29 December 2010

Travelling to Naxos, Greece

After Meteora we went back to Athens. Using the toll roads we drove about 475 km in six hours back to the rental car drop off point.
Reaching the drop off point was a little difficult. The office was located at the left hand side of the main road we used to enter Athens. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take left turns until about 4 blocks into the city center. Luckily our Tomtom navigator plotted an alternative course to reach our destination.
The next morning we had to be very early at the port of Pireas to get on the ferry to Naxos.
Ferry to Naxos

Ferry to Naxos
Our ferry from Blue Star Ferries

Storing your suitcases in the ferry is a little odd. Upon entering the ferry you will see metal racks where you can store your suitcase.
Ferry to Naxos
Cargo hold of the ferry. Notice the metal racks on the right.

At first we stored our suitcases there. But we were not happy with that since anyone could walk in and out of the hold. Later on we found a storage section on the upper deck. Still not ideal, but big warning signs for the closed circuit camera system at the entrance of the storage section should deter potential thieves.
Our travel company did not reserve any seats for us, so we selected a spot in the main restaurant.
Ferry to Naxos
Fast food restaurant in the ferry

At 6.23 in the morning, you can choose any spot you like. The place filled up fast, and by the time the ferry was leaving, every spot was taken.
Ferry to Naxos 
Leaving Pireas

After departure I noticed there were better looking and more comfortable numbered seats in other parts of the ferry. It turned out that you could upgrade your ticket and get a comfortable reserved air seat. We decided to buy the upgrade. This way the surroundings was less noisy, and you could get up and walk around without the risk of losing your seat to someone else.
After about six hours we arrived at the first stop: Mykonos.
Naxos Ferry - Stop at Mykanos 
Approaching Mykonos

Much to our surprise the docking/undocking proceeded in an orderly fashion. In the building at the left hand side people wanting to board the ferry were patiently waiting, Also, you can see the cyclists and cars lined up and ready to board the ferry. First someone was taken off the ferry and put inside the ambulance. Then the people on board the ferry were allowed to disembark.

 Naxos Ferry - Stop at Mykanos
People leaving the ferry through the cargo hold and the walkway.

 Naxos Ferry - Stop at Mykanos
Next were the lorry drivers. Several tanks were unloaded and parked.

 Naxos Ferry - Stop at Mykanos
Finally people were allowed to board the ferry.
Two hours later, we arrived at Naxos, Agios Prokopios Beach Naxos - Agios Prokopios Beach

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