Athens with Friends -part 1. 

Last week in Athens has left me with so many mixed feelings. As I earlier mentioned in my last post that my friends are visiting me. And they have finally arrived here yesterday. We set our journey to receive them at the airport on the half empty highways at half past nine with excitement in our hearts.

The room I arranged for both my friends, one named Klara the young blonde energetic woman who is here to enjoy her summer and the other an English teacher in her mid fifties. She has been a dear friend and my only friend when I moved first to Czech Republic. Anyway, the room I found through airbnb had a fantastic authentic Greek feel to it and I loved it. 

The owner being a Greek was pleasant, sweet,and an highly educated woman in her late fourties! She in fact did an fabulous arrangement for her guests to have an comfortable and extravagant stay in the heart of the city of Athens. I must say I was very much pleased and contented. 

When I met my friends the day next day, they were really happy that I arranged such a wonderful stay for them. And like a holiday planned, we set out today to do some heavy sightseeing in almost thirty eight degrees Athens. We had a heart warming breakfast and set out our day by foot to Acropolis! The one monument you cannot miss whilst your stay at Athens.

So now they are out there doing all the study and enjoying the historical monument while I wait at the foothills of the Mighty Acropolis, having the oppurtunity to write a post and share my final week events with my dear friends in Athens. But unfortunately to my awe, I forgot to put in the micro card to my camera hence I promise to share you some pics along with my journey. 

So stay tuned, though the days are few, the journey is long! 🙂 

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Au-revoir Hellas.

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It has been seven months exactly since we moved to Greece. I have never imagined, I would come live here. I did not arrive as a tourist and how they say once they return from their holiday on how they fell in love with the country, instead I have a different vision to how I fell in love with this land. And now the time has come to bid good bye to this wonderful nation, filled with so much history, really nice down-to-earth people, the amazing places, the sea, the sand, the crystal clear beaches and the picturesque landscape.

Little did I know about this country when I first arrived to Athens. Like everyone else. I even forgot to do some of the research before arriving here. I came here early January, right after celebrating our Christmas with family back in Prague. My husband told me the news when we were still busy settling into our new apartment we moved back then in Prague. And how much I would like it here in Greece. At the beginning I wasn’t fully convinced but after living here for seven months. He was right! He was damn right! I did just not like it here but loved it here.

Athens was so incredible, the small alleys, tourists filled Taverna’s, living in the heart of the city was such a plus point for a person from a different country. Athens has got it’s own touch to living in Greece. Tourists often miss seeing Athens but it has got some feel to it. and today writing this post has just made me even more melancholy towards leaving this place. recollecting the events during this seven months only makes my heart heavy.

I still remember telling my partner, how much I wanted to visit Santorini and Mykonos. however, I din’t end up visiting neither of those places. but I did enjoy the best part of the Greece, the Venetian history filled places. Corfu, was breathtaking. at the tip of the north of Greece almost lying on the side of Albania, this place had a authentic Greek feel to it. soon after that visit, we were at Kefalonia and Zante. every place has its own aspect to Greece. Kefalonia was filled with rocky huge mountains and when you reach the tip of the mountain, from the distance you could see the amazing crystal green waters below which will always remain in my memories. I can hardly find words to describe Zante, this was an love at first sight, Island. Over all, Though I did not get to visit where all the tourists usually visit, I saw the real authentic Greece. and now, I am almost in tears, in having to miss this amazing haven.

(Go check out my guest post about the Ionian Islands where I detailed on the Islands I mentioned in the above paragraph in a dear friend’s blog : Oh! Fernweh)

The one thing that will always remind me of Greece is the amazing food. blessed with agriculture, Greece has the freshest produce you could ever get in Europe. Greeks love their food and cannot live without it and so cant I! 🙂 The most missed food would be the famous Pita Gyros. By far, my most Favorited food since I got here. But I cant put away the rest of the food. Greek food is the best food after my very own Indian food. and the fresh fruits and vegetables produce I usually buy every Friday at the farmers market. I am going to surely miss that. My little daughter used to get all thrilled and excited to see the vendors at the market and to say Yasu (Hello), waving her tiny hand. And I have got just one last Friday for the market.

And since the summer began with it’s full heat, our weekends were spent at the sea most of the time. I would never forget the first time my daughter touched the Mediterranean Sea with her tiny feet. I am going to definitely miss the sea, sun and the sand. I was lucky to experience the 3 S’s once again after being in Maldives for 5 years.  I can keep writing a huge described post of how many things I would miss in Greece. but for now, I am just excited for the next week as my Best friend from Prague comes to visit me here in Greece for 5 days before my travel chapter in Greece ends!

This will be the last holiday until Christmas, so I am going to soak up all the Greek sun and enjoy to the maximum before heading back to home, Prague to begin a new chapter of my life!

Organizing your UK visa

I was walking back to the visa center from a visa photography session for the visa application constructing this post to make aware the all possible procedures to organize your UK visa and accomplish it with no hassle or time consumption. it is going to be definitely helpful if it matters to you. This post will help you no matter which part of the world you are going to submit your application. Follow the below procedure and tada! you do not have to worry about anything else.

