Today was a day of adventure and travels. We woke up for our final morning in Athens, packed our bags, tidied things up, and ate one final flaky tiropita (cheese pie) for breakfast before heading out to catch the train. We were heading to Nafplio, and had to first take a train to the central bus terminal so that we could then get a bus to Nafplio.
Before the austerity measures were implemented in Greece, there was a train that would take passengers directly from Athens to Nafplio. However, today many trains are no longer in service. Fortunately, the busses leave every hour and a half, so we had some flexibility with our travels.
This flexibility turned out to be a very good thing. We hopped on the metro at Syntagma Square and made our way to the train station nearest the bus (KTEL) terminal. From the train station to the bus terminal, we had a bit of a walk.
The bus terminal was supposed to be .7 miles away, but our map app showed directions for roads that had been closed, and we had to take a different [re: longer] route. It was 100 degrees outside. I’m not kidding. We had about 25 pounds of baggage on our backs, and had to hike for about 50 minutes before we made it to the station.
Fortunately, by this time in our trip, Shelby and I had become proficient at taking turns at both melting down and bringing the other person back up. During our hike, there were times when both of us were ready to call it quits, but the other person was always there for support.
We made it to the train station, bought our tickets to Naflplio, and had about 50 minutes to kill before the bus left. We decided to buy some water and Fanta (we’re hooked! European Fanta is far tastier than American), and use the bathroom. Funny story about the bathroom: it was free, but there was a woman outside the stalls with a spare roll of toilet paper. We didn’t realize it until it was too late, but that woman was selling toilet paper because the stalls had none.
Anyhow, we hopped on the lovely, air conditioned bus, and enjoyed the scenery on our two hour journey to Nafplio. The ride was relatively peaceful, often beautiful, and occasionally terrifying. Greek roads are narrow, curvy, and mountainous. There were times when I felt like we were on a magic bus that could somehow narrow itself to stay on the road and not slide off the cliff of a mountain.
Eventually, we made it to Nafplio and checked in to our hotel. We were greeted by Sonia, an employee, who asked us about our travels and upon hearing about our journey, insisted that we sit down and rest while she got us glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice, on the house. The orange juice in Greece is also phenomenal. It’s always fresh and tastes just like you’re drinking an orange. Sonia was also amazing. She was nice, friendly, and definitely made us feel right at home.
We then were escorted to our room, and it was adorable. We had a lovely balcony overlooking the old town, and everything was gorgeously decorated. We were so happy.
We promptly showered, rested a bit, and decided to explore the town. I was particularly excited to show Shelby what has been my favorite grecian town since I visited 8 years ago. I tried to hide my excitement a bit, mainly because I wanted to see if Shelby liked it too. But I also didn’t want to pressure her or make her feel like she needed to like it to make me happy.
After our long journey, food was our top priority, and we grabbed some loukoumades (Greek donuts) and a savory crepe.
Shelby’s first words about the town was that it was a bit more touristy than she expected, but after we made our way around the waterfront promenade overlooking the Bouritzi fortress, explored historical ruins, and strolled the cliffside, I think Shelby was sold. She said this was her favorite place that we visited, and I could not have been happier that our feelings about this city were the same. For as crazy as our journey was to get to Naflpio, the city was equally, if not more, charming.