Sunday, July 17, 2016

June 9, 2016 Thursday. Rome to Athens

Thursday June 9,2016. Was our big travel day! And we did it all by our self. We a nice breakfast in our hotel. We got all packed up. I went out to the internet cafe to print my Greek vouchers (6!) And got caught in the rain. I didn't have my umbrella, but spent 2 Euro for a plastic poncho to try and stay dry. I was pretty wet from my walk, anyway. Eventually we were able to get a security guard from next door to call us a taxi to get from our hotel to the main Termini station.  It is so strange that there was seldom anyone at the reception desk at this hotel/Bed and Breakfast establishment. How convenient for them that the folks who share their building are security/investigators/police so they can use them to hand our room keys over to when none of them are around. That's all we did--gave him (the next-door neighbor security guard) our room keys and he called us a taxi. I think perhaps the officers are allowed to eat breakfast there in exchange for their services. Who knows? We enjoyed our breakfast there before heading to the Termini station to catch our train to the airport.

We were fairly early to the train station, managed to find the right platform. We were the first ones there. Eventually other people came, and later a train station person came and made an announcement that there was an earlier train coming in on another track. I guess. Every one moved over to the other track, so we did too. When I had purchased our tickets earlier, the seller said it was good for three hours. We didn't think anything about getting on an earlier train because a train station person told us to go over there. It (the announcement) was not in English. For all we knew, our train wasn't coming! Everyone moved, so we moved.

We were almost to the airport when the conductor came by to check our tickets. Guess what!? We were NOT supposed to be on that train! We had tickets for the 11:50 train, not the 11:35 train we were riding on. He was not very happy with us. Hey, we were just dumb tourists doing what we were told. He made it very clear that "train station" people we not the ones we should listen to and obey, but ONLY the ones with the "Train Italia" or Leonardo Express badges or insignia on their shirts. No one else.  He did not fine us 200 euro each for riding UNAUTHORIZED on that train, but let us go. Boy, he was stern. Kind if scary.

Arrived at airport, didn't have to re-arrange our luggage, but just carried it on. Or maybe it was gate-checked. I don't really remember. I do remember thinking the Fumicino airport had a "space station " look and feel to it. The walkways between terminal areas were in round, white-windowed elevated tunnels with large round pipe--like supports outside. I  know that when we went through customs, the Athens people were VERY alarmed that we had not had our passports stamped when we first got into Rome. Oops. I think we went through the EU gate upon arrival, but no one seemed to care. And we were coming to Rome from an EU country (Romania). It is all very confusing. But they let us in to Athens, Greece. We found the train/subway into the Piraeus Port. It was so empty when we got on and filled up to overflowing as we got closer to the city center. Part of the trip was above ground, part of the trip underground. Lots of graffiti here, too. It was a fairly long ride...about 45 minutes or so.

We exited the subway/train station and managed to find a taxi rather quickly. He took us to our hotel. Whew. We did it.

Backwards photos below. The Leonardo express is at the bottom from when we left Rome, and the top photo is where we ate dinner at an outdoor cafe down the street and around the corner from our tiny hotel. It was good food, and it was full of lots of families and customers. Tons of food orders/ deliveries going out on scooters while were ate, too. Popular spot, apparently. We had some good food...some meat, I believe.  😊
And, as in Romania, the table is not properly set without napkins and a Salt and Pepper shaker. This one also has petunias planted in a coffee can.

I believe the sign says "Elladikov" . It was fun to see families. We saw so few in Rome. Of course, we didn't go anywhere but to tourist sites there.


View out our 2 foot 'balcony'. more balconies and concrete walls.

Air Italia flight attendants really were wearing these very new (yet very VERY retro) uniforms. Complete with hats, colored stockings, and gloves! !  I took the photos of the photos because I didn't have a chance to photograph the actual flight attendants. And for my flight attendant friend, Cindy , to see.



The view out that tiny bathroom window was even MORE dreary!

Greece hotel room. Not pretty views out the windows, but it was a place to sleep. And that' s what we did (some of us sooner than others. Ha) . We just needed a rest after our long day of travel.

The travel day included a
*taxi to the Termini station (it was raining, or we would have walked to the metro station close to our hotel)
*train to the airport
*plane to Athens
*metro to end of blue line
*taxi to our hotel

And that is why he looks so tired....

Leaving Rome.





First ones there to catch the "Leonardo Express"

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