Well, today we left London after a week of packed events! We booked out of the Harrington Gardens apartment which had served so well for Liz, Gran & Grandad. Last night we put Gran & Grandad onto the train to go to Carl & Damielle Hintons for 3 or 4 days and I had booked out of the Hilton Kensington that morning, leaving the CEA people to fly their way back to Australia.
After a peaceful night in the unit we were up, had breakfast & packed ready to go by 9.30am. Carrying our small bags & wheeling our large suitcases we set off for the underground railway to head to Heathrow airport.
Arriving with what we thought was plenty of time it actually took a while to get checked in, through customs and then a 15 minute walk to the gate - really only getting there as the flight was boarding. Because we booked a flight through 'Aer Lingus' which is an Irish airline, we went via Dublin (1 hour flight) with a 2 & a half hour stopover.
Aer Lingus is a budget airline & if we wanted any food or drink it had to be purchased. Liz & I agreed we would have lunch in Dublin airport as we had long enough to do that when we got there & it would only just be lunch time anyway.
Lunch at Dublin airport was Steak & Guiness pie with vegtables - yum! But we spent a while catching up on emails (Liz) and work requirements (Me) & all of a sudden Liz was saying we had to run to the gate - which was of course 20 minutes from where the foodhall was. We raced down there only to find that the flight had not yet been called.... :-)
The flight to Athens was just 4 hours so we settled in to some reading & sleeping, an equivalent flight to going to Melbourne! Travelling to Greece means we are closer to Australia (translated = Perth) so instead of being 7 hours behind we are now only 5 hours behind - much better!
Arrived at Athens airport at 9.45pm & caught a taxi into the city, a 50km drive. The taxi driver was a small man about 60 who was driving a little sedan that looked a bit battered & old. The freeway signs said 80km but he literally sat on 145km!! It was hair raising & I was hanging on as we flew past every other car. Mum thought it was great because we got into Athens in half the time but I was just hoping he had good tyres!!! At one point, as we pulled up to a row of toll pay booths a car cut in front of us & our driver was cursing & giving them dirty looks as we flew past at the first opportunity...
We checked into our hotel, about 2km from the Acropolis & nicely situated close to the city centre. Immediately on checking our gear in, we walked two blocks up the back streets to a small Greek restaurant. It was an awesome place, like someones enclosed back yard, with wine barrels on racks around the walls & creepers hanging from the interior framework. In one corner near us it had dolls or small people hanging up & a clothes line with miniature clothes pegged to it! The food was great & we couldnt eat it all - Mum had about a quarter of hers (I suspect she didnt like it much - but she really enjoyed the wine)
So, here we are, back in the room & about to call it a day. It is now after 12am (about 10am London time) & we are up early tomorrow to explore Athens. We plan to see the Acropolis, Temple of Zues, go through the ancient Agora, see the flea markets & the Acroplois museum with lots of other things too - tell you about it tomorrow night God willing!