Greece Travel 7: From Mountains to the Sea and From Delphi to Santorini

After we left from the Altana (most comfortable and luxurious hotel in Santorini), we headed down to the port of the Thera. I checked the ferry tickets for departure time.

Turns out, the ferry was set to leave tomorrow, not today. We rushed to the ticketing office titled “Blue Jet,” and explained how we’d purchased the tickets to leave “today, not tomorrow.” The man providing service explained that since this was the second time we were changing the ticket dates, we’d have to pay extra. He was condescending and rude, claiming that I lied when I’d asked for Sunday and not Monday, raising his voice. I would have gone all out with him, but my husband decided that leaving the island was more important than winning the argument; we paid the extra fee and rushed for the ferry, which was the last to leave the Island that day.

Funnily enough, when my husband rushed over, the man who argued with me that entire time disappeared or rushed away, and we had to deal with another man, who had no idea what was going on. I wouldn’t recommend ferry service from “Blue Jet” as a result; they should have other ferry services, so try other ones instead; maybe they’ll provide better service than the one we received; which was the only sour experience in Santorini.

The ferry itself was nice. Because this was Greece, and there are many islands in Greece, the ferry stopped by Naxos, the largest island in Cyclades state. Known as the island that sheltered Zeus from god-eating father Cronus, Naxos is also the home to Dionysus, whose legend is well-known to most studying Greek mythology. The land is rich and fertile with perfect pH for wine grapes to grow; as a result, Naxos became associated with Dionysus, the god of wine and theatre all due to the exceptional soil and products in ancient world; that reputation continues to this day.

If Santorini is the Hawaii of Greece, Naxos is like a mix of DC and New York hidden in time, with marble structures, temple of Dionysus and other prehistorical ruins around, showing what was once a great marketplace and place of civilization. Yet if one were to visit it now, they’d only see a glimpse of what was once a great sea marketplace and a place of theatre, coveted by the great ancient powers, Macedonia, Roman Empire, or even the Ottoman. Anyone interested in time traveling should give it a go, even for a day.

After 5 hours on sea, the deck was wet and windy. Yet the people refused to go inside until we arrived at the Piraus Port in Athens. There will be lots of taxis in line for tourists; do not go with the first guy that approaches you; let them haggle for you. For example, we originally was following one taxi driver, who promised to take us to Athens for 70 euro, thinking it to be reasonable. However, another taxi driver entered the foray, and we were able to go to 50 euro because they were fighting. Needless to say, we did get to Athens. But feeling rather sorry (the route was surprisingly long), we gave a decent tip, and he left a happy taxi driver.

The taxi driver, if willing, will give you the current state of affairs in Greece; after all, we all know about the economic crisis that Greece faced recently. It may be a jolt of awakening bringing you back to today instead of the glorious days of Alexander the Great or Homer’s Odyssey, but it is simply continuation of life and time; it didn’t take away from the experience. Greece has existed for a long time, and will have to continuously develop and face forward.

By the time we arrived at the hotel, it was dark, and when we got to our room after checking in, we could see the lights bouncing off of the water.

The hotel we stayed at was rather old; however, the staff was exceedingly friendly and courteous, and sought to help in any shape or form they could. We ate at the dinner buffet set up by the hotel, and they were delicious, authentic and kind, just like the people at the hotel.

Next morning, we woke up early and saw the sunrise by the beach in Athens. The sunrise on the Aegean sea is a sight to behold, and one that I feel blessed to have experienced. One can’t help but wonder about the heroes of Greek myths standing by the beach and looking out to the very same Sun that I also got to see, although they knew it as Apollo’s chariot.


Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2017, All rights reserved.

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