Meteora to Athens
Trip Start Sep 13, 2010
13Trip End Sep 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
When I went to check out of the hotel, the owner gave us a gift and wished us well on our journey. Wow. That was a very nice surprise. It was a display plate with a picture of one of the monasteries with its net half way lowered. I also got very detailed directions on how to get to Athens quickly without getting stuck in city centres. It worked beautifully.
Later on, I got out of the car to walk part way up a hill to take my last picture of the day. There was a couple (probably in their 50s) walking down the road. I said HI and we got to chatting. They were from Maryland and had not planned their holiday much in advance. They landed in Crete and met up with a couple of their kids on another island and were making their way around by bus. They were envious of our car and freedom to go wherever we liked but said that I must be courageous to rent a car and drive around here. They definitely did not like relying on the bus for transportation. Then when I told them we are from Canada the gentleman said, “Smart to rent a car and smart to live in Canada!”
On the way out I picked up some Gouda cheese at a mini market, we already had fruit from the hotel, so we just needed some bread which the nice lady at the market didn’t have. She asked if I spoke Dutch? No. French? Petite… and so in French she explained how I can find a bakery. We picked up the bread and were off.
Our drive to Athens went without a hitch.
When we originally picked up our car, we agreed to drop it off at gate 2 of the departures deck at the airport. I guess they don’t really have a Thrifty rental spot for drop offs. So when we were about an hour out of Athens and it was clear that I was going to be very early, I pulled over and called the car rental company to change the drop off time. All went smoothly and we were off to the subway. I found the subway confusing in that it wasn’t clear which line I should take. When I bought the ticket I asked which platform I should go down to and he pointed. So we followed, but when we got down there, there were 2 directions of trains. One was a blue line and one was yellow, but there was no indication which side was which. There was 1 train waiting with the doors open so I walked up to the door and asked the people inside if this was the blue line. Fortunately, they spoke English and said Yes! So we quickly jumped on with our luggage. This was a group of very friendly Australians that were just finishing up a 3 week trip to Greece. They explained the subway system a bit and realized we had to switch trains at the same stop so they said they would look out for us. Nice. They were just returning from Santorini where they had rented a car and had a little accident with a pole resulting in a broken tail light and extra fees! They did not like Athens very much. It is a huge city. It took us 45 minutes to get to the subway stop close to our hotel.
After getting off we ended up dragging our luggage around the Plaka a bit after some bad advice for directions until we gradually found our way. From the little we have seen of the area it looks like it is going to be a lot of fun to walk around tomorrow. I am so stupid. I forgot we had a map from the travel agent indicating where the hotel was. I finally remembered the map and pulled it out at about the same time a nice gentleman asked me which hotel I was looking for and pointed the way.
The hotel is very nice and more North American than any of the other places we have been to. There are face cloths, and Kleenex in the bathroom and very indifferent staff. We have ordered room service for supper and feel relieved to just rest, take a nice bath, read, and relax. We can see the Parthenon lit up above us outside our terrace so we know we have another climb tomorrow but that will be fun too.
That’s it for now.