Wednesday 19 June 2013

Greece: Day One - Toronto to Philadelphia

Brian and I started our travels yesterday by heading for Philadelphia where we are meeting the rest of the family for our Greece trip. Our flight was at 2:30, so we got to the airport around 12:30, checked in, went through customs and security only to find our flight had been cancelled. We made our way to customer service to find out what was going on and were told about a horrible storm that Philadelphia was currently having was wrecking havoc on ait travel and that flights to there and surrounding areas like Pittsburgh and Newark were being cancelled. Needless to say it wasn't the news we wanted to hear. Our flight was rebooked for 4:45 so we wandered terminal one (which was very boring compared to some others) and grabbed some lunch. I also got to break out my Tugo, which I had heard about on Twitter and bought. It is this little coffee cup holder that snaps onto your suitcase so you can roll your coffee rather then have to take up a hand carrying it. The second I snapped it on and put my Starbucks in it, 4 people commented on it and asked where I got it. 

We made our way to the gate around 3:30 only to find out was was now delayed until 5:45. By this point Brian was even more annoyed as they didn't even have a smoking area. In order to go for a cigarette he would have to go through Canadian Customs, then smoke, then come back through American Customs and Security. It was a hassle he wasn't willing to do. We played on our phones and such for a bit, and finally boarded the plane around 5:40

Once the plane was full we learned two people had decided not to wait and left. Which meant more waiting while the airline got their bags off the plane. By the time we took off it was 6:15. The flight was short but turbulent - as someone who hates flying it wasn't fun. We landed around 7:15 and headed very quickly to baggage claim/the exit. Brian sprinted outside for a cigarette and I got lost trying to find out baggage claim thingy (not sure what the official name for that is!) that our luggage would on. Is it carousal? 

I finally found it, got our bags and met up with Brian's brother Chris who was also at the airport. Then the three of us waited another hour for Anna to arrive (her flight was also delayed). 

We waited another 45 minutes for the hotel shuttle so it wasn't until almost 10:00 that we arrived at the hotel. We had a late - and awful dinner. The food wasn't the greatest but the service was horrendous. I've never seen a waitress so forgetful that screwed up that much. 

It was a very long day full of airports and waiting... Which will also be our day for tomorrow as we meet the group and head to Athens. 

Below is our itinerary for the trip 

Tuesday June 18
Toronto to Philadelphia 

Wednesday June 19
Philadelphia to Athens 

Thursday June 20  - Arrive in Athens 
Transfer from Athens airport to hotel

Friday June 21 - Begin our Cruise 
Stop at: Mykonos

Saturday June 22  - Cruise 
Stops at: Kusadasi,Turkey and Samos. 

In Kusadasi we are doing a 
Shore Excursion to Ancient Ephesus and the Terrace House

Sunday June 23: Cruise 
Stops at: Crete and Santorini 

Arrive in Athens and begin Bus Tour 

Leave by the coastal road for the Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive on and visit the theatre  of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Then proceed to the town of Nafplion (short stop), drive  onto Mycenae and visit the archaeological site and the Tomb of Agamemnon. L

depart for Olympia through the central Peloponnesus and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Dinner and  overnight in  Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games.VIsit the archaeological site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the ancient stadium and the archaeological museum.

After breakfast drive on through the plains of Ilia and Achaia and over the  magnificent cable stayed bridge which crosses the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi and visit the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi

After breakfast depart for Kalambaka, a small town situated at the foot of the astonishing rock formations of Meteora. Visit Meteora - time to see two monasteries. 

Fly from Athens to Chios

We are in Chios (a Greek island where Brian's brother-in-laws family is from. 

Fly from Chios to Athens 
Fly from Athens to Philadelphia Stay over night in Philly. 

Fly Home: Philadelphia to Toronto

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