All too soon, it was time to disembark the Regal Princess and begin the second part of our journey, a few days in Athens, Greece. We had previously set up lodging in the city and transport to get us there and so the last Saturday of our trip found us waiting for our driver outside the Athens port (Pireaus).
We agreed that we both packed WAY too much – and unfortunately that meant that we had to schlep our own bags into Athens (and later out) … and we had a five-hour gap between getting into the city and being able to get into our Airbnb. The owner had recommended a “left luggage” place that he said was about a block away from our eventual apartment, so, as soon as we were out of our cab from the port, we asked the driver how to get there.
Did I mention that the streets of Athens are not all paved and smooth, but quite a few are cobblestone? Did I mention it was much MORE than one block? Did I mention it was already over 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
No? Well, it was all those things and more.
The “left luggage” place was manned by a Gorgon of old – a cranky Greek woman who wasn’t having any of the Americans complaining about the conditions in her closet-sized luggage locker. Each two-foot by two-foot space had a key of a sort never found elsewhere – and totally incomprehensible to everyone trying to ram enormous suitcases and other bags into the tiny lockers. None of the locks worked. Most of the lockers, locked or not, were already full. Many lockers were inaccessible to big bags because they faced a wall a foot away and there was no room to maneuver. And did I mention …
The left luggage room was down a flight of stairs. Metal, circular stairs. STEEP metal circular stairs.
There was no elevator.
THERE. WAS. NO. ELEVATOR.
We had at least 100 pounds of luggage … each.
Eventually, we found two lockers, figured out the locking system, deposited our bags, paid our fee and exited to the street, exhausted and sweaty. Now to find our apartment. The cabbie had said … “It’s just down the street between two restaurants.”
There were 41 restaurants on this stretch of pedestrian street across from the Acropolis Museum and steps away from the Acropolis itself.
All had apartments between them.
So we walked. And walked about two blocks … getting closer to the Acropolis all the time. Surely we weren’t that close, were we? We knew the apartment was in a good location, but this?
Yes, this. Our apartment was right across from the South end of the Acropolis, with a lovely view from the rooftop and other wonderful amenities, especially including air conditioning!
A tough beginning but a dynamic conclusion!