Castles and strawberries
Patras Travel Blog› entry 56 of 98 › view all entries
Checkout was 10 AM and I was crosssing my fingers that they wouldn't pester me to pay extra to leave my pack here while I waited for my ferry-I was one second away from finding everywhere possible and writing a terrible review on this filthy place. To say the least, Patras Hostel is not a place I'd recommend. Just as I was about to say something about the cleanliness and upkeep of the place, an older man, probably in his late sixties, asks me how I am and says that I can definitely keep my things in a locked room for the day. Then he asks me is I've seen the castle yet, which is a no-I had no idea there even was a castle in this city as I hadn't been planning on staying. The directions sounded confusing but he was nice enough to offer to take me up the hill on his motorcycle.
The top of the hill ended up having a spectacular view as promised, but the castle was closed for the day. I must have had a disappointed look on my face when I was told this, as the people working near the front told me I could walk around for just a few minutes-just perfect for getting a few good shots. The rest of the afternoon I spent wandering around in search of camera stores to get a lens cap for my SLR, since I'd lost my other one in Santorini, then sitting at a cafe near the port, slowly sipping on water and eating a satisfying, if not somewhat dry piece of chocolate cake to pass the time.
There don't seem to be a lot of beggars sitting in the street here; instead, they actually come up to you. I can't count the number of times I had a girl between the ages of 7-40 come up to me and ask for money. I attempted to ignore most of them, giving in and sharing my basket of strawberries with a few young girls, which of course had more young girls coming up to me with cupped hands, seemingly asking for some as well. After about the fourth one I had to insist. 'This is my lunch, I'm sorry,' which of course they didn't understand. What they did understand was me ignoring them from then on. I can't imagince what it would be like to grow up like this-begging without dignity. They would probably never be taught to work, and may not even have the chance if they wanted to.
Soon enough it was time for me to head to my ferry where I got as comfortable as I could in a reclining chair in the business class section of the ferry. It was to be very little sleep for me tonight, but it'll be good to get to Italy again. I got to Ancona, Italy the middle of the next afternoon where I realized I was exhausted and my throat was beginning to hurt again. Surrounded by absolutely no one who spoke English, or so it seemed, I began wishing I could visit home for just a day. I think it was just having a good two days of transit without really baing able to make friends with anyone that was getting to me, but once on board my night train to Munich I felt better, relieved to know I'd be checking into some hostel and drinking some good beer with new faces soon.