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Island of Samos & Mykonos, Greece

April 30

A change of countries ...

Leaving wonderful Turkey behind we take a ferry to the Greek island of Samos. Some of the time in transit was used to learn a few words of Greek ... hello, please and thank you for starters.

Since we did not receive a reply to our email reservation inquiry, we were not sure if there was any room at Aeolis Hotel. Sherrie walked ahead to the hotel while Terry checked ferry schedules at the ticket information office to determine if we would be staying one or two nights. There was room at the inn but they needed a passport to complete the check-in. Terry had the passports.   When he arrived he said, "We have a decision to make. The ferry from Samos to Paros (the next island we wanted to visit) happens only once a week at this time of year ... and today is the day. We can choose not to stay on Samos and go to Paros immediately, or take a boat tomorrow to the island of Mykonos, stay there one night and catch a ferry from Mykonos to Paros." We decided to do the latter and checked in.

Boat from to Turkey to Greece's Island of Samos
On boat from Turkey to Greek island of Samos
Island of Samos, Greece
Island of Samos - Aeolis Hotel at centre of photo View from our room in Aeolis Hotel Island of Samos We appreciated the top floor room whose balcony afforded a view over the harbour but soon took to walking the sea wall and out on the docks where some fishing boats were preparing to leave the harbour.
Island of Samos Island of Samos Island of Samos So many yellow nets dotted with necklaces of small round floats. Nets strewn on the cement dock, others being pulled through skilful weathered hands which stopped every so often to take out a missed fish or some seaweed before being stacked in preparation of the next use.
Island of Samos Island of Samos Island of Samos  
Island of Samos Island of Samos Island of Samos

We wandered into the non-touristy part of town and stopped at a corner store for an ice cream cone from their freezer and then sat on a bench outside to watch the locals go about their day.

Island of Samos
Island of Samos

Some of the streets are no longer car friendly and had been converted into wide staircases; others were narrow foot paths. Back near the water and our hotel we met a lady who runs a produce shop. She has a kind face and friendly smile. She chatted in Greek. We reciprocated with conversation in English. But when we said, "Canada" she grabbed Sherrie’s hand and grinned, "Oh Canada," and then with her other hand put a thumb in the air. Before we could leave, she picked a banana from those hanging above the colourful boxed fruit and vegetables and with a twist between her hands, she broke the banana and gave a half to each of us. Wow, such a wonderful introduction to Greece.

The hotel has WiFi but it is only available in the lobby or bar. They also told us that they had a new program where they had lap tops available for their guests. We have our own, so along with a drink in the bar, we checked our email, sent some and made reservation on Paros for May 2.

Island of Samos

May 1

The sun shone through breaks in the clouds and highlighted the ferry we would take to Mykonos Island at 5:30pm today. Breakfast buffet was included with our room and check out was not until noon. We decided to have a lazy morning, do some journaling and play some cards. There would still be plenty of time in the afternoon to purchase our tickets, take a hike and be to the ship on time.

By noon the wind had become rather strong and there were white caps in the harbour. Not a pleasant sight for Sherrie who has never acquired her sea legs ... or stomach. We postponed going out thinking it would literally blow over. It didn’t and there is just so much sitting around a hotel lobby one can do.

Island of Samos
Island of Samos Island of Samos

Again we took to the streets. First we went to the ticket information office down by the ferry terminal and left our luggage in the back room, then we walked down the shopping street one block in from the harbour. We were almost alone. Most shops were closed and the people we bumped into seemed intent on getting to where it was that they were going. We continued to window shop even after it began to rain. The temperature was not uncomfortable, we had our rain jackets; it was actually quite enjoyable.

                            

At 4:00 we colleted our backpacks and boarded the ferry finding seats facing each other with a narrow table between on which to play cards. The ride was quite calm until about an hour after a brief stop at the Island of Ikaria, when Sherrie turned a light shade of green. The ferry was to arrive at the "new dock" on Mykonos at 10:30 pm but we didn`t make port until five to eleven.

We did not yet have a place to stay, but the touts waiting where passengers disembarked, were all eager to solve the problem. Standing out in the crowd because of his size, his English greeting and his camouflage pajamas was a man holding up a sign saying "Bobby`s Rooms". He had a plasticized brochure which show pictures of the room, quoted a price and assured us it was clean and quiet. He also threw into the bargain, no charge, a lift to the room and no charge tomorrow morning for a ride to the ferry port of our choice. Sherrie was approached by another fellow, with another brochure and another offer. "Four star hotel," he said and within easy hearing Bobby said, "Four stars ... my ass!" We accepted Bobby`s offer with the proviso that we could refuse his offer upon inspection. He picked up his wife, who was also touting and we drove off to Bobby`s place.

Sunset over the Island of Ikaria  
                
Island of Mykonos - Bobby

His English was very good and we asked him where he learned it. "I had a girl friend from Coquitlam," he answered, "I lost the girl friend but not the English."

"Have you always been on Mykonos?"

"No, I came from Athens for a long weekend," he said with a smirk, "and never left. It has been a very long weekend ... started in 1978."

We arrived at Bobby’s place and he showed us one of his sixteen rooms. It had clean tiled floors, three single beds and a high wooden ceiling – it kind of looked like a room you might see at a youth camp. We shook his hand, paid, he gave us a business card and arranged a time when we would meet in the morning for a transfer down to the "old dock".

Island of Mykonos

May 2

We waited out front for Bobby and noticed there was no sign on his premises. "No need to advertise it to everyone," he said as he drove us to the dockside ticket office to catch our 9:30 boat. Hmmmm !

From some distance away, we could see the catamaran quickly approaching with a rooster tail streaming behind it. It unloaded its passengers and quickly loaded those of us waiting. We arrived at the dock on Paros before we could finish our first game of Skip-Bo.

Boat from Mykonos to Paros
  
  
click here to continue reading May 2 and Islands of Paros & Antiparos... 

  

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