Day 576: A Long Journey to GreeceSeptember 13 in Greece
Crazy long day today. Left our apartment at 8am on the dot, and drove almost constantly for 8 hours across Bulgaria and back into Romania. Delayed for about 30 minutes at the border crossing due to large queues which was a bit frustrating! Also had to drive through the centre of Bucharest (right past our earlier apartment!) since the ring road around the city was heavily clogged with traffic.
Made it to the car rental place around 4pm, though we weren't worried about returning on time since the car was actually due back tomorrow! We changed plans after booking, and updating the booking would've cost us an extra hundred euros or something stupid, so we just left it. Shuttle bus to the airport where we waited around for an hour or so before checking in for our flight to Athens.
Not much to do in the airport, though we bought and consumed a couple of snacks. Everything was airport prices, not typical Romanian prices which was pretty frustrating! 6 euros for a crappy sandwich sort of thing, not the 1-2 euros we'd been used to. Boarded the flight and took off on time which was nice, and we were with Aegean Air which are a full-service airline, not a budget carrier, so we got a free snack of ham & cheese roll, small muesli bar thing and a drink too. We also had a spare seat between us so could spread out a bit, even though it was only 90 minutes.
Arrived in Athens around 9:30pm local time and had no issues with immigration which was good. Had been a little concerned since Shandos didn't have a Schengen exit stamp from when we'd left Czech Republic a month ago, but the immigration lady barely glanced at our passports before stamping and waving us through. She was also puzzled that I handed over our marriage certificate; I didn't explain that it was because Shandos was over her Schengen limit!
By the time we collected our luggage and exited the terminal it was nearly 10pm, but we hopped on a bus directly to Piraeus. Was quite comical the way an orderly queue dissolved immediately into pushing and shoving as soon as the bus arrived, but we all managed to just fit. I'd read you should purchase tickets from the driver, but nobody else did so we didn't worry about it - learned later you're supposed to buy tickets in the terminal! Oh well.
Finally arrived in Piraeus around 11:15pm where we walked a few hundred metres to our hotel. It was a dump, but we were expecting that, and only there for about 7 hours total!Read more