Monday, 10 November 2014

Airborne ...

That was me from runway 20 at Skiathos ...

It was the larger version of the hopper, a Dash 8 - 400 and gave us a great view taxiing out of the new aircraft stands being prepared. The hardcore base being leveled prior to concrete being laid,

I had my usual seat 2D only we were asked to sit at the back, to aid the aircraft to fly level on its journey, Ground staff having loaded the 78 seat aircraft all at the front. So sit anywhere we like after row 16, and some 20 rows further back than when i started.

It took off like a rocket, right on time at 13:45pm well revised from its scheduled time of 20:45pm - The flight having been rescheduled, due to the radar station on Skopelos being out of action. So only line of sight daylight, clear weather landings are permitted.

Off the ground, well before the first exit to the terminal and great views of town and Plaka as we soared into the blue sky over the harbour. A few clouds over Evia and a great view of Athens as we overflew the city and Piraeus, before approaching from the south.

Thirty minutes in the air, and around half of that again taxiing to the aircraft stand. A motorcade of police cars and Mercedes with blacked out windows, sped across the airport, towards us escorted by police outriders.

Too late, I had already jumped on the bus with everyone else ...

Grabbed bag off the conveyor belt, and out across the road towards Sofitel, up the escalator and over to the Metro/suburban railway station. €8 on the suburban train and swiftly across the city to 'Base camp Athens'

Waiting to meet me SWMBO & Margaret and after a quick familiarization circuit of  'Base camp Athens' off on the train and metro to the hospital. This part of Athens, like when we were in Thessaloniki, is mainly sleeping on Sundays.

A €3 taxi ride (Yes Skiathos friends three euro) with a friendly taxi driver, who took us to a lovely local ouzeria. SWMBO had Bakalikos (Hake) and chips. We had a jug of tsipouro and a huge meze. The owner our new best friend in Athens - Yorgos, very impressed we are visitors from Skiathos, then giving us a lift in hiis Mercedes to the hospital. Checking in SWMBO for her appointment with the surgeons on Monday.

First impressions, its spotlessly clean, the nurses are daft as a brush, and great fun. Nice room en suite, five floors up with a view of the Olympic stadium. Not sure why they need security bars on the loo windows, not much chance of a break in or peeping tom up here. Yes I would book it and post a review ...

Met the anesthetist, very polite who probably noticed Margaret and Skiathian were already mildly anesthetized ourselves. Chucking out time was 21:00 so we headed off to the metro. Changing on to the suburban train line back to Base camp Athens.

The interchange is a cacophony of noise, and its track littered by discarded cigarette butts. Otherwise spotless clean platforms, of granite paving stones, even the blind persons walkway is machined and polished granite, not the metal plates that you find elsewhere. Its  hidden below the six lane motorway. All the stations are staffed by private security firms, and the ticket office lady, really should get a place on Greeks next top model.

The staion has its fair share of interesting people. One man tapping out a version of morse code on the vending machine that has stolen his money. The security man smartly dressed, assuring him its best to call the company rather than send a telegram via the machine.

Teenage girls with ironed straight hair, laughing and joking. Both on the platform, and on the train young ladies going through their 'Goth phase' all in black with black nails, and eye shadow to match.

Everyone smartly dressed, nice clothes smart shoes, unlike us rough islanders ...

Back at the house it seems changes will need to be made. I am sharing it with people who drink green tea and the greek coffee made from sludge in a beke. I need nescafe and milk - what time does the supermarket open?

Until then am off to the hospital, the big day has dawned, SWMBO is off for the surgery first thing. I need to be there for her, Thanks again to her very special 140 supporters. Keep everything crossed. I do not know when I will be back for that coffee ...


  1. I will be thinking of you all x

  2. Sending positive thoughts and warm wishes your way. x

  3. Warm wishes, and fingers crossed (hard to type). You will get through this. (ειστε)