I think the overnight ferry ride turned out to be my favourite part of the journey.
It got off to a slightly rocky start. I got myself checked in okay at the terminal, but the set-up at the port is not designed for passengers on foot. I wasn’t clear where I was supposed to go and ended up dodging cars and trucks as they loaded on to the ferry while I tried to work out where to board the damn thing.
Once I actually got on the boat, everything improved. The porter showed me to my room so I could ditch my bags, then I headed back down to the communal areas to explore. The ferry transported cars and trucks and tour buses as well as passengers ‘on foot’, as it were, so there was an interesting mix of tourists and families and truck drivers.
There was a lounge area and a bar and a cafeteria that served dinner once we set out to sea. The whole place felt comfortable and friendly. We were this island of light on the dark sea, and I really liked the coziness of that. It’s the off-season, so it wasn’t crowded, and I brought my computer down to the lounge and puttered away happily for several hours.
When it was time to head up to bed, I was a little worried. I shared my little cabin with one other person and I hadn’t met her yet. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.
My roommate turned out to be a matronly Greek woman, who seemed as pleased as I was that her travel-mate turned out to not be an axe murderer. Thankfully she spoke a little English – my Greek begins and ends with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ – so we were able to negotiate turns in the tiny bathroom and when to turn the lights out.
I fell asleep to the sound of rain rattling against the ferry’s metal hull.
After breakfast in the cafeteria, I spent much of the morning out on the deck. The weather was cool, but not cold, and I was fine out there in only my sweatshirt.
Islands slid by on either side, grey and beige rock studded with dark green vegetation. Behind us, the clouds still grumbled low over the water, but ahead of us the sun was shining and the sea was glowing blue. I lounged in a metal chair that was part of the outdoor smoking area and wrote a long email to my mom.
Again, I didn’t want to get off when the journey was over. I may need to look into doing a cruise at some point, because the whole ferry experience was so delightful. Maybe one of those river cruises or something.
Next step: getting from the port at Patras to Athens. It was supposed to be simple…