Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Road to Greece


This was not good news to wake up to. American Airlines had grounded 500 planes in order to inspect them for potential electrical problems. Our first leg was on American, followed by 2 other connections at JFK and London Heathrow with very short layovers. Would we be sitting at JFK unable to get a connection? How well will they treat people flying on mileage seats? These nagging worries accompanied us on our train ride up to SFO. We breathed a huge sigh of relief to find our flight was still scheduled to depart on time. With only one carryon each, we also avoided the risk of lost baggage.

I am convinced that American Airlines serves you only enough food to keep its customers from fainting due to hunger while flying over the Atlantic, and certainly won’t win any awards for culinary excellence. After arriving in Heathrow, we got our first exposure to the now famous Terminal 5 and had to walk miles to make our connection. This new terminal has just opened and there obviously are still a few kinks they need to iron out. Some signs would help, but a people mover would be an improvement! Miraculously, every connection on this flight out was on time, which was unbelievable to us. We had exit row seats on all our flights, conditions were excellent, and we were comfortable and happy. 20 hours from the time we left home, we arrived in Athens. It was only late afternoon on Thursday, and feeling adventurous, we decided to take the metro for 6E each versus a cab for 30E. The metro runs from the airport and stopped just a block from our hotel. The Hotel Acropole was old and situated among hardware stores, like the online reviews indicated. The room was spartan, but clean and you couldn’t ask for a better location, in the Monastiraki district, in south Athens. I couldn’t believe we were actually in Greece! I followed my usual routine, got right into bed and slept like a log until morning.

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