Thursday, 30 June 2016

Day 14, the end is nigh

So here we are, my last day here in paradise.  I was up early and started the packing before heading out for the 9am bus and Maratha beach.

There wasn't a soul on it when I got there apart from the cantina staff who were busy setting up.

A quick dip and it was back to my comfy sunbed for a snooze.  I woke up to find the beach full!

The cheeky swans were back again, I think their routine is to swim around the coastline and greed whatever food they can from the curious tourists.  They're clearly used to being close to people and even pose for pictures.  The one who's always at the back hung around for ages having a preen so I popped over with a couple of crackers and hand fed him!! 

The day passed quietly and I made my way home to do a bit more packing.

I decided to go up to the old port for dinner tonight to one of the tavernas we used to go to a lot.  Anemos overlooks the old port and is a lovely view for sunset/ dinner...

Suitably  stuffed, I headed back up through the winding streets and came out at the Acropolis car park near the pool bar.

An early night is needed I think, got to be checked out early and my luggage is getting picked up at 9am.
Na night loves x

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Day 13, back to Agia Eleni

I enjoyed my time at Agia Eleni so much I decided to return today.  As yesterday's weather ended stormy it was a breezy and hazy morning but I was in my spot not much after 0930. 

My little buddy made me feel welcome not long after I arrived ...

And proceeded to get comfy and go to sleep in my beach bag!

The sea was so choppy because of the wind and I didn't go for a swim until early afternoon but when I did it was so cool and refreshing.

It wasn't long before the breeze dropped and the heat returned with a vengeance. I took myself off to the taverna for some shade with my book and one of their amazing fruit salads.

My friend is getting married on this beach next year and wanted me to take some sunset pictures.  It was almost 1930 when I left the beach (needed to finish my book!), it wasn't sunset time but I hope she likes the pictures I sent...

I can't believe tomorrow is my last day - what to do, which beach do I visit and where do I go for dinner???
So many questions and not much time left.

It's gone so quickly, I'm really not ready to leave yet xxx

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Day 12, lying by the pool

After a rather late night (early morning!) I decided to have a lazy morning and pop next door to the Tennis Club for the day.

One of our regular haunts for lunch and siestas, I've spent many an hour by that pool.  Was a tourist today so managed an upgrade to a sunbed instead of just collapsing under the olive trees lol

From my sunbed I can see my bathroom window! 

It got a bit cloudy and thundery around 5pm so I went hime for a shower and a siesta.  It was all passed by the time I was ready to go out and thankfully a bit cooler!

Heading back to Maratha beach tomorrow, looking forward to a nice quiet day (yes, another one!) got to make the most of them while I'm here xxx

Monday, 27 June 2016

Day 11, beach 9

Evening folks, it's been another hot day here in paradise.

I headed down to Koukounaries again today and got off the bus at stop 25, made my way past the Golden Beach Hotel and up the hill. Less than 10 minutes later I was at Agia Eleni beach on my sunbed and enjoying the view.

I remember coming here before the season started in 2003 and it was beautiful even then.

Off I went for my dip and when I came back someone was keeping my sunbed warm ...

Poor little sausage, wasn't hungry and didn't want a drink, but snuggled up behind me - just wanted a cuddle.

Look at that little face, cute as a button.

It was so hot again today, I was in the sun then the shade - felt like I didn't sit still all day.  I headed into the beach bar and sat in the shade reading for ages, treated myself to one of their famous  fruit salads ("how healthy?" I hear you cry!) it was absolutely divine ...

I didn't leave the beach until after half 5, it was so lovely when the temperature dropped a bit and most people went home.  Quick shower and change and off up to the pool bar to see what the boys have been up to.

An Italian lady thought me taking pictures of my feet was entertaining and proceeded to get her 2 friends to come and watch me.  I admit I had to take a couple as the shoreline was a bit steep and I kept losing my balance lol 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Day 10, beach 8

Was up with the larks this morning and on the 0845 bus down to Agia Paraskevi (also called Platanias) at bus stop 16.

