Athens to Skyros
Journal Entry 6
We can’t actually believe that it’s already time to move over from the very first city on our list – we’ve managed to settle so well in Athens within the last six days. It could be because of our amazing accommodation, the food or the uncountable activities we indulged in within the beautiful Greek capital. Well, time to move forward and our next quest is getting to Skyros (on a budget).
Skyros is a small Greek island on the eastern side of Athens. It is around 223km2, having just below 3,000 inhabitants. The only ferry that reaches the island leaves twice daily from the port of Kymi, around 160Km away from the centre of Athens. To reduce some of the transportation costs, the plan was to hitchhike all the way to the port. We left our hostel at around 6.00 in the morning, aiming to be at the pre-planned ‘strategic’ spot at the right time when people are leaving to work from the city.
We caught a bunch of public transportation to the furthest northern part of Athens we could reach. As we found the right spot near the ramp which eventually leads to the highway, we just sat there showing our two shining signs and waited … and waited … and waited.
After almost three hours without any luck at all, a red car calmly stops – looking interested in helping us complete our mission. Although it wasn’t exactly her way, she accepted to drop us halfway to our final destination, at the town of Chalkida. That was a win for us!
Upon the initial conversation, one of the first automatic questions is to ask us where do we come from. We answered “Malta“, both of us ready to start answering the questions about our island that normally follows in such a situation. However, as soon as she heard ‘Malta’, her eyes widely opened with astonishment.
“What?! I’m half Maltese and my surname is Grech!”
I mean, come on – what are the chances of that?!
She dropped us off at Chalkida, which was still 80km away from the port. We found another good spot to try and hitchhike from. However, things didn’t go so well this time. We waited for a few hours without finding anyone going to Kymi, and we were honestly wondering why. Turns out, the day before, there was a very unfortunate flooding which damaged part of the road leading to Kymi. Parts of the area saw 200 to 300 mm of rainfall in just a few hours during the horrific storm, which ended the life of eight people!
This was the obvious cause why people were not travelling to Kymi through that route, which left us no option but to take a two-hour bus to reach the port in time for the last ferry of the day – so ready to completely change our routines and experiencing what living on a farm is all about!