May 2, 2014

A Greek Odyssey - Feedback and Reviews

@ Dubai Apt. Hum to Chale Pardes
This post is courtesy the group members whose own views and experiences of the tour are listed below. I would like to thank the contributors for their views and letting me share their thoughts. 

A thank you note to Bhatia Buzz for the wonderful tour and the opportunity to meet one and all. Photographs used in this post have been sourced through some of the group members collections and including Bhatia Buzz.

@ Hotel. Chalo Bulawa Aaya Hai
I love nature and travelling to places with scenic views, pleasant weather.  My last travel in 2009 to Germany (Black Forest), where we got to travel the country side and also covering the the French (Strasbourg) and Swiss borders (Zurich & Schaffhausen), made me madly fall in love with Europe.

Since then, did not have much of an opportunity for a proper break, and longing for another one, an opportunity arose on finding out that Bhatia Buzz, our Community Group had organized a Tour to Greece. Jumping with joy led to an immediate decision of a break from work and go on this trip (as I wanted to see more of Europe), even if I had to go alone with the group. The decision slowly influenced my sister, my Sister In Law, my nephews and niece and my mom and finally they all joined me on this. I would have been happier had my children also joined me, but as they were fresh graduates with new jobs, could not come along but supported me wholeheartedly. 

Group @ Acropolis
As the date approached, the excitement too increased. Procedures got done with, a short briefing session before the tour, getting to know the people going on tour, the wait became shorter. Finally the day of travel arrived and headed off to the Airport at 2.30 am. Being a long day, full plans on catching up on some sleep on flight, however the weather decided to play spoil sport with some other plans in store. Thunder / Lightning decided to fall across, leading to our flight to Doha getting cancelled and also missing our connecting flight to Athens. What a start to our trip!!!

@ The Theatre
But in a way this gave us chance to familiarize with each other in the group as we had to wait for nearly 8 hours before we could get on another flight to Doha. With our tour leader managing to get us the Lounge Access, some members managed to get some sleep on the couches of the lounges. And I was actually envying people who were able to sleep so coolly. I can never get a proper sleep in uncomfortable situations, however tired I may be. Some of us kept on chatting with each other getting to know each other, how we are related or inter-related (full Bhatia community is related in some or the other way).  Thus we managed to pass our time and get on the plane by 11.30 am.  All of us were so excited to get on the plane finally and were hoping that next connecting flight for the day does not get missed. Thankfully that did not happen and we could catch that flight right in time.

Our Selfie Sparks
Finally after 5 hours we reached our final destination – Athens, Greece. What a relief! We got into our tour bus from the airport to check into the city hotel. It took 45 mins from airport to the hotel. On our way we enjoyed the scenery and as we neared the city, it took us a while to reach due to the heavy traffic on the roads. Though we all were very tired due to the flight delay and long travel, we did not want to waste rest of the day. 

The Quietest Kids every seen.
We came down soon after checking into our rooms to visit Greek tavern in Plaka area, an old Athens town, for dinner and to see folk dancing with music. The Greek vegetarian dinner was quite good and filling and the dances were a treat to watch, but due to a tiring journey and full earlier tiring week at work, was not able to enjoy this moment fully. Was feeling very sleepy and wanted to hit the bed as soon as possible.

Our Romantic Couple
Following a good night's rest, we started with our sight-seeing the next day feeling fresh as a flower. We had a beautiful tour guide with us, who seemed more of a history teacher than a tour guide. She kept on talking and explaining to us all about Greek history throughout the tour. Impressive but quite a few of us, I presume, did not quite understand.

The Girls are back in Town
I really enjoyed overall trip and the main thing was bonding with the group members. These four days, where we visited historical places, shopping, tasting Greek cuisine, sing along drives on the buses, the boat cruise, and the kids having a care free time, getting to know people, are some memories that simply cannot be described. 

Our Resident SRK
Work was forgotten, and was simply a go with the flow with every one else. I think this was one of the best phases of my life. I wouldn’t mind going on another trip along with the group. All the group members were very friendly, accommodating, sharing and caring. Yes I should put it down that since we had to cover maximum places in four days, there was not much  breathing space as we had to be on our toes from morning till evening. Physically there was no time to relax but beautiful place along with awesome company made this trip worth while. But hopefully my children will accompany me next time.

Our Smashing Tour Operators
Comments above courtesy Rita Babla

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