My parents loved this beach when they were here.  Like everything else, it's changed and there's no taverna anymore just a little shop for snacks etc

I was there early enough to get a good spot and have a swim before everyone else joined me, in fact I had almost an hour sleep too before it got too busy lol

I went for knees instead of toes today - living life on the edge! 

Not much going on until a really rowdy family arrived, they're here for a wedding tomorrow and I think everyone on the beach knew about it by the time they packed up to go.  Other than them it was quiet.  The sunbed guy was rather yummy but he charged me for both beds so we don't like him πŸ™Š

After a fab siesta I decided to eat at Scuna, one of the restaurants on the club strip (well, what used to be the club strip - I think it's very quiet now). 
And here the ultimate Shirley moment happened....

As soon as they showed me the table I knew I had to get them to take this picture.  Poor waiter thought I'd lost the plot and insisted on taking a facing picture too lol

I need to find a way to slow time down, it's going so fast :(

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Day 9, beach 7

Well what a strange old day.

Really windy early on and when I arrived at Kanapitsa beach it did look rather cloudy back over the Town.  However, I had a dip and settled on my bed.  Not the best beach but the beds are really well spaced out and it was nice and quiet.

After a couple of hours the wind really started to whip up and I could feel the spray from the waves so knew what was coming.  I just started packing my things when the thunder started rumbling ominously, and just kept on rumbling!

I got to the bus stop just as a couple of large rain drops hit the road but it was just a shower, barely wet the ground to be honest.  A couple of lightening flashes and overhead rumbles and it moved off.  The stifling hot air has been replaced by a very pleasant temperature so hopefully things are back to normal now.

When I got back to Town I headed to the pool bar and just relaxed the rest of the afternoon away.  There was another little sprinkling shower later on but nothing exciting.
I introduced Eleni to the delights of crafty websites, she wants to make jewellery like mine, so we spent ages looking at online tutorial videos and beads.

My brain seems to have given up working today, I can't decide if I'm hungry or not or even what I'd like to eat - which is not like me at all!!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Day 8, a wander down memory lane

I fancied another day in town today so headed down to the Paralia (old port) for breakfast, it was busy with people getting on the tour boats and restaurant deliveries.

Once the hustle and bustle had died down I set off up the hill past the tavernas.  You can't get lost, you go uphill you end up at the Acropolis area and if you head downhill you end up back at the port/Papadiamantis Street.

I have no idea how, when or why I developed an obsession with doors, I suppose I'm just curious (nosey!) about what is behind them ...

From here you come slightly in to the right and find yet more tavernas.  I 
love the view from up here and always used to bring friends and family to Anemos taverna when they visited.  The owner let me in to take some pictures before I headed further up.

I carried on meandering my way around the maze of streets with their white houses and crazy paving pathways, every corner leading to a view or picture opportunity. 

I ended up right at the top of town, where there's been a lot of changes in the last couple of year - a new playground and square area being the main ones.  I grabbed a bottle of water at the bakery and say in the shade for a few moments beside the cemetery.  I didn't want to go in as there were a few people milling about and I wasn't sure they'd appreciate a nosey tourist.

I headed back down towards the Plakes area - a peninsula with a tiny beach.  Thee used to be a lovely taverna which was a converted boathouse overlooking the sea, it closed just before I was here in 2003 and to see it today looking so delapitated was so sad.  I'd love to buy it and make a beautiful house and clean the beach area.

After I went to the end of the peninsula I made my way back to the main pathway and started heading back down towards the Paralia (taking yet more pictures lol)
I went back up to the Bourtzi as there were some pictures I wanted to take that I didn't the other day.

I climbed down and sat with my feet in the cool water for ages, watching the boats going out and the planes coming in.
I popped to the toilet before heading back into town, now that's what I call a loo with a view ...

I wandered back up on to bar street, looking to see what was still going and what was new.  Mainly new I must say but that's life isn't it, keeps trundling on and changing.  Good memories though, and now new ones to treasure ...

