Day 3 (Greece) – The Accessible Island of Aegina

In order to put the rest of this post into context, let’s begin by talking about this semi-accessible hotel. Now, on the Hotels.com website, it states that The Athinais Hotel has all the accessibility features one could ever need, this is certainly not the case!

Even before reaching ones room, the elevators have been designed for a maximum of 2 people (unsure if this was intentional) hence Superbunny can only just fit in with millimetres to spare. Once you have reached said hotel room, one is pretty sure that the majority of wheelchair users would have to rearrange the furniture to suit as there isn’t enough room to even turn around! Oh and try to sit comfortably on this toilet…

As I mentioned yesterday, the hotel is situated along a busy dual carriageway so, common sense says that some kind of sound proofing would be required…not here! As in any major city, traffic in Athens is 24/7, who needs sleep anyway!

The relentless noise of traffic and motorcycles using said road as a racetrack at 2am meant that only 2 hours of sleep was achieved by 6.30am and, regardless of the amount of sugar intake, it is impossible to function on that short amount hence the Crete idea was dismissed. When researching for things to do prior to visiting, I noted that it is possible to visit various Greek islands by car ferry from the port of Piraeus located within the city boundaries and accessible from the M3 metro. Whilst one successfully achieved a few more hours of sleep, a PA was tasked with investigating further with various ideas being produced.

As there are many companies operating to and from Piraeus, one decided to take the risk and bring Superbunny praying that one ferry would be accessible. The thought then struck me after years of travelling, if vehicles are allowed on these big ferries, surely a ramp is present regardless? After visiting the ticket office, we managed to secure tickets on a vehicle ferry to the island of Aegina which is a 75 minute journey from Piraeus…

Although slightly complex, ramps and elevators were present enabling one to reach the passenger deck…

You can then simply disembark with the vehicles, genius! One will definitely remember this method of transport for the future…

When researching the accessibility of Greek islands, the majority of posts discussed how inaccessible such places are bar the ‘main’ ones i.e. Crete. As a result, one really didn’t know what to expect, especially as the island of Aegina was chosen purely at random at the ticket office!

During the first few minutes of being on the island, it was clear that accessibility had been considered as ramps and level access into shops and restaurants were noticeable (putting Athens to shame!). Even drop kerbs are painted…

Now, this is me we are talking about and everyone knows how I like to stray away from the tourist areas and attempt to gain an insight into daily life hence a wander around the immediate neighbourhoods was necessary…

Even the local caf├ęs/hangouts had level access, come on Athens! After sampling some Greek cuisine and wandering around more arachnology, it was time to head back to the ferry, however I would highly recommend making a trip if you find yourself in Athens. I was also told to give a shout out to Saronic Ferries for their accessibility features so there it is!

The good news is that one has managed to switch to another hotel room over the other side of the building so hopefully normal sleeping hours will resume!

Tomorrows plan is to visit the waterfront area including the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.