We planned to go to Santorini with the understanding that it was ‘possible’ to get ferries from there to Kusadasi, Turkey, but with not really any clue when or how.
All the reading I did online suggested that it was next to impossible to make the trip conveniently, and that there was likely to be long delays between connecting ferries.
So we looked at flights – but too late to be anywhere near cheap enough, and we would have had a 6 hours lay over in Athens from midnight… yuck.
So back to ferries. We ended up getting a ferry from Santorini to Paros, a 10 hour wait in Paros, an overnight ferry from Paros to Samos in time to make a connection to Kusadasi. The plan was all coming together.
But we still had from 2pm till midnight to wait on Paros with luggage and children. Luggage was easy – a hotel next to the dock had a ‘left luggage’ service. The next stop was a late lunch.
There is a dinky little pita shack, Pita Hellas, across the road from the ferry terminal. I once almost went 500 kilometers out of my way for a second donut that tasted so good. A trip from Australia to Paros, just to eat at Pita Hellas would almost be justified.
To waste some more time, we decided to rent a car and drive around the island. And by ‘around’ I’m being literal. To drive the coast road around Paros is only 55 kms.
We came across a little town, Kostas, in which we found a playground, so we stopped and let the girls play for a while.Â We then continued on and came across a sheltered beach and stopped there for another play. So that was 5 hours out of the way.
We then headed to the main town to seek out dinner and more time wasters. We wandered through the market area and had a nice dinner with another sunset on the waterfront. We then wandered through the town, and discovered another playground in the town square – at which we were very surprised to find local families after 9pm. So the girls had lots of kids to interact with (which isn’t always the best thing with tiredness setting in).
It was then time to head to catch our ferry. By this stage in our trip we’d figured out a good system for moving all our luggage about by just ourselves. Our two large bags could be coupled together to make a train that was well balanced and easily moved by me. Emma had control of our smaller bag on wheels. And the tent went in the pram with Faith perched on top, pushed by Sharon. We left the hotel and made our way to the ferry terminal in this fashion.
At the terminal though, and it was after 11pm at this point, Faith and Emma both fell asleep, and we still needed to make our way the 100m or so from the gate to the ferry when it arrived. We couldn’t really sit a sleeping Faith on top of the tent in the pram. Our system wouldn’t cater for this predicament.
Thankfully though we met a lovely Australian couple in the entry area who were travelling exceptionally light, and offered to help us with our bags onto the ferry. A huge thanks to Paul and Val from East Bentleigh. They also helped us the following morning getting off at Samos.
If you can avoid overnight ferry trips, I recommend it – it’s difficult to get sleep. Especially when, after you’ve had to find different seats because your allocated ones were occupied, the ‘owner’ of the seats you’ve taken gets on at the next stop – at 1am – and insists that you move sleeping children. I was more than happy for her to get the service attendants and leave us alone.
So it was breakfast on Samos, and then a pleasant ferry ride across to Turkey.