We managed, somehow, to get to Olympia, thoroughly unprepared. (How do we go to Olympia, please?) We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly there – how could we not?
Yet, the whole day out in the sun got to us, eventually. And living on juice, bread and cheese is never a good idea.
At Patras, we had an awful youth hostel. We’d read reviews that called it a ‘filthy scum hole’, but there was no other place to stay.
Calling in Greece was ridiculously expensive, so we hadn’t been able to call home.
We were planning to go next to Athens and had no idea where we would stay there. All in all, we were well on the way to being upset by the smallest things.
And then it happened – that which got us upset. We discovered that even though museums in Olympia close at 19:30, the last train out of Olympia is at 15:20. That meant two things – we would have to take a bus to Pyrgos (and spend more money again) and we would need to see whether trains from Pyrgos back to Patras were available at all. We discovered that there was a bus from Olympia later that evening, but no one knew whether our Eurail passes would be valid on that bus or not. We simply could not figure out whether it would be cheaper to find another hostel and stay in Olympia or not.
Thoroughly disheartened, we tried to find out where we would get our bus from. No one knew. From Pyrgos, though, there was a train at 00:48. For most of the night,our 20 euro room at Patras would stay empty, but at least there was some prospect of getting back.
I’ve written in my diary that we were ‘inordinately upset’ and it’s true. Why had we not checked the last train back? Why had we booked a filthy room at Patras when there were hostels available in Olympia?
Finally, we took our smartest decision that day – we ate good food.
It’s strange how good food can change everything. Suddenly, the world was a better place.
It was a good thing we’d booked a place in Patras – thanks to that, we weren’t carrying all our luggage with us at Pyrgos and Olympia.
We bought a calling card and found a cheap place to stay at Athens.
Our hostel in Patras did not have a plug-point, but the waiting room at Pyrgos did, so we charged our camera batteries.
We wandered around in Pyrgos and saw a charming unknown Greek town. We even found a beautiful church there.
And the last thing that a full stomach told us – even with all our difficulties, Olympia was worth it. We spend about three and a half euros on our bus-ride. I was willing to spend that much and more on museums in Olympia.
My diary entry ends with ‘…it’s already tomorrow – the train will be here in half an hour and I’ve had a good, good day.‘