[Aug. 2023] The main reason we stayed in Athens, Greece for 3 nights this time was to take a tour to the famous Meteora from here.
We had read that there are many day tours from Athens.
We had decided to just use the train rather than the bus, and without shopping around, we booked a tour (€110 per person) offered by the hotel we were staying at.
First, we used the 24-hour metro ticket we bought the day before to go to Larissa station.
All the tourists coming here seemed to be bound for Meteora, and the staff were efficient in guiding them.
It was a nondescript, unpicturesque station, but apparently this is Athens’ main railway station.
The train that came was full of graffiti, just like the local trains we used to ride in Italy.
However, the interior was clean and the purple-based seats were in good condition.
According to our tickets, our seats were seats 72 and 78 in car 4, and I thought we were separated, but they were right next to each other.
I ended up not knowing how the numbers were arranged.
It wasn’t full, but there were some locals boarding from stations along the way.
A baby who was just starting to walk walked up and down the aisle.
It was heart-warming to see his father followed him with a smile on his face.
He was a friendly baby and greets everyone by raising his hand and saying “Ya!”
I followed suit and replied, “Ya!”
I looked it up and found out that “Hi!” in Greek is “Ya!”.
Anyway, this train took as long as 4 and a half hours.
From the window, we could see the signs of wildfires were visible near Athens.
Wildfires were still a big topic this summer.
The first time we visited Athens, we witnessed a forest fire, so it must be a regular disaster for people here.
A helicopter spraying water could also be seen from the train.
Afterwards, we enjoyed the peaceful countryside.
There are many large areas with no houses at all, though Athens is too crowded.
After all, are they the people who feel insecure when they are not literally standing shoulder to shoulder?
The station we finally arrived at was Karabaka.
One station before that was a station called Trikala, where many of the locals got off.
Several buses were waiting in front of Karabaka station, and we boarded the bus with our names on it.
Approximately 30 people were in one bus.
There was a high proportion of Orientals, including Japanese couples, Chinese families, and pairs of Asian women, as well as Indian looking people and Australians.
Our guide was Maria, a local who spoke American English.
From the Karabaka station, we could already see the sheer rock formations.