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Friday 23 November 2007

From Mykonos to Thira

When I was in Athens, I have already bought all my boat tickets for my island hoping trips, including the trip from Mykonos to Thira (Santorini) on 10th July, 2007. On the day of my departure, I happily checked out of Pension Matina at noon time and requested Yanis to send me to the 'Old Port' to board the SUPERJET™ vessel at 2 p.m.

The car ride took only 10 minutes and I waited at the quay for the vessel to arrived while eating my 'lunch' with just cookies and plain water. I watched vessels harboured, picked up passengers and departed, eagerly looking for the sign SUPERJET™ on every fast-speed boat that arrived. Not until 1:50 p.m. that the bad news was announced through the creeping loudspeakers: "Otenshon pliz. The SUPERJET to Tira say-due at 2 pi-am haz been kanseled. Pliz go to the nieres tiket ofis to chiek for the nex say-due vessel." I almost couldn't believe my ears and double-checked with the quay guard about it. After getting the confirmation from him, I had no choice but to ask for direction to the 'nieres tiket ofis'.

When I arrived at the ticket office, there were already quite a number of agitated passengers who were supposed to be on SUPERJET™ throwing their tantrums on the poor clerk at the ticketing counter. Luckily, he has a lot of patience and apologised to everyone on behalf of SUPERJET™ on the cancellation. I overheard that the next scheduled fast-speed vessel was SUPERFAST™ that would depart at 4 p.m. but it was fully booked, and the next snail-speed vessel leaving Mykonos for Thira was at 8 p.m. A couple with a pregnant wife was able to convince the ticketing clerk to give them the two seats reserved for emergency use on SUPERFAST™ that would take them to Thira in two hours. When it came to the turn of a young American couple whose SUPERJET™ schedule had been cancelled for three consecutive days, they were so desparate to get on board of SUPERFAST™ without any assigned seats and were prepared to be standing at the aisle for the whole journey. I chipped in to make the same offer, but it was unfortunate that we were not allowed to do that due to safety reasons.

Well, we had to settle for the slower, and I mean really a snail-speed NTALIANA of G.A. Ferry that would leave at 8 p.m. The only compensation that we got from the cancellation was the refunded SUPERJET™ ticket and a free ticket on NTALIANA, plus free phone calls to the hotels in Thira to inform them the change in schedule.

Since it was sunset time on board of NTALIANA, I could only shoot a few blurry sunset shots on the moving vessels, with the rest of my time starring at the cold metal ceiling of the cabin.

NTALIANA took eight and a half hours to arrive at the port of Thira, an hour and a half later than scheduled. I told George of San Giorgio Villas that I would arrive at 3 a.m., so he waited for me under the cold wind starting at 2:30 a.m. without a sight of me until 4:30 a.m. George and Dina are the two nicest hoteliers that I've ever met. And I would recommend San Giorgio Villas to everyone visiting Thira without any hesitation.

George and Dina are two of the nicest locals in Thira that I've met. Despite his busy schedule, George arranged the transportation for my departure seamlessly too!

Oops! Now I remember that I promised George and Dina to send this photo to them. I better keep my promise by dropping them an email after this post is up. It's four months late, but better late than never!

Once again, remember that SUPERJET™ is extremely unreliable and San Giorgio Villas has my unreserved recommendation!

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Greece, here are the links:-

1. Athens – The Homeland of the Gods

2. The White Dream in Mykonos

3. Santorini – Almost Heaven

4. Miscellaneous


Brede said...

LOL, Superject reminded me of a certain budget airline...

CK Ng said...

Ya, right! Haha! The journey that was supposed to be only 2 hours took me 14½ hours!

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