Arrival!

(Intended to post this several days ago. Pretend you’re reading this on Tuesday and not Saturday..)

So, I’m in Athens!

I got in yesterday evening, after a fortunate flight rearrangement to avoid JFK. Instead I flew through Detroit and Amsterdam, which was easy enough, although I tacked on an extra 8 hours to the trip.

We set off on Sunday morning with a bit of time to spare to fit in brunch. Mom, Dad and I stopped at Lucky’s, a Cleveland classic, and when confronted with a significant wait, improvised and got take out to eat in the park across the street.

Dad waited in style

I have taught him well 🙂

My delicious mess - the "Shipwreck"

Mumzy's biscuits & gravy

One of my favourite Cleveland landmarks - St Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church

The packing was an adventure, with two 70lb bags (exactly). (And yes I have a lot of stuff, I know..) After a bit of airport drama with Delta, I was on my way.

The flights were uneventful, except a delay in Detroit for mechanical problems (and fixing of the problems) and then a delay after we’d boarded to clean up some vomit in a seat back pocket. Yum.. I used the long flight to catch up on my cinema. I watched Water for Elephants (decent), Jane Eyre (really liked it – better than the older version we watched in high school I think) and Of Gods and Men, about French Catholic monks in the mountains of North Africa, and their interactions with local armed terrorists (terrifying and fascinating, and very interesting).

My layover in Amsterdam was quick and painless, plus I got to check a new country off my list. I also got to flash my Greek passport and slide right through (but I did ask for a stamp – nerd!). I wandered through the airport, which was lovely and clean and bright (although raining outside) and scouted for tall Dutch people. At the gate, I saw several groups of old Greek people and started to get excited. I had about an hour and a half to wait, and knew it would be interminable, so attempted a nap to the dulcet tones of chattering Greek. A surprisingly effective lullaby it turns out. I woke up just in time for the boarding, and noticed an amusing dichotomy. The airport was indeed very orderly and Dutch – all the attendants spoke clear English and there didn’t seem to be any long queues or unruly crowds. However, as soon as they opened up the lines for boarding, the surge of people indicated that this was clearly a flight to Greece – order went out the window.

The flight itself was easy – and my first on an all-blue KLM plane. The Dutch announcements were different, but they fed us well and got us to Athens on time.

After a seemingly interminable wait for my bags, I met Aunt Laurie outside baggage claim and we were off – I made it to Athens! From the airport we headed to IKEA for some quick errands (it’s right next to the airport) and boy is it an amazing place. I’m glad I’m operating on a budget, otherwise there might be a problem.. I am sure I’ll be back for some necessities at some point though!

On the way home from the airport we drove around the neighbourhood where the apartment is located – which is really nice. More on the apartment later. 🙂 We also stopped by the grocery store I’ll be shopping at and it is amazing. With a capital A. Gigantic and excellent. I’m not sure why I love grocery stores so much, but this one has earned it. Obviously. It’s full of Greek products! A stock-up trip is in the cards for the next couple of days, that’s for sure.

We had a leisurely evening in, with dinner on the veranda, and crashed pretty early. My timezones are a little confused, but nothing terrible.

(So much updating to do! It will happen soon, I promise!)

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