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Dora the Driver

Kos, Greece

sunny 34 °C

Getting to Kos was almost a nightmare. I know understand why Greeks hate the ferry system. I have booked everything prior to Kos online and I have had no trouble with it, but of course I do now. I originally booked online to go from Mykonos to Athens back to Kos (there isn’t a direct ferry to Kos). The ferry system had me going to Crete first, so I cancelled that and told them I need to go to Athens and then to Kos. Well they got me going to Athens, but then had me LEAVING from Santorini to Kos. However, I am not in Santorini –I am in Athens! So then I had to book a flight that left at 5:30 am to get to Kos at 6:30am which is before public transportation starts to get to Heidi’s house, so I am going to have to take a taxi which will be about 40 Euros. Not to mention that I land by ferry in Athens at 7:30, which means I am going to have sleep in the airport. Greeattt! Luckily, I have made some amazing friends on this trip that let me kindly stay with them the night in Athens. That I am quite grateful for! =)
The next morning, I awoke at 3 am to catch the bus to the airport; the receptionist at the hotel my friends were staying at told me it would be the second bus station. So I walk and I get to the first one, right after the first one is another one. But they are right beside each other. OH GREAT. Well which one is it? Is it this one that I am at or is it farther down? Should I go back and ask? It’s 3:30, I don’t have time. Well I will just wait here; this is the second one after all. So I wait and wait and wait. Even if it is the wrong one the bus will pass me and I could just wave them down. I continue to wait. Okay, I’ll just walk up a little bit. A cab pulls over as I am walking and asks if I need help. The Greeks are so hospitable! “Yes, I am confused do you know if I go to this bus station or another one for X96?” “I am not sure—“And there goes X96 passing by us.
DARN IT! I grind my teeth, “How much is it for a cab ride to the airport?” “35 Euros” he replies. HOLY COW! THAT’S 3 MEALS FOR ME! “I am sorry but I don’t have that much, do you know when the next bus comes?” Exactly why I left at 3 am for my 5:30 am flight. “How much will you pay?” Yes! I was secretly hoping he would want to bargain! “Twenty Euros”, I say. “I can’t do that, I can do 25 Euros.” Oh please! I am my mother’s daughter when it comes to making deals-it’s my way or the highway pal. “I am sorry, I can only afford 20” He sighs, “Alright I can do that” he says. I grin, “Ok, thank you!” and I get into the backseat. The cab driver talks to me about Greece and I ask a few questions. Greek men always seem to ask me if I have a boyfriend and I always respond with yes, we are getting married (Even though I don’t and I am not getting married). This typically makes the men back off (but only when I mention marriage as I have found out), however, that didn’t work this time for this 50+ smoking cab driver. On our way to the airport he stops at the gas station and starts putting moves on me, I am beyond uncomfortable. I finally DEMAND him to take me to the airport and sit with my luggage practically covering my whole entire body. Once we arrive to the airport, I hand the twenty Euros and as he grabs my hand I slapped his and marched right into the airport, well in all honesty I ran into the airport. Darn, Greeks! They just don’t have know how to respect women!
I arrive in Kos at 6:30 am and I find out that public transportation doesn’t begin till 8am, so I have to take a cab. Seriously? Another cab? I dread the experience, but luckily, I find the two men I sat next to on the plane and we all decide to split a cab. After they tell me they are lawyers and I tell them just exactly how I came to Greece and then how I started my backpacking we arrived at Heidi’s house. I asked if they had change for my half and they sympathetically tell me that they will take care of the toll. I insisted to pay for at least half, but they refused and said, “You are young, back-packing Greece; you need the money more than we do! Go enjoy yourself!” I thanked them, parted ways, and said a prayer to God to thank him for taking care of me.
I am finally at Heidi’s! We are so thrilled to see each other! We converse in detail about all the islands we have been to since Santorini, over a delicious breakfast! Her apartment is quite spacious and so clean! I am afraid to touch anything! We decided that we needed a break from Greek food and for the next 3 nights we had everything but Greek food and I can’t tell you how nice it was! In America, we really do take for granted the choice to eat cuisine as in Greece, nearly everywhere is Greek food. Just about every night we had to walk about ten to fifteen minutes to get our Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food. But I tell you what, after having the same thing for a month and a half that walk was well worth it!!! I don’t think I have ever had such good Chinese food! We really do go all out each night! Wine, appetizers, multiple entrees, and dessert---it was so good!
On Wednesday, we decided to rent a car with Peter and drive around the island. We first head off to find the burial place of Charmilo, an Ancient King of Kos. We go through mountains, hills, and narrow roads to get to a dead end road of Charmilo’s Grave, which was literally a sealed rock to a tunnel that was fenced in. See the picture below. We were wondering if this if happens to a lot of tourists or just us. As that it was literally just a rock. There was no historical note that read of who he was, what he did, etc… just a sign that says, “Charmilo’s Grave”. We later found out that his people were not very fond of him; hence, not much to see. So if you ever become a King/Queen make sure your people love you so you will have a gravestone (at least)!
After we went touring castles and ancient churches, we stopped for lunch at a nice café; only to leave with a dent in our car by Dora. Dora is a Greek woman who is on break from the travel agency. She literally left enough space between her car and our car for a worm to fit through. When we’re trying to exchange insurance information, she insisted that she didn’t do it. However, it was quite obvious she did. And it was honestly the funniest thing watching her come up with excuses, it reminded me of well, me when I had my first car accident. I came up with every excuse in the book, from “it was blind spot” to “they were pulling out” to “there was dog in the road and I didn’t want to hit it”. Poor Dora, she just doesn’t know how to drive any better-all the Greeks are terrible drivers (a lot like me actually).
The perfect way to end this day: An evening swim at Paradise beach! It was quite lovely; we had sun beds that were very comfortable that each of us feel asleep on for a few hours (oops!) and then MEXICAN food! Kos is beautiful and not full of so much tourism as the other islands were. It was so nice to spend time with Heidi and Peter and have mature conversations but still have our fun! It was great time and I am so thankful Heidi invited me there to see and experience Kos!

Charmilo's Grave!
Greek Shepard or as he simply put it, "Photo Opportunity!"
Paradise Beach at Sunset!

Posted by Rachelabby 04:09 Archived in Greece

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Hi, Abby! I've been enjoying your adventurous stories and am glad you are having a wonderful time even with the little challenges here and there! Stay safe and happy; enjoy every minute! Love, Aunt Gayle.

by ggreen

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