As almost every year also in 2017 we decided to spend our summer holidays in Greece, together with Mike. Possibly on a boat, maybe island hopping. Besides the airplane tickets nothing was really planned: knowing Mike, we didn’t spend too much time on planning, we agreed on defining details once arrived in Schinoussa, a tiny island belonging to the Cyclades.
But then, somewhere in July, we discovered Ema had no plans for the summer. So we told him to join us. And after a week he did buy plane tickets. Three weeks after even Marco and Maite did. Spontaneously. Which was a great start for our summer holidays. Both would stay with us for one week, more or less, enough to get them introduced to Schinoussa, the Greek food and some of the most common Greek words too.
Just to plant a chronological waypoint in our resumé, the five of us met in Athens, at the Airport on Saturday, the 12th of August and we spent, more or less, a week of holidays together.
As there was no chance to get to Schinoussa on the same day we decided to sleep one night at the Holiday Inn very near to the airport and to make a quick tour of the Acropolis. Here Ema had the chance to make some experiments with his camera. I did too and here below some of the results.
As Ema sent me his pictures I may add his too in order to have richer photo gallery.
In the evening we finally met Mike who invited us for dinner in a restaurant very near the Acropolis. It was a sophisticated kind of kitchen, was good, but not really the Greek cuisine we are acquainted to.
As the next day we had to get up quite early we had just a few drink on our way back.
We got up very early in the morning as our flight to Naxos was starting early. But as we had reserved late this was the only option we got and the one we choose to go with. In 30 minutes we arrived in Naxos.
Soon enough we discovered that the information I was able to find on the internet regarding the ferry Skopelitzis wasn’t up to date: Skopelitzis doesn’t travel on Sunday. This was how our first adventure started.
Arriving to Schinoussa
Arrived in Naxos Mike was fortunate to meet a friend who was kind enough to take Marco’s and Maite’s luggage on his car as, he too, was travelling to Schinoussa, with another, bigger ship. We tried to find place on this particular ferry, but with our big surprise it was completely full. We still had a backup plan which involved Periklis: he was waiting for us in Schinoussa and could easily pick us up with Tovenaki as Naxos and Schinoussa are very near to each other. This was our new plan and we started to follow it: the first step required us to reach a more convenient port for Periklis to reach us. After having asked a few taxi drivers, we decided to opt for the public bus, as the requests of the drivers were outrageous and illegal. After one hour of bus we reached the new destination, beautiful beach. But. At that time we weren’t looking for a good swim, we were waiting for Periklis to pick us up. Periklis called us, while we still were on the bus, mentioning he couldn’t start Tovenaki’s engines as there was a general black out of the boat. At that point we were on a beautiful sandy beach, carrying our luggage under a burning hot sun, with no certainty of getting a pick up to Schinoussa, and there were no hotels, restaurants, or tavernas, which could smooth out the situation. Even worse, Maite and Marco’s luggage was on the car of Mike’s friend, probably travelling to Schinoussa, already: this particular detail made the option of sleeping one night in Naxos even less appealing!
In the meantime we found an abandoned hotel were we could protect ourselves from the sun and wait for the final announcement of Periklis struggling to start Tovenaki’s engine: luckily the announcement never came, instead P. managed to reach us and soon we were in Schinoussa having lunch all together at Mersini’s place.
Choosing the fish…
Once arrived in Schinoussa we enjoyed very much the multiple and different beaches. The nearest to us was Tsiguri, a beach which we went to for a few consecutive days and were we also ordered some fish. As usual in Greece you are asked to got with the waiter and choose the fish (and if they don’t ask you to go, I suggest you should ask them to show you). I was acquainted with this procedure but I never ordered a fish for 6 persons… and in this case the fish was very big. And not cheap either. But it was fantastic. It was a part of a grouper grilled. Still, as we got caught a little by surprise by the price, that 200 Euros lunch grew into a symbol of our holiday!
… and cutting the rabbit!
Our culinary adventures weren’t limited to the sea and it extraordinary fish, on the contrary! Let me first introduce to you a few elements in order for you to get the whole picture right.
Mike managed to find a room for Marco and Maite at Iannis place, an old man with a big house and a lot of empty rooms which get filled by tourists during the summer months. We were lucky to find one with such a short notice as Marco and Maite decided quite late to join us for the summer holidays. Since the first day Iannis took care of Marco and Maite in a very thoughtful way and one night all of us were invited to his place to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset on Alygaria’s beach and to have dinner with him. The main dish was based on an oven cooked rabbit. As we tried to serve the dishes we realised that we couldn’t cut it properly as we were missing the appropriate tool… Iannis slowly stood up from the chair and left us wondering where he was go, until, after a few moments, he came back with the proper tool. A bit exaggerated some may think, but it definitely did the job!
As promised, we also managed to take some pictures of the beautiful view during the sunset.
I thought it was a good idea to take my friends on a tour and see something else besides Schinoussa and experience a little bit more the life on board. Periklis was kind enough to take us in a very nice bay, protected from the wind and where, under the sea, lies a World War II plane. Once there we dropped the anchor and had a beautiful swim. While the rest of the group was still swimming I realised that Periklis was struggling to have electricity: no pumps, no engines were working on the boat. We were stuck. As he tried to restart the engines, we had a few drinks, some more swimming. But the engines wouldn’t start. The boat had to be tucked back to Schinoussa. Periklis suggested that the best option was to get on Anemos a tourist ship, which similar to sightseeing buses, takes visitors on different islands and ships. This we did and joined the group of current tourists, all Italians, and we spent a nice afternoon on a beautiful beach. Although, we weren’t organised for that kind of visit, and we didn’t have any umbrella protecting us heat of the sun. Marco and Ema weren’t impressed by the situation at all and as soon as we touched ground, they started mounting the nearest mountain: from there they could take some beautiful pictures.
At a given point, on the horizon, we saw Anemos tucking Tovenaki away. Although it wasn’t anything particularly worrying I took some pictures of the scene as it had something of melancholic. Tovenaki is most probably one of the most loved boats we have ever sailed with and in my imagination is related to going fast, splashing water left and right, beautiful and streamlined waves on the back. Not at all the scene that was playing before my eyes in that particular moment. Have a look yourself, doesn’t the boat have an unhappy attitude?
For the whole holiday I have been talking to my friends about Life is Feudal: Your Own a new video game that I have recently bought and that I have started playing just before leaving for Greece. Quite quickly Marco and Ema felt so involved by my reports and stories that we all had to start some simulation about the game itself. The sand of Lioliou beach was the perfect way to let some of our building phantasies go!
But this wasn’t enough as Marco needed to build the tallest sand mountain ever seen on Livadi beach.
All of this little adventures were accompanied by a lot of eating, drinking, laughing and sleeping following the motto “No stress”!
Soon it was time to pack our baggages, say goodbye to Iannis and to the beautiful Schinoussa. Some had to leave earlier, some later, we all had to, but with beautiful memories!