24 August 2006

To Greece

Meeting some friends in Greece shouldn't have been this hard, considering that it was in Eastern Greece, and I was just across the border in Turkey.

It all started with a 1AM wake-up call in Amman to catch my 4:30 AM flight to Istanbul. This was not too easy considering that I hadn't gotten to bed until 11PM. My flight landed in Istanbul at about 6:45 AM, but we didn't get our luggage until 8:30 AM. Because the drive to Ayvalik (a town with a ferry to Greece) was nearly 8 hours away, I wasn't sure that I would catch the 6PM flight that evening, so I looked into flying.

Luckily, flying in Turkey is a lot like taking a train anywhere else. You walk to the terminal, check the monitors to see what time a flight to the city you want to go is, and head to that airline's ticket booths and buy a ticket. The prices aren't really better if you book in advance. My flight from Istanbul to Izmir cost roughly $40 (and I bought it about an hour before the flight!). It was a budget airline called Onur Air, and no one spoke english, but it got me to my destination.

A quick bus from Izmir to Ayvalik and I was in business. Ayvalik is a really cute town on the Coast (in fact you can see Greece). I bought my ticket for the 6PM ferry and was off to my 34th country!

The ferry took me to the town of Mytilini on the island of Lesbos. I had a few hours before my overnight ferry to the island of Lymnos. I organized my tickets, grabbed dinner at a waterfront restaurant.

Getting on the ferry to Lymnos was quite an ordeal. Getting on ferries in Greece is similar to boarding a ferry in many 3rd world countries I"ve been in. People just push their way on board, no organization, no instructions. The door opens, and you push: old people, young people, backpacks, and luggage. At first, I tried to remain civil, then I joined in the pushing myself. I pushed an older couple with my large back and they didn't really care...this was the way it was.

The ride to Lymnos was 6 hours, I grabbed a bench, used my towel as a pillow and past out on the deck. The weather in Greece is soo nice that I didn't get cold at all. I was a little nervous that no one would meet me at the port, but as soon as I got off at 6:30 AM, my friend Dave was there to meet me.

It only took 30 hours, 2 planes, and 2 boats to get from Amman to Lymnos!

1 comment:

Jillian Mae said...

How long are you staying in Greece? Is that the last stop? I hope you've taken lots of pics. The "es stat en island?" ferry sounds similar to the one you went on - lots of pushing and shoving. Enjoy the feta and gyros!