Our last morning in Paros we ordered our amazing Greek breakfast that was delivered by one of the girls that work there. This place is so wonderful. Over the past 12 days we have become very good friends with both Ioanna and her mom Isabella. They gave USA wonderful breakfast, and thanked us for being such wonderful guests. We still owed them €36 Euros for the food and €100 Euros for our last night. She told us we were such lovely people, she would only charge us €50 for the room. We all hugged and double kissed cheeks, as is the way in Europe, and set out in the taxi for the ferry.
Good bye Paros, we will miss you! The skies in Paros looked clear, but towards Athens we could see the storm clouds a gathering! You can see the storm clouds in our photo.
Sure enough about 2 and a half hours into our trip the waters got rough, it rained and there was a brief lightning/thunder storm. It was a little rough for a while and both Kim and I were feeling a little green, but we held steadfast and as we got closer to Port, the seas calmed somewhat and we arrived in Athens none worse the wear. We negotiated @ fair price for our t@xi ride and we were off.
Kim has done an amazing job of booking great accommodations while still getting a good price. She booked us into a place called “Apartment by the Airport.” The pictures looked good on line and according to their write up it was “a short walk to the beach.” So we are driving towards this place and our cab driver was an older fellow, but quite animated , passed the exit to the airport and explained we were another 10-15 minutes down the road. So much for the name of this place. We turned into a small village and immediately both Kim and I started to get a little nervous. This was clearly not a nice part of town. In fact it looked a little like a war zone. There was no wall without graffiti and there was a large gypsy encampment that our driver told us we should avoid at all costs. We drove a little further and saw some newer apartments but the street in front of them there was a demonstration with 30-40 people blocking the streets. According to our driver, these people were furious that these new apartments had been built because they had been kicked out of their homes. Yes, those were the apartments we were staying in. We arrived and all around us there was road construction, empty houses half torn down and wild dogs wandering the street. There was no restaurants or facilities anywhere near us. Our land lady gave us the key and clearly explained to us how everything worked in Greek, so we had no idea what she was talking about. She did not speak a work of English. She pointed out a grocery store that was about 5 blocks away, so we were set. I checked Google maps before we left thinking we might just check out the beach on our way. According to Google maps the beach was only minutes away if you were in a very fast taxi. It was about a two hour walk. We both thought it was a prudent idea to get something for dinner and get home before it got dark, so even though we were tired from our long journey, we set out in the general direction of the store. It was a twisted turning route that took us through all of the road construction in the village. We made it out and home safely and bought ourselves a roasted chicken, bread, some cashews , tomatoes and a Coke. We were both dying for some caffeine. The apartment itself was pretty nice, and roomy and it was only for one night, so we went to bed not too worried because we had preordered our taxi pickup at 10:30 the next morning, to take us to the airport. We were fed and safely locked into our apartment. I am guessing there might have been some concern about security as our apartment door looked like something from a bank vault with three very heavy bolts that shot into the wall when you turned your key. We went to bed at 10:30pm, with the intent to have a nice sleep. Here was how destiny planned our evening.
- 11:30. A garbage truck backed down our street (beeping the whole way) picked up our huge metal dumpster and banged it into the truck three times.
12:45 am. A pack of dogs decided to bark, howl, bay at the moon, growl and fight with each other until 1:30.
2:00 am. Someone has done something terrible to a cat. Not sure what, but I have never heard such an unearthly scream from an animal before. It only lasted a minute, but it spooked us both.
4:00 am. It appears as if this area is somewhat of a farming community so the roosters started crowing about this time. Not one, but many roosters.
4:30am. Some dipstick on a motor cycle decides to race up and down the streets next to our home. Part of the protest maybe? Oh dear. It seems his muffler doesn’t have any baffles in it and it’s slightly louder than a Death Metal concert. We enjoyed listening to him for ten minutes.
6:30 am. People are going to work and one fellow takes out his garbage lifting the heavy metal lid on the dumpster, chucking in his refuse, and then lets the lid slam shut. I nearly jumped out of bed on that one. I thought a cannon had gone off.
7:30 The road crew arrived right in front of our house and started to dig up the road. This continued until our cab arrived. This is the view from our apartment. Note the two garbage dumpsters in front. The empty buildings in front, ( home to a pack of wild dogs, the road construction in front, the farm with roosters. I wasn’t making this up!Now our cab driver, another animated older guy, negotiated a fair price with me to the airport and we set off. He was very honest in explaining he didn’t come out to this village very often and was trying to find a road that was not under construction, that would get us to the airport. He couldn’t find the highway to get us there, so he went down a series of dirt roads, thru farmers fields and across people’s private property until we came out somewhere near the freeway and finally, we were off!
We arrived at the airport exhausted but ready to leave Greece for Paris, the city of lights. Aegean Air is a lovely airlines. We had a good flight and a nice meal, with friendly hostesses and a funny pilot. We even got to see the Alps over Switzerland.
Our approach into Paris was very foggy and we couldn’t see the ground until seconds before we touched down. Upon leaving the plane I leaned into the cockpit and told the pilot it was a very smooth landing especially with all the fog. He just laughed and said “It was easy, I had his eyes closed the whole time.” How cool. A pilot that tells dad jokes. We arrived at CDG airport in Paris, picked up our bags, again no customs, and took the shuttle train to terminal three where we caught a bus to our hotel. We had a nice dinner in our hotel and went to bed about ten o’clock.