Athens to Saranda: Putting My Feet up After a Long Day of Travel

Athens to Saranda: Putting My Feet up After a Long Day of Travel

A day starts for me when I get out of bed. It ends when I go to sleep. Sunday was a long day. I got out of bed at 4 pm in the evening and never went to sleep until around 8 pm on Monday evening. That’s 28 hours of being awake.

I got up late on Sunday because I knew I had a lot of travelling to do and would not be getting any sleep for a long time. I had to travel from Athens, Greece to Saranda (Sarandë), Albania. The journey involved one long-distance bus ride and a couple of short ferry rides.

I could have flown from Athens airport to Tirana airport and then travelled from Tirana to Saranda by bus, but it’s a slightly more expensive way to go. It would have also been more complicated (but only slightly so). That’s one of the main reasons I chose not to go that route. The other was I haven’t been on a boat for quite a long time, so a couple of ferry rides had lots of appeal.

My journey began at around 6:30 pm when I used the Athens Metro to travel from Dafni to Ag. Antonios. After that, I had a 20-minute walk to Kifisou bus station, followed by a six-and-a-half hour bus journey to Igoumenitsa.

From Igoumenitsa, I needed to get the ferry to Corfu. The ferry terminal was only around 15 minutes walk from where the bus dropped me off, but I had more than an hour to wait because the first ferry of the day does not leave until 4 am. A ticket from Igoumenista to Corfu costs €19 and the journey takes an hour.

Early Morning Ferry From Igoumenitsa to Corfu

It was still dark when I arrived in Corfu, but the sun was up by 7:30 am when I bought a ferry ticket from Corfu to Saranda. The ferry left an hour later. At this time of year, there is only one ferry per day so you have to plan your travel arrangements well if you don’t want to “miss the boat” and end up paying for expensive accommodation in Corfu.

The ferry journey to Saranda only took around 30 minutes, but I was not able to pick up the keys to my apartment until 2 pm. That meant I had a lot of time to kill. For a lot of that time I was walking around and I had my backpack with me and the smaller bag I use for transporting my electronics. Although I am constantly trying to lighten my load, this time I had some extra weight because my backpack contained some food I’d bought in Greece. Had I been flying I would have thrown it away. It was a warm day, things would have been easier if I had fed my food to the bin. There wasn’t much. Just a couple of tinned products and some cooking spices, but extra weight is extra weight.

After I arrived at my apartment in Saranda, I had to go and do some shopping. I also explored a little. Then, at 8 pm, I sat on the sofa and was curious to explore the Albanian station options available on the TV in the living room. That’s when fatigue caught up with me. I woke up a couple of hours later and went to bed.

When I got up this morning it was sunny, so I went and sat on the balcony. I’ve lived near the sea before, but never so close to the sea. I’ve got a fantastic view. It would be nice to go and do some more exploring. The weather here is so nice I am very tempted to do that, but I have a lot of work to do and I was unable to write anything yesterday at all. So, after I’ve sat with my feet up for a while and finished writing this blog post, I’m going to have to do an awful lot of work.

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