10-14-09

Travels from Rome to Greece:

Took a bus to the train station. Train to Bari, Italy, overnight train. Halfway there and there’s a 30-minute delay. Total train ride of about 7 hours. My couchette/room on the train started with 6 people and ended with one guy and myself. Fairly comfy ride, well, for a train. Then we arrived in Bari. Waited 2 hours for the tourist center to open in order to get information on where the hell the ferry terminal was. I was so tired and out of it. Poor Megs! It was crazy windy weather too. Got the info we needed, hopped on a bus to the ferry. Got off the bus way too early and walked to the terminal. Correction: we walked to what we thought was the terminal. Our terminal was quite a ways away. Groovy. It was so windy outside that it was hard to walk. Finally, arrived to the correct terminal and found out we had to wait until 8pm for the next ferry to leave. What happened to the 12:30 ferry?! We will never know. From 10am -9pm we sat at the terminal. Literally. Took a short walk to try to stretch out, but the weather was terrible. Sleeping, eating, reading, and short walks weather permitting was our entire day. Dear god. What a way to waste the day. I’m not sure what else we could have done. Luggage check was in another terminal and we didn’t have the energy to drop it off and pick it up.

 

The ferry ride was overnight, as well. We spend 24 euro to get reclining seats, only to find out that people who paid the minimum 7-euro to just ride the ferry were able to get the same seats. Damn. Snoring of fat men kept me up.  Uncomfy sleeping. Finally got up and moved. Much better! The ferry arrived in Patras, Greece at 12:30pm. Got to the train station. Train left at 3pm. We went shopping at a place called Zara, which is in every city and country imaginable in Europe. We also found an internet café. Walking back, I spotted some sour cream and onion Pringles along with 1.5L 1-euro water. SCORE! The woman selling the water seemed very disappointed when I answered that we were from the United States. What does that mean? Finally time to get on the train. So wobbly that neither of us could read without getting nauseas. It finally stopped and we discovered that everyone had to get off in order to catch a charter bus to get to the next station, which would take us to Athens. I put my bag on one bus, and then saw that Meghan and Cara (a fellow traveler we met) got on another. I followed them and asked a man if both busses were going to the same place. He signaled and said the same word when pointing to each bus. I took that as a sort of Yes. So, bag on one bus and body in the other. Everything was going just fine until the bus either went the wrong way or had to turn around for some reason. It was crazy. We took an entrance ramp onto the freeway and then reversed the ENTIRE way. Talk about a near death experience. Later, the bus driver took a 5 minute smoke break. What? A smoke break? The other bus, mind you, was nowhere to be seen. Shit. I did my very best to not freak out, but it was hard to keep composure when all your belongings are on a bus that has vanished. It ended up being at the train station when we arrived. Thankfully, the bag was still on the bus and it was intact. Phew! We hoped the last train we were on would work out all right. I smelled like Lubriderm and baby wipes by this point on the trip. I wanted a shower. Okay, actually I wanted to take a 5-hour bath. Greece, thus far, was beautiful.

 

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