On a plane

19 01 2011

Yes. My time in Santorini has come to an end. It was an excellent few months, where I spend a lot of time with Jurg and Rahel (and yes, they are still speaking to me), and met a few excellent locals on Santorini. Some photos are on Picasa.

Of course I should write about what I’ve got up to in Santorini. And maybe I will. But right now I am waiting for a plane to whisk me south. Yes, this eco-friendly travelling style hit a snag – winter. I’m not all that keen on riding around in Greece or Turkey (or anywhere further north) in winter. Weich-ei, warm ducher, softy. Yeah, yeah. I promise I did search for a ferry to take me south – and indeed I found one. There is one ferry from Venice to Egypt running over winter. From Venice, and not stopping anywhere near Greece. Ridiculous. So the remaining options are to spend the rest of winter in Santorini (which is a good option); ride around in freezing Turkey (not a good option); or fly south (disappointing to have to use a aircraft, but well, the reality is this is the best option).

So here I am – in the Athens airport. I arrived on the ferry from Santorini last night and cycled through Athens after midnight – lucky the roads were more or less deserted. I slept briefly, then ran around to find a bike box. The first one was big enough to fit the bike in without removing the wheels. Too big. So I wandered around for another. And found one without too much trouble. Packed the bike (always an entertaining activity), and then set about getting to the airport.

The buses are on strike. It’s Greece. So are the trains. The road to the airport is a no-cycling-allowed motorway. Lucky the subway is not on strike, and goes to the airport. So I walked, no staggered to the metro station nearest. 200 or so meters, but it took me 5 rest breaks to get there (including one half way down the stairs). I thought I must be getting soft. And maybe I am, but it turns out the bike box weighted 32kg, and the backpack 23kg. That’s quite a bit of weight, and a little too much to easily split into my allowance of 20kg for the bike, 20kg for the bag. But somehow I managed to get two packages of 20kg and a carry on that has got to the gate so far without comment (I’m just nonchalantly heaving 12kg or so about the airport – I’ve gone camping with less gear…).

So it’s time to get excited again. Not about the flight. But a new city, a new continent, a new language. Pyramids. I’m being called.


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