Russ & Just's 'Better-late-than-never' World Tour travel blog

Blue Star Ferry

Bari Sunset

Just sleeping on the ferry

Along with 50,000 other bastards and their luggage we crammed on to the only bus going to the ferry terminal. Not unexpectedly we had to pay an extra €40 each for our ferry ticket to Patras even when we were told by the woman on the phone the passage was free. F**king thieves! They can do it too, as they pretty much have a monopoly on that trip. Superfast and Blue Star ferries turn out to be the same bloody company.

On board, it is the lap of luxury. Everything is set up so that you're likely to spend as much money again on board as you spent for your ticket. Only the people who forked out a fortune for a cabin are likely to get much sleep as everybody else has a skinny seat or a hard cramped piece of floor to sleep on. If you can't get to sleep you have to occupy yourself somehow. That's where the amenities on the ship have got you by the balls. There is more space on the ship dedicated to taking your money than actual seating or sleeping facilities. There are three bars, a night club, 2 restaurants, a casino and a games room. The were extortionate as was everything else. I joked with Justine that the Internet would probably be €5 an hour ... it was €8.

The cheapest restaurant had a special on of grilled chicken and vegetables for a reasonable €6.70. Everything else was around the €13.40 mark. We ordered the chicken but the guy said it wasn't ready and asked if we'd like the beef instead. We enquired whether it would be the same price and he said yes. So here we are at the till ready to pay with our two small slices of beef and a hand full of fried potatoes "€26.80 please" ... pause ...splutter ... gag. NZ$52 for 50c worth of chips and two warm bits of beef ... I don't think so lady. "The guy told us it was the same price as the special because he didn't have the chicken." I said. "Oh no no no ... you don't want it then?" The look in my eyes told her what she needed to know, so we gave it back a waited for the chicken to be cooked ... I hope they didn't spit in it.

As for the sleeping, well by the time we were ready to retire, all the choice spots on the floor and the seats were taken. We managed to find enough room, beside the rubbish bin and next to the door out to the restaurants and smokey bars, for both of us to lie down. Our mission, should choose to accept it, was to get some sleep on the hard, engine-vibrating floor. For some miraculous reason I managed to get a couple of hours sleep, thanks to my earplugs, until the whole ship was rudely awoken by the onboard announcer at 3:00am signalling that we were about to make port at Corfu. An hour later we left Corfu.

Meanwhile, Justine had disappeared from beside me. She was the one that couldn't sleep this time. Half the passengers had left at Corfu so we were able to spread out on a few seats for a more comfortable lie down. It was not long after this that the incredibly loud announcer bellowed that we were soon to dock in Igoumenitsa, in several different languages.

Another hour later and we could finally settle down until we arrived in Patras at 12:30pm. Both of us did manage a couple more hours sleep despite the ferry company's wishes. It's such a shame there isn't more competition from a no-frills ferries with just bunk beds and could cross in half the time. Superfast and Blue Star Ferries have you by the balls.

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