Posted in EuroTrip, One Week Trip, Vacation

#1815 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe (Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens)

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

***

From Bucharest, our next destination was Santorini in Greece. There was no direct flight between the two so we had to stop once in Athens. So we thought, “Well, we would be in Athens anyway so why not pay a visit?“. While researching our options, I found a combination of two flights (Bucharest – Athens and Athens – Santorini) with 7 hours of transit in Athens. This was perfect because 7 hours should be enough for a short trip to Athens while at the same time we would still arrive at Santorini at a reasonable time.

Bucharest - Athens - Santorini. Created with gcmap.com
Our flights route map of today: Bucharest – Athens – Santorini. Created with gcmap.com

Aegean Airlines A3 961 (Bucharest – Athens)

aegean
Flight: Aegean Airlines A3 961
Equipment: Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN
ATD: 11:15 EEST (Runway 08L of OTP)
ATA: 12:44 EEST (Runway 12R of ATH)

After taking a taxi from Bucharest, we arrived at the airport. We were slightly too early so the check-in counter had not opened yet; but luckily we did not have to wait for too long. Long story short, we checked-in, passed the security check, cleared immigration, and arrived at the gate.

An Aegean Airlines' Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN
An Aegean Airlines’ Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN

Boarding started at about 10:40. We entered the Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN and settled in our seats in row 9. Not long after, the flight departed and the safety instruction was done through the overhead screens. We took off from runway 08L of Henri Coanda International Airport and then made a turn southward towards Athens.

Quickly after, the snack service was provided. The flight attendants distributed big sandwiches along with a selection of drinks. The sandwich was good, and especially being big, it was actually quite fulfilling especially for just a 1.5 hour flight! Not long after that, the flight attendants went on a second round and distributed a second snack service!! 😮😮😮 It was some bars and, again, a selection of drinks!

A sandwich service
The sandwich service
A second snack
Second snack

Oh wow, I was totally impressed by Aegean Airlines! This flight was just a short 1.5 hours sector but TWO snack services were served!! That is certainly something and special!! This flight made me think that maybe people were right: Star Alliance pooled together a great group of airlines! Hmmm…

Anyway, at around 12:44 PM, we landed at runway 12R of Athens International Airport. Here is the landing video:

Unfortunately, we arrived at a very busy time at Athens. Coming from outside the Schengen area, we had to clear immigration which at the time was very busy. We had to wait for about 45 minutes before we got our passports stamped, haha😆 . Long story short, we stored our luggages at the airport and went to the train station to take the metro to the city centre.

A Few Hours in Athens

With just a few hours in Athens, obviously our priority of today was the one and only: Acropolis. From the airport we went directly to the metro station “Acropolis” (with one transfer at Syntagma) that was supposed to be really close already to the site.

Acropolis
Theatre of Dionysus in Acropolis

Luckily the line for the Acropolis tickets was not really bad today so we did not have to queue for too long. After getting our tickets, we entered the huge Acropolis area.

Indeed, Acropolis was awesome! This Ancient Greek site really mesmerized me. While some parts were still in ruins (probably intentionally; but this made the site look nice and more authentic as well), the others still stood strong. The one temple which I had been wanting to visit was, of course, Parthenon. Located on top of the hill, we had to climb a little bit to get there. And yes, Parthenon was amazing!! Another item in my bucket list to be crossed off!😀 Totally worth a visit if you are around in Athens!😉

Parthenon
Parthenon

We went around the site taking pictures, as there were so many (Instagrammable) spots😛 . Then, suddenly my Apple Wallet app popped up a notification reminding us to get back to the airport. Yes, somehow it was 16:30 already so the time was already quite tight for us to take the metro back to catch our flight! We rushed down to the metro station, luckily still managed to get one to arrive at the airport just in time🙂 .

Aegean Airlines A3 360 (Athens – Santorini)

aegean
Flight: Aegean Airlines A3 360
Equipment: Airbus A321-200 reg SX-DGA
ATD: 19:46 EEST (Runway 12L of ATH)
ATA: 20:10 EEST (Runway 16L of JTR)

The flight to Santorini was overbooked and slightly delayed today. They offered for volunteers to give up their seats (due to the overbooked situation) but of course we did not give up our seats. The evening before, I was able to snatch seats in row 1, the seats that were normally Aegean’s Europe Business Class seats but the plane was configured to all-economy today, haha😆 . So, basically the same Europe business class seats but with no empty middle seat.

