Slept adequately well in my cabin on the Blue Galaxy. At 5:30am came the first PA announcement that we were approaching Piraeus and would be docking soon. I dressed and packed my bag and went to the meeting point. Besides us fortunate to have cabins (there are over 100 cabins on the ship) there were hundreds, literally, of people who had spent the night in chairs. The lounge area looked like a refugee camp. I suppose it is much cheaper, but… the face value of our class-A cabin tickets was €97. How much do you save in exchange for sitting up all night?
As usual we were met with a coach and driver for the twenty-minute ride into Athens, back to the lobby of the Hera Hotel. Our rooms of course weren’t ready, so we stacked the bags; but the breakfast bar was open so we used that. Then we had free time to kill until our rooms were ready, and/or until we meet at 2:30 for an activity.
My top priority was printing my boarding passes for tomorrow’s flights. The hotel computer was unavailable due to a meeting. OK, I got out the Maps app on the phone and searched for “internet cafe”. There one was, a half-hour walk away. So, fine, a morning walk through Athens at 8:30am on a weekday. It took only minutes to print the passes, cost €1.70. Walked back, spent an hour sipping a cappucino and eating one of the big sugary doughnuts that all Greek cafes have.
According to the Maps app, the Athens Pinball Museum was just around the corner. I’ve time to kill, I’ll go look. This was a cultural treasure! A nice clean place, one big room with at least 50 pinball machines from all eras. You pay €10 for a day’s access, and you can play all the machines for nothing, as long as you like. I spent an hour and played about 10 different machines.
Back at the Hotel at 12, sat and dozed in the lobby with other Road Scholars. Then some rooms were ready. Got into mine about 12:30. Shower and shave and put on tomorrow’s clothes. Fiddle with the internet including this post until time to go out for a museum visit.
I’ll publish this now. No doubt I’ll have time in airports to post something tomorrow.
I’ve some thoughts about traveling solo, and missing Marian, but I’ll get into that later on.