I made it here. Some kinda way. So I’m just gonna live blog this, no editing or organizing. I’m in my hotel bed in Santorini (Thira), Greece — it’s after midnight here — so let’s do this while it’s fresh. 

 
As much as I travel, you may be surprised to know that traveling causes me anxiety. At times GREAT anxiety. Simple explanation: I’m a maaaaajor control freak, over planner, over organizer. I plan contingencies for even my contingencies. And there is so much on travel day that is out of my control. Therefore, anxiety. Lemme clarify: not clinical anxiety (I don’t think?). I just mean the state of being anxious. Anyway, usually my anxiety is self-contained and I can let travel mishaps happen without my world ending. However, the more complications or uncertainty there is (late flights, tight layovers, missed connections, lodging up in the air, no plan for ground transportation, language barriers, stuff like that), the more likely my travel day anxiety will go from a 2 (which is where I hover on any travel day, even with completely solidified plans and all the time in the world) to a 10. Or higher. Today was about an 8. Anytime I have to run through an airport with my out of shape, extra hippy self, that’s an 8 for me. I don’t run. I don’t rush. I’m never late. 8. 

Here’s how my day went, in pictures, because that’s way more interesting:

  
I love trains. My journey started this morning in a snow frocked Germany, taking a train to Nürnberg Airport. So far so good. 

 

The train actually dropped me at the main train hub. No biggie. Took the U2 metro to the airport.
  
 
Got off what I thought was the U2 and got onto the actual U2. Still ok. What’s a travel day if you don’t get on the wrong metro every once in a while.
 
 
Nürnberg airport gets a thumbs up. No armrests on the benches. #FullRelaxMode
 
 
See that lady? That’s where my bookbag was. This woman picked up my bookbag with her own hand and set it in the seat next to her. EXCUSE YOU?!?!?? So when I gave her a staring contest-worthy death glare, neck contorted and all, she made apologetic hand gestures and tried to explain something in German. Don’t touch my bag, stranger! Where’s airport security?

 
Swiss chocolates on the flight
 

So here’s where the day starts getting dicey. Swiss Air booked me on a 40 minute layover. I knew that was a bad idea and I was worried about it all week. But I also thought hey, their system booked that. They must make that connection every day. Short story: no more layovers less than 1-hr. At least not in major international hub airports. Long story: Not only was the connection already tight, my flight leaving Nürnerg departed 14 minutes late. I did NOT have 14 minutes to just spare all willy nilly. AND when we finally landed in Zurich (my connecting airport), we didn’t even pull up to a gate. We parked in some kind of airplane parking lot purgatory with 50 11 other planes and had to wait for a bus to take us to terminal. Needless to say, I had to get my Jackie Joyner on through Zurich International. And according to the BMI, I am morbidly obese. So this was not a fun activity. Ended up making the gate though and they were at the tail end of boarding. That’s too close for me. #AthensBound
 

 
  Athens airport was uneventful. Two hour layover. Strong wifi. I should have used that wifi to figure out my ground transportation and lodging in Santorini because oh, did I mention, I hadn’t even booked any place to stay until last night. Oh and also, I did it in a rush so I only booked one night. Apparently, I’m winging this trip one night at a time. That is fine and even preferred for a lot of travelers. But for me, refer to paragraph 2 of this post. I’m in my hotel for the night now but not having someplace to stay tomorrow set and confirmed makes me kinda wanna lose it. Like full on Britney Spears 2007 lose it. 

 

Ryan Air from Athens to Santorini. Funny how I booked a window seat but ain’t no window.
 
Santorini airport is expectedly small and there is no shortage of taxis outside. They tried to charge me 18 then 15 euro for the 4 mile ride into Fira. No.

 

So if you go to Santorini any time soon, just take the bus. It’s only 1.80 euros and supposedly takes you to the Fira city center.

   
     
Most of the journey, my driver drove down the middle of the road like a boss. Also because he couldn’t stop texting.

 

This is where the “city bus” put us all out. Some random sketchy parking lot at night. When I tell you I had NO CLUE how to get to my hotel from here. Again, usually I would have this all planned out (offline maps, printed guides, something).

  

After a bit of wandering around, glad to find Harry who called my hotel and  chatted with me until the hotel driver picked me up from the coffee shop. 



And apparently they don’t believe in streetlights so what’s one to do when they arrive in a strange country alone at night and no restaurants are near? Hit up the mini mart for “dinner”.

I watch too many movies. On the dark walk back to my hotel, I pressed my body into a dark recess in the wall when a car approached to pass me. I will not be taken!

 

Some kind of meat pie. Actually not bad for mini mart food.
 
Just a last minute, cheap place to rest my head. Literally.
 .

It was dark when I arrived. It’s still dark. So I have no idea what Santorini even looks like yet. Can’t wait to get out and about tomorrow. 

I have no hotel for tomorrow, no hotel for Athens the next day, nothing booked for either location, no transportation and I don’t speak Greek. HOWEVER, as haphazard as this day has felt, I’m not actually worried it. Everyone has been so nice and helpful to me. Plus I have cash, two credit cards and a nice smile! So I’ll be perfectly ok. 

– Austin

Advertisements