My final day on the island and reporting, currently, from my balcony! Tomorrow, it will be up, showered, last bit of packing, say my goodbyes and off to the airport around 10/10.30 am, and the joys of JSI security but for now .........
So armed with kindle, tablet and my cuppa, I start my day, not as early as yesterday (8.00 am) but one that is sunny with a wonderful breeze. Will be a 'flop' day today and one spent around the complex.
Puss put in an appearance, stood on balcony looking at me for all of 30 seconds, then turned tail and of she went. I did get a visit from adversary’s pal, who was very vocal this morning, straight into my studio and under my feet. I showed her out and as I went to sit down, she nearly tripped me up. Gave her a little fuss and off she went. Back to my kindle and a second cup of tea.
Just when I was entertaining thoughts of a shower, the cleaner arrived, with her shopping trolley (surprisingly empty today) along with her other accoutrements, and set to work. I decided it would be a good moment to give her a well deserved tip as there would not be an opportunity to do so tomorrow. After she left, I settled down with another cup of tea and my kindle and before long puss appeared again, walked straight past me and onto a chair where she went through her own ablutions before settling down for a nap. Maybe that was a sign for me to move, so went in for a very cold shower and half-heartedly started to pack my case.
As I leave to go for brunch, puss is still sleeping soundly.
After my cheese and mushroom omelette, toast and tea, yet other holiday friends arrived so after a catch-up it was back to the studio to continue packing my case. Puss still on chair where I left her but on hearing me woke up and followed me into studio. Managed to do most of my packing with some hindrance (first she got in my case, then she sat on some of my clothes which I had put on the bed) then back to pool for a couple of hours before going for my last meal on the island.
We decided on Meso Strata as I had not been to that particular restaurant and had been one I wanted to dine in for a while. Between us we ordered a split pea started and a garlic dip, the latter because they did not offer garlic bread. I wanted to have the baked fish but that was not available so ordered the perch in orange sauce, the other mains were pork chop and haddock. The starters arrived and the garlic dip turned out to be cold mashed potato with garlic (so disappointing) but that is apparently how they make it in Greece. The pitta it was served with was good though. My main went some way to redeeming the meal, lovely, boneless fish in batter, drizzled in orange sauce accompanied with half baked potato, a few chips, a slice of aubergine in batter and lettuce with tomatoes. The complimentary sweet was delicious, a small slice of orange cake with ice cream. The cost of the meal including a large bottle of water, small carafe of rose wine and a glass of red wine came to €50.10 and we added a tip.
Whilst we were in the restaurant, two priests arrived, which seemed to cause a lot of excitement for the restaurant staff. We didn’t know the reason for the visit but got the feeling that it was quite an honour for them.
We called in at Pegasus and Dream House so that I could say my goodbyes then to the bar for my last milky coffee with Baileys.
These two weeks on the island have flown by and I will be sorry to go home tomorrow, although I am sure my own kitty will be happy to see me back! 😄
Thanks Amy excellent reading. By the way I think I lost the plot years ago! Dennis my maths is based on don't count the day your on cos it's already started, don't count the day you fly, cos that's part of the holiday and subtract one for excitement! I'd like to post wedding pics but it's so complicated. Safe journey Amy.
It’s a bit of a sad day today, as I really would like to prolong my holiday, not being greedy but another week would be really, really good. I don’t think my batteries have been charged enough! Having set my phone alarm for 6.00 am and my tablet alarm for 7.00 am (just a precaution) the first went off and I thought to myself I have another hour so no need to panic. Of course I could not get back to sleep, so up and kettle on, and on to the balcony with my brew. No dilly dallying today, so with one eye on my watch and the other enjoying the view, I drank my tea.
The was crowing, the turkeys were gobbling (yes, someone has turkeys across the road although I never saw them, only heard) birds were flying around the trees and singing their morning, the butterflies were fluttering about their business (brown, brown with speckled patterns, the cabbage white that was tinged with green and the lovely, smaller blue variety, which are my favourites), the cornflowers were open and more of them today, the locals going to work, the jogger on his daily morning run and the stirrings of the Calma staff next door (wouldn’t be long before the aroma of cooking would start to waft over my balcony) but I can’t sit here enjoying these simple delights of the morning enfolding in the valley, so back inside as time is of the essence.
