We are flying on stand-by an the flights from Greece to Atlanta, GA are pretty bad- there were 32 people on the wait list for 10 seats on Tuesday. We did a little research and found that some of the other cities are not as bad as Atlanta- so we flew to Rome.
The flight from Santorini to Rome was hell- our travel agent decided not to cancel the our scheduled Santorini-Athens flight and make a full Santorini-Rome flight; he just added a Athens-Rome flight to our Itinerary. The second flight was scheduled for 50 minutes after our first, but the first was delayed for almost 45 minutes- and this didn't count the shuttle times from the terminal to the plane. Needless to say, we missed the connecting flight and we had to have the flight rescheduled- for four hours later. The Agean Airlines staff is very friendly and accommodating- so that made it a little better. During the wait we grabbed some lunch and had our Delta tickets transferred over to a Rome-JFK-Athens (there are 3 daily flights to JFK, but only one to ATH from Rome) for Friday (the most likely day we will be able to fly back) and spent 1+ hour in a ticketing line for AirOne Italy as the lady at the counter appeared to be a newbie.
Two interesting things happened on the trip: one was a poor girl from Florence that appeared to have had a scooter accident in Santorini. She wore big sunglasses to cover the scratches on her face and her black eye, a scarf to cover her neck, a knee brace, stitches and gauze on her lip and various other asphalt scratches all over her. The poor girl was also on a connecting flight (our initial flight was delayed) she had to catch the same flight to Rome as we did (4 hour lay-over). She was in line in front of us at AirOne, but they had processed her ticket wrong so she had to go back to Agean and have them correct the transfer. She was on our flight to Rome, but we were delayed by an interesting couple (next event) and I am not sure if she caught the connecting flight to Florence.
The other interesting event was an older couple that apparently had not flown much- The lady looked like a malnourished Zsa Zsa Gabor (with a few too many collagen lip injections) and guy reminded me of the main character from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. They were almost arrested after pulling their luggage off of the luggage cart before getting on the shuttle bus back to the terminal. It would not have been too bad if they didn't start yelling (in Italian) at the the luggage handler (and the pilot) but eventually one of the airport police officers had to come out and speak to the people. This kept 100+ people stuck on a transfer bus (in 90+ weather) while waiting for them to sort things out (including the girl with the scooter injuries) as the guy kept leaving the bus and yelling at people. Some people just shouldn't fly!
After we arrived in Rome we got a rental car (a low-end Mercedes as the other cars are all stick) and headed to the Radisson Hotel. The 'superior room' is for 2 people and a queen sized bed just barely fits- so Diana, Tracy and myself as sharing a bed. The bathroom is also funny as it has a glass wall between it and the bedroom. The 'water closet' and bidet are separated by a frosted glass wall, but the shower only has a plastic curtain- it is a very 'studio' room.
I spent most of the morning walking around Rome and taking pictures while the girls slept a little late. At the moment we are headed to Florence as the girls really want to see the city again. We are going to try to get Diana on a flight back to Atlanta tomorrow morning (she MUST be back for work on Monday) Tracy and I are going to try to look at Rome tomorrow before we fly out on Friday; such is the confusion of 'buddy passes'...
(and we just hit a torrential downpour of rain on the Motorway- people are driving slow and pulling off the side with their hazard lights on)