number eleven: greece day one (and a half!)

This is the first of my posts from my travels to Greece. This one was written on Friday, October 11th.
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I am not sure what my wifi access is going to be this trip, so I may end up posting these when I get home. I wasn’t sure how I was going to actually write the posts — there was no way I was bringing a laptop, and my iPad would be missed by the kids. I considered pen and paper and transcribing later, but I truly can’t write for that long, I’m too out of shape for it! So here I am, blogging on my phone, but using my wireless keyboard. Greg kind of chuckled at me when I decided to bring the keyboard, but so far so good.

So…getting here. Mum and I left Victoria at about 1:30 pm on Thursday. Our flight was delayed but we were only going to Vancouver and we had plenty of time there, so it wasn’t a concern. We left Vancouver at about 4:30 (again delayed) and headed for Frankfurt. This was our longest leg — just over 9 hours, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’ve done it before for my Saudi trips and it’s a long time to be on a plane. Especially when you don’t really enjoy flying.

But this time I had a good book (thank you salesperson at Chapters!). Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. It was light, it was funny, it was good and it totally made the day (night? whatever) go by quickly. I slept for about five hours of the trip (drug induced) and that helped as well. And I didn’t watch one minute of TV, which is totally unusual for me. Mum seemed to fair quite well too.

We arrived in Frankfurt if not refreshed, at least somewhat functional. Jan was planning on meeting us at our gate but texted me to let me know she couldn’t, due to the fact that we were in an entirely different terminal from her. But Mum and I figured out how to get to the right terminal, thanks to well-placed signs, and we found Jan wandering up the concourse. Easy peasy.

We had a bit of time before our next leg so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and a coffee/tea. Then on to Athens. This trip was just under three hours. I finished my book in the first half hour and then I slept for the rest of the flight. I was a bit surprised, but it was nice. I was even somewhat comfortable. I woke up early enough to watch our landing — always exciting for me when it’s in a new country.

We got our bags very quickly, found a cab and made our way to the hotel, which is in downtown Athens. This was the only negative of the trip for me — I feel very uncomfortable in a cab with a driver who doesn’t understand what I’m saying and who I don’t understand. My imagination goes crazy and I think about him driving us away to some
deserted area and murdering us. Even being there with my sister and mum didn’t help. But I warmed up to him a little bit as I realized he wasn’t a crazy killer, and he did point out a bunch of the sites for us as he drove. And we arrived safely (once he made a phone call to get someone to translate what Jan was saying).

We just went out for a light dinner — I wanted meat on a stick and I got it — and now we’re all in bed. I’ve drugged myself again in an effort to get on this timezone.

My first impressions of Athens are good. It’s a bit dirtier than I expected, but it was pretty darn cool seeing the Parthenon just smack dab in the middle of everything else. We just drove by — we’ll be taking a closer look after our cruise — but it was still pretty awesome. I haven’t done any research for this trip, and seeing Athens makes me now want to do some reading. If I could only find an internet connection…

Off to bed for me now.