Naxos to Nafplia

Damn, this is my second go, since WordPress ate the beginning of my draft just now when I left the app to check something else. I hope I can be as witty as I had started out to be on that draft. 😉
Yesterday we left the islands behind and traveled to Nafplia, a town we both wanted to see that also happens, after a fashion, to be on the way to my sister’s house in Stoupa.
We got up pretty early, thinking we were going to have to walk to the ferry terminal with our rolling suitcases (we bought another cheap, small suitcase on Wednesday evening to try to distribute the weight a little more, plus we’ve paid for two checked bags from Athens to Rome already). However, when our host, Vasily, brought our breakfast he said he would drive us there. Apparently part of the service at our very cheap studio is pick up and drop off. He said we should be ready at 0900 but about 10 minutes before that, he came out onto the street and called up to me as I was sitting on the balcony that we needed to go. Angie suspected he had a shortwave radio and heard the ferry was early, since when we got down there we didn’t have to wait long for it to come into port.
On Thursday (yesterday), we took a ferry from Naxos to Athens and a bus from Athens to Napflia (there are about 7 ways you can spell the name of this town in English). The ferry was fine-ish. We had booked first class again, but there were several families with young children sitting near us, so even though the TVs were not as loud as the last time, it was far from mellow. However, Angie and I managed to do some crosswords together, including a skeleton-type that neither of us had attempted before, and I finished the hard-copy book I had bought in Santorini, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon.
When the ship docked, we grabbed our bags and joined the throngs disembarking. We had discovered on the second ferry trip to Naxos that there is luggage storage in the garage, which is blocked off when at sea and therefore safe, plus then we didn’t have to schlep our bags up the stairs and down again (2 flights).
We found our way to the taxi-stand inside the port gates. There is a surcharge for catching a cab from inside the port, but given the risk with unscrupulous cabbies, I figured this might be a safer bet than the cabs waiting outside the port. They do have a reputation in Athens and I can’t say for sure it’s unfounded but I didn’t want to find out. I felt less anxious when I heard the cabbie, after pulling alongside another, female, driver, say “KTEL” to her, since he was clearly telling her we were going to the bus station (KTEL is the bus company). It was actually a cheaper fare than I anticipated, with port and baggage fees, only €15.
After arriving at the bus station we asked at information about where to get tickets and the bus and were directed to the right place. I do need to mention here that we have had absolutely no issues anywhere in Greece with getting our questions answered in a way we understand, even with my Greek vocabulary of three phrases (good morning, good afternoon and yes. I am working on thank you and please). Customer service, on the other hand, is not always so straightforward and people can seem, well, curt, but all our needs are being met and I’m trying to at least be polite myself.
We fortunately only had a half-hour to wait for the rather full bus and were in Nafplia by 7. Between my phone and Angie’s awesome navigational skills, we made the very short walk to our hotel.
We are staying at the Aetoma, which is one of the hotels recommended to us by my sister Pam, who has visited here often. She loves the Aetoma and apparently the Aetoma loves her. When Akis, the owner’s son, found out who I was, he promptly presented us with a bottle of wine! He was positively gushy about my sister, who is equally gushy about the hotel and its proprietors.
He also took a lot of time with us over the map of the town, recommending things for us to see and places to eat. As with our hostess in Santorini (who doesn’t know my sister) we felt very welcomed. The room is lovely and probably the nicest place we’ve stayed since we left England.
We were glad to fall into our comfy bed after a quick salad at one of the places suggested by both Pam and Akis.

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