On the second day and our first full day we spent most of our time trying to unwind at the pool while listening to other people’s children whine, cry and shout which was met with various and seemingly random levels of parental control. Poor buggers (the parents I mean).
I ventured into the pool and was happy to find that my amateur swimming technique and lung capacity had not deserted me. Those prescription goggles still rock!
Tea was a somewhat disappointing mixed grill at Kalivi taverna – I wistfully thought back to my first visit to Troulos and the first mixed grill at Kalivi which had a bit of everything – two kebabs, a burger, a pork chop, a lamb chop and a bit of chicken. This one, for the same price, had a pork kebab, a chicken kebab and a lamb chop. Nicely cooked, slowly served in the Greek style, but not on par with the ‘original’. This is a good indication that all is still not well with the Greek economy. We have been regulars at Kalivi and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off, but we didn’t go back on this visit. There’s so many other places to choose from and even some places in Troulos that we had yet to try – despite the fact that this was our fourth visit to Troulos. Another taverna that we usually frequent but didn’t go to this time around was Green Meadow – I think because of the risk of mosquitos this time and our intention to widen our visits. While I’m here I must state now that the worst taverna we have been to in Troulos was Zorba’s last year which was just way below standard – almost Fawlty Towers in its level of service and quality and yet seemed quite busy this year.
Continuing on with the idea of providing some tips and padding out this post due to my only jotted down two lines in my notebook for that day here are more Top Tips for visiting Skiathos:
(5) TRY SOME GREEK
Here is a link to a useful web page featuring some common useful phrases: http://www.takisnet.org/Greek/
Even if you mis-use or mis-pronounce you’ll get a laugh and earn a little kudos with the locals for at least trying and not just talking REALLY LOUDLY and slowly in English like stereotypical tourists. One thing we try to be careful of is to use the respectful ‘yia sas’ (pronounced yah sas) for groups and elders or strangers instead of the much more informal ‘yia sou’ (pronounced yah soo).
(6) AVOID REP BOOKED BOAT TRIPS
Don’t book boat trips with your holiday company reps (unless you have not alternative) – they WILL rip you off. It’s their job to make money for the holiday company.
Go to the new or old port in Skiathos Town and check out the prices – booking direct is always going to be cheaper and even give you some leeway to haggle. In a lot of cases you will get exactly the same boat as those who booked through their reps who are paying sometimes twice as much for the experience.
Any talk about insurance is so much hot air – the boat owner is covered to take passengers or he would not be allowed to operate and you sensibly have personal holiday insurance – the holiday operator adds no value to the trip and just makes a big profit from you.
My only caveat to this advice is to check what happens if for some reason the weather prevents the trip – make sure that you can get a full refund in this case prior to handing over your Euros.
(7) DON’T FLUSH PAPER
No really. Don’t. This message will get repeated on all sorts of amusing and variously spelt signs in toilets across the island. They’re not joking, they might have invented all sorts of mathematics and philosophy but their plumbing’s not so great.