The crew, a group of six consisting of 2 boys and 4 girls. Backpacking through Europe chasing the european summer. After 5 days of partying at Sziget festival, the island of freedom, it was time for us to pack our bags and move south. Greece.
It all started at 10am. I had organised the taxi and the air BnB lady to come by at 10, drop off the bond, give her back the key and say thanks and seeya. 10:30am rolls round “this bitch is late, she owes us money!”. A 5 day bender and patience running thin we decide to gap city and head for the airport. In the nic of time the lady arrives with our €100 acting as if nothing is wrong. We snatch the money, and quickly hop in the taxis for the airport. “Pheww”
Arriving at the airport, care free we were off to Greece with Athens, being our next destination. The 6 of us check in together, “sorry guys, your flights been delayed two hours” said the German wings attendant in a polite manner. Another set back but nothing we can’t deal with. Naturally, we spend our time scoffing down BK and Asian noodles so it isn’t all bad. Yet.
Feeling like stuffed teddy bears, the crew finally board the first plane in excitement. Somehow the lady on the desk fucked up the seating arrangements and split us all up. Unusual but only an hour and a half to Düsseldorf so sitting next to the large gentleman on the left is no big deal.
As we start to feel the aftermath of Sziget and with Leah coughing her guts out, sounding like a pack a day smoker, we were in for a hell 12 hours to come. With the price of water exceeding €5 a bottle at Düsseldorf airport, things were not looking so good. On the bright side though, the only thing we were late for was an unscheduled sun tan in Santorini. The 6 of us slowly waddle down the stairs to the boarding gate and board our second and final flight. Ah time to relax. Half the crew out cold replenishing the serotonin levels as we set off for Athens.
“Prepare the cabin for landing” finally words to excite the crew. Even though Leah squeezed my hand like she was juicing a lemon, it was hard for her not to appreciate the sight from the small plane window, the Greek Islands!! As the plane glides in to land, the wheels touch down, waking the rest of the crew and all of a sudden everyone in the front half of the plane start to clap like maniacs and we all start to freak out!! What the hell is going on here?? Apparently a common practice in Europe… Such faith in the pilots. I swear that was just an American thing?
Bags on our backs and onto the bus to head to Piraeus port (where we catch the ferry to Athens). Just our luck that we book our ferry from a port that’s further away from the airport! Note: there are 3 ports in Athens all taking you to the islands. “Nice, were on the home stretch team.” We all sit down ready to relax… As the bus starts filling up, it slowly gets hotter and more cramped. Sweaty humans everywhere smelling like a boys changing room at high school. By this point the comedown was real! The struggle was real! And the rumble in my tummy is real! At one point I popped my head out the window for some not so fresh air and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Abandoned buildings surrounded by hundreds of tents, kids running around everywhere with hardly any clothes on. I assumed it was due to the influx of refugees in Greece. At one point I could see a baby chilling in a pram in the middle of a park, people around but no one close, where was its mother?
Arriving in Piraeus port over an hour later, we couldn’t get off the bus fast enough. Even though our hostel was just a walk away, we managed to have a lingering taxi driver follow us about 300m from the bus stop. “You get in my cab, you get in my cab!, this is very dangerous area.” I wasn’t ready to trust old mate in his taxi that’s for sure so we got our strut on and gave him the flick.
Lucky for us it was only 300m to the best feed we’d had in days!! A kebab sort of shop in Piraeus port called Portogrill. We got a feed and directions to our accommodation. Our comedown on the mend.
100m round the corner was Delfini hotel. €62 a night for the 6 of us is cheap as chips for a roof and a bed. The dirtiest city we’ve seen so far but the friendly man at reception made it better. Calling himself superman, he gives us the keys and sends us to level 4. Finally we were here, ready to sleep and recharge the batteries. It wasn’t so easy sleeping on a top bunk that’s half the size of a single bed, crammed in a six bed dorm with no room to move. It felt like sleeping on a cruskit. I think to myself, oh well, i like cruskits and at least we have a bed and a roof unlike the refugees. Liv sets the alarm, up at 6am to catch the 7:20 ferry to Santorini…
“Beep beep beep”, the alarm goes off and we all slowly wake up and start sorting out our Shit.
Next thing I hear Leah say “Guys, my phone says it’s 7:10”
“Nah my phones on 6:10” says Liv
Charlotte quickly glances at her watch, knowing that she set it to the right time when we flew into Athens last night “Fuck guys it’s 7:10!!!”
Liv yells “but I set the alarm for 6am Rome time?!?!”
“YEA BUT WERE NOT IN ROME!!!” Yells everyone. Panic!
With ten minutes to get our tickets and catch the ferry, we scoop up our bags, stuff our shit into them as fast as we can. Storming down the stairs I biff the key over the counter and tell superman were late. As we come out onto the main road, Ruby Leah and Charlotte go left. Liv and Antonio go right. “Oh shit” I say to myself, ferries everywhere, we have no idea where to go.
Luckily I hear Leah’s voice say “I found it” so I run as quickly as possible, keeping in mind there’s a 16kg bag and my day pack on my back. We find the ticket office with no time to spare and the lady telling us to RUN!! Liv and Antonio still half way across the port, I drop my shit and start to leg it. I can’t see them anywhere and start contemplating the quote “every man for himself”. Luckily I find them, lost and stressing the fuck out, tell them to follow, QUICK! We come round the corner towards the boat, the Greek men yelling at us to hurry, Ruby with tickets in hand, noises beeping and screaming from every direction, the car ramp starting to lift and the 6 of us leap onto the ferry just in time. Wow. We did it, we can’t believe it but we did it. So sweaty, overwhelmed and in shock. Wow.
If somethings to wake you up in the morning it’s gotta be that! Next stop would be Santorini, to chill out for a few days and enjoy the culture. We all take a seat, chill and reminisce on that time we won the amazing race…
Bryn | free&addicted