Made it to Greece!

Oh man. I just found out the hard way there’s no undo button on the iPad. I’d just finished writing out this post when I accidentally deleted the entire thing. Bother. Well, here we go again. I’m sure you’ll be able to tell I’m running really low on sleep.

I made it to Greece! I’ve had a long day of traveling but it feels so good to be here. Let me tell you a bit of how the day’s gone.

I was picked up yesterday morning at 6:30 right at my door and taken by shuttle right to JFK. I decided this would be a lot easier than taking the train into the city and then trying to negotiate the subways. I arrived at JFK plenty early, which I love, because it means I don’t have to worry about security and delays and I get to spend the time people watching in the terminal. I even got a bit of work done!

My flight, Turkish air 004 boarded without a problem and just before 1:00 pm we were off, headed to Istanbul. I sat next to a very nice elderly Ukrainian gentleman. He spoke very little English but was able to explain to me that all of the whiskey was “medicine” for his “sick leg.” Whatever the excuse he slept very soundly for the last two thirds of the trip. Before he conked out though we had a lot of fun talking about his children and grandchildren. His English was very broken so I’m not quite sure how many of each he has but regardless he’s very proud of all of them!

My experience wasn’t quite so carefree. Despite earnest efforts (even employing earplugs and that funny mask thing) I just couldn’t force myself asleep in what was according to my body the early evening. I spent several hours doing my best, but I was just a bit too excited to be relaxed and tired enough to make the already difficult task of falling asleep in a cramped plane a possibility.

The ride was about ten hours – much more manageable than Africa! We arrived in Istanbul just as the sun was coming up. Once in Istanbul we had to go through security again and I attracted some looks when I automatically took off my shoes. Turns out people don’t have to do that here. Ah well. I did meet a Michigan grad in line so we had a nice time in the cue talking about Ann Arbor and work.

The wait for the next flight to Athens seemed very long. I was tired enough to curl up on the floor and fall asleep but I was worried about missing my connection so I forced myself awake. Of course as soon as I got back on the plane it was the uncomfortable cramped seat that destroyed my hopes of getting a quick nap. Soon though I was glued to the window watching the Greek archipelago stretch out underneath the plane. The islands are beautiful, I can’t wait to get out and see them for myself.

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Arrival in Greece was exceptionally easy. I didn’t get asked any hard questions in customs, or even how long I was going to stay! I picked up some euros, a map of downtown and was told I’d have to get a sim card downtown so that’s the next step!

It’s 11 am here (Greece is +7 hrs from EST) and I’m going to get a bit of lunch and then head to the city to see if I can do a little bit of walking around and find myself a cell phone. I have to get to the docks around 4:30 for my 5:30 ferry to Naxos. It’s going to get to the island just before midnight, which I’m not thrilled about. My goal is to stay up though as one, I don’t really have anywhere to sleep and two I’m hoping it’ll help me get on Greece time faster. Still, I’m already feeling a bit like a zombie so we’ll see how my resolve holds.

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