A Travellerspoint blog

Last Day in Mainland Greece

Mycenae to Athens to Piraeus

sunny 82 °F

I woke up this morning to the news that my mom was able to get us a flight out of Amsterdam! Paying cancellation fees plus the difference in price of a flight from Paris or any of the other places we were looking would have cost us upwards of a grand, so we instead had her shoot for simply cancelling the first leg of our flight from Cairo to Amsterdam, allowing us to depart right from Amsterdam. They still tried to charge fees despite the fact that we were now only flying 1 of the 2 legs of our trip, but she was of course able to get them to waive those. Thanks mom! Now we at least know the final stop on our trip. Kristine is excited to see the Anne Frank Museum and I’m sure we’ll find some other interesting things to see. Flying to Paris before Amsterdam is going to be too expensive, so we may stop at another Greek Island or else stop in Prague or Istanbul, since they’ll take us in the right general direction toward Amsterdam.

After breakfast, we packed up at hit the road for Athens. We stopped in Mycenae, just off the main road on the way to Athens. Mycenians ruled what is now Greece before the era of city-states (1th-12th centuries B.C.). We first went to the Treasury of Atreus, which is also believed to be the tomb of King Agamemnon of Trojan War fame.
The treasury had an impressive domed roof that provided some crazy echoes. There was also a passageway we weren’t allowed to go down, but we could clearly hear bats somewhere down in the darkness.

Next was the museum, where we got to see more clay pots (we’re getting kind of sick of them…sorry Greeks!) We then climbed to the ruins of the Mycenaean Acropolis, which had some great views, but to be honest, was a bit ho-hum after being at Fort Palamidi yesterday.
The main, monumental entrance to the city, and the trademark picture of Mycenae is the Lion’s Gate:
The walls of the city were said to have been built by the mythical Cycloses, hence the “Cyclopean Walls,” and are 900m long and an incredible 5.5-7.5m thick, with a height up to 12m.

All in all, we collectively decided that we had seen enough old rocks for a while and our trip to Santorini could not have come at a better time. Finally, after seeing many Citroens on the roads of Greece, we finally found one like ours!

I had to return Scrappy, our rental car, with a full tank of gas. However, with the great gas mileage and the fact that the gas meter only shows a range from 0 to 6 bars, you can drive for quite a while before the meter drops to 5 bars. I tried to time the gas just right, and it would have worked, except that when we hit Athens, we were in traffic for at least a half hour. It was a nightmare, with hundreds of motorbikes weaving in and out of cars and multiple cars stuck in intersections long after the light had turned red.

Unfortunately, I had to stop to put a few liters in so that the car registered at full. We drove over 1000km over the past few days, essentially on one tank of gas (since I filled it up from half-full twice). Pretty impressive. Kristine was so impressed with the gas mileage that she claims to want a SmartCar. After returning our car, there happened to be a Blue Star Ferries ticket office next door, so we stopped in to book our tickets. We had about an hour before the ferry left, but the ticket agent recommended we get a taxi to get there in time, as public transportation would be cutting it too close. She made it seem like we barely had time to make it in a taxi, but 20 euros and less than 10 minutes later, we were on the ferry with about 45 minutes to spare. The “ferry” is enormous and more like a cruise. Many people brought their vehicles on board and there are several different restaurants. It feels a bit like we’re wasting our day, but it’s a nice chance to relax, play some cards and catch up on my blogging.

Posted by atbrady 08:54 Archived in Greece Tagged greece athens santorini ferry piraeus mycenae agamemnon

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