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The Great Spiral

Waiting for our 37 hour ferry ride.

GREECE | Wednesday, 16 July 2008 | Views [1027] | Comments [3]

I really feel like the trip is starting to wind down. It's strange because we still have about 3 weeks left. I think maybe its because we've hit 20 of the 25 planned countries. Plus over the next three weeks we will return to Germany, Austria and France. Germany for Neuschwanstein (sp?) castle, France for our winery tour and cooknig classes (Katie's birthday present to me) and to Austria just for traveling through.

Anyway we had a good time in Greece. We stayed at Athens backpackers hostel, which had an incredible view of the Acropolis! The Parthenon was just above us on their rooftop bar. It was kind of funny, seemingly every other backpacker there was from Australia.

Another interesting part of this leg of the trip was that as we entered Greece on Monday morning our... steward (?) the guy who checks our tickets, gets our bedding for our sleeper car, tells us to be quiet, ect. entered our room and said, "get your stuff ready you will be making the rest of the trip by bus." Apparently the train conductors were going on strike all over Greece and it started while we were on the night train from Bulgaria to Thessaloniki (in route to Athens.) So, fortunately we didnt run into any problems with the bus, we arrived where we needed to be and in a relatively timely manner. However this morning, when we went to leave Athens... I guess they are still on strike! We went to the train station, (and not being able to read Cyrillic) we sat there for about 20 minutes before I turned to Katie and said... "You know, no trains have come through and I noticed that the ticket booths were closed... I wonder if they are still on strike." Sure enough they were.  I had also noticed that there were no annoying announcements on the intercom system.  So, we along with about 75 other various travellers had been sitting in vain.  Luckily we caught on early enough and after Katie asked around a bit, we found that the bus system was still running.  So we made our way to Station 'A.'  After sifting through the broken English of the locals and trying to decipher the Cryllic signs we bought our bus tickets to Patras.  A 3 hour ride along the coast that just increased our anticipation of being on our ferry for 37 hours (they seriously are fun, it's like a mini-cruise ship, this will be our 3rd sail.)  The only problem was that we didnt have tickets for the ferry... which could have been very problematic.  But we asked God's favor and felt at piece about it.  When arriving we not only found our port quickly, we recieved a discount for being Eurorail pass holders.  We were not aware that a discount was possible... our last 2 ferries that were in Scandanavia were from 100-150 U.S. dollars and they were no longer than 15-20 hours.  We bought our ferry passes from Patras, Greece to Venice, Italy for 45 Euros, (about 65 U.S.)  We were greatful for the (as I put it,)spiritual discount. 

 So a little about the ruins in Athens.  Very cool, very impressive.  We woke up early our second day so we could explore.  We spent the larger part of the 1st half of the day on the Acropolis hill where many of the monuments/ruins are, then we went to the Temple of Zeus/Haydrians Arch and ended our day at teh Ancient Agorra.  I found the Acropolis theater very small.  It seemed much larger in the "Yanni Live at the Acropolis" video. lol!  Seriously though, it was really small.  We made out way up to the temple of Athena and the Parthenon, taking many pictures while there.  After sweating much at 9.30 am we descended and went to the Temple of Zeus.  It was immense!  The pillars were so large, so tall.  It was like somethng from The Never Ending Story.  I now wonder what God's Temple is like (or at least his dwelling place) if Zeus's was so impressive.  Outside of the ruins Athens was pretty cool, except that it was impossible to sleep in our hostel it was so hot.  And the thought of the huge Cockroach that I saw running in our room.  I swear Katie and I are carryng all sorts of bugs around in our bags.  Im going to have to unpack in the back yard when I get home. 




I am envious that you got to explore many significant Biblical places! Did you do any preaching to the crowds?

  Davis Jul 18, 2008 4:42 AM


Oh yes! You are definately going to have to unpack outside the house. But there is a clean room waiting, with clean sheets and a bathroom that has a seat (so it will be worth it)! I hope the train strike is restricted to a small area, that is a lot of bus and ferry fare you probably were not planning on. We loved the ferries last year in the NW. Have fun be safe, love you.

  sharon Jul 22, 2008 2:16 AM


Hi there!

I am jealous of you, because you are visiting my homeland. I wish, I were there now... I hope you had a great time in Greece. Next time visit Meteora too! It's really a breathtaking place.

I just wanted to give you a notice about sth. Greeks do not use the Cyrillic alphabet. They use the Greek alphabet. Indeed Cyrillic alphabet is based on the Greek and the Latin alphabet and its making is attributed -according to some scholars- to two Saints from Thessaloniki, namely Cyril and Methodius.

Therefore it's the Greek and the Cyrillic Alphabet. Interestingly many people mistakenly mix these two alphabets also in Germany.

That's how I decided to shed some light on this common misunderstanding.

Have fun and keep exploring!

  Vassilis Eleftheriadis Aug 20, 2008 5:55 AM



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