Oh my goodness, I can feel another of my hard-to-follow tutorials coming on. It involves uploading them to photobucket (or another such site), then using the "insert image" button on the post create/reply window.
Tutorial coming up, but I have to switch to the laptop, so in the words of the master (Schnutsenegger), I'll be back shortly (or longly if it takes ages - screen captures, Photoshop and stuff. See ya, alligator.
We decided to try again late morning, after feeding ourselves - Vera had something sensible and I had the last of my Mavrodaphne and a big bag of crisps, my favourites - those origami flavour crisps. In UK I only eat a specific brand of ready salted, but out here, the origami ones are top banana.
The bus became packed, then got fuller, then got even more packed. The conductor is our favourite, big grin, cheery welcome for everybody and he called them all in even though the bus was properly full (by Greek standards).
In town, I was only able to find one single packet of Fishermans Friends, that won't last. But then we went to the dress shop, found a couple of things for Vera and a pair of trousers for me. I asked the lady where to find the town hall and she said her husband would tell me. He did and off we went to see the man about the webcam. I've reported that in the webcam news thread.
Then up to Tries Hierarches to the sandwich shop for a toasted thingy. Quite delicious. But I do wish my teeth would behave - they keep getting things underneath them and that is mega painful. Vera raises cain when I pull a set out to get rid of the offending sharp pip!
We meandered back down to Papadiamantis, on the way thinking I might at long last find the famed Alexandros Taverna, but once again drew a blank - I did see a sign for it, but following it didn't help.
The bus back was conducted by the cuddly lady - she tells people to come to the back please, challenging them to squeeze past her. But she's competent enough.
When we got back to Troulos, the weather was trying desperately to clear up, with a couple of tiny patches of blue sky and a hint of sun poking through. We had a pool swim, that was a mega mega big girl's blouse after the rain, but I was brave.
We ate at Ratatouille, not for the first time, so we knew the chicken souvlaki would come up to scratch and it was excellent. We declined bread because the tsatsiki comes with pitta bread. Small water and a frappé for Vera, half kilo house red for me. For a treat, yoghurt and honey to finish with. Total cost €32 with complimentary small glass of home made licqueur. I asked what it was, but she couldn't even tell me the Greek name for the fruit - I'm guessing plum. We wore our warm things - my hoody and Vera's cardigan, as even though the sun was by now beating down from a crystal clear blue sky, we were still feeling cold from our day in the horrible.
I forgot to mention that yesterday we saw that the zebra bus had experienced a mishap. It was parked off the road in a garage forecourt near the airport turn-off, with a couple of panels missing from the rear end bodywork and a man was directing the traffic jam quite unaided by any sign of a policeman. Another man was picking up the missing panels and chucking them into a pickup truck. Not being a bus-spotter, I haven't seen it since.
I see from the listing that Sue and God arrive day after tomorrow, so I shall probably have to start being better behaved. G'night all.
Tuesday 23rd June. We are back to sunny again, so off we went at 7:30am for our sea swim. When we got there at 8am, there was quite a breeze blowing along the beach, against the flow of the tide or normal current. So the water was very choppy. After yesterday's rain, it was also more than mega big girl's blouse, it was double mega BGB. Even Vera let out an involuntary small gasp, but was not put off getting in smartly. I did a great many gasps. With the wind, current and choppy water, it was quite hard work to do our usual toddle up and down the beach, we found it difficult to dodge our heads up over the choppy waves - they weren't big, but came so quickly we didn't have time to pop up without some effort. So after only half an hour, we called it a day, in the full knowledge that the extra effort today was the equivalent of our normal hour's exercise.
We went into town on the zebra bus, now repaired - well, at least stuck back together with a couple of rather bendy looking panels. We didn't have a lot of shopping to do, just the odd dress or something. Whilst half of us were doing that, I walked across to the ferry landing to wonder at the way they load and unload the Skiathos Express, a double hulled ferry. This unloading was done by a lorry front which reversed into the bowels of the ship, then came back out with a trailer attached. I'm sure that at one stage there were at least six inches space all round, but it actually touched the top of the opening as it passed out, and the back end grated just a little on the ramp!
