Rome, Italy to Patras, Greece
02.12.2011 - 02.12.2011
Finally in Patras and I hardly believe I made it.
I'd booked the ferry that leaves at 8pm from a port city called Beri. Then when I looked at the train times to go from Rome to Beri, there was one that leaves 8 am and the one that leaves at 2:50 pm, arriving at 6:50 pm, with none between.
The italian lines are renown for being untimely, so I was starting to panic. The train didn't have any major delays, but ran 10 minutes behind. Dropping me off an hour past the recommended check-in time and a half hour before the cutoff.
I threw 20 euros at an illegal cab driver just to get there as fast as possible. He dropped me off behind the port gates though, so I had a fifteen minute walk through the docks with fifteen minutes to get there with no idea where to go.
I did get there on time though and boarded the ferry. I'd made the mistake of getting a tuna sandwich onboard the train. Knowing it was a bad idea to buy something like that on a train even as I got it. I'm not sure if I didn't realise my own nerves until there was food on my stomach or the tuna was a bit off, but my stomach was doing flips.
After unsuccessfully finding where I was supposed to stay on the ferry, I held on to my nausia to watch the ferry leave the port. After that I found where I was supposed to stay, dropped my luggage off, went to the toilet, and felt much better.
After that I had a belgian beer I'd been holding onto all this time while standing on deck, looking out into the darkness.
After finishing it and getting tea (average self-serve food), I loitered for a bit before trying to get some sleep.
The ticket I'd purchased was for a recliner chair. Another worry I had was that it might have been a deck chair outside. But it was a chair in a room that looked a lot like a cinema. There were reserved seating, but since there were few enough people, and it was overnight, everybody just staked out any available rows of consecutive chairs to lie down on.
Since I was hanging around so long, I had to try to sleep in a row of two chairs. But between 4 and 5 am we stopped at another port and I was able to occupy a four seat row. Overall I got a fair amount of sleep.
I was equating the trip to a plane trip to imagine what a 16 hour trip would be like but it was actually pretty easy and went pretty fast.
Not much has happened after that, booked into a cheap hotel. Looked for a souvlaki place but this city doesn't look like it has any, the places I have seen didn't have a giros in sight. I walked from the port instead of taking the bus too, so have seen a large area outside the city center with none in sight.