Stepping into the Past

Sunday, March 31, 2019 Road Junkies 0 Comments


Stepping into the Past, Days 1-2:  Atlanta, Georgia, to Athens, Greece.  In the past couple of years we have visited some places in northern and eastern Europe with deep histories, cities that date back to the time of the first millenium.  (We're looking at you, Oslo.)  As ancient as those places appear through an American lens, this time we have planned a trip that will take us to places that make a 1049 founding date look like a city come lately.

Our current agenda takes us around the Mediterranean Sea.  We have several motives in mind—visiting the last few countries in Europe that we've missed until now and delving into the Middle East for the first time in 40 years.  Thanks to a cheap Delta flash sale last November, we booked a round trip flight to London from late March to mid May.  With our list of places we wanted to visit, we thought we'd make a nice loop from London around the Mediterranean and back to London.
It seemed so simple, so logical.  London to Athens (+ road trip around Greece).  Greece to Cyprus to Jordan to Israel to Malta to Barcelona to Andorra and back to London.  Perfect Mediterranean loop.  But then reality reared its ugly head and we learned that the airlines didn't quite see things our way.  Flights were simply not available to support this concept.  So instead, we ended up with this itinerary.
Instead of our well-conceived route, actual flight availability forced us into this plan:  London to Athens.  Greece to Cyprus to Malta to Barcelona to Andorra to Jordan (via Madrid) to Israel to London (via Rome).  We faced some challenges on the first legs of the journey, but to mention them would embarrassingly justify accusations of complaints about first world problems, so we'll leave that aside.

We have four full days in Athens to explore this ancient city before beginning our Greek road trip.  (We decided to leave the islands for another journey.)  More about that in Chapter 2.

Chapter 1 Stats
    •  Started in:  Atlanta, Georgia USA
    •  Ended in:  Athens, Greece
    •  Air Miles:  5,706
    •  Road Miles: 75
    •  Foot Miles:  11.62
    •  Weather:  How the heck do we know?  We were in airplanes & airports most of the time.
    •  Total airline delays:  2 hrs, 10 min
    •  Excuses for delays:  5
    •  Crying babies on flights:  6 (plus me)
    •  Airport duty free shops:  164