Athens, Greece, Europe
I’ve been on the road for about a month now, but today feels like the beginning of a whole new trip. Before I left Edinburgh I had the first few weeks of my trip planned out. Except for a few changes, I stuck to the plan as I had already booked almost everything (flights, accommodation, etc). As of today, the next travel plan I have booked is my flight from Madrid to Havana on 15 July. Until then, I am just going to wing it. This is a pretty exciting prospect for me, as I’ve not done this kind of ad-hoc travelling in a few years.
Last night was as expected in a dorm. The three other people sharing my room came in at 1:30am and tried to be quiet, but it didn’t matter. Once I’m woken up, that’s me. I think I got back to bed around 2:30am and then woke up at 7am for good. I stayed in bed and read for a bit and knew that I was in no hurry. I had to leave for my flight around noon and I could see that it was pissing it down with rain outside. Luckily I felt like I’d seen all I wanted to see in Istanbul, so I just relaxed at the hostel.
I enjoyed the much better breakfast they had at Antique Hostel, checked out, and then chilled in the nice lounge they have upstairs. At about noon the rain lulled so I made a dash for the tram while I had a dry minute. I met a Nigerian guy on the train who was just visiting Istanbul for a few hours on a layover on his way home. He wasn’t exactly sure how to get back to the airport so I showed him the way and had a good chat.
I always like to get to the airport early, and I’m really glad I did today. The Ataturk airport makes you go through security before you can even enter the airport, and it was about a 25 minute line to do that. Once I got through, I still had 2.5 hours before my flight, so I knew I was okay. I checked my bag, got my boarding pass and then saw the queue for passport control and the next security check. I’ve never seen something so ridiculous in my life. The line of people was actually snaking through the airport for what seemed like forever. I finally found the end of the line and spent the next 52 minutes waiting in line and fending off line cutters. I don’t understand these people. They know that we are all in the same line, trying to get to the same place, because we all have flights leaving soon. For some reason they think they are entitled to just skip the four hundred people behind them and just walk up to the front. Not while I’m around!
I finally got through that shambolic mess and found my gate, where almost every seat was taken. I found a seat next to a nice Australian couple who are traveling around Turkey and Greece for a month. We had a nice chat about their trip and my time in Melbourne and we got on our flight and left on time. The rest of the day went pretty smoothly from there. Got to Athens, got my bag, got the tram into the city and found my new hostel – Zeus Hostel. It is not nice. It’s not the worst place I’ve stayed in, but it’s not nice. I’ve decided I’m going to spend two nights in Athens instead of one, but I’m going to move to a different place tomorrow night.
I dropped off my bags, walked ten minutes up the road and found myself in Monastiraki Square looking up at the Acropolis. I wandered around the area for a bit and then found a nice rooftop bar to have a drink and admire the sunset. It was a lot colder than I expected (probably 9*C (50*F)), but it was worth it for the view. I had my €5 Alpha beer and then took off. I found a place that was selling chicken gyros for €2, so I took them up on that offer and was not disappointed. And it’s good to know that it’s so much cheaper to eat here than it is to drink. I thought everything was going to be expensive.
I’m back in my hostel now where I also don’t have wifi in my room. I’ve also heard that they don’t have hot water for showers, which is pretty ridiculous considering it’s not even hot outside. A cold shower on a cold morning is not going to be fun. I’m glad I’m moving to a different hostel tomorrow…