Sunday, June 24, 2007

And 34 hours later... we're in Greece

Man what a long trek. We just got to Athens and it is AWESOME. And it only took about 34 hours of travel time!! Haha it was so insane, but good to have some buddies to travel with, and that made it great.

Turns out that my crazy new friend Luke from Melbourne was leaving Positano for Athens as well on the same day as me. Then some nice girls told us that Trenitalia, the train company, had a huge 24 hour strike. So we said "Bugger it" and just stayed in Positano another day (and sat on the beach and then partied all night, so that rocked), and that was a good move.

So, yesterday we took off from Positano at about 9am. This after only 4 hours of sleep from the crazy dance party the night before. We had a big coffee and then headed down the huge hill in Positano on the Positano Internal bus. Then schlepped our stuff to the water, where we bought tickets for the ferry to Salerno. Then the ferry was 35 min late but no worries... this is par for the course when traveling in Italy, and you just have to expect everything to be running really late. We got to Salerno, and then schlepped again like 30 min in the heat with our stuff. Thankfully I have a suitcase with wheels that work now!!

We got to the Salerno station and the train was booked from Casterta to Bari. But for some reason there were space for us from Benevento to Bari. So we got a slice of Pizza and waited for a bus to Benevento, which was great cause I met a girl and her brother from London, Ontario on the bus! Then we had a super awesome coffee shake in Benevento and got the train from Benevento to Bari. It was 30 min late, of course. We had only 1 hour 45 min to get to our Ferry in Bari, so that was now reduced to 1 hour 15 min. We got to Bari, late of course. Only 45 min until the ferry was leaving. We zoomed into cabs and all of us took off to the ferry terminal.

Then we got onto the Ferry no problem. It was huge and great and fancy... but our Eurail "Deck Seats" were not the airplane seats as expected. They were the DECK, outside. Crap. So we found out we could also sleep wherever inside. So we set up our stuff on the floor, on an open area beside the Airport style seats we thought we were going to be sleeping on. :)

We then checked out the boat, talked to some cool people, I met a dude who just graduated from Waterloo as well. Eventually we tried to get to bed. Instead of sleeping on random couches, we set up our sleeping bags on the concrete floor in the airport seat room. The ground was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO shaky and vibrating like crazy from the ship. Haha so we knew this was going to be a terrrrrrrrrrible sleep. :) Haha it was nuts. I rolled up a bunch of pyjama pants and put my head on those and my backpack to try to minimize the shaking, it didn't really work though, but I did manage to get a little sleep and kept waking up... too hot, then too cold, haha it was sooooo insane. What a terrible sleep. Finally we got to Igoumenitsa where lots of people on the airplane seats got off to go to Corfu. Sweet. I B-Lined it for some airplane seats and snagged two for me and two for Luke so that was great. I met some more girls from London, Ontario (crazy, eh) and then fell asleep for a solid 4 hours which was actually super fantastic. Good times!!!!

In the morning I got up and had a nice breakfast on the boat. I think the dude felt sorry for me cause I looked like I had absolutely no sleep the night before, and let me have my 2 boiled eggs, plate of potatoes, grilled tomato, coffee and bottle of water for only 5 euros. No worries.

Then we got to Patras in Greece! We got to the train station and got some burger super fast on the way to the train. We zoomed super fast to Athens... actually Corinthia, on a shoddy super dodgy train that was super hot and the Air Conditioning was broken. Haha insane. What a day. Then we got to Corinthia, and travelled for another 1.5 hours to Athens, the train going back and forth for them to switch the rails so we could get to Athens main station. Oy.

Finally we got to Athens, sweaty after 34 hours of travel and just walked to our hostel not understanding any signs on the road or street signs at all. Haha. Our hostel is AWESOME, good location and, wait for it, 12 Euros per night. Sweet.

Aparantely it was like 40 degrees Celcius in Athens today?!?!?! No wonder it was so hot on the trains!!

We went out for a HUGE Souvlaki dinner, and drank 1.5 litres of water each.

So we are here in Athens, and I am sooooooooooo glad to be here, safe and sound, and still in one piece. No wonder I am losing weight traveling, eh?!

This dude making me a freakin' awesome Coffee Shake

My Canada flag sticking out on my suitcase

Luke and I on the deck of the ship

Inside the ship lounge

Luke super tired and passed out on the airport chairs

Me so tired after a really rough sleep

That's a really bright orange sleeping bag

Me still frickin' tired at breakfast

Mmm... breakfast

Greek Islands

Luke and I on the boat

On the train

Crazy Greek menu

Souvlaki for dinner

Workin' it at dinnertime in Athens

1 comment:

Joel Z said...

Haha I think I was on the same ferry! Sleeping on that desk was absolute hell, but I think the worst part was eating dinner and having my stomach jiggled by the boat the entire time I was trying to eat!

Enjoy Greece, I hear its HOT there. I've heard great things about Santorini, Ios, and Mykonos. If you have time I'd check out the Pink Palace for the ridiculous party, the only problem is that it's on the other side of Greece! I enjoy wrapping up your trip!