Friday, August 28, 2009

GREECE & we come!

Greece and Turkey….unfulfilled travel dreams for Jim…became a reality this year. Shortly after returning from our tour in China we started to put together a loosely knit trip for the fall in Greece and Turkey. We decided to travel footloose and reservation free for some serendipity traveling in the land of antiquity.

By mid summer we had our plane reservations, a car reserved for eleven days and a seven day cruise that would include Istanbul and Kusadasi (Ephessos) in Turkey. Reservations at an inexpensive hotel in Athens for the first three days completed the core planning for our trip that would span from October 16th to November 29th. Our last two nights were scheduled for London so that Jim could visit the British Museum to see the current exhibit of the Terra Cotta Soldiers from China. The same exhibit will be at the Bower’s Museum in 2008 where he is a docent. Is this curiosity or being one step ahead? Either way it’s a chance for me to spend a day as a tourist in London; I think I’ll ride the on/off tour bus all day!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Our plane didn’t leave until 8:35 pm so we had all day to make those final preparations for closing the house and getting many of the Christmas decorations completed or at least started before leaving. Daughter Jennifer drove us to LAX airport about 4 pm so we were there in plenty of time for check in and the security gauntlet. Had a small detour on the way and got to see the back side of the airport from Imperial Highway because of a major road closing; but we still arrived about 5 pm. Jim sailed through security but they opened my plastic bag for liquids and took away my shampoo bottles…yep I kinda thought they might as they were 4 oz instead of 3 oz. But, to my surprise they also took the jar of peanut butter…hadn’t thought about that one. I’d added it at the last minute as a surprise gift for my grandson who is meeting us in Athens; he’s on mid-semester break from his college semester in Italy. Oh well! Not an earthshaking loss.

Met a couple of sisters traveling together while we were still in LAX; they were also headed for Athens but then going on a cruise ship. Flight to London was half hour late in leaving but we were pleasantly surprised at the short time between loading and take-off.

London is eight hours ahead so we were actually leave LAX at 9pm + 8 hours = 5 am. We arrived at Heathrow Airport in London at 3 pm on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

At Heathrow we transferred from Terminal 3 (arrival) to Terminal 4; went through security which was a breeze…almost no one in line. Then we found out we needed to go to Terminal 1. Transferred to the bus for the trip over; bad sign: the bus was packed. Sure enough this security line was huge and it took nearly half an hour plus to get through the line….then the long wait began. Found seats in the lounge; four across with no arms and EMPTY. Stretched out and tried to nap a bit. The No Jet Lag pills are helping but it’s a very long trip because of the layover in London. Arrived about 3 pm and our flight to Athens was scheduled to leave at 9 pm. Loooonnnnngggg wait!

We finally took off after a long wait on tarmac and added two more hours to our clocks. Greece and Turkey are ten hours ahead of California. So now it was 11 pm; easy flight over with everyone trying to sleep but difficult with passengers talking and watching movies. Arrived in Athens at 3 am on Thursday morning! That’s 5 pm on Wednesday. If my math is correct that was twenty hours from start to finish!

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