I was not excited for the travel day from Athens to Lesvos. I have Scoliosis – a chronic back condition that is a curvature of the spine. This means that traveling is not the easiest thing for me. I have to wear a Cheneau brace, meaning I have to lug it around when I’m not wearing it, which is a real pain. I was not looking forward to carrying my brace all around Athens and onto the overnight ferry. My brace is a shell of my entire torso, it does not fit into my large bag or my backpack so I have to carry it around like a suitcase.
We woke up with the intention of having a calm morning and going to a warehouse to volunteer by folding clothes and packaging things for refugees coming in from Syria and the Greek community who are in need. We packed up our stuff and headed to the tram stop. When we arrived we suddenly noticed that the tram was not moving. I mean, the driver was in his seat but the doors were not open and it was completely still. So, we were stuck at the tram station, with people piling in from either side, and a mountain of bags stashed behind us. Oh, goody.
We decided to find a bus, but as soon as we stepped off the platform, the doors opened! We instantly rushed back and ran through the doors to find seats. Newsflash! There were none. We had to stand in the middle of this tiny tram, shoulder to shoulder with each other. This was not the best hour of my life. Finally, we arrived at our stop and got off our tram as fast as possible. We walked to the warehouse in a hurry to start packing boxes. We got there and had some lunch but unfortunately it was wrapped in some blue and pink plastic bags, which we decided to make use of later (you will definitely see in some future blog posts).
First, we split up into two groups: blankets and shoes. The blanket group folded and packed them into bags and boxes. The shoe group paired sizes and packed them into boxes. We packed for about two or three hours before saying goodbye to our friends and heading down to the tram stop once again. When we climbed aboard, thankfully there were some seats. At the end of the line, we walked for a few minutes up and over the tramline and entered the subway station. We waited at the subway stop for about five minutes before climbing on the most crowded train in my entire life. We were piled on top of each other in an effort to survive!
When the subway ended we walked out into the middle of a beautiful market and walked through to get to the harbour. When we got there we saw about four huge cruise ships lined up. Were we riding one of those? OH YEAH! We climbed aboard and plopped our bags onto the luggage racks and headed up to explore. There were two floors of restaurants and comfy chairs and the top floor was the deck. We decided to sleep on some chairs, and as soon as I sat down, I fell asleep. I slept like a rock.
Written by Asha McDonald