Saturday, July 7, 2012

Traveling to Greek Isle of Crete...

July 2, 2012
Greece/Turkey Trip

Today has been another eventful day… with another “first” for us!!!

We slept in… enough to miss breakfast ending at 11 a.m., which wasn’t a big deal to us!  We went to check out from the Attalos Hotel and before I could even ask about our room error, the clerk at the front desk just started apologizing and said there would be no charge… well that was a better price than I what I was going to offer!  See, again something good came from something bad – haa!

The clerk advised still no luggage had been delivered, so we set off on a quick shopping spree.  Our flight wasn’t leaving until 3:55 p.m. and it was only noon by now.  We bought a few necessities at the pharmacy and then found some shorts for DT and I found couple things as well and then we headed to the airport.

Athens traffic was not exactly cooperating with us; it seemed to take forever just getting out of Athens to the major highway!  We had to settle up on the car damage at Avis; we just paid our $37 Euros and headed to the airline check-in counter.

Having shopped and dealing with the Athens’ traffic, we missed our flight to Crete!!  That was a “first” for us – to miss a flight and it be our fault!  But, nothing is a big deal to us at this point; we just proceeded to another counter, paid a few Euros more and changed our flight, which was leaving 3.5 hours later.  Hey, at least we don’t have to “run” anywhere!!!  And now, we have time to get something to eat, which is nice because we haven’t eaten breakfast yet!

It also gave us a chance to go down to the baggage area and talk to Aegean Airlines in person and find out what the deal is with our luggage!  We didn’t have the proper ticket yet to get to the baggage area, but after stopping at the information booth we then proceeded to baggage with the appropriate “permit” in our hand.

As we neared the Aegean counter we saw our friend, Jimmy; and then we saw our LUGGAGE!!!!!  In fact he was tagging it to put it on the next flight to Crete and they were going to deliver it to us.  Well, you can bet we took it with us to get checked in for our next flight.  We had no connections so we felt it was safe!

At check in, we find my bag was 10 kilos over weight for Olympic Airline, so we proceed to another counter to pay some more Euros and then finally get our boarding passes.   We knew it would be over weight, but was hoping it would just slide through; but having the track record we have had on this trip -- not a chance!!  We could see many restaurants, but decided to get through security and then we would find something to eat.

Making our way through security and heading towards our gate, we can clearly see there are no restaurants… are you kidding me?!?  We haven’t even had breakfast at this point and it is 5:00 p.m; but we do find a little kiosk stand that had some chips and sandwiches, and they tasted great --considering our choices!

While waiting for our flight, I thought I better contact Avis on-line and let them know we would be arriving little late to pick up the car.  I did that for the last car rental when we arrived Athens late.  But, when I tried to move the time 3 hours later, it would just tell me they are “sold out”.  Thank goodness the airport provided free wi-fi.  Anyway, I then looked up the Avis international toll free number since I couldn’t change it on-line myself.

But, now my next mission was to find someone with a phone!  Aha, I see a guy… problem was he was from France, so it would be long distance.  Okay, on to the next person with a phone… I found a guy working at a gate kiosk nearby and the flight had already loaded.  He said I could use his phone and he handed it to me… problem was – it was all in Greek and I have never even seen that brand of phone, much less know how to work it!!  So he kindly dialed it for me.

The Avis representative who answered said she was at the Athens’ location, I told her what I wanted and that I could not make the change on-line and asked if she could assit me with making sure they knew we were still coming.  She said, “I think they are closed by then!”  I’m thinking “you are $hittin’ me!”

She asked if she could call me back on this number; I told her I just borrowed the phone to make a call that I have no phone myself.  She said, “I will call you back in 2 minutes!” I asked the guy if she could call back on the phone in 2 minutes, but I knew he was getting ready to leave that kiosk since the flight was gone; but he was kind and said, “sure!”

Avis did call right back and she said they would wait for me in Crete, so I’m sure glad we called them.  It would have been a long walk and now that we have our luggage that would have made the walk even harder!

I went back to my gate (couple gates over) and Dennis and I were sitting there and in just a few minutes the guy came walking back to me and said, “You have another call,” and handed me his phone!!  I’m thinking oh my gosh, I can’t believe he came and found me and why would I have another call???!!!  I’m telling you these Greek residents are really nice!  ...Avis wanted my new flight number.

I managed to get an email off to the resort and let them know we were coming in little late as well, but no time for a response... I am just thinking positive at this point and know all will be good when we arrive!  Don't ask me why I'm thinking that, but it sounded like the right thing to do.

Finally, arriving Crete, we got our rental car and a GPS again; we had a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to Hapimag Damnoni Resort.  It was daylight when we started but we arrived in the dark and yes, we had winding roads along the coast getting here.  We passed through this beautiful gorge, but too dark to take pictures!  We'll do that on our way back to the airport when we leave Crete; we'll, just leave a little early :-)   Anyway, we checked into Hapimag without any problems, unpacked a few things in our condo and crashed into bed.

We are here for 7 days and tomorrow we have no plans except to spend time on the beach, relax, and maybe blog some!
This is the view from our window when we woke up the next morning!

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