Goodbye To The Car (and our friend Athina).

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Tjamdonis Hotel

Flag of Greece  , Central Greece,
Saturday, May 21, 2011

After a night at a travellers style motel at Stilida, and a sighting of Mt. Olympus the highest mountain in Greece, we are now in Athens and finding it very "down at heel" with frantic traffic and unhappy people. We found one last UNESCO monastery, the 11th Century Monastery of Daphni, in the outskirts of the city, but were disappointed to find that it is under massive renovation and the mosaics for which it is famous could not be viewed. They did however have a room you could sit down in and view a DVD on a large screen of the mosaics and their restoration progress.  

We checked into our hostel but found the only parking available was right out in the street and this street is full of drug addicts and prostitutes - heaps of them. Erring on the side of safety and mindful that we have a 900 Euros excess on the hire car for damage we decided to return the car a day early and say farewell to our ever helpful sat-nav friend Athina - we'll miss her!  Budget actually revised our charges, taking the day off of our rental so it was an excellent decision to return it a day early.

On foot and wandering back to our hostel,weI had time to reflect on our 6 days of sharing the roads with the Greeks. We spent 52.30 euros ($A69.60) on road tolls. Our time on the toll roads was spent travelling at 130 kms and cars just whizzed past us.Whilst not on toll roads however we learnt that Greeks have absolutely no problem passing on hills and hairpin bends and fully expect you to do the same. In fact they get angry of you don't! At times on a narrow two lane road 4 cars are trying to fit instead of 2. It was an adventure and we are pleased to have achieved getting back to Athens without any mishaps. The car had made our sightseeing so much more achievable.

After a wander around the streets close to our hostel, and a lovely dinner out, we booked a 5 hour walking tour for the next day to ensure we see the best of the hostoric sights.

Footnote: Monastery of Daphne is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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