My family’s island is only accessible two ways: by a 10-hour ferry ride, or by a 45-minute flight. When I was a kid, we only ever took the ferry. Back then there was a faster boat that could get us there in four hours, but the company went under and now there is only the slow boat. Even that way can be unreliable. The ferry workers strike often. The ships are frequently delayed, sometimes for days.
Of course since I planned my trip so far in advance, I chose to take the plane. Most Greeks travel by ship because it’s cheaper (about 40-50 euros), compared to the plane (about 90-110 euros) and because they often travel at the last minute, not wanting to plan so far in advance. Both the plane and the ship only come once a day, and in the low season, every other day.
I was excited not to have to spend 10 hours on a swaying ferry. Having traveled often from Portland to Seattle by plane, I was already accustomed to the small propeller jets used to fly short low distances.
We were lucky on this flight because the wind was so mild. Sometimes the Ikarian wild, known as the Maltami, can be so ferocious that planes have to abort landing. Fortunately for us it was smooth sailing with not a single bump either way.
My review of Olympic Airlines is biased because I feel a lot of pride in Greek companies. Of course the stewardesses were gorgeous and the small sesame-honey snack they serve is delicious, and the view from the plane is fantastic.
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