Yesterday we left Princeton at 2:15 pm for a 5:40 flight to Athens from Newark. We checked our bags and got through security smoothly and arrived at the gate with plenty of time to spare. We were boarded and ready to go at 5:30 when the captain announced that we would have to deplane due to maintenance issues and wait for another plane to become available. Continental assigned us to a plane arriving from Honolulu at 7:44 so we had a few hours to kill. We roamed the airport, got dinner and spent our $6 meal vouchers on plane snacks.We finally boarded at around 9:15 and took off close to 10:00. I was lucky to fall asleep pretty soon after and dozed on and off for about seven hours of the nine hour flight. At around 2:30 (7:30 EST) our flight touched down in Athens. Customs was a breeze as was picking up our luggage. The trouble started when we were about a mile from the Amalia Hotel in downtown Athens. Our tour guide told us we would have to get off the bus and carry our luggage the remaining distance to our hotel because of protests and riots. Moments later we were back on the bus, advised by the guide that it wasn’t safe to get any where near the hotel. Then the plan was to drive to the sea (about halfway between the airport and Athens) and tour the nautical museum and attempt to return to the hotel later in the evening.Before we arrived at the seaside musuem we were rerouted to the Amalia Hotel in Nafplio (2 hours away) after the coaches made the executive decision that it wouldn’t be practical or safe to even attempt to get to the hotel at any hour of the night.
The drive was scenic and we made a few stops on the way, one of them being the Corinthian Canal. Finally at 8:00 pm we arrived at the Amalia Hotel in Nafplio (see above) after a very long day of travel. A mixed group of boys and girls spontaneously decided to squeeze in a run around town before dinner. The run was a blast! Besides getting chased by guard dogs and a few close calls with cars, it was business as usual. It was great to run after being cooped up for so many hours. After the run we had an amazing buffet dinner at the hotel. The main courses were pretty standard American/ Greek fare. The dessert was traditional Greek. I loved it. I’m not entirely sure what I had but I think it was a little bit of baklava. We have an early and jam-packed day tomorrow so I’m off to bed now. Great first day in Greece! I’m sure tomorrow will be just as exciting.