Still day 5 and I feel like I have done so much and covered so much ground already. Now it was time to leave the mainland for a couple of weeks. First leg was a five hour bus trip from Kalambaka to Athens, then once back in Athens a train straight to Piraeus, the largest port of Athens. I had booked myself a cabin on the overnight ferry to Crete.
I chose the overnight ferry for several reasons. Firstly for the adventure of it, I had never been on a large ferry, it was essentially cruise ship size. And secondly it meant I would have more time on the ground on Crete, arriving at around 6am, rather than spending the night in Athens and then needing to get to the airport for a flight the next morning, losing half the morning at least. Thirdly, because I just don’t like flying mid holiday. I do enough of that at either end.
On arrival at the port I had to exchange my email receipt for my actual ticket then simply make my way to the ferry. It was a couple of hours before departure time but boarding had already begun.
The port area is quite huge. Greece has hundreds of islands and ferries going in all directions at all times of day. It is a very essential piece of Greek infrastructure.
I won’t deny that I was pretty excited. My travelling is all about new experiences and this was definitely something I had never done before. I booked a cabin because I am old and
need want a certain level of amenity. I could have booked a shared one but, while I love meeting people when I travel, I like my privacy for sleeping and since there are no single cabins I had a twin cabin to myself. It is possible to travel without a cabin, many people had sleeping bags with them and simply found space in the public areas to bed down for the night. All cabins had a bathroom with shower.
The ferry had lots of public areas; bars, restaurants, shops and awesome views of Piraeus from the deck.
We pulled away from the dock while the sky was still aglow from the sunset. I was feeling quite ‘kid in a candy store’ excited as this leg of the journey began. Phone photography on the move and in the dark, not my best work.
I spent a long time outside watching the sea go by, it was very relaxing and I wanted to get the most of the experience. I did mange a reasonable nights sleep, ferries aren’t the most quiet things to try to sleep in I discovered. Before I knew it the announcements had begun about arrival in Chania, my destination. This was at about 5am. A quick run to the deck for more bad photography and a quick shower and before I knew it we were docked and disembarking by 6.
The overnight ferry was probably the closest I will ever get to taking a cruise. I’m glad I did it but was ready to get back to land and travelling at my own pace.