You would think that after almost 12 weeks on the road that transition days would be easier, but they really aren’t.
Today marked our departure from Greece after 2 1/2 weeks, our last flight before the flight home, and our last “new country” for the trip.
But I should start at the beginning. This has really been a two-day transition. We left Pam and Dermot’s yesterday morning and headed for Kalamata. We were able to enjoy some loukoumades, get a sandwich and a cookie for the bus at Athanasiou (our Boston friends can access their wonderful baked goods at Athan’s), and visit the delightful Saturday market, where we acquired salt and honey and Pam acquired beautiful vegetables and fruits.
The bus ride was interesting, but I can’t tell you why, as I couldn’t understand any of the conversation between the bus driver and the clearly upset passenger he ultimately let off at a toll plaza.
We returned to our old digs at the Attalos Hotel in Athens for one last night. We also returned to the site of our first dinner in Athens, a taverna in Psiri, where Maureen again had lamb chops and I ate feta, of course. We met and had a great conversation with a lovely couple from Alaska while we were eating, then joined them for gelato afterwards. A quick look at the Acropolis from our hotel’s rooftop bar finished a delightful final evening in Greece.
This morning we headed to the airport early, which turned out to be a good plan, since the check-in line tends to be quite long quite early when online check-in is not available. If you travel through Athens’ airport (quite nice, overall), note that all of the duty-free shopping and real eating establishments are before security, but in an area only accessible to travelers. Vueling was pretty much the opposite of Aegean in terms of food. Nothing free–soda was €2.60. We ate our own food and were happy to have purchased a bottle of water before boarding.
Once in Rome, we waited a loooong time for our bags to come up. Consequently, we arrived to the bus stop (only one bus line–SIT bus–stops near the Vatican where we are staying) at 2:15 just as the bus pulled away (aargh). I went back to the terminal to get a sandwich while we waited for the next (3:00) bus. Fortunately, the bus ride was easy (saw the dome of St. Peter’s on the way in!) and the walk to our flat was pleasant. The AirBnB host met us and showed us around the apartment. Unfortunately, it was somehow overlooked that the flat does NOT have wifi (no, autocorrect, not whiffing) so I am writing this from the cafe downstairs where we were *forced* to enjoy a glass of Prosecco. We’ll make it work, but it is a disappointment.
We made a quick trip to the grocery (open on Sunday-yay-but the typical city express version–boo) before dark–did I mention that the daylight savings time change happened here last night?–and will try out the kitchen once I finish with this post.
We are looking forward to a week in the Eternal City and especially to the arrival of my Mom and Aunt Janet (super early) tomorrow morning!