So after months of research and planning (roughly) the first 60 days of my trip, I took about 2+ months off. I have been extremely busy at work and in life in general. So I decided on my weekend of doing nothing (except going to the gym and cleaning my house), I would pick it up again.
I had left off at Italy and, as I suspected, it was a lot of work. Italy’s a big country with so. much. to see. I will be coming from Switzerland so I started in the north. And as I made my way south, I started to realize I was not going to have as much time as I had hoped. Planning the first 60 days seemed like a breeze and I wasn’t concerned with time limitations. Well, with regard to the last 30 days, I am definitely feeling the time crunch.
I had to realize that Italy might be one of those places I visit again. (Spain, too, probably.) So I gave up on hitting the Cinque Terra and Sicily. I finally made peace with the idea of this as my Italy itinerary: Milan (almost solely to view the Last Supper), Venice, Florence (with a day trip to Pisa), Rome, and Sorrento (home base here, but hitting Naples, Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast). I felt ok with that itinerary and time frame.
Which brings me to this afternoon. I checked online about the ferry from Italy to Greece (which comes at a deep discount with my Eurail pass). I had the (16 hour) ferry ride all figured out, when it occurred to me to look at flights. So I checked out Rome to Athens and Rome to Santorini. I thought I would start with the islands and end in Athens, considering I will be flying from Athens to Edinburgh. Flights were about $70. Perfect.
Wait. I just used random dates. Let’s plug in the actual date of November 19. No flights to Santorini. None. No flights to Mykonos. Not from Rome and not from Athens. I knew the ferry from Athens to Santorini was about an 8 hour ride, which I was trying to avoid. But after getting shut down in air travel, I checked it out. No ferries from Athens to Santorini that entire week (at least that are posted yet…crossing my fingers that it’s too far in the future that the schedules are released yet).
A little more internet research led me to the conclusion that the islands in November is almost going to be a no-go. Even if I can get there, they close down for winter. Very few accommodations and restaurants remain open. I knew it wouldn’t be beach weather, but I didn’t think I would have no way of getting there and almost nowhere to stay. This makes me very sad because Greece is one of my top locations. So my perfectly-planned and geographically-coherent trip may be in shambles. I might have to fly from Prague to Athens and then to Austria. Or from Vienna to Athens and back. As long as it doesn’t interfere with Oktoberfest. Decisions, decisions…
If anyone has any input on Greece in the winter, please share!