Paros-Piraeus, Athens. A review
Published Thursday November 18th, 2004

Yesterday after a boring 3 hour ride on a boat named Blue Star Paros from Santorini to Paros, I was approached by yet another room hawker as I got off the ship in the port of Paros.

The room was nice, nothing special. More of the usual.. There were, however, not many places open for dinner. I found a store where I bought a breakfast for the next day and some noodle soup Knorr mix.

Back in the hotel I had some stove thing and a pot. I cleaned the pot out with some Head+Shoulders shampoo and boiled some water in it for my noodle soup. It was pretty good.

On T.V. there was nothing but static and some Greek soap opera. I didn't have any book to read, nor did I have anymore ink in my pen to write with. All I had was a pocket knife, a pen with no ink, a CD player, Q-tips and a lighter.. With these objects I entertained myself for a bit over 3 hours from 19.30 to sometime past 23.00.. I'm skilled in entertaining myself with practically nothing.
My last hotel room in Hotel Omega in Athens, Greece. The Acropolis right out my window.

I got up at 08.15 and left by 09.30 in the direction of the port of Paros. Paros is an island in the Cyclades, for those who have not yet caught on.

After waiting for about an hour, the ship Blue Star Naxos docked and I, among others, boarded the ship heading for Piraeus, the port of Athens. So now I'm sitting here on level or floor 7 in chairs or seats one would expect to find in business class on an aeroplanes but with more room and flexibility..

Greece has been awesome. Nothing at all has gone wrong on this trip. Anything that was planned went as planned and everything else I left open for on-site interpretation (which was most of the trip) turned out great! My hotel/room accommodations were excellent, especially for the very little money I paid (off-season rates). I didn't ever have to look for a room in the Cyclades. Room hawkers or people who approach you as you disembark from the boat which brought you to the island, come up to one with offers for a room. Often this was more than one person and I thus had a great deal of choices.

Greece is a beautiful country. I would be proud to be a Greek. I hope I can venture into Greece again sometime in the future, but for longer than 2.5 weeks or 20 days. There are many more things I'd like to see here, but then again, there are many more things I'd like to see in the world we live on.. *sigh*
This was the jet powered ferry ship with which I went from Athens to Mykonos.

As far as communication.. It was not a big problem if a problem at all, not being able to speak Greek. Most people, even random people on the street asking me for the time, spoke English. Often greeting someone with Kalimera or Kalispera ((goof day/hello, Good afternoon/hello) Informality and formality comes into play somewhere there, too.. but I'm not exactly sure where.) lead to confusion because the person I had greeted in Greek continued to speak to me in Greek, and I was thus completely lost. It was easier to be ignorant and just assume everyone spoke English, which was a true assumption in most cases.

An interesting communication or announcement just came over the intercom: "If there is a doctor among the passengers, he or she is kindly requested to come to the reception desk." If anything major was happening, these ships have helicopter-pads on their decks in the centre..

The only time not being able to speak Greek was an issue, and a slight one at best, was when I was watching T.V. or news on T.V. Though often times in the evening, movies were aired in English with Greek subtitles.. Besides T.V., I could rarely read anything. Though, thing I needed to be able to read such as an Island name or subway exit were also written in English. I'm referring more to random signs, news papers, billboards, advertisements and such likes. These were often only in Greek and I would have often liked to be able to read them.

Every restaurant, snack/fast food shop I went to had a menu in at least Greek and English, but often also in any of the following: French, Spanish, German, and Italian. Though, it should be noted that I typically visited the more touristic locations in Greece, so my lack of problems because I did not speak Greek should take this fact into consideration.

