Leaving Athens

Athens Travel Blog

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Our little rental car

We woke up early on this day, packed up our things, and took the metro to the stop closest to the car rental place.  We got there just before 8, which is when the sign said they would open, but we ended up waiting over 40 minutes for the guy to show up.  We had a busy day ahead of us, and I was a little worried about traffic, so I wanted to hit the road.  I was not a happy camper when the guy showed up, and I let him know that.  He had no excuse for showing up late.  I wanted to believe it's just the way the culture was, but we had not experienced this anywhere else in the country, so I think he just took his time.

The good news is that we got a bigger car out of the deal.  He upgraded us for free and was very helpful in showing us the way out of the city to our first stop - Corinth.

Driving along the highway
  He showed us the car (they don't have parking lots, it was just parked on the street), and we made note of the various dings and scratches, so we wouldn't have to pay for them.  I knew the car would be a manual and I had practiced as much as I could at home, but I am not a great stick shift driver.  Once we were in the car and started going down the very narrow streets, I had to fight the panic of driving a foreign car in a foreign country with the crazy Greek drivers all around.  It was a challenge, but we made it to the main road.  I was being as cautious as I could, and I think my patience (which I don't usually have) was making other drivers mad.  Oh well!

Once on the main road north, we faced stop and go traffic all the way to the highway.

Corinth dead ahead!
  I'm not going to lie, I stalled the car several times when we tried to get going again.  It just took some getting used to.  We found the sign for the highway, and we were so relieved after this initial driving frustration that we got on the highway going the wrong way.  Unfortunately for us, you pay a toll every time you get on the highway, so that's what hurt us the most.  So, we were going the wrong way and had to pay the toll.  I gave the lady incorrect change because I read the sign wrong and sped off before realizing my mistake.  I did save us about 2 euro, though, because we had to immediately turn around and head the other way.

Since we had to get off the highway and back on, we had to pay the toll again.  This time, I gave the guy correct change, and we were on our way to Corinth.  The entire drive was highway, going anywhere from about 90 to 120 kilometers per hour.  This was a nice way to get used to the car, as I learned quickly when to upshift and when to downshift on the hilly roads to get the most speed.  The drive was fun now that we were free from the city, and I hoped that Athens city driving was the worst that we would encounter on the trip.

bleekemolen says:
hahaha, yankee and manual transmission.. always deadly combination..
Posted on: Jul 01, 2010
aiohdmg says:
Hahaha..Athens man driver would be mad coz they did not know 2 of you came to break Athen.heheh
Posted on: Mar 27, 2009
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Our little rental car
Our little rental car
Driving along the highway
Driving along the highway
Corinth dead ahead!
Corinth dead ahead!
Our map out of Athens
Our map out of Athens
Ooh, a tunnel!
Ooh, a tunnel!
Driving through a tunnel
Driving through a tunnel
The beautiful scenery
The beautiful scenery
The beautiful scenery
The beautiful scenery
Athens
photo by: Johnpro