Sitía Airport
The Sitía airport has been built on a plateau that is close to the city but high above it. We’d been a little nervous about Yanni’s claim that he could easily get us there in ten minutes (so that we’d arrive the required hour before our 7:00 flight), but he knew Sitía and we didn’t. We moved rapidly through deserted streets and climbed smoothly up the hill to the airport, where he delivered us a few minutes early, if anything.

The Tuesday Sitía-Athens run was not (at least in mid-October, which it now was) one of Aegean Airlines’ busiest, and we found only three or four people waiting inside the terminal when we arrived. The facility seemed pretty basic, but I think it was a temporary building serving until a more imposing edifice was completed. I’m not sure of the time-scale, though—the picture above was taken no later than 2007, and I can't find any buildings in it. (But my eyes aren’t what they used to be.)

Several more passengers showed up during the hour before the flight—there was obviously nothing sacred about the requirement to come an hour early. When it was time to board the airliner—far from the largest in Aegean’s fleet, I'm sure—there were plenty of empty seats. We had a short, smooth flight whose progress I followed on my iPad, trying to figure out which Aegean islands we were passing over by comparing the shapes on the map with what I could see through my window.
Approaching Venizélos Airport
In less than an hour we were landing at Elefthérios Venizélos Airport, as depicted in this illustration that I had specially made for the website... well, no, it’s apparently a scene from a flight simulation program that just happens to show a small airliner with Aegean Air markings approaching the Athens airport. (Miracolo! Praise Google!)

From the moment we got off the plane, everything ran smoothly (perhaps because we didn’t need to use an ATM), and a taxi carried us to Athens in what was still an early-morning calm, impeded neither by traffic jams nor public demonstrations of the people’s wrath at their government, the European Bank, the IMF, or Mrs. Merkel. (Like the taxis we’d taken three weeks earlier, this one carefully avoided the seat of government in Syntagma Square, where virtually all the demonstrations and near-riots that made for exciting TV news footage had been taking place. But on this peaceful morning I don’t think much was going on even there.)