Managed two hours sleep before alarm went off, a coup as normally don't go to bed before an early flight!
Taxi on time and a very pleasant drive to the airport, very little traffic at 5.30 am. On arriving at MIA, I spotted two friends I have met over the last couple of years and not only are we on the same flight but staying at same apartments in Aghia Pareskevi! I would say that was a definite plus.
Airport very busy but check in very quick. Felt sorry for those that had checked in online! Had to be helped with the checking the check in. Security very busy but thorough within 15 minutes . For once, the alarm didn't go off so no need for the body search. Made my way through to the airport lounge, grabbed a coffee from Pret (not my normal choice of beverage this early in the day) but needed something to keep me awake on the plane.
Thought I would start my feedback at the airport, but didn't realise that free Wi-Fi means signing your life away and you only get one hour! . No problem though as when I started the process, info on departure screen stated boarding in 60 minutes.
So, just going for a nosy around the shops and will "see you on the other side" where, I believe we can more or less expect wall to wall sunshine for the next two weeks! Yay!
Amy, you've really got me flumoxed now. I wanted to watch you on Flightradar24, but airport MIA has beaten me (unless you really ARE flying from Miami). I've watched Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Birmingham all land (but not one of them was caught by the Panorama webcam). Newcastle next, then a couple from Manchester.
Unfortunately our flight didnt taxi to the gate until 15 minutes before take-off due to a knock-on effect from previous flights causing a delay xof oxne hour. After a quick turnaround we were called to the plane, hand luggage stowed and flight took off 35 minutes late. Think the captain said they had just flown in fro Fortuventura but must admit wasnt really listening to him. Good tail winds had us arriving in Skiathos in 3.15 hours and like Tweed, we had to sit on the runway for at least another 15 minutes until the outgoing TC flight started its taxi for take-off. Although a smooth landing, albeit with a slight bump, unlike Tweed i was gripping the seat in front of me as although the pilot applied the brakes, we didnt seem to be slowing down and i had visions of either hurtling into the sea at the end of the runway or the pilot releasing the brakes and taking to the air again! :-):-)
My bag was one of the last off the plane (isnt it just he way) and although last year the pulling handle would only raise half way, this year it was jammed down so was having so much fun dragging it through arrivals, i walked right past my "lift"! :-):-) All sorted within minutes when one of my friends went back into arrivals and found him!
A very pleasant drive to AP, dropped case off in studio, and to the bar for a much welcomed drink! Met up with more guests i know and introduced to others i hadnt met before, and after another glass of wine, quick shower and change then 12 of us met up at the Pegasus for dinner. Very pleasant evening, starters was bread with garlic butter all round and i had the plaka, wine and water for me, and we split the bill equally coming to 15 euros each. Nice little sweet with the bill - tasted a little like Christmas cake with a yoghurt topping!
Back to studio bar had a coffee then was so tired i decided to go back to studio. Once there kind of woke up so i would unpack suitcase. Gave up halfway through and took to bed. Unfortunately i was up and down like a yo-yo throughout the night. Mattress so firm you could bounce a ball off it, back felt as though it would break in half! Ended up folding the quilt and using that as a topper!
Choices for tomorrow night - 1) brave the bed again, 2) drape myself over the balcony railing or 3) curl up on the tiled floor like a cat,
PS: Dennis sorry you missed tracking my flight but MIA is the short form for Manchester International Airport although i can understand that it would be mistaken for airline scheduling speak for Miami airport :-)
Brilliant idea Tre, it could then double up on the sunbed! I am sure that Elizabeth's grandchildren will get many a happy hour out of it when I leave. Will hotfoot to the supermarket tomorrow. :-):-):-)
Amy, airports have official letters to identify them. For example, if you look at the baggage label on your suitcase for the outbound flight Manchester to Skiathos you will see the letters JSI which is the official ID for Skiathos. MIA is the official ID for Miami. Manchester is MAN.
You're the second traveller I've read sitting waiting to get into the airport parking apron whilst a departing plane pulls out. I always thought they had this down to a fine art, but it's beginning to sound like the new operating system is not living up to the Germanic reputation for efficiency and not even to the efficiency that preceded the takeover. It worked OK for us last September, so we'll see again in less than a fortnight.
What a beautiful hot, sunny day. Blue sky but slightly hazy. Finished my unpacking, stowed the case, and finally relaxed.
Made it into the bar for brunch - omelette and very small greek salad - still not paid for it yet, created and tried to post feedback, gave up and went for a walk. Needed to find a new straw hat so went to the supermarket at the Iguana. Nothing i liked so took the bus into town where there would be more choice. When i got off at the terminus i noticed that the moorings heading towards the Alkyon, were practically full of yachts. Never seen so many before.