There is a nice flat screen T.V. in here with the T.V. channel "Mega" on, and some talk show is running where some guy is balancing 22 cups filled with water on his head.. and now 24 .. Ha ha. They keep adding more.. heh.. am I there (Piraeus) yet? This is slightly boring. But hey! .. I was on Thira(Santorini)! Yes! Next time I see it on T.V. I can say, "Oh! Yea! I've so totally been there!".. Bwa-ha-ha! It's so incredibly beautiful, especially the town of Ia, that it's burned into my mind. I just close my eyes and see Ia.. Santorini, a island in the Cyclades with population of about 7,000 and about 200,000 visitors on the island at one time alone during the summer season in any given day. Oh, It was so beautiful there.. But, I cannot forget the Island of Mykonos.. The town on that island was so very charming. The small pathways leading between the buildings made navigating through the town like walking through a giant maze.. It was so fun getting lost there, knowing only that in one general direction was the old harbour, and in another direction were the windmills and "little venice".. Oh.. *sigh*

Only one more full day remains for me in Greece on this trip, after today.. And then it's of, back to Switzerland.. My time in Greece from October 16th, 2004 to November 3rd, 2004 has been only perfect. I'm so happy and glad that I was able to and went.. I ask myself.. where to next? Greece, specifically the Cyclades and mainly Santorini have been a location I only wished and dreamt of going to before this trip, and now that I've conquered and achieved those dreams and wishes, I ask myself, "Where to next?" Where do I really want to go to, what do I dream of seeing? Hrm.. There is much I'd like to see, many places I'd like to go, but where do I dream of going? Thats the true question.. Something will surely fall into this place, this vacancy.. My next dream location..

I find myself just very happy with a smile on my face.. Tears come into my eyes when I recall the beautiful places I've been and seen. This trip has changed me. I'm not entirely sure why or how, but I feel different than I did at the beginning of the month. Perhaps more confidence, among other things.. I feel greater, bigger, or more whole. I deal as though I'm somehow more important, though I don't know why.. Perhaps more important to myself.. Self-empowering.. I can accomplish my dreams.. Reaching Santorini and exploring the island as I saw fit has been a big, big deal for me. I've achieved something I've given great value to and now I bask in this sort of glory or victory. I've conquered a big-deal dream.. What could I do next? I sigh at my possibilities because they are many!

I'm a lucky person. My father and mother have been a great support with encouragement and the inescapable finances aspects of such a trip, and for this I bequeath upon them a great deal of thanks. The next trip I make I want to be on my own money and not paid for by a trust fund. Including the tour around mainland Greece, I will have spent about EUR 1,600 on this 20 day trip. It's more or less dead on with the budget I allocated myself.. But it still seems like a great amount.. I have a long list of everything I've purchased on this trip which I'll be sure to post with these entries..

Heh.. Indeed.. Four more hours, at least, until i reach Piraeus.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but if I have.. oh well: A lot of males here in Greece have long hair, or more specifically.. many more males have long hair here compared to Switzerland, Germany, France, or the U.S.A.. I wonder why?

I just went on a stroll through the ship. In the "public" open cafe like seating, many have their laptops out, and when I say many, I mean, "wow! A lot of people have their laptops out!" T.V.'s are running everywhere throughout the ship, each with a 16:9 aspect ration.. That is to say they're new and not cheap. Have I mentioned that these Blue Star Ferries are really modern? It's really cool.. Heh..

H'm.. I guess I was wrong.. It only took around 4 hours from Paros to Piraeus in Athens.. So we arrived in the harbour of Piraeus in Athens at a few minutes past 15.00.. From there I walked to the nearby metro station from where I took the metro about 8 stops to Monastiraki for EUR 0.60. (This was EUR 0.10 less than I paid when I headed for Piraeus from Athens about a week prior. There belongs an "Oops" in there somewhere.) This took about 30 minutes, and now I'm checked into Hotel Omega for 2 nights. It's now 16.00.. Heh.. The temperature here is 27 degrees Celsius. In Northern Europe it's very cold and rainy.. Bwa-ha-ha!

Note that photos in this entry have not been altered and could possibly use some white-balancing, contrast, brightness, saturation, and hue adjustments among other touch-ups.
Posted by Margret @ 20:59, November 24, 2004
Thank you Marco, from Roli and myself! I think an Education is Importent, but this Break came at a perfect time in your live! Enjoy the rest of your stay in Europe, Marco1