Na'night peeps xxx

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 7, beach 6

After the worst nights' sleep in ages I was a bit late leaving this morning but was still on the beach before 10am.

I decided on Banana Beach today as it's another one I've not been to before.
All the way down the island to Koukounaries at bus stop 26, you come back a little way and there's a sign beside the kiosk pointing up a hill .... It's longer and steeper than the one at Vromolimnos and they're more than a bit cheeky because you get to the brow of the hill and there's another sign ...

At this point, what you don't know is that you've got to go down a much steeper hill before the path splits in two ...

You'll be pleased to know I took the left path! 

The beach was nice and quiet so I picked my spot and settled in for the day.  I didn't venture over the rocks to the right of the bay and on to Little Banana, however, plenty of other people went for a nosey at the noody bathers.

The sea felt cooler here but we did have a nice breeze so maybe that had something to do with it.  Temperature shot up when I saw the lifeguard patrolling the shoreline ....

Definitely a Shirley Valentine moment!  

The next one was quite funny, I took myself off for a walk and came across some rocks so had to have a picture with my Greek rock lol

One last swim before I tackled the mountain range to get back on the main road.  I walked back to to next bus stop and stopped off at the Golden Beach Hotel for some food and to use their wifi  to upload yesterday's post.

So, another exciting day in the life of Wor Shirl.  Can't believe I've been here almost a week, where has that time gone? 

Day 6, no beach but 2 jobs?!

So, the great day has finally arrived, the day I came here for.  I opened my cards over a cuppa and my neighbours from 2 doors down popped over with a little card too.

I fancied a shady day today, so took myself off to Town for a wander.  Many moons ago all the Bourtzi had was a little coffee shop, it is now a proper swanky "brunch cafe", so I did as expected and ordered brunch.  My expensive but very delicious omelette didn't last long and I sat reading my book and taking in the view.  It's a great place for watching the flights coming in ....

Down the other side of the main path I found a little hole in the wall, definitely a picture for the wall once it's been edited I think ...

I spent ages just people watching and enjoying the shade before heading up the steps towards the church.  Rock & Roll bar was famous for its big comfy cushions placed on the steps at night but they've now been replaced by purpose built sofas.  Seeing as the bar was open, I thought it would be rude not to partake of a little beverage ....

Sitting there in my shades and sunhat I felt very "sex in the City" lol Once I was suitably refreshed, I continued up the steps and then had a little meander around the winding streets.  So many gorgeous flowers and pretty balconies, around every corner ...

Saw some beautiful ceramics and glass art as well as driftwood sculptures.

After a siesta I headed back out to grab a quick tea and then up to the pool bar.  Eleni had made me the most delicious cake and everyone sang happy birthday, it was such a lovely end to a great day.  I know I planned on spending the day on a beach sipping champagne, but we all knew that wasn't going to happen due to the ongoing financial crisis lol

Oh, the 2 jobs?? 
Evdokia wants me to go and work for Olympic and Taxiarchis wants me to work at the pool bar.

A girl can but dream xxxx

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Day 5, beach 5

Howdy folks, I'm a bit early with my post today as I'm off out with friends tonight for drinks.

Well, the last day of my 30's has been a most enjoyable one.  I had a look around the garden this morning, the colours and scents are so beautiful...

The hunt for Maratha beach was solved today by getting off the bus at stop 22 and not 18/19 like the website said so!!

... and I believe I've found my new favourite beach!  I arrived around 0930 and there were only a handful people there.  

I managed a cheeky snooze before I was joined by a lovely couple who I saw at Troulos yesterday and some more swans, I never thought of swans as sea loving birds, however, they are here ...

I didn't leave until after 4pm, after realising the little cantina didn't have a loo, so I wasn't looking forward to the bus journey and walk home.  
After a steep climb back up to the main road (the beach lies down a track below the Skiathos Palace Hotel) I was waiting in the bus stop when my new friend Milos flew past in his car, beeped and reversed back up to get me.  Ah my knight in a little red Fiat!! I met him at Taxiarchis pool bar the first night I arrived and we have become "friends" as you do, chatting at the bar over a beverage.  
What a relief! He dropped me off at acropolis bus stop 4 and I nipped straight into Taxiarchis for a frappe and the loo!!

