|Subject: Report Part 4 Athens-Santorini|
Tomorrow arrived and as we came in to breakfast our host remarked that it
was 'very quiet in Athens today', not catching on I looked up at the
Acropolis and noticed there was nobody up there. What an opportunity, 'lets
go up there right now'. But we couldn't do that because of the strike,
everywhere was closed, no bus no taxi, no shops! My heart sank, three days
ago everyone, present company included had assured us the strike would only
affect the buses! How are were going to get to the airport for our 5.30am
flight tomorrow? 'It's impossible' we were told and in any case there would
be no flights! This I would not believe and asked him to phone Olympic
Airways, the line was busy, a hopeful sign? We had to think so. Taking
directions from our mine of misinformation we set off to walk to the office.
Not too far away, the directions were accurate and they were open, our luck
On the way I notice a camera shop, they didn't have my Canon EOS but suggested we try over the road. First things first, our flight had to be confirmed. There was no problem at Olympic, of course the planes were flying and we had confirmed seats. So how do we get to the airport? It's impossible, there they go, those two nasty little words again and no they didn't intend laying on a bus. Still the flight was on and I was determined to get on it at any cost, well almost.
Heading back to the Adams we stopped off at the location 'across the road' which turned out to be Canon's Head Office, the address of which I had looked up on the internet in Galaxidi. They were open. This was turning into a very promising day. The Canon agent was an angel and blushed most becomingly when I told him so. He looked up the model name of my Camera, they are different in Europe then phoned around the city until he found a store which was both open and stocked the camera and lenses I needed. He also told me I was lucky as this store had the best discounted prices in Athens. We were on a roll, I headed off to pick up the equipment, the store was only a 30 minute walk away and Jean went back to the Adams to twist some arms.
Photo Olympia had everything ready for me, including a camera bag with their compliments. Much appreciated, not just for the money saved but for their kindness, they knew mine had been stolen.
Meanwhile back at the Adams Jean had been assured they would find us a taxi. Mr. 'Adams' would get his internet friend to arrange it, when he could get hold of him. He was in Meteora of all places. On my walk back I had tried a local travel agent, they quoted $ 160 US. At the Hotel Grand Bretagne a limo could be hired for $ 90 and the taxi I flagged down on the street told me in no uncertain terms that he was on strike and wouldn't take us anywhere until 5.00am when the 24 hour strike ended
Our saviour turned out to be none other than George, the 'most famous taxi driver in Athens'. We arranged an 11pm pick up allowing plenty of time for something to go wrong. True to his word his driver turned up at 11.00pm. The ride to the airport took 20 minutes and cost $50 US ouch! Our last afternoon in Athens was lovely, and we must have seen it as few tourist do bathed in beautiful May sunshine and almost deserted.
Santorini, here we come.