Skiathos 2017 – Day 2 – Suspiciously blue

We survived, but I slept badly last night. The pillow was high and unforgiving, and the fridge noisy.  In hindsight I should’ve used my earplugs. The shower works fine but leaks a little because one of the doors slightly overhangs the edge of the shower tray – a very minor issue since there’s a drain in the floor right next to the leak #firstworldproblems.

The room felt cold without the air con on which I guess is a good thing. The sun doesn’t shine directly through the windows until later in the day and our balcony is half shaded at lunchtime. The rear of the block is in shadow most of the time which is a relief after a hot day’s sunbathing.

There’s a nice view of the sea and the tree covered hills from our balcony. Where they have covered the flat roofs with fake grass would make a good extra space for sun beds – I’ve seen it done in Florence many years ago – but I guess you would be rather overlooked…

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There was annoying beep (maybe a warning signal from a quad bike or aircon unit somewhere) at about nine thirty this morning but we were up and getting ready to go down to the pool anyway so it didn’t matter.

I had some Nestle Clusters for breakfast – the cheapest edible looking cereal I could find in the shop downstairs. We get a small discount by virtue of being hotel guests although I don’t think the shop is owned by the same people. The discount, when they remember to apply it, is something like 10% and after Santorini everything seems cheap here anyway.

I caught up with some sleep by the pool. The sun loungers were only about a third occupied as it’s coming toward the end of the holiday season here. I had a couple of vanilla milkshakes from the bar today which cost 5 Euro – the same thing in Santorini would probably be around 8 Euro and generally weren’t as good as they make them here.

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I had a gyros pitta for lunch on our balcony, Siggy had a sausage roll minus most of the pastry, yoghurt and honey and a bit of apple. The pork gyros was 2.50 Euro from a place thats new to us across the road near bus stop 18 and next door to a pizza place – both occupying a previously vacant store. The gyros was excellent with mustard and yoghurt, soft pitta bread the likes of which you can only get aboard and no gristle at all in the meat.

After lunch we went for a little walk around the ‘triangle’ – up the road to the sports bar, down the path by Byzantium, Sunshine, and then down past Tiffany Pool Bar to come onto the main road by bus stop 20 and the road down to the beach.

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The Frog Bar on the corner next to the supermarket has been replaced by a gyros place called Gyro Nimo – it took me a couple of days to get the pun despite the picture of the pig wearing a parachute.

I explained it to a chap we were talking to at the pool a few days later and he said I should be on their quiz team. His reaction made me wonder how many people are getting the joke. I doesn’t quite work because of the difference in pronunciation of the first two syllables between ‘gyros’ and ‘Geronimo’. Perhaps that’s why the customers were scowling at me when I took the photo.

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Troulos Beach Hotel and the other tavernas on the beach front have not changed much since we were last here. The beach was rammed and I’ve not seen so many little boats moored in the sea here before. The blues of the sky and sea are beautiful.

In the evening we went to Victoria Taverna for dinner. The night was on the edge of being a bit cold for Siggy, but I was just right in jeans and a teeshirt – a lot more comfortable than Perissa earlier in the year which just never seemed to cool down. The main road is still a bit of a nightmare when it comes to walking in the dark – it’s not brilliantly lit, lacks a pavement and while most of the drivers give you a wide berth the taxi drivers tend not to and it’s impossible if there’s traffic coming from both directions. We walked single file facing the traffic when the lay of the land allowed it and tried to be quick.

Continuing on from where we left off in Santorini, we had Amstel Radlers – lemon for Siggy and the excellent line and ginger for me – quite how the waiter knew I wanted that is somewhat of a mystery as we just asked for two Radlers, but I’m not complaining. Without ice cubes and without the ambient heat the Radlers didn’t quite hit the mark quite how it did on the beach road in Perissa.

Victoria was light and airy but still a bit blighted by wasps. They’ve got rid of dark wood tables and chairs, and given the place a lick of paint. They lit a smoke ‘bomb’ nearby which did a good job of deterring the wasps. Traditional Greek music played on the speakers in the restaurant area. For a starter we had some excellently cheesy garlic bread.

For our mains, Siggy ordered a pork chop and I opted for a beef kokkinisto (and not just because I thought the name was funny). Massive cheesy garlic bread starter more like cheese on toast than garlic bread but very nice.

The beef was very tender, and the pork chop was massive. Both were served with roast vegetables in a sweet balsamic dressing. The rice with the beef was basmati since the taverna also does a good selection of curries.

We were given a little thin triangular slice of polenta cake and vanilla ice cream as a free dessert with the bill which came to approximately 28 Euro. At the bar, Siggy had a White Russian and I tried a Yellow Almond – a cocktail of ammareto, vodka, orange and pineapple juice.

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Tiffany Pool Bar has had a much-needed facelift and there’s also signs up for their restaurant at both ends of the path. I’m not sure if this was there when we last came and to be honest it looked a little unappealing as it seemed bolted on to the apartments around the pool. The bar was only about a quarter full.

I had a Mai Tai and Siggy had Sex on the Beach. I was a little suspicious of my Mai Tai which looked like it might have come out of a bottle of premix. It was clear and blue which wasn’t a good sign. Both cocktails tasted fine though and we got free peanuts. Siggy’s was served in what looked like a Maori vase.

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The decor is definitely an improvement. There’s lots of crafting been done including coloured jam jars with glittery lights (that look like leftovers from a wedding, signs made with rope including one that said COFFEE’S AND MORE a little overzealous with the punctuation methinks, and bottles with mottos printed on them. The kind of Hallmark blithering you see sometimes on Facebook posts – curly fonts superimposed on photos of sunsets or mountains.

Fitting comfortably into our usual routine, we then took a stroll around to the sports bar. Wales versus Austria was showing on one screen of the sports bar. Spain versus Italy was on the other televisions.

For cocktails Siggy had a Jungle Juice and I ordered another Mai Tai to see if there was any difference between Tiffany and Christakis beyond the price (8 Euro in Tiffany versus 9 Euro from Chris’s). Victoria’s were 7.50 Euro by the way. The verdict – the Mai Tai at Chris’s was much better and worth the extra Euro. Plus we got some stale tasting Bugles and some very high quality mixed nuts with the drinks. These were brought to our table by a new bar girl.

Austria seemed to dominate the match and squandered a lot chances in the first half and then the tide turned in the second half. 18 year old Liverpool player Woodburn scored Wales’s only goal to win 1:0 meanwhile Spain beat Italy 3:0. Gareth Bale’s mum was at the table next to us distraught that he had not been on the pitch from the start. Either that or she was some kind of angry super-fan.

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