walking, searching and getting lost in this city with a 10kg backpack. I still think I made the right choice.

Everything is new

Nepal has changed me for the better.

I’m sorry for being cheesy, but this trip did make me change my life. Not in the sense that I am now a vegan Buddhist monk, but in the sense that I learnt to love myself again and how to smile. I went through a rough time before I went on my trip, and I feel like I am back to my strong and happy self that I was several years ago 🙂

Having said this, I want to tell you all the new and exciting things I have planned for the future! Becuase I LOVE to plan things.

Since coming back I have moved to England and have started my MA Education in International Development and Education. Part of ther degree is a Placement. Since I am interested in homelessness (not really much to do with my library in Nepal ^^ but oh well!) and I have connections in Bucharest, Romania (from previously living there for 7 years) I decided to go back to that beautiful country to do my placement and conduct the research for my Dissertation (focused on the educational opinions and needs of the homeless and the informal education that is already going on–more on thsi in later posts).

Since I am doing a MA programme, I have quite a bit of time where I have no classes. And since I am organized and have stuff planned and can work efficiently, as well as the one month easter break in April, i will take some time to travel.
March will be spent in Bucharest conducting my research and April, and maybe some of May, will be spent TRAVELLING!

My initial plans consisted of South Eastern Europe, but after posting some questions on my trip seems to keep getting bigger and bigger.

1. The initial plan: Live in Bucharest and travel to Moldova to visit old friends and then go off through Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, potentially northern Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bus and train travel is cheap, couchsurfing is free and food is inexpensive too! Ther perfect trip for a student 🙂

2. Moldova: In 2010 I volunteered in an orphanage in Moldova. This would be a PERFECT opportunity to go back and visit for a weekend or so 🙂 The last time, the situation between Moldova and Transnistiria was still very shaky and border patrols and guards were taking extremely high bribes. I was also told it would be very dangerous to go. Since I was 17 back then I did not want to take the chance.

After having posted on fodors though, I have gotten responses about the situation having gotten a lot better since the elctions in 2011. After a consultation on I also found potential hosts. So guess where I’m going for a night? That’s right. Tiraspol.

This leads me to point three. The crazy part of this trip.

Yes. I call THIS the crazy part…although I have gotten called crazy for wanting to visit places like the Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina (which I find extremely interesting)

3. Asia: I’ve been to Asia before. Actually, I was born in Asia. There’s a fun fact about me! ^^

Back to the trip.

So I was told the train trip from Chisinau (Moldova) to Tiraspol (Transnistiria) and then on to Odessa (Ukraine) is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL. So I have to take that person for their word…and as someone who loves to travel and who loves bus and train travel a statement like that is lethal.

I have been to Odessa before…but I remember it being a port town with Ferries. So…yea.

Internet + travel plans + google maps = oh my gosh!

So I found ferries to Georgia. Yep. And Armenia’s not far off from there…Tblisi is only a 5h drive from Yerevan (WHAAT?) and then I can go visit Ankara and drive through Anatolia! Take a beautiful old train to Izmir (my place of birth that I’ve been wanting to visit for years!) and then a ferry to Athens (where I’ve also never been)

From there on I can then continue my previously planned trip.

The only downside to this is missing out Bulgaria…but I’ve been there so many times, I think I’ll survive…And I’ll get to see pretty much three new countries (I’ve only really been to Istanbul in Turkey…)

What an adventure!