Overland 1972 - Day 26


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March 8th 1972
Published: March 11th 2013
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Day 26 - Wednesday 8th March

Train fares were supposed to be quite cheap in Greece for students and so we decide to travel to Athens by train. We did receive an offer from an American for a ride to Athens for 150 Drachma but turned the lift down as we believed that the train would be a similar fare and the ride more comfortable. Unfortunately the train fare was 100 Drachma each and by the time we arrived back at the Hostel, the American's car was full. So back to the station where we met Denis, Marylou and Sarah - they had stayed overnight in Thessalonika after all but at a cheap but unpleasant hotel. I took a photograph of them (which alas this was lost with the other photos).

Unfortunately the trains to Athens were being delayed and eventually we heard that there had been a derailment the previous night and we would have to transfer to a bus for the journey between Katarina and Larissa. Apparently there had been some deaths in the crash and so it was lucky that we had decided to spend the night in Thessalonika. The reasons soon became clear - floods in northern Greece had weakened a bridge and landslides had cracked some roads. The land from Thessalonika was fairly flat and there was a very muddy river delta before the train line followed the coast. There was another delay waiting for the train at Larissa. There was a friendly Greek guy on the train and he kindly shared his biscuits and chocolate - he was helpful and chatty but clearly had taking a shine to Heather.

We arrived at Athens station at 10pm and there was a bus route from outside to the Youth Hostel - sadly Hostel was not at all nice although there were hot showers. We crossed the road and ate a dish of meat in pancakes. Most of the day had been taken up by travel but now we coud relax for a few days in Athens. The early impressions were good with wide looking streets and white washed houses even before considering the number of its historic sights.

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