We have met so many nice, kind, helpful people since we landed on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, our first Greek encounter didn’t fit the bill. We got out of the airport and I had read that we could take a bus to the hotel (~30 min by car) so we stood at the bus stop. All of a sudden we were approached by the pushiest cabbie I’ve ever come across.
He says ‘where you want to to?’ We explain where the hotel is and he says ‘€70.’ We almost laugh, but we aren’t sure what a normal cab costs so we kept listening. He can tell we aren’t interested so he goes lower and lower then eventually lowers it to 40 and we are still hesitant, trying to brush him off. He asks what we think is a fair price and I, kind of quietly, say 20. He is still pursuing us while we are waiting, not trying to engage in conversation anymore. He eventually lowers it to 30 but by this point he has just been so annoying just repeating ’30 euro’ we say no. He hovers a few yards away from us for like 10 min hoping we change our minds, then wanders back towards the airport looking for new targets. Since we still haven’t seen a bus we wander a bit and see a different bus stop, but the ticket machine is all in Greek. So we have no idea if it even goes to our hotel area. Then, out of nowhere, through the trees behind the ticket machine, we hear ’30 euro?’
We thought we were doomed, when a bus pulls up and the driver and another guy, who had very limited English abilities, have a lot of trouble understanding us and communicating back, so a couple of girls try to translate. They say that we need a bus that leaves at 10, then see that the bus we need is leaving! So the other guy (I’m thinking a ticket collector or something?) Chases the bus down, waves at the driver to stop, and explains to him that we have to get off in Hersonissos.
We were relieved to be on the way to where we need to be, but I was still a bit worried about communication barriers. Then a lady turns to us and says we have to get off in Hersonissos then get a cab or walk from there. I chatted with her a bit more and learned that she was from northern England, then she let us know when we needed to get off. Her help really eased my mind! We hadn’t eaten since the airport, so priority 1 was food. We wanted to make sure we got something before it got too late. So we find a place called Pita Point, which is a quick’n’dirty Greek food place. Those gyros were the bomb though! We’re definitely gonna go there again. They had free wifi so Tony mapped us to our hotel and found that it was like 1.2 km or a 20 minute walk, but we figured maybe since its dark we should try to find a cab. The bus lady told us we could find a cab by the supermarket or ask them to call for one, but the supermarket was closed. No 24 hour Walmart here! So we find this kid working at a convenience stand and ask if he knows where we can get a cab and he says no but goes and talks to his boss. His boss said there are cabs down back by pita point but he didn’t see anyone over there. We said thanks and headed that way again, but it looked like the shop owner was gonna find a number and call us a cab. Nice guy!
We loiter in the area he pointed out and a couple of guys outside ask if we need a taxi and we say yes. He brings us up to our hotel, giving us a little history and eatery recommendations on the way (see post on David’s later!). He pulls up to the hotel, explains he has people to drop off, then brings us to reception. He charged like €7 and I think he even knew that was a stretch, but he was nice enough and at that point we just wanted to be at the hotel! Of course now we are seasoned pros so we don’t need a cab in the town (unless we want one)!
The guy checking us in was super nice and helpful. We didn’t have the booking information printed out (as mentioned in an earlier post) so we tried to pull it up quick on my tablet at the counter. When it wasn’t working he said no worries, we can sort it out in the morning, and that he knew how it felt when you can’t find something like that on the spot! So he showed us to our room and we got ready for bed in record time! We’ve met a lot of other really great people but I will talk about them in other stories! 🙂