Friday, 23 September 2011

Ferry to Greece

Day 35: Ferry to Athens

Upon arriving at Patras on the ferry there was a little confusion over buses to Athens, but together with a couple from Vancouver and help from a friendly cab driver we soon had it sorted. The bus trip to Athens was amazing. For half the journey we has the Adriatic sea on the left and bare mountains on the right, then everything swapped sides and we had the Aegean on the right and mountains on the left. For a country with 25+ centuries to get things done, there’s lots left unfinished. As we got closer to Athens the countryside became a little neater, but nothing like the neat rows of vines and well tendered veggie gardens of Italy.
From the bus station to the hotel was mostly spent in gridlock. The trip in the taxi was probably only a few kilometers, but took about an hour. The taxi driver spoke no English, but had a great sense of humour, taking us down narrow one way streets trying to avoid the traffic. The fare after an hour was only 10. Not often I’d give a cabbie a 50% tip, but he deserved it!
After checking in we went for a wander and ate some great genuine Greek food, had a short walk and got an early night ready for the start of our tour tomorrow. An interesting aside… Our hotel is right beside Syntagma Square, the site of the recent riots. We don’t know if there has been more trouble here in the time we’ve been away (we’ve seen almost no TV and what we have seen hasn’t been in English – but I did spot an Italian newspaper on the train as we left Naples and as far as I could tell it was reporting on riots in Naples the day we were there), but there is a police riot van stationed right under our window. No need to worry – we’re up on the 6th floor and everything is looking very normal out there.

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