Tony & Cynthea Zurich, Turkey, Greece, Mallorca travel blog



Faros beach

Glypho beach

typical stone walls on Sifnos

Apollonia, Sifnos

goats in the field opposite our hotel

Friday 6th May

Alex was off to work late this morning, school didn’t start until 9.30. Normally a school day starts at 8.30 and finishes at 2, straight through without a break. They have nearly three months off in summer.

We have a list of beaches to go to if we can figure out the bus timetable. You have got to be able to read Greek too, but that is ok because the street signs are also in Greek!. We also have a list of restaurants and cafes to visit, THAT is a bit more difficult because there are no addresses. The day is very cold and overcast, the coldest it has been so far. We don’t do a hell of a lot tody. Alex cannot host us tonight, but helps get a good discount at Anthoussa hotel along the road (EUR30 ($56) a night.

Mostly today we read, and Tony tries to edit photos (big job, over 1200 in Turkey and Greece!). We haven’t eaten since breakfast, and the supermarket is still closed for siesta, so we wait a couple more hours while Cynthea watches a movie, before heading to Narrow Street to find one of the restaurants on Alex’s list. We have a list of local dishes to try, including a lamb dish called Mastelo that is baked in a clay pot.

We find the restaurant and try the dishes. They were ok, but probably wouldn’t have them again, at least not at that place. We got three items off the menu to share, Mastelo, Greek salad and kaparosa, but the portions were small and expensive. We are not sure what that last one actually was, (onions, capers and herbs we think), and a small dish containing just a few spoonfuls was EUR4 ($7.50!),. We had enough to eat, but for EUR26 ($48) we did expect more. They also put bread and water on the table without asking, or telling us there was a charge. We could have asked them to take it away, and probably will next time. Walking through the alleyways back to the hotel we see decorated eggs, and are reminded it is Easter (later in Greece than the rest of us) – something that we missed because it was not celebrated in Turkey, wonder why??? ;-)

Our hotel has a café attached, and confectionary shop. The chocolates are lovely, and Cynthea gets a small selection. We decide that we haven’t tried any of the local homemade icecream, so we decide to do that tonight. Should have checked the price Cynthea (a lot of things on the island are not priced), and the icecreams (two scoops) are EUR4 ($7.50) each!!! On Santorini it was only EUR1 per scoop, and we thought that bad enough.

We get a message from Alex saying he is staying in tonight (basketball game on), and we will catch up tomorrow.

Saturday 7th May

A glorious day, but the wind is still there. We get fruit, cheese, meat and bread for a picnic at the beach. Texts from home tells us the weather is shite. We go to the café for a coffee so we can use the free internet while we wait for a bus. We decide to go to Faros, it is closer, and we think/hope we can walk to the church at Chryssopigi from there.

We text Alex to tell him we are off to the beach, and board the bus that turns up at 11. We don’t see the destination on the bus, so we ask, and five of us get off as it is not going to Faros (“next bus”). There is another right behind, so we climb on that, no one thinks to ask if it is the right bus though, because it was the next bus. As leave town we turn right, not left as expected. Bugger, this road goes to Vathi! We look at each other to see if we should get off and wait for the right “next bus”, but then the driver goes around the block, so we are on the right track after all.

It is beautiful at the beach, the wind is a bit cool, and hardly anyone about even though it is the weekend. Too cold for the locals though, even the ones here from Athens for the weekend. We walk a few minutes to the next beach and see a coastal track that “might” lead to the church we had been told to visit, so head that way for a look. The beaches are deserted still, but there are a few people out walking. We see a sign showing the track to the church, over a couple or three hills, but Cynthea is ok to try it. We take our time, the views are stunning, just like the postcards. At the church they open it up for us and another couple. It is a tiny church, 500 years old, and we are told there is a wedding there this afternoon.

We get a text from Alex, he and Elena are going at Faros beach for a coffee, and did we want a ride back to town. (The bus back wasn’t until 5pm, or we can take a taxi for about EUR6). It is only 12.30, and we were going to have lunch at the beach here before heading back for a swim at Glyphos or Faros. We decide to walk back to Faros to meet them, and then have lunch and a swim. It takes about 40 minutes to wander back. We chat for a few minutes and then head back to Glyphos, just a few minutes walk, but a bit more sheltered. Alex and Elena stay at the café for lunch, we have ours with us and have a quick bite before the swim. The water looks wonderful, but it is bloody cold for a while, until the numbness sets in, and you can wade out a long way before it gets deep. Little fish are darting about, and Tony hopes there are no big fish!

We spend a while in the water, the locals think we are mad. Alex reckons it might be warm enough for him in a couple of months. We drive back to Apollonia about 4pm, it has been a great day, so far…

Back at the hotel we are in the café when there is suddenly a lot of noise as the wedding procession passes, cars and buses all blaring their horns, and firecrackers being thrown. They are on a tour of the island, and must have gone to the top end, because sometime later they are back, and head off in another direction.

When we get in we get a message from Hayden needing to talk to us now. We find out the hotel café has internet, and Skype Amanda and Hayden. There has been very heavy rain at home, and when Hayden finished work (11pm), he drove along Macandrew Rd. It was heavily flooded, as was Surrey St and Forbury Rd. His part of the street is ok, but we weren’t. The drains could not cope, and there are small fountains in the middle of the road. He walked down our drive and was ankle deep at the front steps, bugger, that means the garage is well flooded. Hopefully the new floor that Tony and Pol put down is high enough to keep our gear dry.

We go for a walk now that the shops are open again, we don’t want to go to the restaurants and cafes as they tend to blow the budget. Around the corner from the hotel we find a takeaway that does cheap pita kebabs, just a couple of euro each, so that is our meal for the day, much cheaper than the restaurant, very nice and filling too. Shame we didn’t find it sooner!

Tony decides it is time to sort more photos and label them as they have only been done up to the 23rd, before Gallipoli. It needs to be done otherwise we will forget where they were taken, although we are taking photos of signs to help us remember. There is a wee balcony outside the room, so Tony sits out there for a while. The wedding party returns, and the celebrations are cranking up, they are close by too...

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