On the second day in sunny Skiathos things immediately slowed down. By design – it was a holiday after all. I debated whether it was even worth the effort of writing notes for this blog, but the writer in me says ‘yes’ and Siggy will value the record, even if no-one else reads the posts. It gives me something to do while she is faffing around with her hair.
We got up late and then it was on the bus to Skiathos Town. The bus costs a maximum of 2 Euros per person to get anywhere and the fare can drop to 1.60 or 1.80 depending on how many stops you are travelling between. There are 26 stops in all along the main coast road from Skiathos Town (1, 2, 3, 4) and Koukounaries (26), and for those not wishing to rent a vehicle or walk great distances in the heat the regular bus service is a Godsend.
Our primary goal in visiting Skiathos Town that morning was to book two boat trips with a crew that was recommended by a friend who is a regular to Skiathos. We ‘did’ Skiathos Town last time we came – the highlight has to be watching the planes land at the airport – but you can do this on your last day. There is nothing quite like standing on the end of the runway and having a jet fly over your head seemingly within touching distance. Take-off is a nosier and hotter experience and if you don’t want to be sand-blasted then I would find cover. The town itself is probably more enjoyable at night, but it is worth walking up to the church or the windmill taverna to get some great views.
We had lunch in one of the many tavernas in the town, but away from the front to keep the cost down. I had a Greek Salad which included capers – an unusual non-traditional twist which went well with the creamy feta cheese. Back in Troulos, I found some Bugles in another supermarket (seems like ay shop in Skiathos is referred to as a supermarket regardless of its stock or size) near our hotel and avoided the peanut flavoured Wotsits that made me fat last year as I had not finished the other Wotsits I bought the previous day.
In the afternoon I discovered a flaw in my crawl and adapted accordingly. My stroke had been dragging me down into the water rather than pulling me along and I had not been working my legs properly at the hips rather than knees. It is amazingly satisfying to a novice swimmer like me when it all goes off without a hitch and you have done a width in no time at all. Happy that my swimming instructor would have been proud I retreated to my lounger and let everyone else show me how it’s done properly. Siggy is a slower but better swimmer than me adopting a breast stroke with her head above the water. I was taught to swim with my head in the water and one of my problems is trying to get my head up to breath. I can hold my breath for a width so I don’t bother trying anymore. I know this is lazy, and it’s something I will work on when I have more lessons. I am amazed at the difference a year has made – last year I was clinging to the side of the pool unwilling to let go or put me head under the water. My medal is somewhere in the post I know.
Tea was a late one at the cheap and cheerful Green Meadow, one of the quieter, less commercial, tavernas in Troulos. Pudding was an enormous slice of Baklava with ice cream. They do have a traditional walnut cake in Skiathos, but it’s not as good as well made Baklava. I remember saying that if I did not have another slice all holiday I wouldn’t mind – that portion was enough for me TWSS! I even let Siggy have a bit it was so big. Stop now.
We popped into Tiffany’s Pool Bar where the bar man recognised me rather than Siggy; maybe an indication of who bought all the drinks last year. We watched Andy Murray at Queens and then went on to Chris’s Sports bar where they were doing some traditional Greek dancing featuring a ring of blazing lighter fuel. We beat a hasty retreat after one drink in favour of cocktails at the bar at Moira Apartments. I reminisced about watching one of the England matches last year on their decidedly dodgy television – incorrect aspect ratio and strangely out of focus around the edges. We saw a few familiar faces in there, but we did not frequent it regularly so no-one recognised us. There is a good taverna attached to Moira called Ratatouille’s (more later), but it is always very busy. They do a very good stuffed burger.