CraSh Williams' Blog

Next stop, Milos

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 15, 2011

After Sifnos we boarded a ferry to Milos – the ferry being super cheap though slightly longer journey when compared to the cats though if truth be told, a much nicer journey. Sailing by day meant we were able to spend the crossing up on the deck (which you’re unable to do aboard the cats,) enjoying the sunshine and the blue waters of the Mediterranean. It’s quite a cool way to travel, the wind in your hair, sun in your face, passing by numerous islands – a mini cruise around the med!

Milos was so so, I believe Sifnos is rated the best Island of Cyclades which unfortunately we’d just left! As we left the ferry an old lady, dressed head to toe in black, with a face like a an over-ripe date approached us to see if we’d be interested in seeing her accommodation, initially asking for 40e we got her down to 25e.

Heading off in the direction of Milos‘s largest hill (a small mound really, though it was mid-day and we were fully loaded with berghans) she soon left us behind – her two/three minute walk was our ten minute blowing out of our backside trek! Eventually we arrive at a cute blue door and all seems quite promising – we’re above the port with a big church next to us, it was looking promising.

On entering the apartment we quickly stopped with Shelley bumping into my back – I could go no further in as there was a bed blocking my way. This was the room, it must’ve been all of a double bed with about a two foot gap around three of its edges, I’ve seen bigger wardrobes than this and not knowing the Greek for ‘…you’re having giraffe…’ she quickly realised we were not very impressed and promptly pulled some more keys out promising that the next place was even better.

Better in the sense that it has only slightly more space but with no window, just the door and also, neither a toilet nor a bathroom – she pointed around the corner, out of the main door to a side street which is where the bathroom was located! By this time it was sense of humour failures all round – the old lady was getting very animated by our real lack of interest and general feelings of hostility towards her – initially she was wanting 40e for these cupboards, it was a total joke so we left her there, this little old lady blasting out a 100 curses at us both, we headed back to the main part of town to dump the bags, grab a beer with one of us heading out to find some accom.

Heading out in a different direction I quickly found a stunning apartment – owned by an Austrian woman, she had a great little studio, overlooking the port on a quiet residential street for 30e – I quickly grabbed Shelley to check it out and being happy we checked in.

We stayed on Milos a couple of days, hiring a scooter we did a tour of the Island but pretty as it was we decided to move on, taking a 6 hour boat to the Island of Naxos, which is just after Santorini…

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R’n’R in Sifnos

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 11, 2011

It seems a bit cheeky saying this but having been in India for the last couple of months, we both needed a good holiday!

True, you could argue that having already been away for ten months seeing the World, that taking a holiday at the end is a bit much. However, India (as always) was hectic, never getting a moment to kick back and put your feet up so we’ve  decided to head to Greece, taking in some of the Islands before returning home.

Near on twenty years ago I’d visited the tiny Island of Sifnos – about a three-hour boat ride from Piraeus and is one of the Islands which makes up the Cyclades group. Sifnos itself is tiny, it has approximately 2000 inhabitants and 200 plus Churches dotted all over the Island. After the purlarva of getting to the port (taxi and metro strikes across Athens) we pulled into Port mid-morning…

It’s not changed one bit – I even found the small clump of trees bordering beach where all those years ago I camped up – a young man  with no money in my pocket, just my saucepans and gas burner – and a bottle opener! The only difference between now and then is the price of everything – Greece is in the middle of a financial crisis and you would’ve thought that prices may be slightly cheaper due to no one (not just Greeks, but everyone across Europe and the World) having no spare cash – accomodation owners are charging astronomical amounts and wierdly, given its out of season would rather you walk away than negotiate a price both parties are happy with. Thankfully we f0und a great little place, overlooking the beach!

Everything us super expensive, a can of coke is 3.50euro, a cup of tea is 3euro, a basic lunch (and I mean basic) is 20euro min – we’re struggling to pay these prices so I really feel sorry for families or indeed the locals – though I do think (and strongly believe) that there’s two prices lists in operation, one for tourists and one for locals which is a bit galling if truth be told.

Also, Sifnos is (surprise surprise) surrounded by the mediterranean sea, which just so happens to be full of fish – in fact looking left of where I’m currently sat I can see hundreds of fish all swimming around merrily enjoying their two seconds of delight, at the same time dodging the pathological kid, whose been in the sun a little too long being intent on bashing as many of them as possible with a stick!

Wanting to eat some fish, we asked in a restaurant to price up some fresh fish for lunch – they were quoting 70euro a kilo – 70EURO a KILO! As Shelley said, the fish are literally jumping out of the sea so how can they justify asking for so much?

Funnily enough, whilst enjoying our greek salad, I visited the bathroom to find the owner of the restaurant and his family tucking into several lobsters – I guess if you can’t sell it to the punters you may as well tuck in and enjoy it! Other than that, this Island is beautiful, we’ve a great room and we’re very much chilling out. We’re here for another couple of days before setting off to see another Island – our only hassle is deciding which one next!

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Striking out from Athens

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 10, 2011

Getting up early, we checked out of our hotel only to find there were a number of strikes taking place across Athens – the two relevant to us were taxis and metro – we’d only booked our tickets the night before and surely you would’ve thought that either the hotel or the ticket office were well aware of the impending strikes and what this would mean for someone needing to be at the port for 7.30am the following morning. But n0 – not one person mentioned this to us and only whilst checking out we got to find out this crucial detail!

We’d paid just shy of £100 for our ferry tickets and it was really beginning to look like we would be spending another night in Athens – a night neither of us wanted to do. Having no other option but to go out onto the street, I set about trying to find a cab – the receptionist told me I had no chance though undeterred, I stood outside trying to flag various cars down, I’d have willingly paid top dollar to get to the port. A Spanish couple came down, again in the same boat (we wish) as us – we were stuck, it was 6.45am and the boat was sailing in exactly 45 minutes…

A different group also joined us in reception only these guys had been told about the strike and were able to book a  cab – he turned up and hearing our plight assured us that we would indeed get to join our boat, I was dubious – Piraeus is a good a forty minutes return journey and we had forty-five minutes to play with and he’d just left with the first group.

At 7.05am – the cab driver screeched to a halt outside the hotel, us and the two Spainards piled in as the Kostas (cab driver) set off at break-neck speeds – listhening to loud classical music, he told me to put my seat-belt on and that he’d get us there with time to grab a coffee! We flew through town and true to his word, we just made it – it was one helluva of a ride and whilst we paid top dollar, we joined the ship and set sail for Sifnos – a three’ish hour boar ride from Piraeus…

Leaving Athens

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