Ithaki - day 21

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
1
5
24
Trip End Nov 13, 2011


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Where I stayed
Spilia Villa

Flag of Greece  , Ionia Nisia,
Saturday, August 27, 2011

THEN
after some small initial freaking out about being isolated and cut off from the world I settled into sloooooow village life and took in the views....and omg, what views they are...it boggles the mind that such serenity and beauty exists...there are more beaches on this island than there are towns
 
the ionian sea is only surpassed in it's perfection by the weather...what the locals were calling insufferable heat I was pleasantly and easily soaking up...score 1 for the aussie
 
we went sight-seeing, and i beached myself, and beached myself and beached myself...we also pressed grapes for wine (and by 'we' i mean 'not me'), and went to a panighiri (a town dance, a greek-style ho-down)...i also ate what might be the best tiropita evah! (picture included...i really must remember to turn my fcking phone sideways when i use it to take pictures!!)
 
i've also included a video of the most perfect little beach to taunt y'all (i.e. Vivien!!), though the green tinge of the water caused by the the reflection of the trees and mountains surrounding it didn't turn out quite vibrant as it is in real life
 
overall, there's little point in telling anyone how breathtaking this part of the world is...i highly recommend you see it for yourself someday
 
TIPS FOR NON-GREEKS
-toast (pronounced TOST) is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, with that awful processed square ham you wouldn't feed your dog...I suggest ordering it with just cheese

-greeks eat ice cream daily...you've got to love a culture that does that
 
-don't order waffles, order VAFLEZ...s'what they're called, and they're gooooood (though I reserve the right to renege on that after I've visited belgium)
 
-they don't have clock towers that ring every half hour, that's what church bells are for
 
-pebbled beaches...don't let anyone fool you into thinking that these are anything other than torture devices spawned from the fiery pits of hell
 
NOW
right now as i'm typing i'm sitting on (what shall i call it?) a cruise liner? a boat? a ferry?  i'm on the Hellenic Spirit which departed Patras at 14:30, due to arrive in Ancona, Italy tomorrow at 10:30...that's 21 hours for those who appreciate time zones

it's chock-full of Italians, and chock-full of Greek staff who speak very little Italian and have permascowls on their faces...serious bunch of unhappy people...i'd like to say i sympathise but after learning first-hand that italians push people out of the way and step on them to get in front, they can all starve for all i care...i've listened to them insist on speaking to the staff in italian and their frustration MAKES ME HAPPY...these people are ruder and more obnoxious than greeks - now THAT'S talent!
 
for anyone interested in boats(/ships/cruise liners/ferries)...the Hellenic Spirit was built in Norway in 2001; passenger capacity 1,850; vehicle capacity 670; speed 30kn (can someone translate that for me into km/h?); length 204m; breadth 25.8m; decks 11)
 
the ship itself is quite nice and comfortable, and in order to make it an accessible mode of travel for a wide variety of people, it allows passengers to purchase a seat-only ticket and also has a camping deck - which, unfortunately for me and other non-smelly people, means that the common areas are filled with backpackers...this might have been ok if it weren't permanently 35 degrees in this part of the world in summer...it also means that the pool is empty, and every nook and cranny on the outside decks looks like a refugee camp...before y'all go calling me a snob, i literally just walked passed a boy of no more than 8 sleeping on the floor in the corner under a chair, and it looks like his parents were kind enough to leave all their stuff with the sleeping boy while they went elsewhere
 
but there IS a souvlaki bar on deck and no amount of backpackers can keep me away from it...they better get ready to move their smellyass shoes in a few hours coz i want me my dinner!
 
which reminds me, i need to start (and already add to) my list of:
 
DISASTERS AVERTED
 
1. the one where you nearly miss your flight
i booked an airport shuttle from my paris hotel to get my flight to athens...the staff confirmed it as an 11am pickup, so i took off for my last morning of sightseeing...when i arrived at 10:45, not only was i told that the shuttle left at 10:00 because "that's the time i should have been told", but that it was already too late to get to the airport for my 13:00 flight...i took a deep breath while i pictured jumping over the counter and headbutting the bitch to death, then i pretend-about-to-cried and asked her to help me get a cab and tell him to chop-chop...we got to the airport in 25 mins and i had to wait an hour and a half for my flight...i told you french people are dumb!
 
2. the one where your internet booking doesn't exist 
up at 05:30 to get the ferry from Ithaki to the mainland...6 hours later you hand over your confirmation email to receive your ticket and check in for your international cruise/boat/ferry to italy...the dude at the counter is looking and checking and typing and checking while the queue next to you has already checked in 5 people...he eventually says "you missed your boat, this booking is for yesterday, the 27th"..."but today is the 27th" i say, hoping that of all the times i've been sure i was on another planet that this wasn't actually one of them...typing and checking and staring...he calls someone, gives them the confirmation number, prints my ticket and i'm done...to console myself and celebrate the disaster averted, i bought myself a pink Benetton bag...then while putting my lipstick and wallet in it, i checked my ticket - HE UPGRADED ME!!  to a room worth 100EU more than i paid...wwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
 
ADDENDUM (a.k.a. qualifies as a disaster only on my planet)
SHOES - i'm having shoe issues!  i packed a sensible pair of walking shoes, and a pair of sandals...the sandals near melted in athens, so i treated myself (because i had to, it was a shoe emergency) to a new pair of italian leather sandals - which broke after 6 days of walking on rocks and mountains and ancient pebbled and paved walkways...FML! now i'm back on the slippery melty sandals hoping i can soon find something to buy OTHER than jesus shoes - i WILL NOT wear those!
 
