After a relatively decent sleep on the thinly carpeted floor of our ferry's reception lounge, I woke up in the early morning hours to the blaring of Greek TV. I needed to stretch my legs so I took a walk around the outside decks. Cold winds blew in my face, banishing the last touches of my drowsiness. The choppy sea was a deep blue and the sky was filled with ominous, dark clouds as the pale white moon began to set.
While Tyler continued to snooze, my hands were busily occupied with his early birthday present: a knitted hat. A few stern-looking Greek semi-truck drivers (our ferries are usually full of truckers) occupied their own fidgety fingers by rhythmically flipping strands of beaded koboloi (worry beads) around. As I worked, I watched the absolutely incomprehensible Greek news channel on TV in the lounge.
By the time Tyler and most of the other passengers awoke, the sun had made its appearance for the day and we were nearing our destination. No matter how much time we spend on the road, there is always an overwhelming sense of excitement when we're about to arrive in a new country!
Kalimera, Greece! Good morning!
Now awake, Tyler spent the remainder of our ride hovering endearingly (is it ready!? can I wear it yet?!) while I madly knitted away. Just as we were pulling into the port in Patras, I knitted the final stitch, cinched the top closed, and wove in the loose ends of yarn. Exceedingly pleased and excited, he let out a huge comfortable sigh when he pulled the forest green ribbing over his ears. Happy early birthday sweetie!
Hats on our heads, we hurriedly packed up our things and ran outside, excited to watch the ferry slowly dock.
Once docked we set off on the obligatory post-ferry-ride-bicycle-hunt. Which deck was it? How do we get there? Which side were they on? What if they disappeared?! After a few wrong turns we found them, as always, exactly where we had left them.
Disembarkation was easy and uneventful; we were waved through without a second glance, much less a passport check. Hopefully they'll be as easy-going when we leave. We cycled out of the port, thrilled about the 10° increase in temperature between Bari and Patras. Successfully avoiding winter one day at a time! Oh yeah!
After walking through town, admiring lavish decorations for the upcoming Patras carnival, ogling at all the signs in Greek, and drooling over delicious looking sweet and savory pastries, we found a hotel and settled in for a few days of work, language-learning and acclimatization.