Beach Day

By , 03/07/2014 22:58

Porto Rafti

The Attiki region of Greece is not known for having brilliant beaches – but that’s not to say there aren’t any.

After calling in at Syntagma Square to buy some postcards, I hopped back on the tube (I love my 7 day all-Athens travel pass!) and headed towards Victoria Station.

The KTEL bus station is less than 5 minutes walk from the tube station: and it is from here the busses to the likes of Sounio and Rafina leave.

Sitting waiting for the bus, I realised that I obviously look Greek when travelling alone. A Greek child who looked far too young to be smoking asked me if I had any τσιγάρα (cigarettes). «Όχι, δεν καπνίζω» was my reply. (“No, I don’t smoke”). A tourist from Cyprus asked me if I knew where to get a bus timetable from. It seems most of them don’t have a clue I’m a ‘foreigner’ and talk at full-speed Greek until they see the confused look on my face when they use a word I don’t understand.

I took the bus to Porto Rafti (Πόρτο Ράφτη), a seaside town in Eastern Attika. The journey costs €3,70 each way: What isn’t clear from the timetable is that you change busses shortly after Koropi. The ticket officer makes an announcement when it’s time to do so, but only in Greek (99% of the passengers were Greek). Usually the coach you’ve got to get on to is there waiting for you – or not more than 5 minutes away.

Porto Rafti itself isn’t a bad place; I took the coach right to the end of the route, so outside the village, in the hope of finding a quieter bit of beach (which I did). I stayed there for a couple of hours enjoying the sea breeze (the meltemi is up, but can’t be felt in Athens); I read my book; I did swim; read my book some more; and got lunch from the supermarket.

After returning to the hotel for a bit, dinner time arrived. Tonight a slight change: instead of fast food I opted for one of the tavernas just off Karaiskaki Square, which is the main square near my hotel, and it’s where the nearest tube station – Metaxourgeio – is.

The taverna was only a small one: 3 tables on the pavement outside, and 3 inside. I had spaghetti bolognese, baked bread (it was similar to, but not exactly, a focaccia), and a glass of cherry juice for a total of €8. I imagine the same would have been double in the tourist districts.

Looking forward to next week, and I sent an e-mail to my hosts in Levadia to let them know I was in Greece; on Monday I will take the train to Levadia and Dimitris will pick me up from the station when I arrive.

I’m off to bed now. Tomorrow, I’ve got postcards to send, and a concert to look forward to in the evening.

Bye for now.

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