Well … looks like I am the first of us to venture to Paradise (not forgetting Jubby1!).
All packed, paperwork sorted … the Greek plf came through at teatime yesterday! Am just tidying up at home (for the burglars!) and then my youngest is coming to drive me to Manchester. Flight due to depart at 1340 … will report back later 🎉✈️💙🇬🇷💙
(I decided to keep the song theme going for the subject, as it’s true … I do wish you were all there/here!)
I’m afraid I was busy unpacking and assembling a frog, so I only saw Katet as she passed over Skopje at 41,000 feet, then I was too absorbed to watch her landing - must be an hour ago now. I’m running a book on whether or not she’s outside a Mythos or something similar by now. Any takers?
I have to say this. Kate, I’m looking to you to do a holiday for us all. I’m not asking anything, just going to keep an eagle eye out for the merest word from you to say it’s still as good as we all know it is.
Hopefully if we are not banned or put off, I’ll see you at my birthday party in September.
Manchester T2 is brand new and very shiny. All the staff were very smiley and I was through security before you could say ‘a cold Mythos parakalo’. There were only a couple of flights leaving at that time of day, and the planes aren’t full, so the place looked pretty empty. I had lunch as I was there two hours early - having allowed time for lots of busyness! The plane was approx a third of capacity, with only two cabin crew - again so smiley and happy to be working again.
We landed about ten minutes early and everyone seemed to be directed to the right for a test. That was vey quick - they just wanted a nose swab - and I was asked to go and sit in the baggage hall for ten minutes. Suitcases were off speedily - we were all sitting and wondering ‘what next?’ when my phone pinged with a text saying my test was negative… hooray as that would have been a bit unpleasant! They are still using the Aria as the quarantine hotel, though.
I joined the taxi queue outside and soon found myself sharing with two other ladies also heading for the port. They got out opposite the Ifigenia hotel and I got dropped off at the end of Pap Street … €8. I was struck immediately by how busy it was … and hot! I wheeled my case along the old port (noisily!), was greeted by several familiar faces at various tavernas, and negotiated a very busy GinFish to the slope up to Plakes. I was just about to start hauling my now-very-heavy case up the couple of steps to the Water when a young gentleman rushed towards me saying “no, no - leave it to me”. This was Dimitris, the hotel manager, and so here I am!
The Water is the last building on the old port … it used to have blue shutters. My view is stunning - boats, the sea and over to the Bourtzi 💙. I’ll put a couple of photos on Old Boomerangers fb group, for those on it. My room is lovely - modern, minimal style with a stone feature on one wall. There’s a proper shower, Bob, so I don’t need my stick on holder (luckily, as I forgot it!). The hotel doesn’t do food … but there’s complementary coffee and water in the entrance hall.
I was too tired to do much last night, so I unpacked and had a quick walk along to the new port, then some food at Meltemi Cafe (pasta, rose and water … €14) and then walked back via Papadiamantis Street, past the Blind Dog and Totem and cut through to old port again. I slept like a log … but needed the air con. The air feels heavy today… it’s already 29C and 55% humidity. I’m about to head out for breakfast and a beach … probably Koukounaries to check how busy it is. See you later!
Good to know you got there OK and settling in. Had a look at photos of The Water, looks very chic but a bit beyond my means. One day maybe. I was going to check your departure on flightradar but I had to check out 14 newly acquired spectrometers (don't ask) for students to use and missed your takeoff.
Just make the most of reacquainting yourself with it all, I know you are going back in September so you can always leave 'stuff to do'. If you happen to call in Agustera hope Dino, Effie and family are doing well. I didn't see Effie in 2019 as she was looking after the baby. Dino looked a bit tired!
Need a review of the 'Icebreaker' at Ginfish to see if it's worth ordering or not :-)
Just caught up with your news Kate and I have to admit to being so envious. Thanks for the mention! 😄. It’s great to hear that the whole process was so uneventful. Have a wonderful time but leave a few beers and cocktails for the others fortunate enough to follow in your wake. Bob
Hi Kate, glad you made it to the island. Not been on here for a couple of days. Just saw your post and photos on FB. Scary the amount of people in street, so close together and maskless. I am sure you are having a great time and looking forward to more feedback. Take care and enjoy. :-) PS: it was 32 degrees here yesterday!
Morning all, and thank you for your encouraging words! I hope you enjoy reading this … I know I can be guilty of using ten words when two would do 🙃
Well, it’s Saturday morning - 8.50 - and I’m just getting ready to walk to Megali Ammos beach, grabbing breakfast on the way. I’ll probably call at the Foodie cafe, which seems to be open longer hours this year. They have a dinner section on their menu.
The last two days have whizzed by so quickly. I just hope time slows down a little, as I’ll be back in the UK far too soon at this rate 🤦♀️ Ok, so on Thursday I was a bit late getting sorted out (finishing the unpacking and re-arranging the storage. I need a Vera!) I decided to go to Koukounaries on the next water taxi, which was at noon, so had a coffee at Mythos while I waited. The taxi captain said to be back 25 mins early, as it got very busy, so that’s what I did. It’s still €5 and a thrilling ride and I took some good photos, without dropping my phone in the sea. (I say this, as I have just managed to drop my brand new ear buds & case into a glass of water while trying to recharge them 🤦♀️. They seem ok.)
When I got to the beach I was really shocked to find there were no free sunbeds … apart from the Evil Elivi €20 ones! I hadn’t had any food, except a banana early on, so decided to use the Oceana beach bar, which was fairly empty. I ate an omelette and ordered a delicious fruit smoothie (€15) and by the time I’d finished I could grab a sun bed. They have gone up to €10 for two and there didn’t seem to be an option to just have one. (The sunbeds are very well spaced out, so even though the beach was full you didn’t have anyone too close.)
I left the beach at four and walked along the beach and through the nature reserve, coming out at bus stop 23. I was a bit horrified to see what looks like a road excavation from the old gate to the lake, but was later informed that this is access for machinery as they’re doing an undergrowth clearance project at the biosphere.). At the Agustera, there was only Dino and Sofia … not a single customer. I ordered an ESA and passed on your greetings, plus those from friends at home & my family (who are gutted not to be going this year). Dino was waiting for the first uk arrivals, saying the hotels were only just opening and expecting some Thursday and Friday arrivals. Because of this, it is difficult for him to estimate how much stock to buy and he couldn’t serve draught beer.
It was great to catch up, and I’ll go back for food & drink later in the holiday. I had quite a long chat with lovely Sofia (Elsa was on her break and Efi with the boys - who are toddlers now, not babies, Kev!). I tried to catch the bus at 24 … it zoomed straight past, so I walked to 26, assuming I’d have more chance. Oh dear! There must have been about 80 young people there and two oldies, like me! Another bus soon arrived and the kids all surged forwards before it even turned round - so dangerous! I didn’t even try to get on, thinking I’d probably go into AlAmar (open this year!) and have a drink for an hour and then try again. The problem is, the buses will (quite rightly) only let 30 on now and so aren’t coping. Anyway, I hung back but a taxi came to pick up three Greek lads and he signalled me to sit in the front. I was really grateful, and didn’t even quibble when he charged them full fare to Kolios and me €15 to BS 4!