This time my flight was booked for Thursday 5th November. All ferry staff were on strike on the 2nd and 3rd, but were due to return to work on the Wednesday. This being Greece, the first ferry out of Hydra was on Friday afternoon. BUT, instead of having to travel with an unknown lonesome cowboy, a fellow staff member was driving up to Athens airport on Wednesday, so I had a lovely safe drive in a new Audi, with chance to stop en route for a meal overlooking modern Epidavros.
I was booked into The Sofitel at the airport and was expecting the usual airport hotel experience. I'd stayed at the Thistle Terminal 5 at Heathrow 10 days before and been glad that I hadn't been planning any feline oscillation. I'd checked in late and left before dawn so hadn't been subjected to the depressing decor and claustrophobic room for long enough for it to affect my mood. The Sofitel was completely different - a proper 5 star hotel, with plump pillows, comfy beds, impressive bathrooms and completely soundproof, airy rooms. There was a rooftop pool and spa, if only I'd packed a swimming costume. I was hoping my plane would be cancelled. On Thursday morning I lazed in bed reading The Times on my iPad, had a long shower and even managed to put on a bit of makeup before I pulled by bag the 200 meters between hotel and airport. As I arrived in check-in, I looked so unlike my normal self, I doubted I'd get through passport control.