Long flight and stayed at the Sofitel Hotel by the Athens Airport for the night. Nice clean place with comfortable rooms. We found that if we wanted something to eat, or wine perhaps, it was MUCH cheaper to walk across the street to the Airport and buy from the shops there. It seems that many locals also buy at the stores too. It reminded me of the Amsterdam Airport where they also have a major train station combined with the airport. The shops there were like a Mall inside the airport. It isn’t that scale in Athens but the prices at some of the Airport shops in Athens were not at all like what you see in the US.
I purchased a bottle of Greek Wine for 7 Euros and a 1.5 L of water for 85 cents at the Greek store at the Airport and walked back to the hotel. I think the best price for a bottle of Greek wine at the hotel was around 30 euro and we don’t want to talk about the price of the miniature water bottle.
Not much more to say about Athens right now, it was just a rest stop on our way to Santorini. We will be back to Athens in a few days though.
Just remember when you are in Greece, don’t expect things to be followed literally. Most rules are really suggestions; after all, we all aren’t all the same so there is a reason to follow the rules / laws. Let me give you some examples.
When at the airport in Greece, pick any airport they all work the same way, they call that they are loading the plane from the rear forward and to board when your rows are called. They call “no loading rows 15 through 29”, and everyone starts boarding. Oh and they do not have a concept of a line either.
Yet another example, smoking, surprisingly is not as common now as it used to be. Well, at least there are signs saying No Smoking. But that might really be for the table that it is by and the next table will be smoking. Years ago we were taking a small plane from an Island back to Athens and they were giving the usual lecture about no smoking on the plane. But the cockpit door was open and both the Pilot and Co-Pilot were chain smoking with smoke just pouring out the door into the passenger area.
Don’t get us wrong, we just really enjoy Greece, every time we come here we have a wonderful time. Just remember you can’t use what is normal where you live and expect it to be the same in Greece. Every country, and sometimes areas within a country, has their own cultures and subcultures. So just recognize it and adjust.
One other tip, don’t over plan your trip, keep your options open. Don’t expect schedules to be the master here, expect things to change and not fit your plans. Be surprised when everything works to your plans and expect the unexpected and you will have a great time.
There is a lot of talk about strikes right now and protests. I know from friends it is hitting the news a lot. But from here we aren’t seeing much, but we haven’t been to downtown Athens as yet. The locals say everything will be fine in a couple days as that is what the people striking have said it will last. You see from what we are told, strikes are planned and have a planned duration. They are done to make a point and that is it, back to normal after that. In the states we are used to strikes that when started we don’t know how long they will last. But that isn’t the case here. We asked about if the strike will continue on the weekend because we intend to go back to Athens on Saturday. Everyone says don’t worry it will be over before the weekend. Will see – we will keep you posted.