A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Greek Ferry Follies

The boat took off like a bullet at about 35 knots an hour, skipping over the water like a smooth rock. Everyone hooted and laughed and then started to look around at each other like it’s all fun and games until you aren’t having fun anymore. Face colors drained white and then into slightly greenish hues. My eyelids fluttered and I closed my eyes…

It reminded me a bit of Crash Landing on Mars, a Disneyworld ride where you pull several G’s by spinning mercilessly in some contraption not unlike astronaut training as you are transfixed by a graphical recreation of rapidly approaching ground on a tv monitor. Starting to black-out you feel the same ground rush you get while skydiving, even though its virtual ground. And most ridiculously they have you play the part of a ship navigator, yelling at you to push buttons in sequence in front you that have no effect on the ride whatsoever but you struggle in your nausea to lift your heavy arm to do it and then wonder if the staff are watching on a hidden camera just laughing their asses off. But I digress. I wasn’t as sick as that. But half the cabin took barf bags and within 5 minutes several children had puked, the sound and worse the stench wafting through the hull of the ship made even the unqueasy of us slightly ill.

This was my recollection of the fast boat from Crete to Santorini, we had all shelled out 60 bucks each for this ride. Ron and I have had a hard time finding the slower, cheaper, local ferries of legend. They do exist but are a dying breed. Being passed up for the fast boats, catamarans, and hydrofoils. I guess when you have 10 days vacation, every hour counts and you don’t want to spend 6 hours on a ferry when you can pay double the cost for half the time. We seemingly have all the time in the world but we’ve only been able to coordinate slow ferries a couple times now, they are only once or twice a week on some routes and also leave and arrive at odd hours. Like the middle of the night.

We’ve learned a few things so far. Get the slow boat schedule in advance to help itinerary plan on the way. Don’t wait until you are ready to leave an island to find out you have to take the fast boat or wait 5 more days for the slow boat. If you are heading somewhere small get the schedule to and from the island before you arrive, which means you can’t be too spontaneous about your next destination. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a travel agent that speaks little english and has no interest in trying to figure out how to get you off the beaten path again. You go to Santorini, yes? No. Also, forget using the internet for anything shorter than 1 week advance which squashes our technological advantages like a fat mosquito that slipped through the open window when you weren’t looking. It’s more complicated than it appears to roam the world aimlessly.


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