Getting home

Because of a call for a general strike in Greece on May 20, Pam and I make the decision to return home 1 day early.

But in order to do this we had to leave Paros two days earlier - the reason being that we were suppose to fly from Paros to Athens and then the same day onto Dubai and home. Checking the flight schedules to Athens we found that there were no seats available from the 17th to the 27th on Olympic airlines the only carrier to fly that route.

So the only thing to do was catch a ferry but that would not get us into Athens with enough time to connect to our Emirates flight.

So the decision was to catch the ferry to Athens on the 18th to fly out on the 19th.

We phoned Emirates to see if we could change our flights and told them about the strike - that cost us $300

We booked a room in Athens for the night that was 90 euro

I was pick pocketed when we arrived in Athens - I should have been more careful.

I lost my wallet with credit cards, cash, drivers license etc

We went to the hotel we booked for the night and tried to use the computer to make some phone calls but I could not connect to work so we ended up using the hotel phone to call and cancel the credit cards. This cost 80 euro for 3 phone calls totalling about 20 minutes.

I got bitten by mozzies in the hotel room which made my single night there horrible even though the room was nice.

At breakfast a hotel lady asked how our stay was and I told her about the mozzies and said she would get me some cream.

She did that and it was a good gel product. On checkout they wanted it back - I refused to give it back and said I would not be paying for the gel either - I won that problem.

Next we go to the airport and while waiting to checkin we get a call from Olympic airlines to ask if we knew our flight from Paros to Athens tomorrow was cancelled? We did not but had assumed this would happen.

So good thinking by us to leave a day early!

The food on the Emirates flight to Dubai was pretty bad!

Upon landing in Dubai we wanted to do two things;

1) Get our hotel in Dubai updated for the day change.
2) Try to use our air points to upgrade the flight to Sydney.

We looked around for someone to help and found someone who said we had to go back upstairs. We did that and got told to go up to skywards up again. We were told to go back in the direction that we had come from but there was no way to go up.

So we went down again and I made a stand to get someone to help us who were trying to tell us to go back from where we had just been.

I managed to get someone to escort us back and we ended up going back to the same man as previously who this time amended the hotel booking form.

Next try to upgrade, while in Athens I tried to upgrade online but it required that I use my points for all passengers but I did not have enough points for both of us it was wanting 90,000 points and Pam and I have 46,000 each.

In Athens we asked at the check in counter but they said it had to be done in Dubai.

So back to Dubai - no one seems to know much and we had to walk what felt like miles from one terminal to another.

In order to do that we had to go through security - no problem except they do not like my bag and flag me over to have it checked.

I had no idea what was wrong, the checker had no idea what was wrong and asked the screening person and in the end looked all through it and passed it to another person and in the end said "go" all ok

During this the checking person who was a snarly bitch told Pam to go and get checked in a separate room even though she triggered nothing.

I was getting quite pissed off about all this.

So we walk for ages and get to what we assume is the correct place and it was shut.

So we head back now towards the original terminal which is where you need to go for transfers to the hotel and notice a business class lounge and go there to ask about the upgrade.

They were a pack of pricks saying that we had to upgrade 24 hours before our flight and tough luck. If I was a silver member they could do it now but not since I am a blue member. When we get home we will be silver!

So I get pissed off and tell them I hate the country and airline (they did not take it very well) and storm off.

We walk for ages to get to a place to leave the hotel going back past the snarly security checking woman and another security check, finally we get outside to our transfer van.

It was 32 Celsius when we arrived at 10pm but now it was 11:45pm

We get to the hotel in about 6 minutes and check in and get given our room key which is another long walk.

Guess what? It didn't work!

So back to reception and I request a new room.

I am lying in bed and it is 5:30am writing this on my blackberry.

we go back to the airport in 2 hours.

This post was made from my BlackBerry

We seem to have another hurdle to cross

Greece is apparently having a 24 Hour General Strike on May 20th, 2010 – this is the day we fly from Paros to Athens and then Athens to Dubai.

“The walkout is expected to ground flights to and from Greece, disrupt transport and shut down ministries and public services across the country. The unions will convene after the strike to decide on future action”

Well I assume that Pam & I travelling on the 20th is not going to happen.

We are going to look at an option of flying out of Athens on the 19th but we will need to get a hold of Emirates and see if we can do that. If we can we will have to leave Paros 2 days early and either go to Santorini or Athens.

If we go to Athens it will need to be by Ferry since there are no flights, if we go to Santorini we will need to ferry there and then fly to Athens the next day. Either way we will need another night somewhere.

It has been quite windy today in Paros and when we were looking at other flight options from Paros we noticed that the two flights today were cancelled – we assume by the winds. Also there are no bookable flights from Paros to Athens until the 27th.

On the positive – it has topped 30° Celsius every day since we have been here.

Calendar of Events


Our Itinerary on a map

Austria & Slovenia : Vienna (A & G) to HallStatt (b) to Lake Bled (D) to Piran (E) to Ljubljana(F) to Vienna (G)

Greece  : Athens (A) to Paros (B)

Our Itinerary

Well the basic idea is the following:

  • April 22 – Travel from Christchurch, New Zealand to Vienna, Austria.
    • Christchurch to Sydney
    • Sydney to Bangkok
    • Bangkok to Dubai
    • Dubai to Vienna
  • April 23 – Arrive in Vienna (probably buggered after 30+ hours) and stay for 3 nights
  • April 26 – Travel by Train to Hallstatt and stay for 3 nights
  • April 29 – Travel by Train to Lake Bled in Solvenia and stay for 3 nights
  • May 2 – Travel to Ljubjlana, Solvenia and stay for 3 nights
  • May 5 – Travel to Piran, Solvenia and stay for 3 nights
  • May 8 – Travel to Trieste, Italy and stay 3 nights
  • May 11 – Fly from Tieste to Rome and then onto Athens, Greece
  • May 11 – Stay in Athens for 2 nights
  • May 13 – Travel by Ferry to Paros Island and stay for 7 days
  • May 20 – Fly from Paros to Athens
  • May 20 – Fly from Athens to Dubai and overnight courtesy of Emirates
  • May 21 – Fly from Dubai directly to Sydney, Australia
  • May 22 – Fly from Sydney Australia to Christchurch, New Zealand

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