Sunday, July 19, 2015

Eurotrip 2015 - Day 8 (7/4/2015) - Last Day in Santorini

Tina went out for a run/walk this morning, while the boys stayed in bed.  We all met up for breakfast around 9, and then were in no particular hurry to do anything.  We checked out ab it after 11, as the hotel checkout time was 11:30.  We then needed to occupy about 5 hours, as we were supposed to return the quads to the airport around 4 or 4:30.  Joe and Tina had a 6:45 flight to Athens, while mine was not until 12:30 AM the next day (explanation below) and I felt that it was easier to just return them together.  We decided to head to a new part of the island, so we stowed our bags with the hotel and then drove to the beach in Agios Gerogios.  This was about a 25 minuted drive, though we did briefly stop for a splash of gas so we could make it through a couple of more long drives.

We arrived at the beach a little before noon and set up camp at Kelly's Cocktail bar.  They had a section of cushioned recliners on the beach, each pair with a straw umbrella.  They also conveniently provided free Wifi.  We each ordered a smoothie (I had a pineapple one that wasn't all that great) and lay around (reading. listening to audiobooks, or whatever) for a while.  We eventually got hungry so we paid for the drinks and moved up to the main building (a 3-sided structure) to have lunch.  I ordered their vegetable pasta (which turned out to be spaghetti), which was unexpectedly quite tasty despite the glaring dearth of vegetables (there were a few olive slices perhaps double the amount of capers) in the finished product.

After lunch we drove back to the hotel to pick up our bags, and then turned around and drove to the airport (which was in the same direction as Ag. Georgios).  We dropped off the quads and left the keys in the cargo baskets with the helmets, as instructed.  It was pushing 4:30 by then, and I would spend the next 9 hours at that tiny airport.

[begin explanatory interlude]
When I had originally planned this trip with Claire, she had booked a return flight from Athens to Chicago (via Zürich) at 4 AM the next morning.  The plan was then to both fly from Santorin to Athens late that night, where she would catch her flight and then I would take my flight to Vienna later in the morning.  When her plans changed, I didn't bother trying to restructure my flights or hotels.
[end explanatory interlude]

Joe and Tina checked in for their flights while I grabbed a scarce seat to camp out for a while.  After they were done checking in, they came over to chat for a bit and then said goodbye before heading through the security checkpoint.  Let me just opine that the Santorini airport is much smaller and understaffed than it should be given the amount of flights and travelers that go through there.  There were maybe 7 seats within the departures area outside of the security checkpoint, so I hung out at the seat that I had claimed until I needed to go to the bathroom (which was in need of a good cleaning) and grab some food (a vegetable pita wrap from the sandwich shop).  By the time that I relinquished my seat, there was almost no reclaiming it, as the travelers began to swarm in with the increase in the number of flights during the evening and night.  I had been standing for perhaps an hour when Ryanair opened up their check-in around 10:30.  I went through the very short line just to make sure that the boarding pass PDF on my phone was good enough (it was; I had checked in online the night before in order to avoid the 40 Euro fee for checking in at the airport) before standing in the security line that had now snaked outside the airport entrance.

After getting through the long security line, which was at times manned by only one person, I quickly grabbed an open seat to wait again until my flight boarded.  This didn't happen until June 5...

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An album of all my favorite photos from the trip can be found here:
Google Photos (no photo spheres)
Google+ Photos (includes photo sphere functionality)

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