In an earlier post I mentioned the social whirl as people left for the winter. Well, we missed out on one party this Tuesday because Monday we learned there were various strikes scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So our Dutch friends had to leave Tuesday morning instead of Wednesday. Their flight doesn't leave Athens until Thursday so that means two nights of expensive, big city hotel.
Unfortunately this type of travel uncertainty is part and parcel of island life. Usually, however, it is just the winds that cause us to be flexible. We always tell visitors to save seeing Athens for the homeward leg in order to buid in a time cushion.
To explain the strike situation is way beyond me. I have read several news reports but it does no good with out a glossary defining the alphabet soup of labor association names. The short version is that transportation workers are striking for a few hours each day on Tuesday and Thursday and government workers are striking on Wednesday. The practical version is that the traveler has to check with their airlines constantly for updated information and that they must allow at least half a day for every hour of travel distance.
Fortunately the Greece strike season is mainly during non-tourist times. The labour movement knows it would kill the golden goose if too many tourists are inconvenienced. Occasionally we will have a strike or two in June but never July or August. Also in most cases there are alternative means of travel. Part of the Greek experience is for nothing to be precise
In case you are wondering, the strikes are part of a continuing dispute between the government and the unions about measures being taken to modernize the Greece economy after 20 plus years of a socialist government.