Leaving Greece

Leaving Greece

Leaving Greece, Acropolis

I had really enjoyed exploring Crete and Athens, but it was time to be leaving Greece. I decided to head north-west into the Balkans’ nation of Albania.

Kangaroo sticker in Athens

I had been having dramas with booking flights online – a baffling and frustrating situation that the banks could not explain nor fix – so when my card was once again declined when I tried to buy a ticket to Tirana I wasn’t surprised. I hadn’t taken a flight for a while so the problem had slipped my mind. But it was now the evening before I was due to check out, and being unable to book a flight was problematic.

I felt at home in Athens…

Cockatoo painting in Athens

So next morning I did what everyone did before the internet existed: I went to a travel agent. Now the popular map app that we all use can lead you up a few dry gullies*, and it sure did when I tried to find a travel agent nearby.

…very much at home

Choky pet food Athens

The first address I went to wasn’t a travel agent, nor was there any evidence that a travel agent had ever been situated there. The second was a cafe. The next clearly had been a travel agent at some stage, probably before Covid, but now was an empty office, with bleached travel posters and a pile of unopened envelopes stuffed under the door.

Tired of your pet? Why not try Choky pet food?

Bowel of Noise record shop Athens

My check out time was looming, and I was starting to worry I wouldn’t be able to organise a flight before I had to return to the apartment for my bags. ‘Third time lucky’ I thought, and pressed on to the next location, moving further away from my flat.

Get the most pungent records down at the Bowel of Noise

Leaving Greece gas delivery
It might raise a few safety questions, but by geez it’s an efficient way to get the deliveries done
Leaving Greece yiros at the Acropolis

The address was indeed a travel agent, which looked like it hadn’t gone broke, but it was closed. So was the next one. It was looking like I would have to try and find somewhere else to stay another night in Athens.

Having an Acropolis in sight of the Yiros

Getting more anxious, I pressed on, and to my relief found that the next travel agent was not only still in business, but was also open. I bounded up the stairs and asked the staff member if she could book me a ticket to Tirana, Albania. Ten minutes later the job was done, and I was presented with an envelope containing my booking confirmation for my flight that afternoon.

L:eaving Greece air ticket
Old school

I made it back to the apartment in time to check out, and as I sat in a cab on the way to the airport, I wondered what Albania was going to be like.

I’ll let you know, but until then, bear in mind this old Greek proverb:

‘Wine and children speak the truth.’

Wise words.

Leaving Greece statue
‘See ya Jim.’ ‘Yeah see ya mate.’

*Australian slang meaning an unsuccessful venture

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