Once more we had another day of traveling, though this was our earliest start and the riskiest of all the days. Any delays during this day could have been catastrophic for the rest of the trip as it could mean a missed flight. After getting up at 4am we got to the boat stop in time for 4:36am boat to the railway terminal on the main island. It was actually surprisingly warm for that time of the day, and it made it a pleasant hours journey watching the sun slowly rise along the way.
From the train station we left the way we came in, across the long bridge back to the mainland where we continued on to Milano Centrale in Milan. The train we got on in Venice did leave us a little unsure to start with as the board said it was bound for Milan, but the train was empty and had the wrong destination on the sign. Fortunately it was the correct train and was just another case of a driver not bothering to update the sign. The train did get us to Milan more or less on time yet we still had to make a mad dash across the train station and outside to where there was already an airport shuttle bus waiting for passengers. After 55 minutes we were at Terminal 2 of the Milan International airport (Malpensa) where we were able to wait and admire the impressive vista of glacial mountains behind the terminal building.
On the other side in Athens we once again experienced a total lack of passport control and were through baggage claims and out onto a waiting bus in very little time. As predicted before we started on this adventure, it took around an hour for the bus to get into Athens and for us to find our hotel via the metro.
The hotel looked like it was situated in the middle of a warzone, everything around it seemed to be under construction and there was the constant noise from pneumatic drills pounding holes into the road for some unknown purpose. I did however get an impressive view from the rooms balcony due to it being on the top floor and it made it easy to see the Acropolis. I was shocked at how much noise there was that night – the roadworks continued long into the night and started again in the very early hours of the morning. The room was also below the restaurant which was on the roof which meant you could hear talking and scraping of chair legs across the floor as well. It did also seem that they had not actually bothered to finish the rooms decor as the bathroom was in a very sorry state with gaping holes in the wall.