Saturday, December 16, 2017
Jinhee and I spent early Friday touring around Piraeus port on foot after final preparations for Megan’s arrival, and picked up the princess for the real start of her Christmas vacation.
After researching many transit options, we decided to rent a car to pick Megan up, as it offered the most flexible solution and was only slightly more expensive then transit if we all took busses or trains.
We have rented cars four times over the past four months, and each time the pricing and value seems to vary wildly.
- Corfu in September €40 for a crappy, old and beat up Hyundai that Jinhee would be embarrassed to admit being in.
- In Otranto, Italy it was €40 all in for a nicely equipped brand new Ford Fiesta
- In Taranto, Italy we rented a very basic, poorly equipped Fiat Panda for €287 for a week (or €85/day)
- Yesterday here in Piraeus it was a nicely equipped, almost new Citroen C3 for €57
Our rental this time was a pleasure and we did some touring as well. First stop . . . Ikea.
We have discovered that Athens has two IKEA stores. We rented our car for 24 hours , but got to both of them. I would like to confirm that IKEA is the same everywhere and in every language. Not all stores have everything, but only because they are different sizes. The cheese graters are the same. You can get Ivar shelving everywhere and tea-lights . . . Lots of tea-lights in every store. I know you’re surprised. I can see your eyebrows going up from here.
The drive to the airport from Piraeus is about an hour, but Megan’s flight was slightly delayed waiting for a gate. The good news is that the first IKEA was basically on the runway . . . I convinced Jinhee that she could do much of her shopping before Megan got to the luggage carousel. She did. I poked my head into the Kotsolovo’s on the other side of the parking lot. It’s just a Greek version of Best Buy, and I don’t need any headphones or a TV or surround sound speakers, not even a washing machine, so it was a short visit.
By 4pm I was looping around the arrivals level while Jinhee collected Megan. Next time you drive through Pearson, don’t complain. The Athens airport curb side pickup area is another place in Europe where rules and reason are not applied with anything that approaches logic or consistency. In the end Megan alighted our fancy Citroen and we proceeded to the boat.
Our princess saw the super yachts on the way into the marina and then proclaimed that our 47′ yacht was kinda small. Kids today are so hard to please! After a tour we went to the local pita shop for a quick bite. Megan has apparently succumbed to vegetarian-ism but I realized I hadn’t had a burger in weeks, and the burger at Kali Pita was awesome!
It didn’t take long for Megan to crash after that picture was taken, and jinhee and I unpacked our haul from IKEA.
This morning we decided to take a drive near the city before returning the car, and our first stop . . . You guessed it. IKEA. From that visit though we have secured our Christmas tree.
Jinhee is very happy to have Megan with us (but misses Andrew), and we are looking forward to making this a memorable Christmas for all of us. Despite some heavy winds it was a great day to be outside with more 20C weather and sunshine, at least until after we returned the car!
Megan made a final trip to a bakery on our return to the boat, before the jet lag brought her down and she has been sound asleep ever since.
Jinhee and I have been working on projects on the boat this afternoon and evening, but are happy to have Megan aboard and her participation in our Christmas preparation.