The Wall

Sadly, Katherine and I had to leave the beautiful island of Santorini on the 23rd. We hopped on a ferry around 3:00 P.M. in order to head back to Athens for a night. The first couple of hours were very pretty, and at one of our stops along the way, we were able to see a gorgeous sunset over one of the islands and the water.

However, after the sun went down, we were on the ferry for hours and hours and hours. There were tables that we could sit at, but nothing conducive for sleeping. Luckily we had brought some awesome fresh bread and feta cheese with us, but it was not enough to really satisfy us. The expensive fast food on the ferry did not help, either. The boat was rocky and cold, and after trying to drink a hot chocolate to feel better, I was left only with a stomach ache. By about 8:00, we were both ready to be on land. However, the ferry back was even longer than the one we took to Santorini, and we did not arrive until 11:00! From the ferry dock in Athens, we still had to lake a long metro ride before we could be at our hostel. It was sometime around there that I knew I was hitting The Wall. If you are unfamiliar with The Wall or The Edge, it is a place that one reaches during a sustained period of traveling. For me, all of the exhaustion of constantly being on the go- what with flights, ferries, metro rides, horse-drawn carriages, walking-, going to bed late every night and not sleeping enough, being covered in gigantic bug bites because every single hostel that we stayed in had bed bugs, re-wearing the same dirty, worn-out clothes all of the time, risking various foot infections by showering in gross showers that had been used by thousands of people previously… all of these things added up. I missed the comfort of home- how, if I landed at a ferry dock, I could have someone simply pick me up and drive me home, where I would be greeted by my actually comfortable, bug-free bed. But no. With a throbbing stomach ache and pure exhaustion, I still had to ride a crowded metro for another 45 minutes before I could return to… a new hostel room that smelled, I’m really sorry for being offensive here, like Asia and was 1,000 degrees. I immediately crawled into a bed that I was certain was filled with critters who would be crawling all over me. And they did.

The next morning, Katherine and I woke up early in order to catch our flight to Rome. At the airport, I realized that I had yet to complete my climb over The Wall. Having booked a cheap airline called Easy Jet, we had to learn the hard way why it was so cheap. It took an hour just to wait in the line for checking our bags. I was convinced that everyone was moving to Rome and had packed their entire life’s belongings with them, for why else would it take so long? Finally, on the way to our gate, Katherine and I stopped at McDonalds to have some beloved cheeseburgers and Coke. Then, in the security line, we had to throw our Cokes away before having a single sip of them. I also had to throw away my shampoo and conditioner because I had forgotten to move them out of my carry-on/I didn’t think that liquids were a big deal in European flights. Anyway, we finally got on our flight and landed in a beautiful city…

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