14 September 2009

Day 114

Ciao Italia, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

4 km + (373 km)
Woke up for the last time in Italy, ate breakfast for the last time in Italy...and got dropped off at the train station where I was picked up the day before. From there it was an easy 4 km run to the ferry terminal. I got on board and was rather surprised at how nice the boat was. There were cushioned chairs and flat screen TVs (playing programs in Greek, and occasionally ancient US TV series with Greek subtitles. I even saw Jon Stewart doing some nineties acting on "The Nanny").
Anyways. The boat ride was around 9 hours long and nothing that eventful happened except for the fact that it ended with my being in Greece. I: walked around the boat decks while looking at my GPS to see where we were and what I was looking at. Slept for long periods of time in different chairs. Listened to my music for the first time since "Lodi." Ate some Greekish food from the boat cafeteria. Spent over an our taking the case off of my phone so that I could clean it off and change the SIM when I got to shore (the zipper had long been glued shut by my sweat grime). Got my first experiences hearing many people speaking Greek to each other...sure enough, it "all sounds Greek to me."
In the port I grabbed a quick snack and went over to the tourism office (which was open late) to ask some questions and see if I could find a place to stay. Nothing quite worked out, so I walked towards town to see if I could make something else happen. Along the way I found a bar/Internet point and went in to see if a couchsurfer in Igoumenitsa had replied to me. No response, but I used the time to get caught up on my blog and respond to some emails. Before I noticed, it was late and I was in Greece with nowhere to sleep. With the next day would come a 40 km trip through the mountains to a small village, so it would be nice to get some rest.
The guy working the bar seemed pretty nice, and he spoke good English, so I sat myself down and ordered a Coke. Again, before this trip I never drank Coke...and I still don't like to...but this one was delicious. I was getting hungry, and was ready to eat some good Greek food. Despite how much I loved Italy, I was ready to be out of the place. After 53 days of eating only Italian food every single day, you start to crave a little variation in your diet. I asked the bartender if there was anything to eat nearby, and he asked me what I wanted to have.
"Anything but another plate of pasta or pizz-"
"We have...pizza. You want a pizza?"
"Yeah, fine...I guess."
I had a pizza for dinner on my first day in Greece. I spent the night talking to the bartender Thomas, learning a couple words of Greek and telling him the story of my trip. It got to where it was too late to head into town and try to approach strangers, so I asked the bartender if he had any solutions. He lived with his whole family, so he couldn't help me out (I guess Greeks have that problem too)...but he charged my phone as he thought of possible solutions. Nothing ended up coming except for more phone battery, and around 1 am the place closed up and I said goodbye. Thomas gave me a trash bag to help with the forecasted rain of the coming day, and I headed back to the ferry terminal to get a decent night of sleep on a metal row of seats. Luckily the kind without armrests.


  1. Hey Ry! Greece! How about that...you are on the home stretch now.

  2. U made it.... now are u gonna plan another venture?

  3. 9 hours on the ferry..that is a long time..I guess I need to look at a map! You still have at least 3 weeks more of running to get to Athens...I hope Greece is awesome and that you find a place every night! Thinking of you all the time. Mama

  4. Glad your doing well. Good luck on your last leg of the journey.

  5. Congratulations. You can look for Zorba now. And, please no more pizza. Time for souvlaki, grilled fish, baklava, ecc.!

  6. Coke is SO much better in other countries. I don't know what it is, but it's delicious.

  7. Sleeping on benches sucks. Know how you separate the boys from the men in Greece? With a crowbar......uhhhhh. Hope you have better luck lil' bro.

  8. Wow, I got to day 114 and there was no "Newer Post" button anymore.... I guess I'll have to wait for the next chapter with everyone else, now!

    You're rockin. If you ever do it again in Japan, you're welcome to a futon in my part of the countryside.

  9. I've been following you since mayish I think, but have never posted! I am so excited to see you got (Safely) to Greece! Congrats!!! Enjoy your running, your non-Italian food and your journey! I hope you find better places to sleep! (And if you ever run through where I'm hanging out at the time being I'll be sure to offer you a spot to sleep!) Happy Trails!

  10. You should have just manned up and swam those 373 km.