2019 Greek Odyssey – Day 31 Part 1

ATHENS to DUBAI – the journey home

Monday – the day has arrived where I must say farewell to this wonderful city of Athens.

I have loved every minute of this magical country. The people, the food and the history – yes the history gets me every time but I guess you have realised that after the many posts from museums and archeological sites.

The Prof has provided a memorable quote for such a time and it is as true today as it was back in 390BC when it was written by Heraclides, another Greek philosopher.

If you’ve seen Athens – you are a lucky man

If you’ve seen Athens and you haven’t like it – well you’re an ass

If you’ve seen Athens – you haven’t like it and you don’t want to come back – well then, you’re a stupid ass 

Just about sums it up doesn’t it?  I have seen Athens and loved it – I would come back here in a heartbeat.

Back to today – I fly out this evening at 6.05pm on Emirates EK210 – the first leg of my journey home – so you can see I have a full day which is great – but it is not the type of day for more sightseeing.

My last breakfast at this wonderful Amalia Hotel. I am in no hurry – so I can go back to the buffet for more delicious goodies.  The windows of the breakfast room look out over the National Park – I think about going for a walk later but I have to check out and organise everything so seeing that I have a wonderful view from my room I will just stay there in air conditioned comfort and maybe take some more photos.

I always get the feeling that when I don’t want to leave a place the time goes fast – that has been the feeling for every day since I left Sydney and today is no different.  After checking the room to make sure I haven’t left anything behind it is time to head to reception to settle any outstanding account.  My transfer to the airport is arriving around 3pm so I am not rushed.  I wait and have some more of the wonderful Turkish Delight that is on a platter in the foyer. I always grabbed a handful of this before going to my room – not to mention leaving the hotel to sightsee. Yes, I am a guts. This coupled with some ice water goes down like a treat.  I really am not hungry after the large brekky and anyway I can get something in the Emirates Business Lounge.

I check in according to the plan – Flight EK210 boarding at 5.20pm – now to find the SkyServ Lounge.

It is not a very big area but the food and drink is ample and there are lots of comfy chairs. A nice quiet corner and time to relax and enjoy my Spinach Pie (spanakopita). I am definitely going to make this when I get home.  The announcement is made that it is time to board – of course First and Business are invited to board (nose in the air time) and I receive a nice smiley welcome.  This is only a short flight – 4 and a half hours – my seat is 10K so I get organised. I have come to the conclusion that I will not travel Economy Cattle Class anymore.

This is a Boeing 777 so not as classy as the A380 that I will board later but it will do. I still have a flat bed seat and just look at how much room I have.  The only down part is that the configuration is two seats together – but I will survive.

Once I am settled the drinks waiter comes along – and of course when in Business – I order a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne (see above photo). Even though I am trying to be snooty, the camera comes out and starts clicking away. Really, it has a mind of it’s own.

Once everyone is settled here they come again with the menus and nuts!  A dish of warm nuts is placed before me so sipping on the champers and eating nuts I ponder the menu.

Above right is my Dinner – Seared Beef Fillet with Jus, Braised Leeks with Runner Beans and Mashed Potatoes with Parsley. Add a side salad and when all that is gone a dessert of Mango and Passionfruit Slice served with Pomegranate Compote completes the eating fest.  If that wasn’t enough – a selection of fine luxury chocolates in a little box lands on the table.

After making a pig of myself – the lights dim and it is time for a snooze.  The mattresses are put on the seats – time to flat bed and sleep.  The ceiling has also been lit with little stars – I love this.

I wake with 40 minutes left to fly.  The sky outside is black but it is not long before the lights of Dubai come into view.

We will soon be landing in Dubai where the journey to Sydney will continue but for the time being, photos out the window – no wing but an engine is just as good.

A safe landing and now I am on my way to the Business Lounge where I can eat and drink more if I feel so inclined.

This place is like a city but after my earlier stuff up where I could not find the lounge I know exactly where to go.  Boarding is at 1.05am – nearly two hours wait – but I can board direct from the Business Lounge. Yes, classy all the way.  Time for some strong coffee and maybe a snack or two – don’t say it – just don’t say it.