Even though it was still dark outside things started to look brighter when our train crossed the border from Serbia to Macedonia. The new ticket agent ushered us forward to a newly vacant compartment that had heat and working lights. While the Younger Fives were too sleepy to care (both boys slept through the move) the adults were super excited to thaw out and continue the rest of the trip in more comfort. Once the sun rose we all enjoyed the scenery as the train carried us along a river past farmland. We passed very few train stations and even fewer towns, and before we knew it we were crossing the border into Greece.
Running a bit behind schedule our train arrived in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki over an hour late. Luckily we had just enough time to reserve seats on the next train to Athens and let the kids buy some Greek comic books. Everyone was delighted to find that our train to Athens was in a bit better shape and that the seating was still compartment style. We are currently reading Five Ball the Harry Potter series, so we are all getting a kick out of riding in a similar style as Harry does to go to Hogwarts each school year.
All settled into our private compartment we sat back and enjoyed some truly breathtaking views of Greece. We had read that the train ride between Thessaloniki and Athens was very scenic, but we were all blown away but what we saw through the windows. We passed several snow capped mountains (Mount Olympus included), rode past green countryside, and snaked our way up, down, and through many mountains. The scenery was so varied and beautiful that the journey went by quickly, and before we knew it the train pulled into Larissa, Station in Athens.
The owner of our two-night rental met us at the station and helped us settle into his lovely 7th floor apartment. The apartment has amazing views of the Acropolis and as we turned in for the night we couldn’t stop stealing glances out at the majestic structure and the city surrounding it. Although our day consisted mostly of viewing Greece from behind glass, we all loved what we saw and fell asleep satisfied and ready to get up bright and early to do some direct exploring.