Checked out the ferry offices, there are three now. Didnt go into the one closest to the bank but called in at the others. Unfortunately they only post ferry times in the window, no handouts, and whilst they are happy to give you all the timings, unless you have a very good memory or a piece of paper and pen, then you may with which ferry/what time/how long, etc. I kind of worked out that there are roughly five services to Alonnisos between 6.30 am and 5.00/5.30 pm, so is doable in one day or an overnighter returning the following day.
Went up Papadiamantis and hit all the hat shops and finally found something that was suitable but decided to buy it on way back as i wanted to take in the remaining shops near the top of the street. Stopped in one of the bakeries for one of my favourite pastimes - a latte with a slice of baklava - yum,yum, and whilst there directed two couples to the pharmacy on papadiamantis! Civic service completed, paid my bill - 3.90€ - and left to buy the hat. Shop shut!! Another day then. :-)
Caught bus back and called into bar.
Wind got up around 6.00 pm, welcome relief after hot day. Pizza night, always good, with a glass or two of red. Then a walk through wind and rain to studio. Will pay tomorrow.
The swallows are back in the bar this year but have relocated to a new nest higher up in the roof. Babies are quite big now and very demanding on the parents. Could watch them for hours. They scoop up water from the pool to give the chicks a drink. Takes a couple of trips as they have five mouths to feed!
Amy, for your timetable/memory problem - I often get this difficulty, a package too large or heavy to carry in the passenger seat of my van and I need to use the address to put into my satnav or on a delivery note. I take a photo with my phone and that solves it. I shall probably end up this year with photos of the bus timetable and the fast water bus and maybe a few others.
Another brilliant idea, thanks Dennis. I still treat my phone as a phone and tend to forget it has so many other possible uses! I must be sliding into the geriatric zone at a much faster pace then I thought I was! :-):-):-)
Woke up to heavy cloud, windy and weather, the sun not coming out until around 3.00pm, so spent the day around the studios.
There is a couple staying at the same complex that i met briefly last year. They are back again to get married and everyone has been invited to join their wedding party. The hen and stag dos are tonight so 13 'hens' gathered in the bar at 6.00pm and taxis were called to take us into town. Four went off in the first taxi and nine of us squeezed into the mini bus for eight! It had been arranged that we would start with tails in Goldfish on the old port before having dinner at Sofia's on the new harbour. The last time i had a tail was three decades ago but i settled on a Mohito. It was delicious but one was enough for me.
After a second round of tails were consumed we paid the bill and made our way to Sofia's.
The steps up to the restaurant were nearly the undoing of a couple of us but the consensus was that the view from the top balcony was worth the effort.
Food, wine and water ordered various conversations started around the table, everyone having a lovely, relaxing time and getting to know one another. I ordered the seabream but somehow ending up with the seabass (a story in itself) but it was the waiters that i found most amusing. They were young (mid-late 20's or maybe early 30's), very professional and polite. What tickled me was the way they spoke to us. "Please madam, i will do that", "Move your fork please madam" when putting my food on the table, and general instructions in quiet, authoritative voices. Certainly reduced me to the age of six. :-):-) i wondered whether they were like that normally or just when faced with large numbers of women, hoping that if they felt in control we wouldn't cause general havoc. LOL. No offence meant or taken and scrupulously honest. There was a table next to us of two couples with children who paid their bill and were about to leave when one of the waiters came back and informed them that they had overpaid. No, we paid the right amount. I assure you sir, you overpaid. Checked the bill and the amount given and they had indeed overpaid by 40€! Even the waiter was aware that it was too much of a tip!
The food was excellent, if a little cold. One of our party said she would only give them a 9 out of 10 because of this but had it been hot, it would definitely be a 10. I had to agree. One of the nicest things was that they had a bundle of small fleece type blankets for diners if they felt the chill, which i thought was a very nice touch. Would i eat there again? In a heartbeat but only if i could get a fireman's lift from the harbourl :-)
Meal finished and paid for we trotted off to the harbour to catch a couple of taxis back to AP. There were four of us in my taxi and we were only charged 14€ for what is normally a 20€ fare. The other hens didn't get a good deal, it cost them 22.50€ for the same trip - we didn't hear the last of it for the remainder of the evening. :-):-)
Back before the stags who had a good old time calling in at a number of establishments in AP!
We all agreed it was a lovely evening and and we had really enjoyed it. After a few more drinks at the bar, I decided at 2.00 pm I was bushed and went to bed.