This afternoon after enjoying the sights of Central Athens we took the Metro to Victoria/Βικτώρια Station and crossed the road to the bus station.
At 15:15 the coach departed and we made our way to Porto Rafti/Πόρτο Ράφτη. Within 20 minutes we had left the urban sprawl of Athens and not more than an hour later after departing we reached Markopoulo/Μαρκόπουλο, where we changed busses.
From Markopoulo the next bus down to Porto Rafti is never more than a couple of minutes away (the conductor will tell you as you leave the first bus what time the connection is due). The journey down to Porto Rafti from Markopoulo takes about 20 minutes.
Porto Rafti is the main village – here the bus stopped for about 10 minutes and this confused me slightly. It seems that when the driver stops the engine and goes for his cigarette that this is not the end of the line. The last time I was here the bus didn’t take this route!
What I hadn’t realised was that the bus would go to Avlaki after Porto Rafti before heading back up to Markopoulo… I didn’t find this out until later on. But what do you do when the driver shuts off the engine and everyone else gets off!?!
The beach I went to last time I was here was actually Avlaki/Αυλάκι, just down the coast. Having got off the coach at Porto Rafti I hadn’t realised it was further away than I thought, and I tried to walk there but gave up when the road reached a dead end…
Needless to say by this time Corrie was grumpy and just wanted to sunbathe on the beach, so we gave up and wandered back to Porto Rafti itself and found a nice spot on its narrow but sandy beach. Porto Rafti (and Avlaki) both have a selection of bars and tavernas; listening to people talking around me they were mostly Greek and because of the proximity to Athens many Athenians come here for their days out to the beach.
After a few hours we got the bus back to Athens (changing at Markopoulo), arriving back in the apartment just after 21:15.
It was then a quick change at the hotel before we headed out for the evening. Leaving the metro at Syntagma we meandered our way slowly down Ermou Str. and emerged later at Monastiraki/Μοναστιράκη – a popular square which was really alive at this time of night! We walked through the narrow streets, home by day to the Athens Flea Market (at night the buildings are all shut up and Corrie wanted to get some “urban graffiti” photos so she liked this bit). After a few minutes walk we came to a spot which opened out to some tavernas, restaurants and bars. We picked one with a rooftop garden and went up.
For dinner we both had grilled chicken fillet, with a (slightly obscured) view of the Acropolis. Service was slow (as in, I asked for more drinks when the food came… the drinks arrived just as I finished) but it was a fairly pleasant setting.
We left the restaurant shortly before midnight and wandered our way back through the Flea Market streets and then up through the Plaka to Acropoli station. We got there just in time for the last train back at 00:15, arriving back in the hotel about 15/20 minutes later.
Early start tomorrow for the Acropolis, then on to another beach on the tram.
I’m off to bed now.