Here are the first two days of my 26 day trip to Europe. Days 1 and 2 are all about GETTING TO ATHENS and I didn’t think it was that big of a deal but apparently I remembered a lot of random things that happenned enroute to Athens. Enjoy!
The first two days of the trip were travel days. We flew out of the Orlando airport so we had to drive from St. Augustine to Orlando on Monday afternoon. It’s about a 2 hour drive. I didn’t think it was that bad to fly out of Orlando since it meant less connections in terms of getting to Athens, Greece.
The airplane was HUGE! I don’t think I had ever been on a plane that large before. I remember going on a plane with 3 sections of seats but it didn’t have the 2nd level like this one did. I was also amazed with the technology the plane had compared to other planes I had been on. The coolest technology the plane had was a map that showed you where we were throughout the trip. That was really fun to watch throughout the plane ride. I also liked watching all the movies. I watched The Muppets, Saving Mr. Banks, parts of Mary Poppins, and parts of Frozen. I slept a little bit on the plane but not as much as I would have liked. I was surprised that we got 2 full meals on the flight as well as drinks and some snacks. I thought we would have only gotten one meal.
As the sun came up I was able to take a lot of neat photographs of the clouds from the plane. As we started to hit the landmass of Europe I got a cool picture of the green grass below. The clouds looked really neat from the plane as well. It was a fun way to document my time in the plane.
Our first flight went from Orlando, FL, USA to Frankfurt, Germany. It was an 9 hour flight with a 6 hour time change. We took off around 8pm EDT and we landed about 11am CEST. We were about 30 minutes late landing in Frankfurt but we had about a 2 hour layover so we still had plenty of time to get to our connection to Athens. We had to go through our first set of Border Control in Frankfurt and I got my first stamp in my passport! Border control wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. They just asked where I was going and to see my passport and boarding pass. They didn’t even ask me anything else. They stamped my passport and gave it back to me and I was on my way.
The Frankfurt airport is HUGE!!!!!! I think we came in the B Gates and we left out of Gate Z gates. Thank goodness for moving sidewalks to make the walk go faster. Remember how I said we had a 2 hour layover? Yeah by the time we got to our connections gate we had less than an hour until they were going to start boarding our flight to Athens. Once we got to the gate we figured out there was WI-FI in the airport and I quickly logged in on my iPad to let family and friends know I was alive.
I also had another important task to take care of as it was now officially TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014 the day of Jen Fulwiler of conversiondiary.com’s BOOK RELEASE!!!! I quickly loaded up my kindle app and was able to download her book to my iPad! And thus began my adventure of taking selfies with her book all over Europe!
Our flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Athens, Greece was much smaller, which is expected since it is only a 3 hour flight. I was really surprised to find out that the “gate” we were at was just an entrance to the place we would be getting on a shuttle to take to the plane. It was just like they show movies in the movies with the flights of stairs to get on and off the plane!
I was doing okay with the jet lag and functioning up until the second flight took off. Then I got SUPER TIRED. As we took off my body felt like it was about 6 am and hadn’t had much sleep. The food on that flight was the BEST of the whole trip. We got these cheese raviolis with a vodka/cream sauce. They were SOOOO GOOD. I wasn’t expecting to get food on that flight as it was at 1pm and then we landed at 5pm but I was glad we did because I was starting to get hungry. The weirdest part was that they brought everyone the food and drinks and then they came by about another 5 times wanting to know if people wanted more drinks before taking our trash from the food. After about the 3rd drink run I was starting to get annoyed because I wanted the trash from my food to be GONE as it was in my way and really I just wanted to sleep at this point!
So we finally LANDED in Athens and were all ready to have to go through border control again and then there was literally NO ONE there. It was so bizarre. We later found out that if you are traveling within the European Union that it’s not considered an International Flight and they don’t bother with Border Control checks. I guess it’s the equivalent of flying within the United States it’s not considered an International Flight.
We had transportation arranged to take us from the airport to our hotel and we had trouble finding him at first. I think he was at the wrong door. We finally found him and when we went to leave the parking lot the gate wouldn’t go up. The driver was scanning his card and honking and doing everything and it wasn’t working. Finally after about 30 minutes an airport employee came out with a special key and got it opened (but even he had trouble getting it opened). The drive from the airport to the hotel was really interesting. We saw a lot of people and buildings and even an IKEA! It seemed to be a long ride but like most airports they are in the outskirts of the city.
We finally got to our hotel around 7:30 PM EEST. Our hotel in Athens was right on the promenade and had a view of the Acropolis! After we checked into the hotel we had dinner at a restaurant right down the road from our hotel on the top floor with a perfect view of the acropolis. The food was delicious along with the view! The picture on the left is a collage of the evening. Dessert, dinner, crazy sculpture in the restaurant, and the acropolis at night. It was crazy how it took almost 2 days to get to Athens so after dinner I went back to the hotel, updated my blog, and prepared for our first official day in Greece and went to sleep early!