Skiathos 2017 – Day 4 – Down town

We caught the local bus to Skiathos Town at around 10:20am and wandered about the new port, the old port and the back streets. There were lots of mopeds weaving around, people meandering as aimlessly as us and delivery drivers trying to get down the narrow roads. It’s a lively place. It’s not picturesque like the places in Santorini but it certainly has a buzz about it and lots of character.

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The rooftops of Skiathos Town

We bumped into one of the women who works in the shop under our hotel on Troulos. She lives in the town a few blocks up from the old port which is fronted by lots of tavernas. We passed a rotisserie oven with great lumps of meat and whole chickens sizzling away, but opted for a side street for lunch.

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Another nice journalistic photo of Skiathos Town by Siggy

We saw Joanna who used to work in Christakis sports bar, now working in a coffee bar at the front of the new port. I recognised her because I have a good memory for this kind of thing but also because she looks a whole lot like someone I knew from university. Chris at the sports bar confirmed that I was right on Day 5.

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We visited Dino’s for lunch. I’m pretty sure we’ve been for lunch there before. Croissant with cheese for Siggy, gyros pitta for me. Two vanilla milkshakes. The gyros pitta was okay but not as good as the one from the new place in Troulos. The thermometer outside one of the pharmacies said it was 32C.

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Lunch in Skiathos town

There was a bloke wandering around playing an accordion. Perhaps got lost on the way to Paris. And just when we thought it couldn’t get better he started singing in the kind of voice usually reserved for characters on the olf kids’ TV programme Roland Rat.

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A rather dashing house and a dashing kitten. Most of the houses in Skiathos Town are less attractive than this.

We got a couple of mini Cornettos, some soft drinks and a bottle of water from a side street shop near No Name cafe (and the award for total lack of imagination goes to…). We said hello and thank you in Greek to the old woman behind the counter and gave her correct change, but she didn’t even make eye contact with us. Miserable old boot.

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Boats moored up at the far end of the new port in Skiathos

We walked over to where the water taxi gets into the old port so we could get a ride to Koukounaries, but we hadn’t allowed for the fact that the small crew need their lunch too. It didn’t resume running for an hour or so. It was an hour or so that we thought best used getting the bus back to the hotel.

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Cool Greek signage for the Hitman’s Bodyguard

Rather than walk back up to bus stop 4 where we got off, we got the bus from stop 0. Which was a good move because it set off about a minute after we got on. We spent the afternoon back at the hotel sweating it out on the sun beds.

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On the bus back to the hotel

We went to Johnny’s at bus stop 14 for dinner (not 12). The bus was packed with sweaty people. We got off at 13 incorrectly annoyed by the conductor not called out the stop for Kanapitsa – which we thought was 12. I think the heat of the day had finally melted a bit of my brain. We’ve been to Johnny’s lots of times so I don’t know why neither of us could remember the right stop.

I had swordfish again and Siggy had spaghetti carbonara. It took ages to get our drinks order in. We ate bread, olives and sesame sticks with garlicky ricotta while we waited. We hadn’t booked but that’s no excuse for the slow service.

The Mythos was served in frozen glasses and so was super cool with little crust of ice floating on the foam. The sesame sticks went well with beer. The Taverna was about two thirds full and less fly-infested than on other on occasions when we finally got the beer.

It was funny to see who we presume to be the proprietor’s son and daughter a few years’ older than before. Both have a lot better manner than their father who met us with a bit of a frown and asked if we had made a reservation. No smile. To be fair when he was taking people’s orders he did smile a bit. I wonder if the heat today was making everyone a little mardy.

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Evening at Johnny’s taverna

Celebrity lookalikes tonight were Juliette Binoche (if she was German rather than French) and Julia McKenzie. The taverna was pretty much full by the time we got our food. I vaguely recall everything being pretty slow on each previous occasion we’ve visited.

The food is excellent which is why we keep coming back. The swordfish was a different cut than last night and well-grilled with a crispy outer edge and the salad was a lot more than an afterthought with bottles of terra creta balsamic vinegar and olive oil for me to dress it with. Siggy’s carbonara had a good amount of ham and good thick but not sticky creamy sauce, along with a dish of Parmesan shavings to use as little or as much as you wanted.

It was dark and cold once we’d finished so we got the bus back to bus stop 20 and walked down to Tiffany to watch first half of England versus Slovakia. Slovakia scored just as we walked in after a defending error. There was only one screen in Tiffany but it fits in with their new trendy look, and it was a Greek channel so we got a Greek commentary which was rather more entertaining than the usual ITV drivel. I had a large Alpha and it was Sex on the Beach again for Siggy.

Then we predictably went on to Chris’s sports bar for the second half. More beer for me and a watermelon Barcadi breezer for Siggy. The place was so busy we ended up sitting behind the projection screen at the end of the bar. There’s a TV on the wall in the corner.

The fickle fucking Wembley crowd were first booing Rashford after his mistake cost England a goal and then in the second half after he scored England’s second they were cheering every time he got the ball. England won 2:1 but as with Malta their performance didn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence that they will be any good in the finals.

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