Sunday, August 17, 1997
[Patti] The day started out in the usual way: sleeping in and moseying down to the breakfast buffet. After that, we spent about a half hour organizing our stuff and getting ready to check out. After check out a little before noon, we left our bags at the desk and headed out to the pool with a few hours to relax before heading into town at 3 to catch a 4 pm ferry.
Kaelen and Cameron resumed their diving practice and soon we had a fierce competition going. Brian even tried out his best dive, but quickly decided it was much better to sit in judgement than actually compete.
Fortunately, we didn't have any trouble getting a taxi back into town. We got there a little before three. It was blazing hot, so I immediately went in search of a lemon granita. As it turned out, we had a rather long wait. Our ferry was about a half hour late getting in.
This ferry was a floating disaster compared with the fun boat that brought us. It was very dirty and very overcrowded. There were people with mats and sleeping bags spread out in all the public walkways. Most of the regular seats were taken, but fortunately, after quite a bit of searching, we found some seats. Kaelen and Cameron passed the time by playing computer games until the battery died. Brian kept trying to figure out how to unplug a lamp somewhere so he could plug his computer in. I read John Grisham's Runaway Jury to pass the time.
When we got to Athens, there was a huge crowd at the dock. There were taxis, but a zillion people needing a ride. An older guy came up to us with a luggage cart and asked if we needed a taxi. Brian asked how much and he seemed pretty reasonable, so we put our luggage on his cart thinking he was going to take us to his taxi. Turns out, this man was a porter, who makes his living chasing down taxis for people. He must have been 65 or so, but the 4 of us had all we could do to keep up with him, as he pushed all of our luggage through crowds and traffic, shouting the name of our hotel at any taxi he saw (including those with passengers inside). He shooed away others who had the audacity to approach a taxi that he had targeted for his clients and within a few minutes, we had a taxi and sped away from all the stranded people on the curbs who were still waiting.
We checked into our hotel at about 10:30 for a short sleep. We had to get up at quarter to 4 to make it to the airport in time for our 6 am flight to Frankfurt, to make the connection to NY and then onto Seattle.