Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Farewell forever, Europe

...well, probably not, but I probably/hopefully won't be back in the continent for a very long time. To turn back time (zones) now would seem foolish, now that I've finally broken my Asian hymen.

Not literally, mother, if you're reading.

I'm writing this in Athens International Airport, waiting for a flight to Tel Aviv. That's right, regular readers (Oliver?), my self-imposed no-planes rule has now been broken twice, but it's not like I didn't exhaust and stress over all the other non-options for days.

Non-option 1. Ferry from Greece to Israel

Poseidon Lines used to operate services from Greece (Athens, Cyprus, Rhodes, Mikonos, Santorini, Patmos and Crete) to Israel (Haifa), but these have been suspended.

Non-option 2. Ferry from Greece to Egypt, then bus/train to Israel

Salamis Lines used to operate services from Greece (Athens, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kos, Mikonos, Patmos and Crete) to Egypt (Port Said), where I could presumably work my way around the Mediterranean coast to Israel. But these have also been suspended.

Non-option 3. Ferry from Greece to Turkey, then bus/train to Israel

Even if Bodrum Express was still operating services from Greece (Rhodes and Kos) to Turkey (Bodrum, Marmaris, Gokova, Dalyan and Datsa), the land journey to Israel would have been extremely long and would have passed through the non-Israel-friendly countries of Lebanon and Syria. Fortunately, they decided to save me the trouble by suspending the service.

So there we are - my comprehensive excuses to myself for breaking the Prime Directive once again, and helping to destroy our planet. I'm like some kind of James T. Kirk figure, brazenly flouting the rules and The Man (in this case, myself) and having sex with exotic women wherever he goes.

Not really, mother, if you're reading.

Europe route map

A Venice
B Florence
C Naples/Pompeii
D Ipsos (via Bari)
E Athens (via Igoumenitsa)


  1. Have fun when you leave the country, they have strict, strict, strict measures. If you get taken to Tel Aviv airport's Terminal 1 just be aware that no planes fly from that terminal. It's only purpose is to weed out the terrorists and scare normal travellers. I get nervous when I walk past a security guard in a shopping centre; I was terrified in that terminal.

  2. Yep, I was obviously suspicious-looking enough to be taken aside twice, not counting actual passport control.

    I don't know if the incredulous attitude is part of the act they have to put on (to catch me unawares and make me confess?), but the first guy seemed perplexed that I was even visiting, and the second guy didn't believe I was travelling with just a rucksack and laptop bag when I said I would be here at least two weeks.

    That's my luggage for *forever*!