Day 01 - London to Athens, Athens to Chios

Athens Travel Blog

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Mish enjoying the view the Acropolis gives over Athens

We packed up the last of our things and waved goodbye to 7B Holland Road at 5pm.  Our flight was at 6:35am, from Gatwick Airport.  So, rather than try to make the journey by public transport at some ungodly hour, we decided to get a cab from Russ and Sarah’s place in Earlsfield.  Naturally, this meant one last BBQ and a few drinks with them. 

The alarm rang at 3:20 and we’re away in the cab at 3:30am.  No traffic problems that early in the morning, so we were checked in with two hours to spare.

Perhaps the only angle of the acropolis at which you can't see a crane or scaffolding
  Our new commitment to healthy living steered us away from the traditional Macca’s breakfast.  Unfortunately, I only made it as far as a toasted bacon and cheese roll.  Mish was good, she had a sandwich and an apple!

Thankfully, the flight was uneventful and we arrived on schedule in Athens, just after midday, thanks to the 2 hour time difference between Greece and British Summer time.

We took a public bus to the port, Pireaus and immediately booked ourselves on an overnight ferry to Chios.  It didn’t depart until 10pm, which gave us plenty of time to have a quick look around Athens.

How about that .. no scaffolding here either ..
  Since I hadn’t been to Athens before, that meant a trip to the Acropolis!!  Once we’d had a quick bite to eat (mmmm … souvlaki) and locked our bags up we took the Metro to Thissio station and slowly wandered up to the acropolis.  Entry to the acropolis was a bit of a pain, we had to check our backpack’s before entering.  Once inside though, we were well impressed by the Parthenon, Propylaea, etc and the Museum.  Awesome stuff.  Not something I could look at all day and the presence of several large cranes and loads of scaffolding does take something away from the experience but it was extremely impressive nonetheless.

As the sun set we started to make our way back towards the port, stopping for dinner in Plaka on the way.

There you go. Scaffolding. I don't think you can get a shot of the Parthenon without it!
  We stopped at a Taverna on the way, Vizantino, as recommended by the Lonely Planet.  We each enjoyed a decent mousaka and split a greek salad, carafe of wine and fruit platter desert.  It wasn’t too heavy on the hip pocket either.

The Metro returned us to Pireaus and once we retrieved our backpacks from storage, we needed to find our way to Berth E2. We’re glad we gave ourselves as much time as we did to find our vessel because naturally, it had to be at the far end of the harbour!!  The port had a shuttle bus service that whisked us there in time and once on board we took up the challenge of trying to find somewhere to sit / sleep.  You see, when we bought the tickets, the only places left on this boat we “on deck”, which basically meant lying anywhere you could find room.  A family locals were kind enough to offer us a couple of seats between them.  They weren’t too keen on us dragging in all our bags and plonking them down in front of us, but there was no way we were going to leave them out in the hall, as they seemed to be suggesting with their gesturing.  Michelle almost immediately nodded off in her chair and then when she decided snoozing upright wasn’t really comfortable, nested herself on the floor amongst all our bags.  Despite only getting a few hours sleep the night before I wasn’t feeling tired.  Perhaps it was the stifling humidity brought about by all those bodies in a confined space with no aircon.  Perhaps it was the general paranoia of theft.  Who knows.  All I’m certain of was my disappointment when the batteries ran flat on my Zen at 3:30am.  Giving up the fight against my weariness I crawled onto the small space on the floor at my feet and proceeded to “enjoy” 3 hours of broken sleep before our arrival in Chios.

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Mish enjoying the view the Acropol…
Mish enjoying the view the Acropo…
Perhaps the only angle of the acro…
Perhaps the only angle of the acr…
How about that .. no scaffolding h…
How about that .. no scaffolding …
There you go.  Scaffolding. I don…
There you go. Scaffolding. I don…
Athens
photo by: Johnpro