Monday, 7 November 2011

Greece 2011, Various Ways of Travelling to Homer’s Inn on Ios

Antonia and Vangelis – Homer’s Inn Hotel

If one thing was an absolute certainty it was that day twelve of the holiday was going to be very similar to day eleven but without the rugby football in the middle of it. Martin was going to watch the grand prix but not being a big fan of formula one racing and with Kim not being a big fan of sport of any kind we declined the opportunity to join him. To be honest, I considered myself fortunate to have watched the match the day before and I didn’t want to push my luck!

First thing we went down to the harbour again to buy our final ferry tickets, from Ios to Paros on the next day and Paros back to Athens on Thursday. It was a good job that we bought the Blue Star Paros tickets to Piraeus today because the man in the ticket office said that out of the one thousand five hundred passenger places on board there were only forty tickets left! If we had left it another day then we might have been thrown into another transportation dilemma.

After a deliberately long drawn out breakfast with fresh figs that Vangelis had picked specially for us that morning from his garden and which tasted delicious we just sat for a while on the balcony and then made our way to the swimming pool in anticipation of a completely unremarkable day.

Now, we have been visiting Ios since 2006 (missing only 2010 when we went to the Dodecanese islands instead) but that is no achievement at all compared with Martin, Lisa and Robin who have been returning to Homer’s Inn every year for nearly a quarter of a century. Robin, being a solo traveller, is not surprisingly more adventurous than most and this morning he entertained us with his tales of his various ways of getting himself to the island. Ferries of course from mainland or nearby islands and flying, but by a variety of alternative routes and different carriers including on one occassion, a seaplane into the harbour; by train and part way on the Orient Express via Sarajevo, and bravest (or maybe daftest) of all by car, driving through central Europe and the Balkans, through Serbia, Kosovo and Bulgaria. This year he had flown to Athens and today was his last day as tomorrow he had to return to the mainland where he was planning to stay in Piraeus for a couple of nights while drinking some of the bars dry!

Robin, Panos (Homer’s Inn Boss), Martin and Lisa

It was hot again now so we decided to leave the harbour and as we walked past the reception Vangelis stopped us to talk about the weather. Being an ex merchant seaman he has an unusually big interest in the climate and he gave us a forecast for the next few days. I understand why we in the United Kingdom are fixated with meteorological conversations but I don’t really expect it in Greece but he explained in great detail about wind directions and what difference that was likely to make to daily conditions. “Tomorrow will be sunny with a little breeze”, he explained in his throaty growl, “and the next two days also, but after that I am not sure”. To myself I presumed a wild guess that this would also be sunny with a little breeze because generally in Greece I find the weather to be very, very reliable!

Down at the harbour we thought we might have a drink and eat some calamari at the Octopus restaurant but we were a bit late and they were shutting down the kitchen for the afternoon so we had to find an alternative in the main square where we sat in the shade, had a bottle of Mythos and a rather unnecessary lunch which when we had finished we hoped wouldn’t spoil our evening meal.

For the rest of the day we did very little, walked back to Homer’s, sat at the pool bar and went occasional swimming, later Kim’s astonishing good run of luck at cards continued for another day and as an indication of just how leisurely the day was, in the early evening, we counted the goats in the next field which had been brought there with bells clanging noisily to graze for a while on the surprisingly green grass in the fields in the middle of the village.

Later we returned to the Octopus and ordered the plates of food that we had watched the local fishermen eating the previous night and we had a thoroughly pleasant evening in the company of local people while we saw the fishing boats being prepared for the night’s work ahead, watched the moonlight dancing on the water and listened to gentle lapping of the water against the harbour walls. Perfect, but sadly our last night as tomorrow we must leave for Anti-Paros.

No comments: