I flew to Athens this year, because I was a little disappointed on the conditions at the Santoríni airport from the year before. Mostly because it was difficult to catch a cab to be able to leave for the harbour, or whatever you wanted to go! And the air terminal isn't intended for so much travellers.
I must add that I now have better experience from Santoríni. 1996 and 1997 was acceptable regarding transportation from/to the airport! But the airport is still overcrowded!
Back to Piraeus 1995! When you go by air charter from Sweden you generally leave early in the mornings, at least this is my experience. That means that you are at Piraeus in the middle of the day. You have to except that most ferries leave in the morning or the evening. This year my plan was to go to Milos first, and there was a late ferry departure, which meant that I have to spend about 8 hours in Piraeus.
What to do in Piraeus? I must admit that I don't really like that town. It's noisy, dirty and crowded by people everywhere!
Anyway I have to kill a couple of hours, so I left my luggage at a travel agency; got some proposal on what to do, or actually how get to the waterfront outside the docks.
After 15-20 minutes of walking I reached a nice harbour where you can find exclusive yachts, and I was strolling around there for a while. Close to the harbour I found a tavern and sat down to have some lunch and at the same time just look at people passing by. I don't remember what I had for lunch, probably some kind of Greek Salad. On the other hand I remember that I had some coffee afterwards, just to let the time pass by.
A little later I continued to walk and reached another tavern above a beach. My intention was to go down to the beach, not to swim in the dirty water, but to begin to work with my tan. But first I sat down at the tavern to relax and get me something to drink.
After a while a Greek man started to talk to me. Of course he noticed that I wasn't from Greece. He was a very talkative person. "I don't understand why you are not married or have a girlfriend" he said. I couldn't convince him that it's possible to lead a life as single.
He was very found of women and was married to one! But it wasn't enough for him. This very afternoon he was going to meet two Russian girls. He considered this to be very naturally thing for men. "What about your wife?" I asked? Unfortunately I didn't get a clear answer on this one!
This isn't my way to tell that all Greek men are like this when it comes to relationship and sexuality. But I think we have a quite different outlook on these things, much depending on the environment we have been brought up in.
Some hour later the man has to leave for his date with the Russian girls, and I went down to the beach. There were some people swimming but I was gladly waiting until I sooner reached the clear waters of Milos!
Later I returned to the travel agency to get my things and put on some more clothes. Then I had some dinner in the restaurant located in the new ferry terminal.
There were still some hours for the ferry departure, so I sat down outside in the port looking at the street life.
About 10 p.m. I embarked the ferry and was showed to my shared cabin. This year I wanted to get some sleep while travelling and it was alright, even if one of the room fellows sounded a bit strange; snoring or something.
Early in the morning we reached the port of Milos, Adámas.
- A decade later
Rather much has happened the last 10 years in Athen and Piraeus, and also my point of views has changed. Since a few year Athen has a new airport, the transportation infrastructure is rather much improved. I guess the Olympic Games back in 2004 was an important factor. I have also discovered that I prefer to fly to Athen on regular flights instead of flying charter to some island because it gives me more flexibility, and nowadays regular flights can even be more cheap.
Even if Piraeus still is a very noisy city, there a some nice spots where you can sit down and relax, look at people passing by, read a good book, or think about life in general. One thing though, who still is the same: it is hard to plan and book transportation from Piraeus, since the time schedule each year seems to be published very late. But I guess it might be useful for people who are control freaks: just relax, go to Piraeus and find the best possible transportation at place. Normally you have to wait for the departure many hours anyway.