Map of Greece: Athens to Naxos
Early rising and checkout of Zorba’s Hotel,
plus goodbyes for departure to the Greek island of Paros,
suggested as a quiet, cost-effective restful paradise.
The metro leads to the port of Piraeus where
after a series of misunderstandings and misdirections, the ship leaves without us.
Dump the packs at the station for minimal cost, the search for an ATM yields no cash
as the daily withdrawal limit timeframe has not passed.
Return to the waiting room for hours on end
with no money and plenty of suspicious glances from the staff.
The time arrives for money at the ATM and a dinner.
Twelve hours after the intended ship, the second chance arrives.
Still sunny and hot, the deck tickets do not reserve seats inside
so we arrange at a table and take turns in the restroom for sink showers.
Four hours of watching people, and finally a call of port…or port of call.
Unable to understand the announcements in Greek, it is uncertain where this port is.
Other passengers disregard the announcements and finally we check with crew.
Too late. The ship leaves port, and the quiet paradise of Paros is behind us.
Continuing on to an island called Naxos.
We relocate to a lower deck with fewer people around
and wait for another two hours to dock.
Strapped with packs, disembarking with hundreds of others
that dump onto the concrete slab “dock” drenched in darkness.
No guardrails or ropes caution the unwitting traveler
from the edge of the dock and the cold, clear Aegean below.
The others drag their bags toward the glow of the city lights, away from the confusion of the ship.
Unsure of the process, we follow, like refugees from the sea.
At the end of the pier, people hold signs for rooms listing the amenities.
One that touts a pool becomes the target.
After an unwary interaction, the cost of €20 (about $40) for two people is negotiated
What a deal!
Loaded into a passenger shuttle van with a couple from Norway,
we chat as the driver winds through the city and into the country.
The van pulls up and unloads in front of Villa Adriana
a stereotypical blue and white island building where our room awaits.
Heavy sleep soon overcomes the slapping of mosquitoes.