Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ferry to Greece

On the morning of September 9th, we woke up in Turkey with no solid plan but a vague idea that we should probably ferry to a Greek island. I don't know if y'all have ever tried to navigate the Greek ferry system, but there are approximately 200 companies, each with their own website. These websites are fancy and supposedly allow you to make reservations online, but are in no way synced up and often directly contradict each other. After several weeks of trying to plan our path from Benin, we decided to just, you know, wing it.
So Sunday the 9th. We wake up at 7, and are on the first ferry to the nearby Greek island Chios by 9. Arriving there, we expect to find a ferry going to another island around noon, from which we can get to our final goal island. What actually happened:

  • Get to Chios, ask nearby people to help us buy tickets to Samos. Quickly ascertain that the next ferry leaving to a Greek island departs on Wednesday evening, and the next one going to an island we actually want to go to leaves Friday. Problem.
  • Discover that there is a ferry to Athens, which is far away but a hub for ferry transport, leaving in 20 minutes. Determine that we should be on that ferry.
  • Find ticket office. Learn that tickets can only be bought in cash.
  • Sprint to nearest bank, where we learn that they don't exchange dollars on Sundays.
  • Sprint to ATM, get money, buy tickets from now adorably dramatic ticket lady.
  • Grab bags, run to ferry. Stash bags in luggage storage area. Proceed to marvel at luxurious ferry, which is essentially a cruise ship (CafĂ©! Wine and snacks bar! Terrace! Wifi!).
  • Spend 3 euros for Internet, research ferry schedules from Athens, hostels, and shuttles. Within 90 minutes Bridget has a plan and reservations at an amazingly cheap hostel in Santorini.
  • Take naps.
  • Switch ferries, and this time we know to dibs a couch before wandering around. Spend evening relaxing and listening to music.
  • Arrive in Santorini at 1am, are met at the port by a shuttle that takes us to the hostel, which is absolutely perfect. Congratulate selves again on being, all told, pretty awesome at making things up as we go along. Thank you, Africa.

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