I flew Virgin Atlantic from London's' Gatwick to Athens' new EV airport the other day for the 1st time. Only a 3 hour 45 minute flight. EV is located in Spata, Attica. Its airport code is ATH.
On approach, brilliant sun and clear air combined to give me spectacular views of the closer inshore islands of the Saronic Gulf ( Salamis, site of the historic naval action against the ancient Persians, Aegina, Poros, etc.) and their surrounding sparkling blue Aegean waters.
While landside, betwixt the low and barren slopes of Hymettos and Pendeli, I beheld Athens, the sprawling concrete capital of Greece (4,500,000 inhabitants) and beyond it the plains, mountains and beaches of bountiful Attica with its many vineyards and sandy beaches. Then, after a wide bank, below and rising fast, lay Spata and the runway. You can see its rectangular form in the NASA photo below. http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop
The new airport is humongous and possesses miles of corridors which lay between me and the baggage claim area. Since I had red-eyed from Boston the night before, and slept only 40 winks en route, I took advantage of baggage carts & moving walkways as much as possible. Athens' baggage carts cost 1.5 euro each and their little automated dispensers only accept crisp bills, not the dog-eared ones I had with me.
The carts themselves are only half the dimensions of the standard... go figure. They also have those useless bar brakes which contribute to your carpal tunnel syndrome as you must hold them in order to push the cart. This must be for safety reasons? Hello?The terminal is flatter than the Mojave desert and my cart aint rolling anywhere unless I push it there. Sky caps? No way!
Boston's' airport authority at Logan charges you $2 to rent a lousy cart. Gatwick's' are free as the British are very welcoming and extremely civilized provided you don't want to work/move there and except when watching football matches. This may prove useful to you if you have to change airports in London. Something to avoid if at all possible!!!!
My overweight baggage spewed forth with only one small rip in it and I cleared customs like a Arabian potentate disdaining to demand restitution for the rip or to declare my cache of weapons grade enriched plutonium. SECURITY?
Since I had only paid $10 for this oversized duffle in San Francisco's Mission district I prematurely chortled with glee. The last 3 times I have flown, my soft baggage has ripped or torn in at least one spot probably due to my excess weight.