This picture also shows one of the several port policemen, who marshall them and whistle at anybody who dares to park a car in the way, even had a right go at a bloke with a quad bike. I couldn't see how it was necessary, surely a great big artic lorry bearing down on your parking place would be hint enough?
A drink on the Bourtzi gave us our shot of peace and calm. A gentle warm breeze blowing over from the sea to accompany the Manchester Thomson flight landing. There are still no locks on the toilet doors!
Then back on the conductress's bus and at Villa Maria we ordered two cheeseburgers and a beer for me and a frappé for Vera, who made her own diabetic lunch. Then an afternoon of sunbathing by the pool for Vera and a boy's chat for me with Niko and laptop to catch up on various websites. Topped off by a swim in the pool, which was very BGB from yesterday's rain. Whilst waiting for the burgers, I popped along the road to book our Jimny for two days next Monday. They've only got one green one and that's already on hire until later than that, so I can't meet my promise to Vera of a green one.
We have eaten in the newly re-opened Chinese restaurant (whose name escapes me, but nothing like YingTong), on the path past Byzantium Studios and Sunrise Taverna, the place with the enormous Plane tree - a couple of A4 leaflets nailed to the wall tell about these trees and suggest this one might be as old as 2,000BC. We had the special chef's starters, then I had sweet and sour prawns whilst Vera had chow mein. Beer for me and two small waters for Vera. Our most expensive meal out to date, €46. It was far too much for us to eat and we were ashamed to leave plenty still on our plates. An interesting feature there is the cable car dumb waiter, which carries food from the kitchen in the main building to the dining area, where apparently they are not allowed to build a kitchen. It passes over one of the several entrances and I don't know if an entering customer would be entirely safe at the wrong time.
EDIT TO ADD Chinese is called Tropicana. I'm sorry, but a less Chinese name I cannot imagine!
Wednesday 24th June. This morning's swim was slightly less double mega BGB than yesterday - maybe I'm getting tougher, which would be quite out of character for me. The sea was less rough, but still not the mirror we so love, however we did get a good go for nearly an hour.
Into town on the reserved young man's bus - reserved as he doesn't cheerily yell the stop numbers and locations like most others and often quite late as a sort of afterthought - keeps us on our toes, I suppose, but we nearly missed number four.
After some successful final (I bet!) shopping, off to our favourite haunt, the Bourtzi for a drink.
As we approached the bus station to come back, the zebra bus started to pull away. We weren't too bothered, but the driver wound his window down and asked if we wanted to get on, so we did. Perhaps it was because we're Elderlies, but I don't recall many UK bus drivers doing that - indeed, I think most of them have rules that once the door is shut, that's it, pleading, begging, bribery and an offer of a fair maiden all fail to gain access.
There's a tall ship anchored offshore, I'm guessing the same one we saw last year.
Salt and Pepper for night eats. Vera only drinks the complimentary water, so, beer for me and spare ribs, pork chop for Vera. They got the sides mixed - Vera got my chips, I got her veg. That earned the responsible waiter some grief out of earshot - the mistake didn't bother us, simply put our plates together and did a swap, but the Maitre d' was so apologetic it was embarrassing. It honestly was no problem for us and we so hope the waiter didn't suffer more than a telling off. Complimentary ice cream. Total €35.00. And some people think it's expensive!
We're booked on the Ayios Nikolaos trip to Skopelos and Alonissos tomorrow, boarding at 9:15am so we have to forgo our morning swim. It doesn't get back til about 6pm, so we'll miss the afternoon one too.
There is a bit of a disturbing trend emerging this year Dennis - the ease with which you are cancelling your morning swim - once because of rain and now because of your boat trip. Why did you not get up at six o'clock and go for your swim then? I'm concerned that this propensity to cancel will mean that you will not meet your weight target! Bob
There is far worse to come.... Thursday 25th June. Oh the shame, the shame! Today dawned beautifully calm, still, sunny, balmy, everything (despite the forecast which said sunny clouds). I have a problem with the tops of my feet getting sunburned, so, expecting torture from the sun on the boat, I had to wear socks with my sandals. I didn't know where to put myself all day.
