Piraeus, Greece…My Friday the 13th worries were unfounded, I arrived easily in Athens (with the help of several episodes of “The Real Housewives of New York” downloaded on my IPad).
The challenges started once I got to Athens…I had done research and learned that there was an easy bus right from the airport to the port town of Piraeus. I chose to stay near the port as I would set off on the ship tomorrow and why go through the commute from Athens!
I walked out of the airport to stifling heat. Athens was suffering under days of 100 degree weather! The bus was easy to find, but my vision of a coach style bus were shattered when I saw what looked like a city transit bus…ok, well here we go! At 5 euros, a deal was had and I settled into my seat. Then the bus sat baking in the heat filling to standing room only capacity with a mix of tourists and airport workers. As we took off on the hour and half journey to Piraeus, the bus barely cooled but filled with the stench of deodorant unaware riders! At this point, I was thinking “what did I do?” Finally arriving in Piraeus after what seemed an eternity, the town was chaotic and I was thoroughly lost, sweating, and starting to fear that I too took on the odor that I just inhaled for way too long! This is starting off on a bad foot and I was feeling dejected!
I arrived at my hotel and the day turned around…I booked the Phidias Piraeus Hotel, which I still can’t believe was only 35 euros ($43)! A totally modern designed hotel that was pristine and very chic! Wow, what a great place to layover if you have a ferry or cruise the next day!
There was more to this town than the bustling port…fruit trees lined the streets, great shopping galore, and the most charming Marina Zea, the antithesis to the main port area. Lined with waterfront cafes looking out out at the marina filled with gorgeous boats, this area was the perfect end to a roller coaster day. Sitting outside enjoying a marvelous Souvlaki dinner, I watched the sunset over the harbor and knew i turned this day around and a big smile came over my face! I was reminded yet again, how “sweet it is” to travel the world!