Sunday, 22 June 2014

My Day Of Rest

Today is a day of rest; how appropriate for a Sunday. Yesterday was a day of hurry, our long drive from Campestri to Fiumicino near Rome followed by a flight to Athens then Santorini. It was one of those endurance days that can happen with travel, where you need to get from one place to another so you pull all your strength and internal resources together, getting it done as best you can.

The drive from Villa Campestri was uneventful although driving itself is stressful for Cheryl, especially so in a foreign country where she is not entirely sure where we are going or what those signs all say. She championed up, took the hit for four hours, getting us to the airport with plenty of time and all in one piece. I slept much of the way, having forced myself to get up early so we could be there on time. I will likely do the same when we fly from Athens to Toronto on Thursday, sleeping the sleep of the exhausted.

The flights themselves were uneventful with the noted exception of our transfer in Athens. When the plain arrived and all the other passengers were duly de-planed, the flight crew came to ask us if we were going to Santorini. We said "yes". The flight crew chief said "So are all of we, and so is this plane. Would you like to just stay on board while we prepare it for the flight, rather than getting off and getting back on again in a half hour? Again, we said "yes". So there was no transfer; there was rest.

Arrival in Santoriini was as expected, only the plain ramp was stairs, not an airport ramp. The were going to use one of those large, mobile lifts used for loading food and supplies as a way to get me down from the plane. It worked wonderfully, as did the very large, very sweaty, very hairy Greek fellow manhandling me out of my seat, into their version of an airplane wheelchair, onto the lift, finally aiding in the move from their chair to mine. Did I mention he was very sweaty? It's warm here.

Our wheelchair cab was as expected, a very old car with no accommodations for a wheelchair whatsoever. I don't know why we even bother anymore. I have learned to transfer from my chair to a passenger seat without the transfer board, and nobody gets it right regardless of what we tell them. This fellow had even planned on an extra fare, having lured another passenger go along with us. Needless to say, the other passenger did not fit once the luggage and my wheelchair were loaded into his ancient, tiny car. With all of us on board, he drove wildly into the night, treating stop signs like suggestions and traffic like a pinball game.

This morning my time of rest is a pleasantly slow awakening, breakfast in bed brought by the hotel, coffee beside me, as I look out the window at the inviting blue waters of the Sea of Crete. Our hotel is perched high atop the caldera, overlooking the half moon bay that makes up what remains of this ancient volcano, the top blown off thousands of years ago in the orogenic violence that formed these many islands. The air is warm, with no humidity and no wind. It is a rare day here on Santorini.

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