Legroom of seat 1A
Legroom of seat 1F

Finally boarding started and long story short, we took off from runway 12L of Athens International Airport. Sitting in row 1 was obviously nice with all the extra legroom, haha😆 . My expectation for the service was quite high on this flight because of the beyond satisfying service in our morning flight. However, due to the very short duration, we only got a small package of sweets and there was no drink service. It was quite underwhelming to be honest; but considering the flight duration, it might not be that surprising.

Just about 20 minutes after take-off, we were already approaching Santorini’s Thira Airport. At 20:10, we landed at runway 16L of the airport. Here is the landing video:

After taking our luggage, we went to the car rental booth from which we had booked a rental car for our three-day stay in the island. There was a problem with the type of the car that was assigned to us. But we finally managed to solve the problem, even though we had to settle for less of what we had paid😦 . Nonetheless, problem solved for the night so we were okay with it.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

***

Dari Bucharest, tujuan kami selanjutnya adalah Santorini di Yunani. Tidak ada penerbangan langsung di antara kedua tempat ini sehingga kami harus transit terlebih dahulu di Athena. Jadilah kami berpikir, “Mumpung sudah di Athena, mengapa tidak sekalian mampir?“. Nah, ketika mencari-cari alternatif penerbangannya, aku menemukan satu kombinasi dua penerbangan (Bucharest – Athena dan Athena – Santorini) dengan waktu transit 7 jam di Athena. Ini sempurna sekali karena seharusnya 7 jam cukup lah ya untuk perjalanan singkat ke Athena sementara pada saat yang sama, kami masih tiba di Santorini di waktu yang tidak terlalu malam.

Bucharest - Athens - Santorini. Created with gcmap.com
Peta rute penerbangan hari ini: Bucharest – Athens – Santorini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Aegean Airlines A3 961 (Bucharest – Athens)

aegean
Penerbangan: Aegean Airlines A3 961
Pesawat: Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN
ATD: 11:15 EEST (Runway 08L of OTP)
ATA: 12:44 EEST (Runway 12R of ATH)

Setelah menaiki taksi dari Bucharest, kami tiba di bandara. Kami agak kepagian pagi itu sehingga konter check-in-nya belum buka; tetapi untungnya mereka buka tidak lama setelahnya sih. Singkat cerita, kami check-in, melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti, melewati pemeriksaan imigrasi, dan tiba di gerbang keberangkatan.

An Aegean Airlines' Airbus A320-200 reg SX-DVN
Sebuah Airbus A320-200nya Aegean Airlines dengan registrasi SX-DVN

Boarding dimulai sekitar jam 10:40 pagi. Kami memasuki pesawat Airbus A320-200 dengan registrasi SX-DVN dan duduk di kursi kami di barus 9. Tak lama setelahnya, pesawat berangkat dan peragaan keselamatan ditayangkan di panel TV di atas kursi. Pesawat lepas landas dari landasan pacu 08L Bandara Internasional Henri Coanda dan kemudian berbelok ke arah selatan menuju Athena.

Tak lama kemudian, layanan snack dibagikan. Pramugari-pramugarinya membagikan sandwich berukuran besar bersama dengan beberapa pilihan minuman. Sandwich-nya cukup enak, dan karena ukurannya besar, rasanya sungguh mengenyangkan apalagi untuk penerbangan yang hanya berdurasi 1,5 jam saja! Kemudian, pramugari-pramugari berkeliling lagi untuk layanan snack ronde kedua!! 😮😮😮 Kali ini snack-nya berupa bar dan, tentu saja, pilihan minuman!

A sandwich service
Layanan sandwich
A second snack
Snack ronde dua

Oh wow, aku terkesan sekali dengan Aegean Airlines nih! Penerbangan ini hanya lah penerbangan singkat selama 1,5 jam tetapi DUA layanan snack diberikan!! Sesuatu banget lah ini!! Penerbangan ini membuatku berpikir bahwa mungkin orang-orang kebanyakan itu benar adanya ya: bahwa Star Alliance memang mengumpulkan satu grup maskapai yang oke-oke! Hmmm…

Anyway, jam 12:44 siang, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 12R Bandara Internasional Athena. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Sayangnya, kali itu kami tiba di jam sibuk di Athena. Karena datang dari luar area Schengen, kami harus melalui pemeriksaan imigrasi terlebih dahulu yang mana waktu itu antriannya sedang panjang sekali. Kira-kira kami harus menunggu 45 menit sebelum akhirnya paspor kami dicap, haha😆 . Singkat cerita, kami menitipkan bagasi kami di bandara dan pergi ke stasiun kereta untuk menaiki metro ke pusat kota.

