Piraeus’ Accidental Museum of Travel

Remember travel agents? I think I last used one in 1996, to book a trip to the Dominican Republic.

In Greece, where as we all know from the news, they’re not really keeping up with the program, it was hard to even find ferry schedules online up until a few years ago. And, as far as I know, you still have to buy tickets from a travel agent.

Peter and I happened to pop into this place for our Hydra tickets, and it was everything you want in a travel agency.

Mmm, two kinds of fake wall treatment!
Holland: always reliable
Map courtesy of a defunct airline. Amazing Hawaii is even on there.
The date is correct. But Olympic Airlines no longer exists.
Surprisingly not a defunct airline.
That's some mighty fine linoleum.

Since I read this nice reminder from Fortnighter that flying isn’t so terrible, I’ve been thinking a lot about the so-called “golden age” of travel. I tend to agree things are pretty good right now.

Aside from the asinine security situation, flying is pretty great, even when it’s not supposed to be. In the same 10 days, I flew first class on Thai Airways (thank you, frequent-flyer miles) and Spirit Airlines. Thai was fine but not mind-blowing, and Spirit was not that terrible: it was insanely cheap and got us there relatively on time, and Peter booked it directly online the minute we decided to take it.

Sure, the QM2 didn’t have a bouillon cart or other old-school niceties, but it probably was more comfortable than if we’d crossed the Atlantic in decades past. (As for train travel…well, trains aren’t getting nicer, except in Germany maybe, and Japan probably.)

This travel agency in Greece reflects this same nostalgia problem. I miss all the groovy linoleum and old posters, but I don’t miss the agency itself.

Although…our ferry tickets were printed out on a dot-matrix printer, with those perforated edges you have to tear off. I kinda miss that.