Monday, 20 May 2013

Day Ten and Eleven: Time to Go!

We were not looking forward to the looooong journey home, as it would entail an eight hour ferry trip, an hour long bus ride to the airport, a six hour wait at the airport, a three hour flight to Munich, an eight hour layover in Munich, and a ten hour flight home! Whew! Just thinking about it was exhausting! Luckily, we didn’t set out until 2:30 pm, and it was a beautiful day, so once again, we laid around the pool, did some shopping, and I finally swam in the Mediterranean Sea! It was cool, but once I was in, it was absolutely wonderful; just the perfect kind of cool that feels so good on a really hot day!
As I left the beach for the final time, I couldn’t help but think what an amazing thing it is to be able to travel to a place that had only existed in storybooks and movies for me in the past. To actually see the ruins, meet the people, hear the language, eat the food, appreciate the sea and beautiful country is such a gift, one that I will treasure for a lifetime!

My Favorite Picture of all!
The ferry ride was not nearly as bad as we had anticipated, probably because we were starting out rested rather than taking it at the end of a very exhausting trip as we had at the beginning. We sat out on the deck for a few hours and just appreciated the gorgeous weather and cruising through the islands. I met a man from Toronto and enjoyed talking with him. The only problem is that he was on the lower deck and I was on the upper deck, so we had to shout back and forth over the engines for about fifteen minutes. It was kind of fun, as people from below kept coming along to see who he was shouting up , since they couldn't see me unless they came and stood right beside him.

Santorini from the water
As the day wore on, and Jordan and I felt like trying to catch a bit of sleep, I decided to spring for what they call air seats, which are lovely recliners, in a separate cabin. Many of the people take their chances and sit in these seats without paying the extra nine euros each, but we wanted to not worry about the embarrassment of having someone come along and possibly kick us out.

When we landed in the port in Pireaus, we were hoping to catch the airport bus, but it was just pulling away as we were walking toward it. It was midnight, and we were a bit nervous about waiting for the next bus, particularly as the ferry crowd started to disperse. After waiting for about ten minutes, and growing increasingly anxious about the sketchy neighbourhood, and being the only people standing at the bus stop, I decided to check on the price for a cab. “Fifty euros! No thanks, we’ll wait for the bus.”
“How much you wanna pay, lady?”

“Thirty euros, that’s ten more than the bus costs.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll do it for forty.”

“No, it’s okay, we’ll just wait for the bus.”


“No, I can only afford thirty.”

“Okay, okay, It should be fifty, but I’ll do it for thirty.”

So, in we got, but the entire forty-five minute drive, the cabbie complained about the price, showing me on the meter each time it went up: ten euros, twenty, finally when we stopped, forty-five euros. Honestly, I’m not sure if he thought his whining would encourage me to give him more money, but it only made a very tired and very cranky me feel more tired and cranky! We were very glad to get out of his cab once we finally reached the airport.

Our flight was at 6:30 am, and it was now 1:00 am; too late to get a hotel, but oh, such a long time to wait to catch our flight. This was probably the hardest part of the trip, as we both needed to sleep, but short of stretching out on the floor as some weary travellers had done, there really wasn’t anyplace to sleep. I finally found a chair without an armrest that was beside a little table, so I curled up and put my travel pillow on the table, where I rested my weary head. Amazingly, I fell asleep almost instantly, and caught a couple of hours of sleep, but Jordan had no such luck and just sat awake all night. 

The flight from Athens to Munich also went quite well, but the smell of the food cart as it came down the aisle woke me from my pleasant dreams, as I was so hungry that even airplane food tasted good!

Arriving in Munich, we had no idea what to expect. We went to the information desk at the airport, and the lady gave us a map of the town as well as a subway map and told us how to catch the subway for a forty-five minute ride into Munich.
Coming out of the subway, we had the most jaw dropping experience as everywhere we looked, there were grand old cathedrals, lovely water fountains and beautiful old buildings.

We had fun wandering around, talking to people and just enjoying the day. This is a very green city, and it was a beautiful sunny day that reminded us so much of home. The people were so friendly, and comfortable, we both agreed that this is a city that we would very much like to return to.


The view from the subway was beautiful, as this is a very green town, with lush trees, grass and flowers. The vegetation and climate reminded us very much of home.

We stepped into a coffee shop for lunch, and decided instead to feast on the delicious German pastries. I had tiramasou and Jordan had a giant puffed pastry. I’m not sure what it was about her, but two different German men old enough to be her grandfather decided that she needed taking care of. The first gentleman went and found her a fork, and the second went and got her some napkins. Although neither of them spoke English, we had lots of fun laughing with them as Jordan enjoyed her very messy dessert.

Back at the airport, waiting for our plane, we found these great reclining chairs where I now sit typing up my blog. I have never seen a nicer airport, it also has couches that are already taken with people sleeping, and little pods with a single bed in them that you can rent for ten euros an hour. Whoever designed this airport was really thinking about the needs of the weary traveller.

We have a ten hour flight ahead of us, but we have done quite well in spite of our lack of sleep. Hopefully we will catch some sleep on the plane, and before we know it, be asleep in our very own beds!


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