Application Procedure:

I don’t know when I plan to go to the UK, but a tourist visa comes with a 6 months of a validity period which means you can travel any number of times back and forth the country. but initially when I decided I would eventually go visit there to see the country, travel around the meadows and plains of Scotland and the bustling city of London, I instantly applied for one. But in order to apply, I did a bit of research, then it came to my knowledge that you got to make an account online and apply for one and then visit the visa center for a appointment with them.  the procedure comes in 6 steps:

1. Application submitted

2. Transferred for decision

3. Received by the UK visa examiner

4. Decision made

5. Ready for collection

6. Passport Returned

Here’s is the website you may register for an online account :  https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa.

fill in the form in English,  pay in the visa fee (varies from different nationality) online in most cases. once you have completed it, the website will let you print your form and an appointment confirmation date and time along with the address and your reference number. this form is a very important form as you would need to provide it to the contact person from the visa center to do your bio-metric procedure. now you must be wondering what is bio-metric? i will explain it in a few minutes, so, once you have gotten your form printed, it will provide you the available dates of interview, you can select which you are convenient with. on the day of your appointment ensure you have the below following as your supporting documents along with the printed form that you would be submitting.

1. 2 photos

  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
  • in case you wear glasses, do not wear them
  • for girls pin up your hair, even the hair that covers your face unless you want your application to be rejected.

2. if you are going there for a visit, your flight ticket confirmation.

3. your hotel stay and accommodation details

4. Bank statement from the last 6 months

5. if you are travelling with your spouse, passport copy of his/her.

note: if you do not have your photocopies, they would send you for all of the above mentioned to bring them to process to the next step.

trust me , when i added the above note as I had to walk a mile to get photocopies from the visa center that I applied in Athens.

so, once you got all of these submitted, the person who is responsible to verify the documents, asks you to make a couple of signatures and then you are taken to the next step of :

Bio-Metric Procedure

so this simply means, they will take your finger prints, signatures and photographs for identification purpose. you will be asked to place your 4 fingers of one hand each leaving the thumb on the finger print screen and it would screen the prints and authenticates. and the same is done for the thumbs. you are also asked to remove glasses if you wear them for a photograph. and then on a electronic pen you will be asked to give your signature which is the apple of the eye to the whole appointment session like a celebrity kind of feel. 🙂

Once the procedure of bio-metric is completed you will be asked to fill in a feedback form and you could track your application online with the website given by the examiner. it usually take 15 working days for the visa to arrive from the date of submission.

Hope this post was helpful for your future applications.

Happy Travels!

Review on the Hotel Athens Gate – Greece

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I have been wanting to write down several posts about living or visiting Greece, especially the city, Athens. but I think the day has arrived to be today and I would like to share my views and experiences living in the magical city of Athena. Its been precisely 2 months since me and my husband moved here with our daughter and our chocolate brown Labrador.  Though we moved here in the winter, which has been quite harsh, the spring has arrived and now we are all including the Grecians themselves are waiting for the sun God, Apollo to shine on this beautiful city of Athens.

Today I would like to post just one of my several experiences I have been constantly experiencing in Greece. If you are on a visit here, I strongly recommend you to stay at the 5Th Awarded Roof top Hotel of the world. It’s a 4-star hotel (which I haven’t stayed) but with a breathtaking view that cannot be explained through pictures but only with your own eyes.

As I was sitting inside of the roof top restaurant of the hotel Athens gate, my mind immediately got refreshed and relaxed. This is the 2nd time I am in there at dusk and I simply love it there. To my right I can see the olympian Temple of Zeus which has its foundations laid far back in 550BC. the Grecian pillars are the only reminents that remain of the fallen temple but it reminds you that, that very place has been exactly the same way it was before as dated. behind of it, not the whole view but a tiny part of the first olympic stadium- Panathenaic Stadium, far ahead not quite far, I see the tallest hill in the Athens – Mount Lycabettus, of which I yet to hike one sunshine day. and towards the left of my view I can see that crowns the great city of Athena – The mighty Acropolis. one of the oldest buildings dated back to 450BC, Acropolis stands high with its beautiful architectural and historical significance.

However precisely, I would want to explain to my readers what I write today, as i already mentioned, it best to see it with your own very eyes to capture those moments forever and ever. and far far away to the left you can see the Aegean Sea, where mighty ships are anchored and awaiting to set sail to their next destinations. for a moment, one can get their thoughts lost into the beautiful era of the Grecians that once lived on this earth. Today’s Athens is a combination of heavily carpeted buildings emerging from all four corners of the city with a rich heritage of their past. Athens, completes the soul of a historic lover who wants to enjoy todays facilities. I feel very lucky to call this mystical city my home for the next two year. I have yet to write more reviews on other parts of Athens but in the next posts of mine. but for those of you, do not forget to get your frappe at the Hotel Athens Gate with this view I just mentioned on a sunny summer.