Skiathos 2014 – Day 8 – Shank’s Pony

Thankfully it’s not so hot today. Someone says it was 40C yesterday. Today there’s a cooling breeze rather than one that felt like a giant hairdryer. I get a lot of ‘swimming’ done. The pool is relatively devoid of punters – it being a Friday lots of people have gone home.

Lunch is made a little more exciting by Siggy’s addition of a lemon meringue tart (perhaps still smarting from the dessert failures of recent days). Apart from the usual comedy spelling (e.g. mined meat rather than minced meat) I have noticed that most menus over here also seem unable to correctly distinguish between pies and cakes. For instance if you order a walnut pie (and I suggest you do they’re lovely with ice cream) you will get a slice of cake not as you’d expect something along the lines of a slice of pecan pie. Also a cheese and spinach pie ( another local delicacy) is more likely to resemble a spring roll filled with melted feta the temperature of the sun’s surface. Minor peculiarities tickle me immensely and I love making culinary discoveries such as the excellent orange pie which is like lemon drizzle cake but with oranges. I’ll hold off telling you about another rocking pudding until the appropriate post – you’ll know it when you see it. Suffice to say that for every lumpy crème brulee and sloppy panna cotta there’s a native pudding that will compensate.

A very nice chap called Andy gives me ‘Cockroaches’ by Nesbo, but I can’t read it yet as it is part of the Harry Hole series. Instead I start ‘Hunger Games’.

There’s no World Cup football tonight and to be frank we could do with a break. The late nights have been taking their toll. I have bags under my eyes that defy description. I fall asleep for quite a while under the lightly flapping parasol.

There are lots of tavernas and bars around bus stop 16. It takes about ten minutes or so to walk up the hill and back down from 18 to 16 and so it seemed pointless to get the bus. There is an excellent view from the road of Platanias Bay. Pavements are rare but there’s usually room to step off the road to get out of the way of traffic. We don’t get as far as 16, opting instead to stop at The View Restaurant.

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The View is bolted on to the Magic Hotel opposite the over-rated Princess Hotel complex which beyond the swish reception building looks like a Butlin’s holiday camp and last year had a distinct sewer smell pervading the outside areas. Someone perhaps had been trying to flush toilet paper.

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The view from the taverna is spoilt somewhat by the Princess complex, power lines and inconsiderate trees. The food is better and the service, while not particularly Greek is friendly. I have a slow cooked pepper laden lamb shank which is sticky and moist and worth the walk.

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