PICS
-the best TIROPITA (cheese pie) ever-the view from my room on Ithaki
-me and my pregnant favourite-cousin (when youse get your Ithaki postcards, the beach shown on them is also in this picture, to the right and slightly north of us where you can see the stretch of sand)
-my room on the ship (@melB...the rooms are way bigger than i thought they would be...we are travelling Superfast for ours, but i assume they'd be sameish)
-the view from my room on the ship (i'm right at the front! the dude that upgraded me has some awesome karma coming his way)
VIDS

-Ithaki beach, Ionian Sea (when one of the big ships headed for Italy passes the island off in the distance, 40mins later you have these perfectly tiny ankle-deep waves that hit the beach in protest to the serenity...then it all goes back to normal)
-a view of Kefalonia from the incoming ferry (for my Golden One who i miss)

ps...just got an awesome video of the setting sun...will upload next time :)
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Comments

Samita on

Damn, I think this is my favorite entry. Such lovely pictures, I love the ship room (is someone else staying with you?) IDK just curious.

WTF at the French hotel? Its just one plane, one time! Can't they get it right? LOL

omg so cool you got updated, still not entire sure it was for free *winks*

Elke on

Hi!

I don't have time to read and comment properly, because I'm packing for France and am leaving in a few hours, but in 3 weeks, we mmmmmmmmmeeeeeet :)

naomi on

This has to be worth everything that ever went wrong in your life!! Oh what a super story. And I love being upgraded. I'm so glad it all came good in the end. The food, the scenery, the absolute joy of it all. Be well, and keep safe. And carry on having the holiday of a lifetime. Thanks so much for telling us everything.. I feel like I'm there. In heaven with you.

cassawesome
cassawesome on

OH Nicky you are making my feet ITCH to travel! I think Greece is just gorgeous. My sister loved it, you told me BEFORE that it was gorgeous but.. *sigh* looks like you're having a ball bb!!

melissab2009
melissab2009 on

you are soo soo lucky to have such a beautiful part of the world to call your second home. I cant wait to see some of it with you!!
i hope our room is as big as your one on the patras to bari trip AND that we get upgraded.. any sort of upgrade on this trip is a bonus LOL

im adding Tiropita to the list of things I absolutely must eat in my first day or two in Athens! I swear we may have to be like hobbits and have about 5 meals a day just to fit in all the things I want to eat :)

I am three weeks and 24 mins from take off

p.s update more regularly FFS!!

kevloid on

got the paris post card!!! :-D

there's something in the news about wildfires running rampant in greece right now. I wonder if it's anywhere near where you are. :-o

MrsD on

You know, they sell pebbled beaches with the note that the water is especially clean. Well, what good is clean water to me when I need shoes to be in it?

Lovely pictures and stories, Nicky. It's encouraging and scary that my perception of backpackers was right - nasty, smelly creatures. Ugh.

barneyb10
barneyb10 on

Love hearing about all your adventures....keep having a wonderful time......much love

vmad7
vmad7 on

WOW...LOVE LOVE LOVE totally loving your updates and that pic with you and maria and the view is just breathtakingly WOW! if i dont make it to that part of greece this time im definitely gonna head there next time

that tiropiita looks so mouth wateringly yuummmm cant wait to have one, i dont think i had one last time i was there, what a travesty lol. and TOST and VAFLEZ...im cracking up so bad...well the VAFLEZ i had in greece last time were some of the best ever, though i havent been to belgium so dying to see your comparison notes..and ps loving all the food goss..yummm

and im still cracking up, the italians more obnoxious than greeks..ahhaaa

oh LOLARAMA at your pebbled beaches comment..."torture devices spawned from the fiery pits of hell" although that water in the video far out what perfection!

yey to the upgrade and averted disasters and i leave in 5 days...WOO HOO

be safe and see you soon my love
xxx

nicky7a
nicky7a on

just go to kefalonia...easier to get to and ithaki is just a short trip away...you didn't have a tiropita in greece? that really is a travesty, they are so so good...we are going to at one EVERY DAY

nicky7a
nicky7a on

pebeled beached are not cleaner! ...people who have to live with pebbled beaches just tell themselves that to makes themselves feel better...they KNOW it's awful and uncomfortable...the greeks were telling me that 'sand is dirty'...well yeah, they fucking dirt they have which they call sand is dirty....aussie sand is pristine white and finer than salt

nicky7a
nicky7a on

it actually happened on Euboea the day after i left!

nicky7a
nicky7a on

you'll have no choice but to eat toripites daily, i do

nicky7a
nicky7a on

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!

nicky7a
nicky7a on

they have same-sex share cabins on boats (and on trains), so you either buy every seat in the cabin and be alone, or buy a seat/bed to share with other females...i paid for a 4-share and got a 2-share, almost double the price (that's why i was excited)...and the chick i shared with was a non-issue...yey

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