Symi To Athens
There’s lots to talk about, and several images to show you, some of which you might have seen on Facebook if you follow Symi Dream there. Not everyone does, so that’s why I’m going to show you several photos from my Symi to Athens trip over the next few days. I didn’t take that many on the camera, I took that mainly for the awards ceremony, but there are others I snapped on my tablet so they are not wonderful quality. They’ll all be interspersed around whatever I ramble on about over the next few days as I settle back into my routine.
The journey up was very pleasant, but I had paid extra for a cabin on my own. It’s a good idea as the cheapest cabins, the internal ones, are pretty small and if you opt for the cheapest option, which is to share, you can end up with a random stranger, squeezing past each other to negotiate the bathroom or the way out. Paying the extra was worth it to know I had exclusive use of the tiny space. It has everything you need though, but I do wonder if the outside cabins are quieter. It’s not the sound of other people that wakes you, and when you’re on the open sea it’s practically silent, but when you turn to come into a port, to slide up the bunk and then everything starts to shake rattle and roll. You can hear the distant announcement out in the corridor telling you where you are, even through earplugs. On the way back, I was woken by Lipsi. I’d only had two hours’ sleep by then so resisted the urge to go and take a look at one in the morning, and drifted off to sleep again. Later, I think it was Kalymnos that briefly woke me up, and at 5.50 it was reception telling me we would arrive in Symi in half an hour.
There’s no point in me telling you too much detail about the boat (the Patmos) as it’s changing this week, but if the new one is anything like this one, it’s a treat. Self-service, a la carte, several cafes and bars, I even found on the very top deck that I’d never visited before. I’d always known it had been up there, just not gone and taken a look. I travelled up and down to Athens with one of our postmen (separately, you understand) and only saw a couple of Symi folk on the way back, and the boat wasn’t crowded. It was busier on the way up where it took me 45 minutes to buy wifi credit (€5.00 for 24 hours) because three ladies were haggling about accommodation at reception. They were there every time I went back, so it was a very lengthy discussion.
Arriving at Piraeus half an hour early, despite leaving Symi about half an hour late, was an easy thing too. Off the boat, straight onto a courtesy bus to take you to the gates of the port, across the road to the train station, a ticket from the machine and onto a Womble train into town. (A Womble train is one that goes over ground and underground.) Don’t be put off by the colourful graffiti on the outside of the trains, everything is covered in it, and I rather like it as it’s usually decent artwork. Inside was cool and clean, and there’s no painting over the windows. I was only six stops up the green line and then a two-minute walk to where I was staying. It took me less than an hour from boat to bedroom, if you like.
That was last Friday/Saturday, and I won’t go on about it now, I’ll leave more of the story for the rest of the week. Here are a few other photos taken just after I arrived.