July 9, 2018 - Náxos, Greece

This morning was just as it should be - bright sunlight and warm. We were supposed to get a wake up call at 6 but it didn't happen so it was lucky Lucie and I were up and ready by the time we had agreed to meet the others for breakfast. Just as we were walking out the door the wake-up call came, half an hour late. After the usual generous buffet breakfast - distinguished by the presence of an amazing orange juicing machine that rolled unpeeled oranges down two slides, twisted them around a circular gadget then dispensed orange juice - we were all ready for the 7.20 bus to the airport. I don't know where the hotel is in relation to the city, but we couldn't see much except clusters of white houses on rugged hills. It was very spectacular.

Flight Centre had booked our flight to Naxos through Hahn Air who are somehow associated with Aegean Air, but we couldn't find any mention of our flight on the Board. There was only one 10.05 flight mentioned, but that was with an airline we had never heard of. Sky Express. We roamed up and down, David and Sarah asking this person and that, until someone in the know said that the hitherto unheard of airline was indeed the one we were looking for. After that, it was all a breeze.

The International Departures part of Athens Airport is just like any other International Departures glitz - overpriced 'Duty Free' perfumes, jewellery, etc. I made straight for the Departure Lounge so that I could catch up with recording our adventures - after all I have Max's high reputation to maintain - and transcribe into my notebook Max's tutorial on transferring my photos into this journal. The others had a wander about, and just before we left, David and I chose a 1 litre bottle of gin. Really, alcohol is about the only thing I reckon you can save on at airports.

The flight over the islands was gorgeous, but only 45 minutes until we were in the tiny airport of Naxos and bargaining to get two taxis for the 6 of us. It turned out to be about a 3 minute drive to our hotel, Naxos Holidays, so again, at 5 euros each, we felt we had probably been had.

It was only about 11.30 and although the two bedroom apartment we had booked was ready, the additional room wouldn't be ready until 2. Instructions - don't drink the water, and toilet paper in bin not toilet. Oh dear.

The apartment was not at all what we had expected. Through a nice little terrace with a table and 3 (?) chairs, a blue door opened straight into the twin bedroom with a tiny sink and fridge at one end. The second bedroom was through one door, and a small shower room through the other. No sign of the sitting area we had been anticipating, only one wardrobe, with three coathangers, in the inner bedroom, and otherwise bedside cabinets to store clothes. We were somewhat daunted, specially when it turned out that the separate twin room we had booked for Sue and Jackie actually had only a double bed. The Management soon changed them to a twin, and Sarah asked for their vacated room for her and David; they gave her a price for it, but told her was unavailable when she went back to reception to book it. All part of life's rich tapestry as my dear sister Mair used to say.

After deciding that these setbacks were not  enough to dampen our spirits, we set out to explore Naxos, four 'mad dog' Australians and two English women going out in the midday sun. Sarah was very solicitous of me as we walked along, making sure I didn't look the wrong way and walk into the path of oncoming traffic. After several wrong turns, misled by signs intended for vehicles and not pedestrians (of whom there were none other than us), we wound our way down to the port area and found a gorgeous cafe called the Bossa on the waterfront. We ordered drinks including a Citron (which I think is like the Italian liqueur Limoncello) for Sarah. It was bright green and after the first sip she said it tasted like penicillin. I had a sip and decided it was quite nice, so when the friendly waiter said she could change it for something else, she said  she would give it a chance to grow on her. Which it did. We ordered baguettes or burgers which were substantial and came with yummy crispy fries.

I am having fun trying to read Greek signs (i.e. to make out the letters, not the meaning) because I studied Ancient Greek for a year as part of my BA. I still remember the lower case letters but the upper case is giving my memory a hard time.

We strolled for a while along the waterfront promenade which is very wide, with shops, mostly selling souvenirs or clothes, hats and beachgear, on one side, and an uninterrupted line of restaurants down the middle. We bought one of those old fashioned folding paper maps which David cleverly interpreted to get us home in half the time it had taken Google Maps to get us there. Back at the hotel we had a swim in the lovely big pool, all except David who went for another long walk and discovered that the beach is only 10 minutes walk away. We eventally gathered on our little terrace - which, apart from the chairs, also has stone benches along the wall -  and enjoyed a gin and tonic with nibbles  purchased from the next-door supermarket. Having had a large lunch and a busy day, that was all we needed for dinner. We sat over it and chatted for a while before going to bed.




Judy Crewe:
July 12, 2018
I am really enjoying your Greek entries. I sympathise with your reaction to the loo paper in bins rule. Drives me to drink, though I love almost everything else about Greece. Enjoy. xx
July 13, 2018
Greek letters?? It is ALL Greek to me!
Take care to watch the traffic and not the signs but above all soak up the Citron.
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