The Amazing Race

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My mission was to get from Fethiye to Athens in less than 2 days without spending a lot of money. That meant no flying or using any kind of private transportation.

I had been planning this trip for more than a week and I was looking forward to it, since I was going to meet Ledi in Athens. I had contacted a travel agent to help me book the ferry tickets from Bodrum to Pirraeus via Kos since it is difficult to do it on the Internet. It went well. I had my tickets in hand:

  • Bodrum – Kos / June 29th / 5:30PM – 6:30PM
  • Kos – Pirraeus / June 29th / 8:40PM – 9:20AM (+1 day)

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Fethiye – June 28th – 4:30PM.

Just out of the boat and freshly checked into a nice hotel thinking I had plenty of time to get to Bodrum the day after so I could visit the town.

Everything was just perfect.

It is when I checked my emails that luck turned around. There it was, a notification from the travel agent that my boat from Bodrum to Kos had been cancelled and he had rescheduled me on the 9:30AM boat on the 29th. That certainly was not good news but I was so thankful I had gone through an agent who took care of rescheduling and notifying me. Kudos to “Anker Travel” for their great work.

Hum, there was no way I could get to Bodrum on time if I slept in Fethiye that night. So I rushed back to the hotel and asked the clerk if he could find out when was the next bus to Bodrum. It was at 7PM and he told me the bus company would come to pick me up down the street at 6:30PM. I was there but I never saw the bus and it was already 6:50PM when I hopped on one of the buses that had Otogar written as destination.

“The bus station is only 2km East so I should be there on time” I thought optimistically. I was quite wrong as it turned out I had taken the bus in the wrong direction (misunderstanding between me and the Turkish driver). Well, what could I do? I arrived at the bus station at 7:15PM hoping that the bus had not left yet. Turns out Turkish buses leave on time so no luck there and I started to feel bad when I was told there were no other buses to Bodrum before 5AM the day after (too late for me).

This is when a guy just showed up from behind another bus and told me there was a way to get to Bodrum if I took his bus and changed at some other place whose name I could not understand. But he seemed to know what he was talking about and I did not have much choice anyway so I got on that bus hoping for the best ;). Luckily everything went smoothly from there. When we arrived where I was supposed to change bus, the bus steward told me to get out and handed my bag to the other bus’ steward. I got on that bus and we were in Bodrum at 1:30AM. Not the fastest way to get to Bodrum but I was on track to catch my ferry the next morning.

After a very short night spent in the first cheap enough hotel I found, I made my way to the ferry dock to recover my tickets and check into my first ferry. The guy at the counter gave me my Bodrum-Kos ticket but he could not give me or tell me where to get my Kos-Pirraeus ticket. I was a bit annoyed about that but I thought I would leave it up to my good stars (that have been good to me so far) to take care of putting everything together at the end so I got my exit stamp, boarded and found a nice spot to read and enjoy the view.

As soon as the ferry departed, an employee came towards me and told me he needed my passport in order to take care of my Kos-Pirraeus ticket! Yes, he just found me on the boat and took care of everything returning 5 minutes later with the ticket. It all worked out for the best again :).

Once in Kos and through the emigration check (welcome back to the EU!), I had almost 10 hours to spare on the island so I thought I could check it out a bit and take it easy on one of the numerous beaches for the rest of the time.

I just needed to find a place to store my bag for the time. As I was thinking about that, a woman on a scooter with her little girl standing in front of her came toward me offering lodging. After I explained what I needed, she told me I could store my bag and even take a shower at the end of the day all for 5 euros. I sat on the back of her father’s scooter with my big bag strapped on and here we were going through the streets of Kos. I have to say it was quite cool :).

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The day went well. I mostly lingered on one of the long chairs at the beach enjoying the sun, the warm water, and the “view”.

I was on time but the ferry ran late. Nothing too bad and we were on our way soon after 9PM. I spent my time reading, walking around the decks, watching Turkish TV, and sleeping where I could.

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We arrived in Pirraeus at around 10:30AM with the seagulls accompanying the boat as we entered the port. It is quite fascinating to see them play in the boat wind.

With some help from the locals speaking good English, I was in the metro bound to the Airport and checking into the hotel in no time.

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Athens – June 30th – 12:30PM – Not the freshest but Mission Accomplished! 🙂