It was even hotter today – at least 32C – which was verging on getting too blooming hot for me, but that could have had something to do with the wine I drank the previous night; Siggy is not a big wine fan and so the onus was on me to make sure it all got quaffed. It was great to be able to cool down in the pool as there was little or no breeze. The pool was very busy today with what I thought was newly arrived families but were in fact interlopers from another hotel.
The concept of the ‘open pool’ annoys me somewhat. Why should we pay good money to stay at our hotel with its great facilities if then any old Joe off the street can come and use those facilities? I was also baffled to discover that one of the families was staying at the Five Star Princess Hotel – their appearance at our pool didn’t seem to be a great advert for the Princess.
It clouded over by seven and seemed to cool down rapidly. While we were waiting for a bus, Korean pop sensation Psy drove past in a taxi. We travelled to bus stop 16 and on Rania’s recommendation went to eat at Calma; a taverna about 300 yards walk down a lane from the main road. The food was excellent. I had a big pork chop which was served on a slate with various tasty accompaniments including tzatziki. There seemed to be a lot of apartments and tavernas in the area and Green Park was close by – we have had a couple of massive meals there in the past. The bars didn’t seem to great though and so we went back to Troulos. While we were waiting for the bus back someone recommended a taverna at bus stop 13 (more later).
There was some cricket on when we got to Chris’s, and then some more footy. Tahiti got beat again, this time only 7:0 by Uruguay, and Spain beat Nigeria 3:0. Siggy got sucked into an episode of Marple. We only had one cocktail but got nuts and Bugles.
A common story with all the people we meet is that they keep coming back to the island, which some people have dubbed the ‘boomerang island’. A couple we met at the bus stop said they had been 18 times, and believe it or not it does seem that most of the older age people we talk to are on average into double figures in terms of their number of visits.
Skiathos is obviously a great holiday destination and for me it ticks all the boxes except for ‘culture’. I only know of two museums on the island. One is Papadiamantis House Museum of Skiathos once the home of a famous Greek writer that I had never heard of and the other is a museum of musical instruments of the world. It’s a bit pitiful really. The ruins at Kastro and the many monasteries on the island also count as ‘culture’ I guess, but you are as someone said to us at the Panorama taverna ‘on holiday with the Brits’ here, and few I think would want to visit an art gallery or visit a museum about the history of the island, and there are only so many near identical looking churches you can stomach.
Perhaps I am being unfair to my fellow Brits, but it does seem to be more about the beaches, beer and food. However, that said Skiathos, although nowhere near ‘unspoilt’, does seem to be less commercial than the other places in Greece I have holidayed at, and it is by far the prettiest place I have been to. The Mamma Mia bandwagon rolls on and on with three showings a week at the cinema, but who can blame them for trying to earn some extra Euros by exploiting the situation?
There is no industry on the island, if you discount wine making, apart from tourism. I read that there used to be ship-building in the Sporades but this has been reduced to making finely detailed scale models of the ships rather than the real McCoy. I wonder sometimes if the locals begrudge us spoiling their island, but then I also wonder if so many people would choose to live on the island if it didn’t have the infrastructure in place to support the hotels and tavernas.