Keep looking for you, Dennis and Vera .... but our paths don't seem destined to cross! We're spending our days in Koukounaries, though, and only venturing into town in the evenings so that may be the reason.
The big storm was impressive. Loudest thunder I've heard over here ..... but at least the sun was out by lunchtime next day ☀️
Dammit, I’ve forgotten how to show photos using iPhone, so I apologise in advance for making you follow a link - I’ll edit and put the picture properly in view when I get back to my laptop in Troulos.
The point of which is - you know how people know people? Well here’s proof that it’s not what you know, but who you know. A local friend bundled us into tonight’s cinema ahead of the madding crowds. Here we are sitting in just about the best seats in the house since 8pm - opening time 8:30. So we haven’t had to queue outside or run in to get a seat. This is genuinely the first time in my life that I’ve benefitted from who I know!
#katet we shall be driving through Koukounaries tomorrow morning some time in a Jimny, some colour, don't know what yet.
#andrewtommy we shall be on the morning swim walk early tomorrow, before getting our Jimny. Get up at 7am and go outside and stand next to that blow up doll wearing carnations and carrying rolled up copies of The Times, stay there until 9am and I'll give you a shout whenever we decide to walk past! (PS Great to see you putting pen to paper, so to speak - maybe give it a try with a thread of your own?).
We dillied and dallied this morning, going for our swim later than normal (half an hour). This was according to The Grand Plan, which read that we would stay in Troulos until early afternoon, then trundle into town for a look at things we might not yet have bought, all to take up time before eating a mixed grill for two at Nikos Taverna. On the bus in, a young man overheard us telling someone else we’d be going to the Katsonis submarine ceremony next morning and joined our conversation to tell us he’s a warrant officer in the Greek submarine service, also the grandson of one of the Katsonis crew who was captured by the Germans, invited to join the ceremony to represent his family.
We duly ate the mixed grill and finished well in advance of cinema opening time, so we sat with a friend shopkeeper who eventually used his influence to get us into the cinema posing as something other than customers, long before the ordinary punters were let in - I already did a spoiler post and picture.
There was half a row behind us marked with a girl’s name, reserved x 8. I forecast to Vera that this would be a hen party, drunk as skunks and noisy. At any rate, they started to enjoy the film well in advance of it starting - they were ready to get into the spirit, some of it quite alcoholic, I guess.
I confess the first Mama Mia film was in my opinion, just great. Absolute schmaltz, but terrific. MM2 was, again in my opinion, awful, no plot that I could fathom out, the hens stood clapping and joining in with every song, whooping at every other moment. To cap it all, the sound system wasn’t up to giving me clear dialogue - can you believe it, I caught myself trying to follow the Greek sub titles!!! Final misery somebody nearby was smoking and since I gave up smoking too late to save a large part of my lungs, I was pushed into coughing spasms on occasions. I bought us both a t-shirt in the interval, but I’m not sure when we’ll wear them.
The film finished at 11:30pm and I thankfully headed for the bus station where we caught the 11:50pm bus, along with half the population. Fortunately they thinned out as we made our way along the coast. We got to bed at half past midnight, having resolved to grant ourselves a day off on the morrow to make up for it.
So much for the resolve, I had overlooked the fact that it was submarine ceremony day, so we had to forfeit our morning swim in favour of best bib and tucker and the bus to town. Vera, as always, wore her poppy broach in respect for the fallen sailors. There was a minesweeper tied up at the new harbour close to the ferry jetty. We hadn’t expected there to be a submarine because the lad from yesterday had said there wouldn’t be one this year, but there it was. There seemed to be more uniformed personnel this year and they reverted to reading the names of the lost sailors (they didn’t last year) and I correctly translated the response to each name “He died for his country”. It really is a moving thing and I always admire Skiathites for doing this, it’s typical Greek traditional observance. At the end, the submarine moved off in what I took to be the sea equivalent of a fly past and then sailed off - no invitations to board her this year.
We came back to Troulos after first dropping off a thank you can of Fix to the shopkeeper friend who had got us into the cinema early. Afternoon leisurely pool swim and ate at Varelli again.
Early swimming dash today in order to be ready to pick up our Jimny. The sea was the glossiest calm of the holiday so far, I was VERY reluctant to get out.
Red Jimny, nothing special, he said he’d fit new wiper blades when I paid the deposit a couple of days ago and told him to check because rain was forecast. And I achieved my wicked worst - in negotiating the price when he said 80 euros I said make that 79 for my 79th birthday and he agreed, but he also said it’ll be more next year for your 80th. However, when he wrote the receipt, he said he’d have to write it for 80, otherwise his boss would give him grief for 79. But he would give me one euro to make it right. And he did when I picked it up!