Having showered, packed the final bits emptied the fridge, took everything round to the girls' studio, I sat on their balcony and had a relaxing cup of tea to help with my stress levels, which were rising rapidly! Scorching hot again today with a nice breeze.
Elizabeth made me a sandwich for the plane and after saying goodbye to both her and Matoula, V arrived to take me to the airport. Said goodbye to the girls’ and we were off.
On arrival, all the coaches were lined up in their parking bays awaiting the lucky new arrivals, and as I entered departures I fully expected to see a space heaving with holidaymakers, zig-zagging their way to security and similar queues at check-in. What a delight, the reps outnumbered the holidaymakers, departures was blissfully empty! A mere few minutes to check in and this time I remembered to ask for an aisle seat. “You are already booked into an aisle seat”, can it get better? Bag taken for scanning, then outside to enjoy the fresh air. It was getting on for 11.00 am, with boarding at 12 noon, so I had at least 30 minutes before going into the hot house known as the departure lounge.
I did notice whilst outside that as Desires is now hidden behind the mound of dirt, bags are now being deposited just in front of the coach bays immediately entering the airport on the left-hand side of the road. I was waiting to time my re-entry into departures again, basically waiting for busloads of holidaymakers but no, they must already be in the sweat box. Taxis were pulling up and depositing their fares of one, two and three every minute or so, all very civilised, so I reluctantly went back inside for the scrum. I zig-zagged on my own around the security barriers and straight through to a blissful, air conditioned hall, and their were empty seats at all three gates! Had i entered the twi-light zone?
Duty free (or should that now be renamed to duty paid) was a doddle, same at the food outlet, so I settled down at gate two with my packet of savoury biscuits (breakfast today) with two of my holiday companions from the complex, who were due out on the Bristol flight an hour after mine. An announcement at 11.50 am to the effect that the Manchester flight was boarding at 12 noon and the queue started to form. I decided to stay where i was until the gate opened before I joined it. Only 10 minutes late before the gate opened so I waited until the first wave had departed before i said goodbye and moved to gate one. Before long I was on a bus and on my way to the plane. Ours was the only one on the apron and after getting off the bus, decided to enter the plane by the rear stairs. Didn’t make much difference, so when I eventually arrived at my designated seat, there was already a “bum” on it! Hmm, have you also been booked into seat 19C, "no I must be on the other side". So holding up the queue, she got her self over the aisle and after stowing my hand luggage and bag of goodies, i sat down.
We had a 12.45 pm slot so were soon taxiing down the runway for take-off but not before the pilot had already informed us that we would be refuelling at Kavala. I noticed the plane spotters as we turned around to commence take-off and thought that some of them may regret being so close to the fence but then we were hurtling down the runway and in the air for the short 25 minute flight.
We actually refuelled at the tourist part of Kavala airport instead of the army side this time and 25 minutes later pilot announced that we were ready to take off again but there may be a 25 minute delay and a wait for a new slot as there was a problem with weather over Germany. I think I may have groaned out loud at that point. However, 10 minutes later, we were taxiing for the second time and soon in the air. We did get some turbulence (over Germany) but I have experienced worse! We landed in Manchester around 4.00 pm and after the usual long walk I found myself at security for what seemed a mile long zigzag (barriers not people) for passport control. It was a different experience this year as EU passport holders had to present their passports to machines while non-EU passport holders presented theirs to actual human beings! There was a very helpful chappy who informed me what to do, so on my first attempt “the computer says no" and the second and the third. “Can I go back to Skiathos please”? However, he then presented my passport from the other side of the machine, and it was accepted. Foiled.
Did not have to wait long before my bag arrived on the carousel then outside to call my taxi. Think I may have to try a different taxi firm in the future however, rather than bore you with the details, we were finally on our way after a 50 minute wait and into the snarl of rush hour traffic. I eventually made it into the house at 8.00 pm Skiathos time. It has been a very long day.
No time for slacking though, first job was to water my plants (which were actually in better shape than I thought they would be having not been watered for two weeks), second a much needed cup of tea, then back down the motorway to pick up my puss and bring her home. A bit of a mixed reaction from her but only to be expected. I can now add that she now likes me again! 😉
So the end of my blog for another year. Thanks for reading and for the lovely comments. I hope for those going to Skiathos this year, you have a wonderful time and if you cannot make it this year, there is always next year.