Well, no siesta today (ooh, get me living life on the edge!) I'm off home now, it's about a 30 minute stroll (no need to hurry, Greek time and all that!) and a cold shower before getting ready to meet Evdokia.

Laters peeps xxx

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 4, beach 4

Bit of a pattern forming here, sorry if I'm boring you!

Really starting to unwind now and stop caring what other people think.  It's difficult being on your own, you spend most of the time wondering what people are saying about you: sad, lonely spinster; fallen out with friend/other half; honeymoon gone wrong???
To be fair, it's likely that nobody has noticed me and there have been no such discussions but you can't help but wonder.  In a way I'm glad I haven't been rescued by Jeanette & Dougie from Manchester (huge Shirley Valentine reference there in case you missed it!) I'm liking this independent woman malarkey. 

Was going to look for Maratha beach today but got out off at the wrong stop and ended up at Troulos Bay instead.  How different to yesterday?? The peace and tranquillity that is rows of English people talking in low voices to each other rather than Greek and German families shouting at their rowdy kids!

We had a couple of swans who paddled up and down the bay regardless of how many swimmers there were ..

Troulos gets it's name from that rock in the background - Troulonisi.  Troulos is the name of the domed church roofs, which is where the rock gets its name from (have I lost you??)

Anyway, I met some lovely couples whilst I was out for my swim (yes, you read that correctly, swim) and one fab lady offered to put sunscreen on my back as her brother always struggles on holiday alone too, bless her.

Lunch at the Troulos Taverna wasn't as good as yesterday but was still nice, I opted for tuna salad today instead of Greek.

Dinner was very Greek πŸ‡¬πŸ‡·πŸΊπŸ΄my first gyros in ages!  And it was soooo good, No Name is a little corner shop selling basic grill and salads, a few wonky tables scattered around the pavement and you've got the best people watching spot  to go with your yummy dinner ...

Seeing as I'm on to my second mojito I guess I should get moving, the quest to find Maratha beach continues tomorrow! 

Oh by the way, there are still 26 bus stops - the Skiathos website is wrong (hence me getting lost looking for Maratha today), stick to the SkyMap, always up to date!! 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Day 3, beach 3

Happy Father's Day from sticky Skiathos! It's Father's Day here too which is nice as   I'm up at my "Skiathos family's" pool bar for drinkies! 

Blimey it's been hot today, so hot in fact it got really humid around 3pm and it was hazy and stifling so I got the earlier bus home.

I went to bus stop 13 and Vromolimnos beach today.
This was my favourite beach when I was a rep, always good music from the beach bar and lots of workers used to hang out there too.  I forgot that as a tourist on public transport it was a bit of a hike from the main road...

Doesn't look much of a hill until you're halfway up and in need of an iron lung! 
Well worth the walk though, a beautiful, clean stretch of golden sand and the main beach bar has had a face lift too.  Hardly anyone on the beach when I arrived so I walked all the way along to the left where we used to go.  So sad to see the beach bar closed and tatty, lots of good memories from here.

All of these beds on the picture were reserved, so I wandered back to Paradiso and got myself a rather comfy sunbed (€4 for a bed and an umbrella - not bad) 

Lunch was the same as yesterday I'm afraid to say - just can't get enough of those tomatoes! Lol

It's still the Bank Holiday weekend here so it wasn't long before it was busy with Greek families and the noise level rose! 

I sat about an hour or so after lunch and when it got too stuffy I hiked my way back to the bus stop and home for a siesta πŸ˜‰

Went to Niko's on Papadiamantis Street for dinner and had a little wander around the shops on the side streets, so many lovely ceramics and jewellery.

FaceTime with my parents was an experience lol - I spent most of the time talking to the gap between them on the sofa haha. Was nice to see them though and wish my dad a Happy Father's Day xxx