So without the morning swim, we set off in glorious weather at 7:55am to catch an early bus. A taxi stopped to offer us a ride, eventually knocking his price down to 5 Euros, but still we wouldn't take him on "The bus is 4 Euros". He said the bus would be ages and we didn't believe him and sent him on his way. The supermarket boss came out for a chat and pointed out the bus timetable which we hadn't studied - we just assumed a bus would be along soon. Turns out they don't run more than one an hour early on, 7:30 and then 8:30 - from Koukounaries, so it wouldn't get to us for 20 minutes after that! So we accepted a ride for 5 Euros from the next taxi. He topped up with another two passengers at bus stop 16, so made himself 10 for the trip.
By the time we got into the top of Papadiamantis Street, the weather had caught up with the forecast, clouded over, and with a hefty breeze to boot. So we called into a shop to get Vera a wrap. The taxi had dropped us quite early, so we sauntered past Ayios Nikolaos (our boat), then came back and got on early, choosing inside seats to escape the wind.
When we got under way, Victoria announced that as the weather was wavey, we were going to Alonissos first, then Skopelos. It was indeed quite wavey, enough for me to sing quietly "Oh a life on the ocean waves", but not remembering any more words, that was as far as I got. In Alonissos, we declined the bus trip and went straight to a harbourside taverna for an excellent tsatsiki, our first greek salad and one chicken souvlaki, with Vera's small water and my Amstel - I can't remember how much and I can't ask Vera because she's asleep after a long day. But it was very little. We had a 0% ice cream from a tub in the main thoroughfare and went o eat them at the phone box and kiosk, where I dropped three quarters of mine on the road!
And so off to Skopelos. When we came out of the shelter of Skopelos, the boat came across proper waves and we had right fun and games. Lurch from side to side, rolling madly, rise up and smash down on the next incoming wave, spray rushing past the windows all tightly shut. The downstairs cabin where we were sitting became a bit bedlam, with I don't know how many people all around us divesting themselves of their breakfasts into hastily provided plastic shopping bags from the crew hurrying to and fro. Screams, wails, the lot. I tried "Oh a life on the ocean waves" again, but it didn't prove popular without the rest of the words. When we got to Skopelos, the worst affected woman was escorted off by a doctor-looking person. We had a drink in a taverna on the harbourside and went to wave to you all on the webcam - did anybody see us? I was in the Mr Grumpy T-Shirt again (which Vera had washed). Then we had another ice cream, in tubs, scoops from a variety cabinet. Vera noticed that one youth who had deposited his breakfast in a plastic bag, was now in a taverna, scoffing a replacement!
When we left, Victoria announced that as the waves were still there, the captain had decided to return to Skiathos by a route round the south of Skopelos to avoid the waves piling in from the north. We still got some as we came out of the harbour and until we got out of sight round the headland. Then more when we came out of the lee of Skopelos crossing back to Skiathos. The worst affected woman had relocated herself to a bench seat right beside me, where I sat with my legs ready at any moment to take avoiding action. She lay there being sorry for herself until eventually she was persuaded to sit up by her husband for some passing notable feature announced by Victoria, but grudgingly. Then Victoria announced there were dolphins swimming behind the boat and she jumped up like an Olympic athlete to capture them on her iPad!
The changed route made us an hour late getting back to port at 7pm instead of 6pm.
And I won £25 on the lottery last night - only a few million to go for our Skiathos property!
I didn't have a problem with it, no illness and I wasn't scared. You see, bouncy waves don't bother me because if anything really goes wrong I can swim. Whereas in a plane I am terrified by the slightest tremors, because I can't fly!
Friday 26th June. (English Friday as they call it, the day so many English flights happen) During last night, the wind picked up a lot, to the extent that I had to get up at 2am to close our shutter doors because they started to bang and rattle. Vera was first up and said it was raining hard, so we cancelled yet another morning swim. When we actually opened the shutters later, we found it had just been the wind rattling the leaves of all the trees and flowers here at Villa Maria - the first ever indication that the lovely gardens have any down side.
