September 24, 2009 – Athens/Delphi

October 11, 2009

The manager of the beach cafe was kind enough to call a taxi for us that took us directly to the port.  No busses run from Perissa to the port – they all go to Fira and require transferring so this courtesy saved us over two hours.  We made the ferry with no trouble and had an uneventful ride back Pireaus.  Since we arrived at 10pm, I booked a hotel room near the port.  On the map it looked close but it turned out to be in a seedy part of town where the street signs only used the Greek alphabet.  We did our best to get there on foot – and got pretty close – but after walking past a prostitute standing in a doorway we hailed a cab. 

A hat display in Piraeus that I found hilarious.

A hat display in Piraeus that I found hilarious.

We woke early today and grabbed some pastries and coffee at the local shop before heading to the metro.  We took the metro to the airport where we expected to pick up a rental car we’d booked from Thrifty online.  We knew it was off site but, unlike the airports at home, there was no obvious place to call the shuttle.  We asked at the airport information desk and they shrugged.  We wound up renting from Europcar instead – a little Hyundai that we suspect was powered by gerbils.

On the road by eleven, Athens was soon but a blur in our rearview mirror.  We drove through some beautiful scenery – rolling desert hills changing into pines and olive trees, then through a mountainous region.  The area with lots of olive trees did not feel foreign to me – it felt like the lots on Heather road I roamed free in as a child. 

N and I in front of a really old olive tree.

N and I in front of a really old olive tree.

After a couple of hours on the road, we stopped at a restaurant in a small town.  This was really the first place we encountered where none of the staff (all two of them) spoke English. As soon as we arrived, N left the table to use the facilities and while he was there the waiter beckoned me to follow him into the kitchen.  I did and once there, he lifted the lid on each pot and told me the name of the contents.  I pointed to two – a macaroni casserole dish and some type of slow cooked stuffed pepper.  Unfortunately, he grabbed N while I used the facilities and we wound up with much more food than we needed.  It was delicious, though.  N ordered a Greek salad that had crisp cucumbers that tasted almost like melons.  I could have eaten just those cucumbers for lunch.

It took another hour to arrive in Delphi.  On the way, we passed through a small town built into the cliffs – Arahova.  We did not stop but it looked very cool – a must for our next trip to Greece.

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