A FURTHER five things I’ve learnt on my travels this week
1. Sun of a beach!
I have just returned from my 10 day “vacation away from my vacation” to Elafonissos, a little island off the coast of Greece. It was absolutely stunning. A really lovely island with three pretty amazing beaches. We visited all of them!
Panayea (A small family oriented beach), Simos (Closest beach to the camps and, as we unfortunately found out, popular with nudists…) and Mykro Simos (Where all the beautiful people lay in the sun).
The best beach had to be “Mykro Simos”- with it’s kilometres of white sands and calm, crystal-clear waters. All-in-all; a fun and relaxing trip.
On the ferry from the coast of Greece to Elafonissos. (At this point, I have obviously not noticed the specks of dirt across the lense of my camera. – Something I will only discover on my return to Athens.)
2. This is SPARTAAAAA!!! No really.
We drove through Sparta on the way to the coast. Not quite what I expected. No mythical giants adorned with jewelery and NOT. ONE. SIX-PACK. IN. SIGHT. Very disappointing in this regard, but otherwise it was pretty much the same as every other village we drove through. If you ever want to go there be sure to stay at the Sparta Inn. Because, well, I didn’t see any other one.
3. Wind + Beach = Human Schnitzel
One downside of our visit to the island, was the sudden turn in the weather. Winds picked up during the second half of our holiday. Unfortunate, but it didn’t stop our visits to the beach. (A big mistake on two of our ten days…)
When your skin is wet from swimming, nothing is worse than a gust of wind carrying the entire beach onto your body, encrusting it like a schnitzel. When you walk, your legs crunch. When you speak, your mouth crunches. And when you blink, the insides of your eyelids crunch like pieces of sandpaper on a cement pavement. Loverly.
Also, try pitch up your beach umbrellas in these winds…. PAHAHA! Impossible. We used the concrete rental ones those days…
4. There really are ancient castles on random little islands in the sea.
On our way back from Elafonissos, we took a detour past Kastro Monemvasia – a medieval fortress, on an island, in the middle of the sea. Probably the coolest piece of history that I’ve seen. It was founded back in 583 (Yes, that is a three digit year) by people seeking refuge from the Slavic and Avaric invasion of Greece.
The entire inside of the castle has been recently restored, so tourism is booming. Along the little streets where market stalls once stood, there are tourist shops selling curios of every kind. It was like being in a giant time machine. (All original cannons still intact!)
If the intensely high temperatures didn’t get to us, I’m sure I would have forced everyone to spend the entire day there, but alas… CURSE YOU, heat waveeee…
5. Nothing is sacred anymore.
Our neighbours at The Captain (Our hotel in Elafonissos) went on holiday in order to procreate. We are certain of this. We heard this. Very loudly. Rather often. I would have told them to get a room, but unfortunately, they were already in their room and the window fell just over our balcony.
Thus, we stayed out most of the day and night.
This leg of my trip is coming to an end soon, but another one is blooming over the horizon. Just wait and see where I’m off to next… (Can’t wait!!!)