Our “last” day in Greece was a fun/stressful/distressing day (read about that here). We thought we would be going home the next morning, and then our plans were dashed when we learned that AirFrance had gone on strike, canceling (not delaying) our flight. However, EF Tours was wonderful to us and organized the rescheduling of our flight the following morning. The strike was apparently very short-lived and mainly involved the transit workers in Paris.
Nevertheless we were stranded in Greece for an additional day without reservations, and the hotel where we were staying was booked for the following evening, so it wasn’t an option for our party of 21. Once again, EF Tours came through for us and found us a place to stay. And not just any place — a little resort town right on the coast of the Aegean Sea– the lovely Vari, Greece (a suburb of Athens with a blue flag winning beach). We were within about a five minute walk of the beach, and it was a gorgeous, sunny day – 75 degrees (24 Celsius)! Our spirits were immediately lifted as we walked up to our rooms in a beautiful little hotel. The balconies looked out over a very typical Grecian scene – clay tile roofs, sloping slightly downward toward the water.
We decided to spend the day enjoying the sunshine and the beach, but first we ate lunch at a lovely gyro bistro directly across from the beach, Zaxos. I had a gigantic gyro platter (slight miscommunication due to my lack Greek language skills) for next to nothing. And we were joined by an adorable little cat who wandered in the open-air restaurant.
After our meal, we decided to head to the beach (after putting my left-overs in the hotel room refrigerator). I had not packed any beachwear since we had not been scheduled to have any beach time with our original tour. So, I put on the closest thing I had to beach clothing, a pair of jeans baggy enough to roll up my legs, and a flowy tie-dyed shirt. I also grabbed a hotel towel (shhhh), my journal, and a book, and headed to the beach.
While we were there, I could not believe that this was how we were getting to spend our day “stranded” in Greece! Though I was heartbroken not to be home and giving my son lots and lots of hugs, if it had to happen, this was the way I wanted it to go! I cannot praise EF Tours enough for setting us up in a wonderful place like Vari! It also allowed our traveler who had lost is passport to thieves in Athens the previous day to get to the embassy and get a temporary passport so he could travel back with the rest of the group.
We went to bed that night relaxed and ready for the flight home the next day. Alas, there were further complications when our flight out of Greece landed too late in Paris for us to get to our gate before the closed the doors to our flight.