(this is part III of my recent European trip journal. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should read part I and part II)
4-2, 8:11 AM, The Aegean
I slept fitfully last night…it didn’t feel like I slept at all, but 5:30 AM eventually did come. Rachel and I were out of the hostel at 6, meeting up with our hostel-mate Victor, who was traveling to Santorini on the same boat as us. We walked the deserted Athens streets and caught the Metro to Peiraias in time to buy a sandwich and board our ferry–a large, cruise-style ferry with first class, cabins, etc… I think it counts as the biggest ship I have ever sailed on. The seats are large and comfortable! When we set sail, I went to the deck and took pictures of the sunrise as we were leaving port. Again, there was a sense of excitement, as well as a sense of deep sadness. Here at this port and in this ocean were spawned the tales of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Great men and adventurers saw the same hills as they worked their sails in the harbor. Then, leaving was actually meaningful–the weather was fickle, and there was never a sure return. Traveling took adventure and commitment. Now, all it takes is 30 euros. The port was bustling this morning, as it would have been 2,500 years ago, but today it was filled with the noise and smell of cars, and the waiting ships spouted black smoke in the air. What sadness! Are there any adventures left? It doesn’t seem so. The ocean is a sea of calm, barely a ripple as we glide through. But I wish, just a little, that a storm would come and make things more interesting.