Posts Tagged ‘driving’

Venturing out of the city

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Experiencing a bit of the roads over last few days we decided to get back onto the streets and go further a field and see what was beyond Athens city. We headed towards the coast, not really knowing where we were going we drove for around an hour and stumbled upon a little café selling cheese pies which we had to try for breakfast. Sitting on a quiet-ish road side eating our breakie and drinks we asked a waitress of where the nearest beach was, amongst her great pointing attempt at English we realised we weren’t far away at all.
About 10 minutes drive we found a little harbour where cafes, hotels and fishing boats were. We stopped here for a little walk where we saw a crisp clear ocean with much sea life, several Apache style helicopters circling from the local army base, loads of dogs just strewn across car parks and beautiful hills appearing out of the sea we took a few photos before heading back to the car.
Following the coast seeing/smelling fuel refineries and amazing ways of life we found our first super market; My Market. Where we bought once more some food to try and a few presents.
We headed back to the hotel and got prepared for a night out in the city. We went in on the tram system for ease. The square was buzzing with life, people going in and out of very expensive chocolate and designer stores. After walking around for a while a Greek man noticed us looking a little confused; we could see little restaurants and pointed at a little pizza place that didn’t look very appealing. He opted to point us in the right direction by walking us to a lovely restaurant he recommended. A couple of streets across we were in an area we were familiar too as we had taken a few photos on foot earlier and passed through on the train. Yet again greeted by an old Greek man very proud to shake hands and be nice… as they do! We sat down and were being recommended our starters, mains and wine but decided to be a little decisive which didn’t seem to go down too well. We decided to have his recommended salad and cheeses but all had a different main, chicken & pasta, Mousaka, Chicken with potatoes and Pork steak which disappointingly turned out to be a normal pork chop!
Determined not to be fleeced we were still shocked at the 102euros it cost us; not realising they had charged us for the various little nibbled they plonked on our table! We were given a little glass of murky Ouzo which wasn’t as strong as Sambuca even though still at 40%; it tasted a little weird and I couldn’t stomach it!
We paid up and went for a little walk, trying to find somewhere we could have a little taste of their sweets for the first time. Finding very little open we came across one shop just closing and ran in for a few nibbles.
After spending a while in the square taking night shots we decided to call it a night and head back home on the tram; trying our ticket in the ticket validation machines we realised it was 1Euro return and it had stamped us for the journey back; making it an even bigger bargain considering the taxi the night before cost us 20Euros for no more than a 2mile/5 minute drop off.

What’s all the fuss!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Got up at 6 this morning after realising it had snowed some several inches in Redditch overnight. Got onto the roads about 6.20 and suddenly felt uneasy, it was probably the first time in my 7 years of driving all roads were fully snowed in, let alone the fact I was in a rear wheel drive for it too!!!
After circling a few roads around my area I decidied to bare the streets to Birmingham city centre. Immediately becoming gobsmacked by other peoples driving, I had only gone some 100 yards and there was an Escort right up my rear, refusing to use my brakes I slowed gradually using my gears and it worked great.
Pulling away in 3rd still seemed to cause my rear to slip and slide but gently pulling away I managed to do it without getting in a spin.
I had travelled about 1.5 miles in 10 minutes and I was still being amazed by some peoples attitude towards the snow; a 4×4 may pull you better in the snow but it doesn’t mean you can stop any better!!! I had a Freelander so close to me, I couldn’t see his lights, whilst doing about 30-40mph.
None the less, I managed to get into work unscathed in about an hour, just over twice my normal time but I feel so much better for doing it, it was a great experience and valuable for future driving.
It was a scary but fun drive in, recommend it to anyone, just be sensible and use your gears not your brakes.