Image: Illustration of turbulence, courtesy of Webskite…
1. A state or condition of confusion, movement, or agitation; violent disorder or commotion.
Well you can’t expect things to go right all the time, can you? If you travel often and far enough, some things are bound to go wrong from time to time, and this past week, following my return to
The above definition of the word, turbulence, is a good summation of the current political situation in
For months the people of
What all this turbulence is doing to the country’s tourist industry is anyone’s guess.
Like I said, after nine very pleasant days in Paris, I flew into this “…state or condition of confusion,” etc, on Monday afternoon, and within thirty minutes of checking into my hotel I received the news that the flight I had booked to take me from Athens to Ikaria the next day (Tuesday) had been cancelled due to planned industrial action by airport workers. Taking the news in my stride, I arranged with Olympic Air to fly to the island on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, while airport workers were back on the job on Wednesday, the train and bus drivers were not. So early Wednesday morning I caught a cab for the fifty minute drive from
It didn’t take long for the thirty or so passengers to settle into their seats for the 40 minute flight to the island, and within an hour or so of my arrival at the airport, we took off into an overcast sky. It was at this point that we ran into another kind of turbulence:
Image: A De Havilland
1. Irregular motion of the atmosphere, as that indicated by gusts and lulls in the wind.
“…Gusts and lulls in the wind,” my eye! Within minutes of take off, the small, twin prop Olympic Air DHC-8-400 (see image) hit enough turbulence to keep the cabin crew on their toes, and the passengers strapped to their seats. After a quick snack we prepared to land at
We were met at
Image: Ground crew and engineers rush to examine our plane on landing
Image: Airport fire trucks after our unspecified mechanical problem
We disembarked and went back to the terminal to wait for a second plane which would take us back to
Apart from the inconvenience, and the stress of all the travel and bouncing around in the air, I was certainly happy to be back on the ground. I’m even happier after reading one online report while researching information about air turbulence which stated that, "Of all weather-related commercial aircraft incidents, 65% can be attributed to turbulence."
Which brings to mind the old adage: It’s better to be safe than sorry. To which I can only add, Amen to that! Sadly, it didn’t take long before the turbulence in the air was again swapped for turbulence on the ground.
There was chaos at the taxi rank as hundreds of passengers lined up for cabs into
Nearly an hour and 50 euros later we reach
It was then I realised that I had been scammed by the Greek guy who had offered to share the cost of the taxi with me. With the cabbie refusing to give me any part of my fifty euros back, since as he said, that was the fare anyway, and the other passenger ignoring my request for even ten euros as part of his contribution to the fare, I had no choice but to walk away, chastened by the experience but a lot wiser than when I got into the cab.
Image: [Hell] This just about sums up my day!
It isn’t the fifty euros that bothers me. Money comes in through one hand and goes out via the other one all the time. It was the fact that both driver and passenger took advantage of me. It is also a sad reflection on how far the Greeks and Greece have fallen as a people and as a country. That the other passenger could sit there and knowingly screw me over like that is the thing that hurts the most. I was quite happy to share the cost of the cab, and even would have paid more than half my share, but I would never consider screwing someone else over like this man did.
For all I know he got out a hundred yards further down the road, and paid nothing for his ride. If I had been quick enough to think of that, I could have refused to get out of the cab and said, drop this man off first, and me after. That way the tables would have been turned against the other passenger, and he would have had to pay the bulk of the fare. But it was too late for that, and I had no choice but to suck it up and go on my way.
However, every cloud has a silver lining, as the saying goes. Since I was walking past a travel outlet, I went in and bought a ticket for the Nissos Mykonos, the regular ferry that services
My mood improved even more after I rang Olympic Air and cancelled my rescheduled, rescheduled flight and was told I would receive a full refund on the plane ticket.
So there I was, at the end of a long, tiring and stressful day, back at the Delfini Hotel in
It had indeed been a turbulent day.
Click here... to read probably more than you've ever wanted to know about turbulence and air travel.