After fuelling up at Victoria garage, we went off to Koukounaries for Vera to look in the supermarket. Naturally, the woman greeted her like a long lost soul, in spite of the fact that they meet only twice a year! No sign of Kate. Then off road, slowly making our way round the north coast to drop down into Asselinos Beach for our customary soft drink and a wee. And so onwards to Ligaries Taverna, where we found a waitress we had previously known elsewhere at Sunrise Taverna in Troulos. Small world. Lovely Greek salad with bread. More wasps than we’ve ever seen here before and we received a deterrent thingy, little bucket full of burning coffee grounds, which strangely didn’t set off my cough!
Back across country, then down into the back route into Agia Paraskevi, where nobody greeted us as we gently rolled past Elisabeth Studios. And so back to Villa Maria for a lovely swim after challenging the Big Girl’s Blouse.
I had my dashcam running and have transferred the files to my laptop so that I can clear the camera for tomorrow’s recording.
Jasteri for tonight’s meal. Vera had sea bass fillets and I had stifado, with tzatziki starter, large bottle of water and 500 ml beer, 36.10 Euros.
And indeed we did, Amy, maybe around 2pm. Problem is, we couldn’t know whether or not you were there and stopping in the road outside would create instant traffic jam. We are not well enough acquainted with Elisabeth and Jenny to be driving in unannounced, so we slowed down to nothing, then moved on after seeing nothing through the gate.
So, Tuesday 18th.
Leisurely but short morning swim, back for showers and breakfast, then off on our second trek. Heading for town, we spotted a sign in Agia Paraskevi for Green Park which we have been admonished to visit, so a quick flip of the steering wheel took us down the road to see what was there. Without going through the gate we couldn’t see much and anyway had other fish to fry, so we turned round and resumed our route. We stopped at the new supermarket by bus stop 3, where Vera at long last found the funny little bread stick things she has been hunting.
Turning left at the bus station we rolled along to the end of the airport runway. Nothing was due, according to Google, so we pulled round onto the road to Xanemos and stopped just to see if the world was still there. A Thomas Cook plane was parked on the apron, due to leave in an hour, so we trundled along to Xanemos, where we were accosted and photographed by Judith Jenkins, she of Boomeranger ribbons fame (Facebook).
Coming round the airport, we turned right to pull up into the hills to the north and reached an overgrown part of the track which prevented us snapping the Thomas Cook which departed early. Bit of a challenging track, this one, and I was in 4 wheel drive to get up it. We chose not to call into the Taverna at the top - it didn’t look very alive and last September we had failed to get anything more than a freshly squeezed orange as they had run out of everything else we suggested, including ice cream, explaining they were closing in two days’ time so weren’t restocking. I turned into what should have been the hamlet of Kalyvia seeking a shortcut to the road past the monastery. It’s a mistake to look for shortcuts in Greek mountains and we had to retrace our route back to the real road after coming to a halt at somebody’s front gate.
We called into a favourite haunt, Platanos Taverna and ordered their special omelette and an Amstel Free beer each. They only had one Amstel left, so I took the alternative Fix version of alcohol free beer, not as tasty, but needs must and it was lovely and cold. Sadly, the special omelettes didn’t have their usual dollop of Russian salad and they explained some problem with the ferries meant they didn’t get a delivery. It was their salad which persuaded us to try making it at home last year - we did it but not so nice as theirs.
Our route back to Troulos was via two tree roundabouts. You can get back all the way on tarmac, but what’s the point of a 4WD Jimny if you don’t go trekking? We came at last to the road down through Agia Paraskevi and as mentioned at the start, didn’t go seeking Amy etc at Elizabeth’s. With time and fuel to spare, we sailed on to Koukounaries just to check it was still there. A van was just pulling under the Elivi hotel barrier and I wondered about diving through, but it came down before I could try.
And so back we came. A quick dip in the pool and lovely chat with a couple of fellow guests, then off to Ratatouille for tzatziki, chicken souvlaki and my chicken Dijon. We only just managed to force the last bits down our throats - Ratatouille portions are real Greek ones! It’s a couple of hours ago, so I can’t remember whether it was 28 or 38 Euros - probably the latter.
On the way back, I woofed to Bella the golden Labrador next door and set her off and all the others locally. Great fun, which I doubt anyone else appreciated! Vera told me off.
I was wandering up and down the road in Koukounaries on Monday morning, Dennis ...... I waved at every Jimny of all colours & got some very funny looks! That was a lovely photo of you and Vera on Facebook, by the way.
Sorry, I really owe you all a huge apology. Nothing wrong except I’ve fallen behind and to be honest, every time I’ve had chance to look at the forum, I have been totally sidetracked and fascinated by the brilliant reporting from Kate and Amy.
We’re home, of course, and I hope to find chance tomorrow to get myself in gear and complete my holiday report and also catch up with updating the 2019 bookings. It has rained here all day today and if it’s similar tomorrow I should be able to get on the computer.