5 August, 2011
My mother warned me about Sofia, but I didn’t listen. I’m just a rebel I guess. Well a wimpy rebel, anyway. Don’t worry Mum, I am only here for 3 nights, and I’ll keep my nose clean and stay clear of trouble, I promise!
In Thessaloniki I reached a decision point. A fork in the road, if you will. Where to now? South to Athens and the Greek islands of the Aegaean, east to Istanbul or north to Bulgaria. As you can see, I chose the last option.
My reason was that August would be the peak time for tourists in the Greek islands. In September there would still be plenty, but maybe not quite so many. So, while my rough sketch of my planned trip on a napkin at Atticus Finch bar in Melbourne early this year (hi Andrew!) has been quite accurate (except for the little detour to Corfu), I now plan to visit the islands in a clockwise, rather than anti-clockwise direction (if my trip lasts that long). The plan now is to travel north through Bulgaria and Romania (countries I have never visited) to Ukraine (which I did visit and enjoyed last year). From Odessa there is a boat to Istanbul (how much more romantic than a prosaic bus from Thessaloniki). Then travelling down the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Rhodes, then Crete, then maybe Santorini (Thira), then back to Athens and my odyssey will be over. Flying back to Australia from Athens in October (maybe via India, to visit my friend Andy for a few days) might be how it turns out. We’ll see.