Day 28 – Back to the mainland
24 April 2015
Santorini > Athens
We woke up earlier this time to have breakfast as we were to leave Santorini in a few hours. We were definitely going to miss the morning view. It was another fine day and we didn’t want the sun to go to waste and so we had a quick photo shoot by the pool at our hotel. Wifey wore her white Grecian inspired dress, perfect for the location. I wore my crisp light blue shirt to match not only her but the surrounding. If only we had a professional photographer with us, we made do with the selfie stick :).
Around 10:30am we dragged our luggage to reception and checked out. We asked if they could call a taxi for us to take us to the port. Within minutes, the taxi arrived and we’re whisked away to our destination. There were plenty of passengers all waiting at the port for the same ferry to arrive. Some of them I could recognise from the ferry we caught to Santorini. Holiday was over for a lot of people.
The ferry arrived at 12:30pm. There was a mad rush to get into the boat, we waited at the back of the line. This time around we were seated at the front of the boat so we had a decent view of the water and plenty of leg room. Again we stopped at Mykonos and Naxos island before reaching the port in Athens.
At the port, we caught a taxi to our new hotel. Our driver tried his best to communicate with us, he knew some English words. He asked how long our stay was in Athens and I said that we were flying out tomorrow. He then offered to take us to the airport. He tried his best to communicate with us but then he rang someone on the phone, spoke to the person in Greek then he pointed at the phone and said “Daughter, speaks English”. I grabbed the phone off the driver and spoke to the girl, I told her to tell her dad to be at our hotel by 11:00am. I was hoping that nothing was lost in translation and that he would come on time. I guess it didn’t matter if he didn’t as there were plenty of taxis around. Although this driver was very persistent. He was genuinely nice to talk to but of course due to our previous encounter with pick pockets in Athens that we weren’t going to trust a stranger that easy. We arrived at our hotel and decided to rest for a while.
Just before the sun was to set we strolled down the streets of Athens, just around the hotel as we didn’t want to go too far for safety reasons. It just didn’t feel that safe walking around the area. A lot of shops were closed and a handful of people walked the streets. We did find one of the main squares of the city where a crowd gathered for a rally. An old lady was on the side road selling pretzels which cost 50c! I paid €7 for one at the docks! There weren’t a lot of restaurants we could choose from. After managing to find a cafe/bakery (Apollonion) which served food, we sat down, ordered the burger which we were told was not available anymore and so we ended up ordering pizza (which came from the bakery) and salmon salad instead.
After returning at the hotel we checked out the rooftop where the pool was. It was a shame that it was too cold to swim as we definitely would have taken advantage of it. From the distance we could see the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in lights.
Day 29 – Farewell Europe
25 April 2015
Athens > Abu Dhabi > Melbourne
It was our last day in Athens. Our last day in Europe. As much fun as we had in the last few weeks, we were definitely ready to go back to Melbourne. We woke up really early to attend our church service. We didn’t really have trouble finding it and the brethren there were really nice to us. They even helped us hail another taxi back to our hotel. Then it was time for a decent buffet breakfast. We organised our things, checked out and who was there early and eagerly waiting for us at the hotel entrance? Our taxi driver from yesterday. The deal was still on. We got on the taxi and we were curious to see a man sitting on the passenger’s side. Our taxi driver tried his best to explain saying that his car was at the mechanic and so he borrowed his friend’s taxi. His presence made us feel uneasy with thoughts about being robbed going through our heads. I sneakily shoved some money down my shoes just in case.
Half an hour later, we were at the airport. They weren’t robbers after all, but it did feel like we got robbed a little bit when it came to the taxi fare. We were told from the city centre to the airport was around €30. We paid €45. It was fine, at least we were finally there.
We flew out of Athens at 2:35pm, took around 5 hours to Abu Dhabi. Our plane landed late and so we had to run to the other side of the airport and just made the final boarding call of our flight to Melbourne. Luckily for us, there was an empty seat on our row and so we had some extra room, correction… Wifey had extra room to rest.
The plane touched down in Melbourne at around 6pm. As tired as we were, it felt great to be back home. Our friend Jake picked us up from the airport and drove us home.
What an adventure it was. You could say it was EPIC. A whirlwind tour of Europe. We had visited many amazing places and cities, experienced different cultures and tasted some traditional delicacies. We had made some friends and met old ones that we hadn’t seen in many years. We had learned a lot from this experience, especially about the old and rich history of the countries we visited. It was truly an eye opener that there were so many beautiful things in the world and it motivated us to travel and see more of what the world had to offer.
For now, the JEEP is parked in Melbourne, our home. We’re already thinking of our next adventure. Soon I hope. Watch this space. 🙂