Well, BA certainly know how to look after their fare paying passengers and I have to say that the cattle truck mentality of EasyJet was banished forever.
WE take off 40 mins late from LHR but the driver finds a extra gear and we land at Athens bang on time. Wow - it takes just 10 mins to disembark, go past the passport rottweilers and retrieve our bags. As usual, texts srat flying and we locate Erik waiting for us at the X95 bus stop.
Once again, our introduction to Athens is a frightening one - the X95 driver (or should I say pilot) has delusions of being an F1 star and he throws this bus around corners as if he is driving a go-kart - bags go flying and passengers look for a suitable open window through which to be sick.
Having broekn the sound barrier on the ring road we finally brake to a mere 150 kph as we negotiate the hubbub of central Athens and cruise into Syntagma like a space shuttle landing in the Nevada desert.
Erik makes for the Cypria whilst we amble down the main drag towards the Airotel which we find within 10 mins.
We are tired, and have been up all night so we find the closest bar for a beer. Christ, that'll teach us to be thirsty, we order two "large" Mythos to be served with 2 x 330ml bottles at 5 euros a piece. Maybe that includes the table, chairs and umbrella??
WE drink that slowly at such a price but pay up, leave bugger all as a tip other than "try lowering the prices" and blatantly walk right next door where the beer comes in proper "large sizes" and is way cheaper.
Back to the room, unpack, get showered, then hit the streets again. The Airotel is pleasant, nice rooms, good sized bathrooms, and friendly staff, well, they must be, they haven't asked us to leave yet......
WE amble around for a couple of hours then receive the calling from Thalia so we rendezvous in Monastiraki SQuare to find ourselves in the company of Jim amd Susam (Mitsa) plus Erik and Thalia. WE have a couple of beers then off to Savvas for a table full of amazing food. Photos are taken from every angle of the groaning table as toasts are made, jokes are told and beer is consumed.
Having scoffed almost everything except the table cloth, everyone is feeling the strain of a day or two in transit so we retire to the James Joyce bar for a night cap. We are able to sit outside and boy, is it still warm, maybe 20c at 10pm,
As if on cue, dirty jokes start to fly around and Erik is laughing so hard he looks as if he will burst!!
We finally admit defeat and walk back to the hotel, acquiring a bottle of red en route as a night cap.
So, here we are, first full day and looking forward to what's in store....
More to follow..