Saturday, November 24, 2007

15th October, 2007

Up early before bright at 5.30 am. Quick change and first at breakfast at 6.00 am. Yum. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in the street did not go on all night, and in any event I got my nods. I checked out while Kate found Tony the Taxi Man and loaded the car, and off we went into the darkness. Socrates walked to the end from Piraeus, but we took a cab. Tony found the right ferry (by asking) and squired us (carried the bags) on board. We are in seats 3H and 3I, up the front of the ferry. So far, so good.

It is comfortable and a large ferry. We have donned our seasickness wrist bands to prevent same, and are having a cup of coffee - a large mug of cappuccino for me. Nods hit last night at around 8 o'clock! The revellers below did not disturb me. There was no extra blanket so I was a little cold - two twin beds so Michael's warmth was not available! No tea/coffee making either. Should have packed the Brisk Brew. It is just getting light as we sit here. We are right at the front so can see blokes outside doing nautical stuff.
We left on time. Many announcements, first Greek, then English. Easy to understand. At 8.11 we are passing an island to port (left, to you 'lubbers'.) The coffee tasted like Nescafe. I read somewhere that Nescafe has been very successful in Greece, even replacing Greek coffee to some extent. Is this another example of the evils of marketing? Am I outraged? Moving on..

We've been turning to port after aforementioned island at 08.16 and now steering into the sun. First stop Stifano and then Mylos.

This section of the ship is nominally divided into smoking and non-smoking. It reminds me of aeroplanes and how they used to be divided too. It really makes no difference, but at least there is a recognition that people who don't smoke don't like being near it. The smell is of very dark tobacco - like Gauloise or Disc Bleu- names from my past! We are going straight into the sun so curtains are being drawn. It is choppy and there are whitecaps. Land is visible on both sides.

Forgot to turn on the step counter until we were on the ferry so we are now at 277. There wouldn't have been many more than that anyway. We have reached our first stop, Stifanos. Steep, rocky, white houses on the only available flat surfaces and clinging to the hillsides. 10.10 - Serifos? We can check the map in my bag for the name. Yes, it is island hopping. The ferry tickets I bought off the web and had delivered to the hotel worked. I have the map now: Serifos, Sifnos, then Mylos.

Arrived, disembarked. It is cloudy, windy, a bit cool. We walked along the path around the waterfront to our Hotel Portiani.

Danae behind the desk was very cheerful, very enthusiastic, but it appeared there had been no booking made. the travel agent strikes again. There was a room, however, at the top right (looking out) with a lovely view of the water. Delightful. We got some maps, discussed beaches and hot springs and lunch. Walked up a ways, then returned to the restaurant recommended, where we ate "tomato balls" (deep fried slices in heavy batter), "zucchini balls" - again deep fried fritters, then I had spaghetti with seafood (prawns, baby whole squid, mussels) and Michael had meatballs. We followed it with coffee. Michael had Greek coffee and I had iced frappe. Pretty sure it was instant, and it was awful. We discussed later that the coffee is disappointing generally.

Here in our room at the Portiani we have no kettle for making our own. Bless the Hotel Adrian for providing that small luxury! After coffee we were provided a sweet - a sticky semolina pudding with cinnamon. Feel like I am rolling. A short walk after lunch along the promenade but no verticals! We are only at 7220 steps. A rest day. I called Mum to let her know all is well. She, Majic and Lisa are doing fine.

We sat around, I got out my sketch pad and did a version of the view. I'm not particularly happy with this drawing - I just couldn't get the colours of those hills right.

There will be more tomorrow from the long balcony, and lots of photos. After our rest, some reading and tatting. No more eating!! (Apart from a Coke and some chocolate.....)

Went for a brief walk in search of the International Herald Tribune, but it wasn't to be had in all Adamas. Also in search of more steps, and we have made it past our mandatory 10,000 to 10,479. Phew! It is too cold and windy to be out too long, and Michael did not bring his windcheater so is feeling it. We'll see what the morrow brings.

Breakfast is not served until 7.30. We early risers will be starving by then. And no coffee can be made in our room!!! Aaaaaargh!!!


  1. I love the drawing! From someone who can't - its fantastic - even the mountains!!