Week 15 - Making advent calendars

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

Week 15 - Making advent calendars
Sunset over Athens from the rooftop of our place

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

Originally lockdown was meant to end this weekend, but of course, we know how those plans go! The government has announced an extension up until the 7th of December and it’s probable that it will be further extended beyond that. New case numbers are slowly coming down (we’re back to around 1,400 a day, mostly up north in Thessaloniki), but the intensive care units are full which is the main issue.

With all the attractions closed, we’re limited in what we can see and do, but at least with the dog, there’s plenty of opportunity to walk around.

I started taking a series of photos of churches, mostly to play with the camera on the new phone, but also because they are very ornate too. They are one of the few attractions you can get close to at the moment as well!

We’re heading to bed later and getting up later, so when they decided to grind up the footpath outside the apartment this week, it was a pretty rude awakening!

Our internet was upgraded when they dug up the street out the front of our place starting at 7.30AM 😡

On Friday the weather was very clear and we headed for a long walk with Erik to visit the first cemetery in Athens. It was very peaceful and full of lots of amazing monuments on all the tombs. Generally it was well cared for, although some doors had fallen off some of the crypts and in at least one, you could see wrapped bodies lying inside. Very different from the Australian experience!

We know things are starting to get serious in terms of finding things to do, because Karina finally succumbed and broke out one of her two emergency jigsaw puzzles which she knocked over this week. Hopefully retail opens before too much longer because she’s likely to finish the next one this week and be looking for some more!

Karina’s completed puzzle

Erik joined us for dinner on Wednesday, we had roast chicken and a Lithuanian speciality dish (A potato bake with bacon and cream cheese in it) which were both delicious.

Aside from basically passing the time by sleeping in, walking the dog, walking with friends and eating, we did have one fun idea that kept us amused for a couple of days. We’d been talking about Advent Calendars and how it would be fun to have a more adult oriented one. I was thinking a whisky sampler or something of that nature.

Well, we got inspired and decided to try make some! It turned out to be little limiting with lockdown because we weren’t able to access a lot of the resources that we otherwise might. It really highlighted how focussed the shops are here compared to Australia and the US. Even ignoring the fact the there are some things that they’ve restricted because of lockdown anyway. None of the supermarkets have Christmas decorations for example, they basically just sell food.

Still, we managed to find a packaging shop that was open (they are allowed to sell wholesale) and was happy to convince themselves that we were a business because we were buying in bulk. It depends where you go as to just how strict the shopkeepers are — around our neighbourhood, they’ll sell to anyone, but in a couple of other places we tried to buy ribbon they were very strict and rightfully sent us on our way.

The finished advent calendars

We purchased lots of small brown bags, some price tags and some red ribbons and then filled each day with some goodies. We tried to make it a bit of fun to cheer up our friends here in lockdown as well and give them something to look forward to for a bit of Christmas spirit. Of course for us, it was also a fun distraction and project to work on that passed some time. We made four, one for Camille, one for Cosmo & Simon, one for Erik and of course one for us too! Each brown bag is a day and they are sorted into the Christmas bags in order, so you can either just take them out a day at a time or you could alternatively pull them all out and decorate your mantle piece instead!

Finally we also visited our lawyers, I now have an appointment for Monday (tomorrow) to get my residence card, so with luck, that will go smoothly and from Monday I’ll be an official resident of Greece!

Until next time,

Tim & Karina