When planning this trip we wanted to visit a few places we have not yet been in Greece. So, we decided it was time to take a few more ferries. We rented a car in Thessaloniki and would drive onto the ferries to each new destination; an adventure indeed. The first part of the adventure was finding ferry schedules and trying to actually book the tickets. We did find a great online company Paleologos, and a great agent Ira Kallergi, to navigate the Greek ferry system for us. Check them out here: https://www.paleologos.gr/ and say hello to Ira for us!
After a few bumps and false starts we discovered the ferry from Gythio to Kissamos , Crete had broken down and was no longer running on the dates we required. Change of plan – drive back to Athens – we managed to get all the reservations made and to get tickets to the places we wanted to go with the help and assistance of Ira.
We drove to the port of Kavala and took the overnight ferry – the Nissos Rhodos – to Mytilini, Lesvos. Mytilini, Lesvos
The ferry was late leaving and a little late arriving in Lesvos but not an issue for us as we had lots of time to get to our first hotel in Petra.
To pick up the tickets at the Port of Kavala we needed to find the office Ira told us about. Located in the main terminal building it was not hard to find. We got our tickets and then checked with the Port Police to find out the time we could bring the car into the Port compound to line up for the ferry – one hour prior to sailing. As there is no real organization, direction, or control in the Port compound so cars come and line up when ever and where ever they deem to be ok, so the 1 hour prior to sailing was a bit hopeful on the part of the port Police. We drove in and just asked a couple of other drivers which lineup was for Lesvos, got in line and stayed put. Cars park off to the side and then cut into line, or just kind of push into any gap available as the loading begins.
As we had a cabin we did not worry about getting to be first in line. But, those who were ‘camping’ on board definately wanted to get to the front of the car line as then they would be able to choose their camping spot – and hopefully- the best places to get some sleep for the night. You can ‘camp’ on board the ferries, buy an airline type seat, a VIP lounge seat or a cabin.
We took an outside cabin with two beds and a washroom. The cabin was furnished with a tv and a couple of chairs and small table. The beds were a different story as I woke in the middle of the night smelling like a goat herder. I had to take a shower. My husbands bed was smelled fine so I decided I would squeeze in with him (single bunk) to get a few more winks before we had to be fully awake for the docking of the ship.
Once fully awake we made our way to one of the cafes and got a nice toasted cheese sandwich and a spinach pie as well as good coffee. As we walked around the deck we got our first glimpse of Lesvos from the upper rear deck.
Disembarking the ship was a little more orderly but still with a Greek twist. Some cars in front of us had no drivers so we weren’t going any where fast! Eventually the drivers showed up and our little enclave of ‘trapped’ cars were driven off. The ferry terminal lot was just as chaotic, in that as soon as the cars drove off the ferry they formed three or four lines, and then tried to merge back into one line to fit through the gate! We enjoyed the mayhem a little with a few comments and a few laughs.
Our first ferry sailing of this trip was a success!
We have now landed on Lesvos, the beautiful jewel of an island. This island is so close to mainland Turkey that we joke about smelling the Turkish kebab from here.