It’s been about 2 mths since our Greece vacation ... but the vacation has been so special.
There is something about vacations- after all the ambiguity during location research, flight booking, hotel bookings , event bookings, packing etc. the moment you sit in the taxi to the airport you realize this is it! What I have, I have! and what I have forgotten, I have forgotten! And... there are no 2 ways about that!!!
You sit back, relax, and feel the anxiety fade and the vacation mood sets in... Everyone is in a pleasant mood. No cooking, no cleaning, no morning rush hrs. etc. etc. for a couple of days... It’s this anticipation that makes you feel at ease and you head towards your destination...
Well, just as we anticipated the weather in Greece was gorgeous – a clear sky and bright sun shine! A welcome change from the cold rainy days of Lux that we had just left behind.
Out the Athens airport and straight into the taxi.. the first thing that hit us was--------- wow! this guy speaks and understands English! On careful observation I realized all road signs, instructions etc. etc. everything was written in Greek and English. Simply loved it! Go to Paris and then you will know what it feels to be in a place where everything is Greek! But in Greece it was English!
But..wooooo! what a roller coaster drive it was to the hotel.... that guy was crazily zipping through the free ways changing lanes without indicators, honking, swearing, talking on his phone, fiddling and counting his days earning etc. He was confident, rather over confident alright! But, phew ... I sat there, holding on tight and trying to make conversations with my sleepy kids with some failed attempts to ignore him. Well we reached in 1 piece so all’s well that ends well.
I had read on some review sites that local taxi in Athens is expensive...so, one night my hubby said lets behave like tourist and try and use local transport to get back to the hotel from the city center... We sat in a restaurant to use their wifi.... ate and drank while we figured the bus stop and bus no etc online.
Finally, we enthusiastically set out..It was 9 pm. The city was buzzing..so that was cool!.. we walked from one spot to another to another to another for about an hr. or so....we were unable to exactly figure out the direction/ way/ bus stop/ lanes etc etc.... we even went in the opposite directions a couple of times... finally the kids gave in and so did my patience.... I put my foot down! “That was enough recreation ...lets take the taxi Vivek!” And so we did! Guess what did it cost us to reach the hotel?...just 5 EUROS!!! WT-
That was it! We took taxi for every place since then . Lesson learnt- Do not blindly follow online reviews! To give you a perspective.... In Luxembourg a 10km taxi drive would cost about 40 euros and in Athens a 30 km drive cost us 40 euros! Taxi walas in Athens were like rikshawalas in India with whom you negotiate for every rupee... “nahi sister 8 rupees se kam mein nahi jayenge ” .... “bhaiyya please 7 rupees mein chalo” types!
On speaking to the locals- they showed concern about the economy going down, the rising corruption, the corrupt bureaucrats etc....
Another exciting thing happened--- Vivek met his college senior cum distant cousin at an Indian restaurant we went to for dinner in Athens... He was visiting from the US... It’s a small world!!!
All these experiences accompanied by a visit to the majestic Temple of Zeus, the mind blowing view from acropolis, A cruise to the serene Greek Islands ,interesting local cuisine, the muddy double greek coffee and some fun shopping made our trip a wholesome experience!
There is so much out there to see and experience!
Signing off hoping to share more of my pleasant experiences in the months to come!
Au revoir! Neha