Beberapa Jam di Athena

Dengan hanya beberapa jam di Athena, jelas dong prioritas kami adalah Acropolis. Dari bandara, kami langsung pergi ke stasiun metro “Acropolis” (dengan satu kali transit di Syntagma) yang seharusnya berlokasi dekat sekali dengan Acropolisnya.

Acropolis
Teater Dionysus di Acropolis

Untungnya, antrian untuk tiket Acropolisnya tidak panjang banget hari ini sehingga kami tidak harus mengantri lama. Setelah mendapatkan tiket, kami memasuki area Acropolis yang memang besar sekali itu.

Memang, Acropolis itu keren banget! Situs Yunani Kuno ini sungguh mempesona bagiku. Beberapa bagiannya masih berupa reruntuhan (mungkin sengaja ya; tetapi ini membuat lokasinya nampak keren dan autentik sih), sementara bagian lainnya masih nampak kokoh. Satu kuil yang, jelas, sudah ingin banget aku kunjungi adalah Parthenon. Berlokasi di atas bukit, kami harus sedikit mendaki untuk mencapainya. Dan iya, Parthenon keren banget!! Satu temapt di dalam bucket list-ku tercoret lagi deh ini!!😀 Menurutku, Acropolis layak banget untuk dikunjungi jika kalian kebetulan berada di Athena!😉

Parthenon
Parthenon

Kami mengelilingi tempatnya sambil foto-foto karena ada banyak banget lokasi oke (dan Instagrammable)😛 . Lalu, tiba-tiba app Apple Wallet-ku mengelaurkan notifikasi yang mengingatkan kami untuk segera ke bandara. Iya, entah bagaimana jam sudah menunjukkan jam 4:30 sore sehingga waktu sudah cukup mepet untuk kami menaiki metro untuk mengejar penerbangan lanjutan kami! Kami terburu-buru ke stasiun metronya dan untungnya masih sempat mengejar satu yang tiba di bandara di waktu yang pas banget🙂 .

Aegean Airlines A3 360 (Athens – Santorini)

aegean
Penerbangan: Aegean Airlines A3 360
Pesawat: Airbus A321-200 reg SX-DGA
ATD: 19:46 EEST (Runway 12L of ATH)
ATA: 20:10 EEST (Runway 16L of JTR)

Penerbangan ke Santorini ternyata overbooked dan sedikit terlambat hari ini. Mereka meminta sukarelawan untuk keluar dari pesawat (karena situasi overbooked itu) tetapi tentu saja kami ogah dong. Ceritanya, semalam sebelumnya aku berhasil mengambil kursi-kursi di baris 1, kursi-kursi yang biasanya digunakan untuk Europe Business Class-nya Aegean Airlines tetapi hari ini pesawatnya dikonfigurasi dengan kursi kelas ekonomi semua, haha😆 . Jadi ini adalah kursi-kursi yang sama seperti di Europe Business Class tetapi kursi tengahnya tidak dikosongi.

Legroom of seat 1A
Legroom kursi 1F

Akhirnya boarding dimulai dan singkat cerita, kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 12L Bandara Internasional Athena. Duduk di barisan 1 itu enak deh terutama dengan legroom-nya yang besar banget, haha😆 . Ekspektasiku untuk servis di penerbangan ini sudah cukup tinggi akibat penerbanan paginya yang lebih dari mengesankan. Namun, karena durasi yang amat singkat, kami hanya mendapatkan satu snack manis kecil saja dan tidak ada layanan minuman. Agak sedikit kecewa sebenarnya; tetapi dengan mempertimbangkan durasi penerbangannya, tidak mengherankan juga sih.

Sekitar 20 menit setelah lepas landas, kami sudah mendekati Bandara Thira di Santorini. Jam 8:10 malam, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 16L bandaranya. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Setelah mengambil bagasi kami, kami menuju konter rental mobil dimana kami sudah memesan mobil rental untuk waktu tiga hari kami di pulau ini. Ada sedikit masalah dengan tipe mobil yang diberikan ke kami. Tetapi akhirnya kami berhasil memecahkan masalahnya walaupun dengan harus menerima mobil yang normalnya lebih murah daripada apa yang kami bayarkan😦 . Yah, yang penting masalahnya beres deh malam itu.

22 thoughts on “#1815 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe (Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens)

  1. Syukurlah Ko masoh sempat kejar flightnya. Kalo gue gak bakalan berani dan paling cuman di sekitaran bandara saja meskipun ada 7 jam. Huehehehhe.

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