Monday, June 27, 2005

Long time, no blog

Finally got some time to post my first blog since returning from Greece. Had an awesome time, two weeks of sun, sea, sand and DOLPHINS baby! On one of the trips between Alonissos and Skiathos we had a school of four dolphins chasing just ahead of the boat. Absolutely incredible - if the photos turn out well, I'll get them scanned in here. Skiathos was an amazing island, incredibly laid back and with stupendous restaurants. Some of the best meals we had though were in the taverna at the apartments we stayed at. Kristos (who owns the Hermes Apartments and a restaurant and a sports centre in town too) was great. He had apparently poached the chef from one of the restaurants in the town and we didn't have a bad meal while we were there. The room was great: clean, comfortable, loads of space and everything you could need. There was even a hairdryer, much to Gilly's delight. My suitcase (which, like many fond possessions, had been in the family for over 30 years) decided to fall to pieces as we got off the bus at the hotel, so I had to get another one in town. One of the people on the bus with us told me on the way home that I should claim on the insurance. So I went to the service desk in Gatwick to try my luck. And luck was with me - apparently I needed to have filled out a report about the luggage (but it was the start of my hol and couldn't be bothered). She was in a nice mood though, so said "I'll pretend it got damaged in Gatwick, and you can get sent a new suitcase. What was it like?" Now, I knew it was a plastic-coated expandable cardboardy type thing as was popular in the pinnacle of "style" that was the 1970s, but Gilly had other ideas - "It's a hard plastic case!" she exclaimed. I pointed out that it wasn't hard plastic, but by then the nice lady was pointing on a chart at a Samsonite case ... so I went with the flow. Hell, I deserved a decent case. The one I bought in Skiathos already had a hole in it. And no, I don't feel guilty. Back to the holiday. There was a pool, a pool bar/taverna, and a games room on site, where I thrashed Gilly at table tennis every so often. There were two beaches 5 minutes away from the resort and we were bang in the middle of the bus route which meant it was only 1 Euro to pretty much anywhere. Skiathos is a great island if you want to get away from chavs, ladettes and English people with beer guts the size of Mount Olympus (I'm including women here) that can often be found in Crete/Rhodes/Corfu.

I read voraciously over the holiday, getting through Shadows Fall and A Game of Thrones in two weeks. The first was a nice "alternative" fantasy/mystery/theological amalgamation spoiled by a bit of a sappy ending, but the latter was stupendous. I've never got through an 800 page book so quickly in my life. If you've even got the smallest interest of fantasy, I cannot recommend this highly enough. I've now ordered books 2 and 3 via eBay but I have a feeling they won't last me that long once they arrive. Book 4 is out in September at least. And there's that other thing out in July that people are on about - Henry Porter or something like that. Apparently it's quite a popular series...

If I went to Greece again, it'd be in September. Same weather as June, but the sea will have warmed up. Mind you, with the temperature at the heat it was, I was quite glad of a cool dip every so often. If only the water wasn't so damn salty...ick. Next year I think Croatia is on the cards. Great views off the Dalmatian coast and even cheaper food. When she found out that ice cream was about 35p a scoop, Gilly nearly booked a holiday then and there. I'll definitely be heading back to Skiathos in a few years though. Pack the sun cream though, especially for July and August - I burnt in June so I'd probably be toast if I went any later (I did last 11 days before burning though, which has to be a record).

Anyway, I'm all Bushido'd out so I'm heading to bed. Nighty night.