CraSh Williams' Blog

Posts Tagged ‘sifnos’

Nuts on Naxos

Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 18, 2011

Naxos has been a pretty cool place, it has a nicer vibe than Milos and we’ve really enjoyed being here, it’s certainly a ‘bit’ cheaper which Shelley commented on Trip Advisor and is now in the middle of a long ‘discussion’ with several regular contributors! Apparently Milos does not receive a great deal of visitors due to not being on the ‘cruise-ship’ route and due to marketing, they’re very focussed on the American market – why this means such high prices is a curious one, the Americans’ have less money than anyone and if I were Mr. Milos I’d be aiming for Mr. European to come visiting!

The boat from Milos to Naxos is roughly a nine hour journey, taking in the Islands for Ios and Santorini along the way – as mentioned before, a mini-cruise in the Med, take a book to read and enjoy the sunshine. On arrival you’re greeted by the numerous guest house owners, lackeys and suchlike, all offering a place to stay. Having had our fingers burnt in Milos – the little old lady with more wrinkles than a pair of corduroy trousers, we were well prepared with questions. Such as – does the studio have an inside toilet or do you crap out of the window, is it on a hill and have you got a car to take us there.

Opting to go with Anna, we drove to a purpose built block and we quickly dismissed the first room shown – one tiny window, stuck in the corner of the block which really wasn’t for us. Nor was the second place, a nice enough room but below us were a group of Aussie girls, already on the sauce and to be honest, there’s only so much screeching you can put up with so we decided to continue our search elsewhere when Anna mentioned one more place, further in town with a great view and no Aussie birds beneath us…

With little hope that the next place would be the one, we jumped in the car and quickly arrived at the next place – a local street, kids tearing up and down on pushbikes, little old ladies chatting with other little old ladies… Entering the building we saw that the stairs were being used as a cupboard for fruit and vegetables and other odds and sods – it wasn’t looking too promising and only when Anna mentioned that this was her mums place, her father is a farmer (we could help ourselves to the fruit and veg) and the studio above had been recently decorated, that we started to get interested.

We took it straight away – we’ve a great studio, a massive roof terrace and what with being on a hill a superb vista of the town along with the sweep of the bay and Paros in the distance; it’s a superb place – ‘mama’ has provided us with a couple of lovely meals (we keep poking our heads around her door, saying hi and looking hungry in the hope of more home-cooked food!)

Whilst Sifnos is still the best place we’ve seen, Naxos has been pretty special. It’s got a great little centre, full of tavernas and numerous bars – whilst buying some provisions we asked the shop owner to recommend somewhere to eat, where he would go and he suggested a great little locals place just around the corner – we found the restaurant and to be fair the food has been the best so far, juicy pork-chops, great fish and good wine plus we’re paying ‘regular’ prices – the waiter has also taken a shine to Shelley and is constantly chatting to her, smiling and generally ignoring me – though it’s a small price to pay for such great food!

We’ve hired a scooter and toured the Island. We’ve seen a statue of Dimitris – and also a temple/structure older than the Acropolis, kite and wind surfers on one corner of the Island. Naxos also has numerous beaches which cater to nudists, though why is it all nudists seem to be middle-aged wife swapping types or single men walking up and down the beach, hands on hips with (if truth be told) not that much to be boasting about, it’s not like it’s cold here?

It’s been 6 nights now and thoughts of home and finding a job are things we’re starting to talk about, do we stay here for a further week, getting out kit off, joining the nudists? Or do we squeeze in another Island? Do we leave here and see a different country? Do we get a flight back to UK?

Decisions decisions!

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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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