Bicycle stores in Greece open about 9:00 am. While I waited, I emailed a number of cycle shops. Vasily suggested I just call everywhere. It took a while to explain that if they don’t understand English, I won’t know if they have a box. It’s also a lot easier to say, “no” when I’m just a voice on the phone.
I started out with two cycle shops farther away, but across the street from each other. “No” from both. I tried to talk the second out of the box behind the counter to no avail – already planned for shipping a bicycle. The third shop spoke no English, but some quick pantomime let to him wandering off, and returning with a box. A small box, but a box!
Walking back towards the hostel, I pondered a slight detour for a fourth shop in case I could get a bigger box, but decided the explanation of why I wanted a box while I carried a box could be complex. Returning to the hostel, some quick measurements and I declared the box acceptable. Less than an hour later I had the bicycle disassembled and packed.
Of the four bicycle shops I had emailed, three replied no (with varying degrees of politeness). My record for bicycle shops visited before acquiring a box I believe is six. I’m calling three a win.
In talking with Vasily, we figured out that the Metro has a transfer on the way to the airport, but not the train. Vasily had been thinking Metro for transfers. Train it is. I still needed tape, but the large market down the street should be no problem. Back to exploring Athens via Metro.
Along the way I visited the Acropolis, the closest thing to a castle in Athens. A few more sites and I retreated to the hostel for the evening.
I was up late into the night talking with Vasily. He wants to travel more, and I not surprisingly know a few travel tools. He moved to the UK from Greece to improve his English; I told him he was welcome to come visit NC!