5.27.09 Ferry Greece to Italy (Patras to Ancona)
Patras Travel Blog› entry 69 of 114 › view all entries
Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad! Hope you had a terrific day after let’s see (2009-1961) Goodness! Is that 48 years of marital bliss?! Wow!!
Before we left, we tried calling Minoan Ferry lines on the iTouch with Skype.
So we took off the 140 highway miles for Patras port with a goal: Drive to the port, go to Minoan's office, and simply book a “Camping on Board” ferry to
So off we drove. As we exited for Patras, I saw a sign for Minoan Ferries. The Travel Agent turned out to be a great help.
Only 2 ferry lines route Patras to Venice, of which only Minoan Ferries offers Camping-On-Board to
However, there are many ferries between Patras to
It was great to use a travel agent because she could check all the ferries at once, price compare the specials for each, offer us different sailing times, etc. If we’d just gone to the port and found Minoan's office, only to find they were booked, we would have had extensive work to price all the other ferries.
When did we want to go on the ferry? Well, it was 1:45 pm and there was a boat leaving at 2:30 pm- can we make it?
“No problem- you can arrive 15 minutes before and there's no issue,” said nice Travel Agent. We confirmed Camping on Board (also called "Open Deck") again.
We made a run for it! We filled Sugar with Greek gas (.89E/liter) and high-tailed it, checked-in at SuperFerries office, out of breath at 2:07pm. The gate agent said, “Open deck? It is late! You’re supposed to check in 2 hours in advance.” Ugh!
She made a call to the deck on our behalf- clearance was granted! “Hurry!!” she urged, and off we ran with our boarding cards, keys, “Camping on Board” placard, and “Ancona” mirror tag for our illegally parked Sugar (we’ve learned how to park like the trucks).
Just as we were about to load, Security snagged us to to check the camper interior- a first for us in Europe. When he asked Charles to “open the toilet,” I had to smother a laugh to tell Charles to leave the toilet lid down, he just wanted the bathroom door open. Ha! We were waved on with a smile. We raced aboard with just minutes to spare before setting sail. Whew! (p.s. No one ever checked I.D. again with this booking at any point).
Thanks to the kindness of the deck crew, we were allowed on. Because the ramp for the Open Deck was already lowered to the deck below, we parked behind the trucks. We were just happy to be aboard!
As the boat pulled away from shore, the deck was moved back up to the upper deck.
Trusting his instructions completely (there was no time to check all the mirrors and backup camera), I backed into a tiny space between a camper and an 18-wheeler with inches to spare on each end. I got out afterward and looked- we have no idea how they got us in this spot! We are in awe. I wish I could have watched instead of blindly following instructions. Pretty amazing.
Then they kindly hooked up our power cord and we are snug among quite a few RV’s! We are beside a Peugeot from
This morning we admired a minivan that had a canvas, rectangular tent *on top* of the van. A ladder allowed them to climb up and down, but I think having access to the van while sleeping is better for safety and for utility while camping (you can stand up and cook in the Peugeot when the top is popped). Obviously, these smaller vehicle conversions are best when just two people travel. But I love how they have no height or parking restrictions, pay less on ferries and tollways, and can get into cities and carparks. For adventure travel, smaller is better, although I do love the conveniences of a full motorhome too.
Dinner on the ship since we had no time to plan ��" our last delicious Greek food for awhile.
More RV’s got on at Igomenti and our deck is quite full with probably 20-25 campers.
Charles is excited about the big football finals tonight in
I enjoyed talking with one nice bartender and sure enough, they work seven days a week for five months, then get a month off. With SuperFast line, their family can accompany them on one trip a month, crew food and sleeping accommodations are good, and their salary is good. It is a difficult schedule but he felt like he had no other option.
So we get to
We loved, loved, loved