I MADE IT TO GREECE! 😀
It feels good to breathe the fresh air in Europe following my travels overseas. My journey to Greece took nearly a full 24 hours from start to finish. It wasn’t supposed to take so long but between flight delays and figuring out how to navigate… it did.
My flight itinerary to Greece included a layover in Italy. I was excited to return to my Motherland – even if it was capped at three or four hours. That quick taste of Rome was enough to make me realize one thing: I need to go back. I visited Italy once before as a kid and I think I would have a totally different appreciation for it nowadays.
For the cross-Atlantic flight to Italy, I flew with Norwegian Airlines. They are a newer, small-budget airline. I was a bit apprehensive to fly with them given my lack of history flying with them but between the positive reviews online and the affordable price tag for the ticket to Greece, I decided to give them a chance. Norwegian Airlines offers amazing value for what you pay. (My ticket was cheap and I had so much space since the seats beside me were all empty! The seats were padded and so comfy!)
Naturally, there are certain things we come to expect with budget airlines. Things like: paying extra to check a bag and for food. (Throw back to when I paid to check my backpack but waited forever for it to register. Fear not: it finally processed with time to spare.) Though I did pay for a checked bag, I did not want to pay for airline food so I purchased a small bag of trail mix before my plane left.
This one very sweet flight attendant started walking around with her seating chart taking note of who ordered food and distributing the respective meals to everyone who paid. After reaching the end of the plane, the flight attendant makes her way back up the aisle and taps me on the shoulder before asking, “Sir. Do you like beef?”
“I do,” I answered while nodding.
She secretly reveals a meal box and offers it to me.
“Can I?” I asked, looking at the meal box she’s holding.
“Go ahead, sir.” Just like that, I scored a free meal! Best flight attendant ever!
After opening my meal box, I found a mini salad with a baby bottle of olive oil. So cute! I found it so fitting to be served the salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on a flight to Italy. My Italian grandfather would have approved.
It was at the Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport that I passed through the European Union customs area and got my passport stamped. I definitely did something wrong because I went through customs not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. Don’t ask me how. But yeah, I literally used up an entire page of my passport in a country I’m not even staying in.
Everyone told me Italy’s airport is confusing and difficult to navigate. Given the numerous passport stamps I left with, I’d say that statement probably holds some truth to it. I keep replaying it in my head and I can’t seem to wrap my head around how that happened.
From Italy, I flew with Aegean Airlines to Greece. That turned out to be a wonderfully positive experience as well. I have to say that the flight attendants looked absolutely *stunning* in their navy blue and white uniforms so ornately put together. It looked extraordinarily professional and very Greek haha.
On July 9th I landed in Athens. I retrieved my big backpack from the baggage claim area and set off to begin my first backpacking adventure.
It would be interesting to know just how you were led through customs four times, and who profited from that. Safe travels around Greece!
Hahaha right!? I mean, I guess one for entering and one for exiting would make sense… Also, I hoped I’d get a stamp upon entering Greece but that was not the case (which I assume is because it is still within the Schengen Zone) so it balances out, I guess.
And thank you! 😀
Yay!! Let your adventures begin, in ernest Rocky. I’ll be here living vicariously through you… my very best, Craig
Ah thank you, Craig! Your comments always bring a smile to my face! 🙂
Congrats. Enjoy Greece. As to how various countries Customs and Immigration works, we have the opposite experience. We got into Iceland without going through Passport Control. When we went to exit 4 days later, the officer was horrified we had no entry stamp. Go figure. Safe travels.
Hahaha oh gosh! That’s crazy! You’re lucky it didn’t escalate to anything! When I went to Mexico with my family awhile back. I had to leave a few days early to go back to college. When I was alone in the airport at the gate ready to board my plane they asked for the Visa I received upon my arrival to Mexico. I left it in the hotel room. I had to exit the airport, PURCHASE a new visa, and get personally escorted through the security terminal again so I wouldn’t miss the flight. Went from being one of the first in line to board to the last one on the plane. The Passport Control stuff can be a lot to handle.
Enjoy! Be safe and have fun! Naked hugs!
Thank you so much! 😀
I’m so excited to follow this excursion of yours! I’ve been following your prep for so long, I think I’ll enjoy this trip as much as you!
Hahaha awesome, man! Yeah it has been a long time coming. Lots of prep has gone into this trip. It has been such a wild process getting ready and I’m excited that the time has finally come to let it all happen. Can’t wait to write about it all. I appreciate you keeping up with the blog, Galby! 😀
Yay!! Let the adventures begin! Rocky–I am so excited for you. This is gonna be fun!
Totally!!! Thanks so much, Lois! Greece has been beautiful so far from what little I have seen. Can’t wait to explore more of it! 😀
How wonderful that you..and your backpack made it! Israel’s customs is just as wackadoodle as italy’s…I have three stamps going into the country and seven coming out. I don’t begin to understand what that was all about!
Yes, thank goodness! I was so stressed I might have a to go a few days without my backpack. That would have been so unfortunate. Luckily, it wasn’t an issue. And yeah, isn’t it funny how that happens? Seven stamps to leave a country seems quite excessive! Maybe there is something we don’t know behind it all. How strange!
I loved the account of your journey and now I’m looking forward to hear about Greece,always wanted to visit.take care and have a great and safe stay?
Thank you, Ortensia!!! Looking forward to keeping the blog updated as the trip progresses. Thanks for following along, I can’t wait to share more stories about Greece and beyond! 😀
Welcome to Europe!
Wish you an amazing stay 🙂
Aw thank you very much! 😀