The people in our hotels in Chania and Agios Nikolaos would have been amazed this morning. We were up, packed, had breakfast, checked out, and out and about — all by 11:30! We left our bags in the hotel and made our way to the nearest Metro station, both to make our way to the Acropolis area and to suss out tonight's travel arrangements to the airport. Our Aer Lingus flight home wasn't until 11:15 pm, so we had loads of time to explore.
We ate again close to the Acropolis Metro stop, and were on our way to the Acropolis Museum when we spotted a tourist train ready and waiting and decided to give it a whirl. It wasn't a great tour, but it did do a circuit which helped bring our map to life. Commentary was cursory to say the least, and the most interesting part of the experience was the amazing manouverability of the train itself as it made its way around really tight corners and along really narrow streets. It brought us full circle back to the entrance to the magnificent New Acropolis Museum.
We didn't really do the museum justice, just spending about an hour and a half walking around and ending up at the beautiful terrace café which is where I took this shot (one of many taking in our history-packed surroundings). We'd consulted our map and married that with our train experience to choose a promising walking route back to our hotel to pick up our luggage. This involved walking mainly through the Plaka district, which is much, much more attractive than Monastiraki had been last night (though even that looked better and was much less frenetic in daylight). We found a couple of relaxing pit stop places along the way, and ended up at a tiny roadside bar for a final Alfa beer and the last of the ubiquitous complimentary nuts and/or nibblies which come with every order everywhere.
We'd calculated that we were good to get back to the hotel around 8:00 pm, which we managed comfortably. A taxi from there to Monastiraki Metro station, then onto the Airport Metro before 9:00. We got a bit of a scare when we got to the Aer Lingus checkin desk, when we were told that there was a problem with the aircraft, the extent of which would not be known until it arrived from Dublin. It was all a bit vague, but it seemed to have something to do with numbers or over-booking and not to have anything to do with air-worthiness or anything like that. The bottom line was that volunteers were being asked from among those who had checked in online to give up their seats and accept alternative travel arrangements tomorrow, either via Amsterdam or Heathrow, and to be offered €400 towards hotel accommodation near the airport tonight. We duly volunteered.
As it turned out, our seats were not required, so we got on board as scheduled. Flight time was four and a quarter hours to Dublin. About an hour into the flight the cabin staff informed us that the breakfast we'd pre-ordered wasn't available (problems with the caterers or something). We were given sandwiches and coffee instead, and offered a refund for our breakfast payment, which we didn't bother with.
The captain's announcement that Dublin temperature was a measly 14 degrees did nothing to make the flight go well, but we did arrive home around 1:45 am. A taxi to my place, rescuing bits and pieces from one another's luggage, and then it was time for Carl to drive across the city and home.