The pain oh the frustration
19.09.2005 28 °C
Well I left Athens on the 18th with great difficulty, I had, through travellerspoint, found out that one of the best ways to get from Athens to Corfu was to take the metro to a certain train station, then cath the train to the coastal town of Patra and then catch the ferry to Corfu (overnight departing at midnight and arriving at 7am the next morning). So i tried this, I caught the metro only to be told that I had to catch a bus to the train station, what i wasn't expecting that! went outand could see the train staion across the road, went there, asked for a ticket to Patra, the ticket lady said "ask information" so i go to what i thought was information
(from her pointing and the sign) and ask again, no "ask information" what! I thought this was info, no I'm wrong, eventually I ask at the information desk, the guy starts writing in greek on this piece of scrap paper, I have almost no idea of what he is saying but pick up that I have to catch a bus to another train station and some vague direction. Well I manage to get the directions wrong, walk for ages realise I'm not in the right place, ask someone for help, "no go this way" ask someone else "no you must got to the train station". It's raining on me, I'm fed up, the roads are bumpy and wet so I'm carrying my bag on my back, the uncomfortable straps gnawing their way into my collar bones and shoulders. In short i'm pretty pissed off at everything by now, I must look like a madman, mumbling to myself, cursing and changing direction every two minutes. I eventually found a bus, that I thought that was the right one, no it's the right bus but the wrong direction, so now after riding the bus I'm hopelessly far from my destination and my starting point (in the meantime i had been back to the train station, and read the sign saying that the train route was changed on the 8/8/2005 and where I was supposed to go (and what bus I was supposed to take)) so after trying three different bus stops I find on that the bus I'm to catch will stop at, shortly after the bus arrives, I get on, ask if i'm going the right way, I still have no idea as the local english is so bad, I go up the front to ask the driver and lo anf behold it's the same guy as earlier who speaks almost no english but his friend assures me after a bit of unwanted laughing that they will get me to the right place for free, which they did. I do not wish that experience on anyone (maybe bush, but then he'd be likely to bomb greece so maybe not)
I found the station, booked my ticket, waited, ate and caught the train, then had trouble finding my seat and stowing my huge luggage. but it was a nice train ride and lots of lovely views, I mainly listened to my music for the 3.5 hour ride and arrived in Patra with 5 hours to spare, so found the ferry operator that issued tickets to corfu, bought one, and found the gate I was to board at, got some dinner and waited, I ended up boarding at about 10:30 when I saw a tour group board. Anyway, to cut a longer story shorter I had booked a place on the deck (unbeknownst to me), with plastic chairs and no-where to sleep unless you brought your own sleeping roll and sleeping bag, which I didn't assuming we'd have chairs, I complained that I wasn't informed, got moved inside to the 'air-type' seats and ended up sleeping on the floor anyway, I got up at six, listened to music, waited for the sunrise which didn't come or when it did was hidden. and got picked up from the ferry by my aunt and uncle.
So far Corfu has been great, We've been once to the olive groves to water some plants, been to Sadari, a tourist area to visit friends, went swimming through a cave fromed by the sea, went snorkeling at liapades beach, read a small book in less than 24 hours, started readingthe da vinci code, went out to a buffet dinner and greek dancing (no plate smashing yet) And lots of relaxing.
Ok hope you are all well, Mike