Our misadventures continue
May 8, 2009 – Day 134 – Athens/Delphi, Greece
What the hell is so wrong with us that no one will pick us up?! Frustrated, lost, and literally seconds from missing our 3:30 bus to Delphi, we were passed by at least 10 empty taxis that refused to stop to pick us up despite our safe location for pulling in and hugely obviously waving arm. We had crossed the highway, the crossed back, and finally crossed back-back once more trying to figure out why it was that whenever we crossed the 6 lanes of traffic without a stoplight or crosswalk that all the taxis started passing like mad on the side we had just crossed from! We just couldn’t win!!
We had already missed the 1:00 bus because the hostel didn’t get our laundry done when they said they would and now we have just missed our 3:30 bus. Having no idea where we were, how to get away from where we were, and having no idea what bus to take back to the terminal, we felt completely dumbfounded. No taxis would pick us up and we didn’t even know what direction to start walking. We had gotten to Terminal B to get tickets to Delphi at 1:15, breathless and hoping to still maybe catch the 1:00 but without luck. Since we had about 2 hours to kill til our 3:30 bus, we took a city bus up the road 15 or 20 minutes til we saw some restaurants. Unfortunately we were in an all-Greek neighborhood and with no English menus and a now pressing language barrier, we were reduced to a ”Coffee + Food” shop with plastic-wrapped sandwiches and rotten vegetables. We couldn’t even finish them and just sat very sullenly not even bothering to speak to each other since there was just nothing to say sipping unpleasantly warm beers while a very creepy man with an over sized mustache watched us. We had plenty of time left before we needed to start heading back so we went up the street to an Internet cafe to check the status of our package one last time before we get all the way outside Athens. No changes, as expected. We started heading back catching one of the million buses that run toward the Terminal and wouldn’t our luck have it but we got on the one stupid bus that turned off into a residential district. Time was rapidly running out and we could find no taxis in the burb so we hoofed it toward the freeway hoping for better luck. That only led to crossing multiple lanes multiple times thereby multiplying our already intense frustration.
So with no other choice, we simply started walking. Saben had a vague idea of the direction we should go and with no better plan, we set off. Twenty minutes later, we saw the bus station…except that is wasn’t the bus station we needed; it was Terminal A. How Saben’s wicked directional skills got us to a bus station, even the wrong one, is totally bizarre! Finally, we were able to get a taxi to stop for us and drove us nearly 15 minutes to get to Terminal B. How we got to wherever we were, we still have no idea but it was a seriously long way! Glad we didn’t try to walk it–it would’ve taken weeks!
Finally, we made it back to the bus station with an hour and a half til the next bus left for Delphi. Playing the dumb tourist who doesn’t understand Greek, we got our tickets switched to the 5:30 bus with no problems. This time we knew better than to try and kill time outside the bus station!
Several hours later, we finally made it to Delphi and collapsed in our lovely cheap room with a balcony overlooking the mountains and not so distant sea! And our misadventures come to a brief halt when we discovered the most delicious pitas and tzatziki in, not just Greece, but the whole world! It’s the only place in town that doesn’t cater to the tourist crowd so it’s cheap, filled with locals zipping in and out and sometimes shouting at the TV soccer (er, football) game, and it’s unbelievably delicious. Of course the sign name is in Greek but it’s easy enough to find on the ”upper” level of the town. There is a small white and red sign that says ”Pitas” sticking out of the side and it’s near an upscale looking bakery that sells wine across the street. And to top it all off, the owner is incredibly nice. Even though we had a ridiculous day trying to get here, these pitas make it so worth it!