So we had a leisurely day. First, a bus ride to Koukounaries, where we saw the black swans patrolling the sandy beach for food. Although last time we went there we decided this was not our type of place (rhythmic beach music is not our style), we did agree the beach was one of the finest we have come across, well protected against the winds, flat calm sea, shallow entry to the sea and the finest sand I can ever recall finding. We can understand how other people would find it very good indeed.
From there, we returned all the way into Skiathos town (proving that the fare of 2 Euros is the maximum payable for anywhere). We needed to pop into a shop for a nice dress, toasted sandwich at the sandwich shop by Tries Hierarchies, then off to the Bourtzi again for two drinks each. We saw three flights come in and that explained why the Thomson was late - those three blocked the parking, so Thomson had to circle round for half an hour to wait for space to park.
The new harbour was packed and we saw a number of yachts prowling round trying to find a berth, but there were quite a few which dropped anchor in the centre of the bay, not at the quayside.
After our afternoon swim, we ate at Vareli's again tonight - we have a short list of favourite eating places and this is well placed on the list - excellent food and really lovely people running it. Amstel, water, Tsatsiki, Kleftiko, meat balls, an icecream each, €37.50. Complimentary farewell drinks.
Euromillions draw tonight - Vera found a 2 Euro piece on the floor, so we are expecting great results from the draw.
Saturday 27th June. A blustery night, with a rising at about 2am to stop the shutters from banging. Unfortunately, not everybody else did, so we had a few wake-up calls.
At proper wake-up time, I thought I saw rain on the pool and recommended another BGB dodging the sea. However finishing breakfast at 7, we looked again and it had just been the wind rippling the water. So off for our early sea swim, although the weather looked grim, solid grey cloud all over. We had a good swim, but very few people were into the normal game of beds and towels. The walk back was cold, with the wind punishing us for being so hardy. We could hear thunder in the distance and were walking towards some ominous looking clouds. We got back in the dry, avoiding a repeat of our hilarious walk back in teeming rain last year.
We got a shower and hung the cozzies and towel out to dry just in time for the rain to start and it hasn't stopped since - at least our cozzies are getting a really thorough rinse and no doubt will do so for some time to come - if the rain stops I have discovered that our balcony washing line still gets the drippings from two upper higher balconies!
So no trip out and we had to make do for lunch - Vera had nice diabetic friendly stuff and humous, whilst I settled for a goodly glass of Mavrodaphne and a bag of origami crisps - unfortunately, Nikos wasn't responding to my calls on Facetime when I was hoping to order room service burgers and beer.
According to the weather App, it should have stopped raining ten minutes ago at 1pm, but it didn't. I should have known our luck was out after Vera's lucky 2 Euro coin picked up yesterday had absolutely no impact on the Euromillions draw. However, I picked up a lucky one Euro coin this morning on the way back from the beach, so I have high hopes for tonight's Lotto draw.
We are planning on eating at Sunrise (taverna) at sunset tonight, so long as we don't have to swim across the field.
As already announced in his thread by god, it stopped raining. We set off to town whilst it was still very slight drizzle, togged up in our pacamacs. By the time the bus reached town, it had stopped raining and out came the sun, complete with a glorious blue sky, absolutely no trace of the horrible we had endured earlier.
We picked up Vera's repaired bracelet and ring from Pan Jewellers and she was very pleased with the results.
We expected the Bourtzi would not be open for business - last year they turned us away in the rain as their awnings are for shade only, made of something similar to mosquito netting and completely leaky. So we opted to sit in Cafe/Bar Old Port and had a couple of drinks each complete with bowls of nibbles - crinkly crisps. The weather by now was simply glorious, so we decided to saunter round the Bourtzi anyway and found it roaring with trade!
Tonight we have eaten at Sunrise. Large water, Amstel, Tsatsiki (no bread because that comes with pitta bread - delicious), House Special Pizza and a tomato and onion salad. €19.50. Complimentary white milky jelly stuff decorated by brown glop stripes.
EDIT TO ADD - It seems the goat/chicken/veg man is also the night grill man as I saw him doing stuff at the outdoor hot thing.