Departure

Brussels Travel Blog

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We get up early as usual when we have to leave. This time it’s three thirty in the morning. Maurits picks us up and brings us to the airport. We quickly arrange all things and can drive to Zaventem at quarter past four, as we wanted to. There are no problems when we arrive at the airport, we can start the check in fast and then move on to the passport and luggage control and after that a quick breakfast. It’s all OK, but the people have done the control more thorough. Timo had to remove his belt and he has never done that in the past. We have two large coffees and have a croissant and a raisin biscuit. We only need to wait half an hour to start boarding, so we sit and wait at gate A42. That gate is close to the restaurant, so we don’t need to walk far, not to gate A90 or something. The boarding starts right on time (06:10) so will arrive on time. And indeed only with a minor delay of 5 minutes we take off. In the airplane we try to rest, but two Dutch people in the seats in front of us move all the time and then we amuse ourselves three hours reading our travel guide. In that way the time goes faster. After a flight of about three hours we arrive at the Athens airport. Everything is going smoothly. We only just arrive at the conveyer to collect our luggage, when our case comes towards us. It’s the tenth one that comes trough. We then go to the meeting point to see mama Linda, Patrick and Christine. We sit down at a kafeneio, have a cola and share a sandwich with cheese and ham. Then we only need to wait for an hour until the three of them arrive. We immediately take the bus, close to the door that goes to Piraeus. We drive from the airport straight to the coast and follow the sea until we arrive at Piraeus. The harbor is huge. This is a port to the world and not some small harbor like we’ve seen on the islands. The boats that arrive here are a thousand times bigger than us. We’re too late for the boat at one thirty, so we sit down to drink something and to have a snack. Patrick and Timo go to the ticket office to find out when the next boat will leave and the three ladies order drinks and food. A bottle of ouzo (with 5 persons) and three pitas with pork meat and 2 with chicken. They are the same as the pitas we had in Athens in May 2005, really very tasty, but very fattening. We order another ouzo and then it’s almost three o’clock and it’s time to get on the boat. The ferry leaves on time and we have another ouzo (pretty expensive, but then again). Behind the ferry there are a lot of gulls flying when we sail out of the harbor, herring gulls, black-headed gulls. Timo watches like a little child, as he always does when it comes to birds. We let our head hang in the wind and arrive after one hour on Aegina. Just before we sail in the harbor we see the same spectacle as we saw in Piraeus. There is a huge flock of seagulls flying behind the ferry, without flapping their wings, gliding through the sky. It is not a problem to only glide, because they use the strong wind and they also use the wind of the boat. I want to make a general remark. The weather is not good at all. There are a lot of clouds and it rains from time to time. The temperature is OK and that is something. We can see the hotel from the ferry and know immediately which way we need to go. After a ten minute walk we’re there, we check in, receive our keys and can start unpacking. We have room 101, Patrick and Linda have room 201, right above ours – don’t make too much noise – and Christine has the key to room 308. We unpack quickly and rest for about an hour. We sleep from about six thirty until seven thirty, then Timo takes a shower and Eef stays in the bed for another 30 minutes. No problem; we’re on holiday and then we do what we like. When we’re both ready we go down and go for a drink downstairs, at taverna Avra. We come down at the reception and there already comes Christine towards us, so we sit on the covered terrace. It needs to be covered now, because it still is raining. We just ordered our drinks, when Linda and Patrick come down too. So we order some more and eat something. There are a lot of different things on the table: tzatziki, choriatiki, calamari, chorta, souvlaki (1 pork and one chicken), gigandes (large beans in tomato sauce), fries, saganaki (fried cheese). It all is gone pretty fast and then Vassilis brings something very good: roasted pork meat with fries. Where he gets that nobody knows; it does not come out of his kitchen, but is very, very good. After that Vassilis start to do too much. He brings a watermelon and a whole bole of ice cream. He has especially sent someone to get that from the bakery where he used to work. The ice cream is very good. We are having a good time here, now only the weather needs to change and than everything is complete. Mama Linda goes to bed at about 11 and we pay and drink some more wine at the table. Vassilis already asked to go into town to a bar, but we always refused. Eventually we join him and are in a very dark bar in the centre. Eef even says: Vassili, the bar is closed. And he replies: No, no this is always open for me. So we enter the bar; the ladies drink Amaretto and we have Johnny Walker, very nice, but also very high amount of alcohol. We are able to return after the second round (25 Euro for the first one) to the hotel and are back at the hotel at 01:30. A little bit drunk and tired we immediately go to bed. See you tomorrow; it was an exhausting day.

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photo by: Vlindeke