Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Did the earth move for you???

Mmmnnnn, well we'll talk about that a bit later shall we........!! So Greece?? My 'Shirley' holiday...... Well, lets talk about it: 

Loved the people! Particularly the 2 smashing ladies in my Hotel - Le Citie, Lixouri. Janet & Gerry - those two ladies just couldn't do enough for you and how they knew everyones name I'll never know!! The hotel itself was pretty fair for the money that I paid for it - the breakfast could have been more varied and the rooms could have been 'prettier' but it was spotlessly clean and as I say, the friendliness made up for any shortcomings.

The pool area was great, and the gardens surrounding them with their bottle brush red plants and lemon trees with the biggest lemons I've ever, ever seen were beautiful. In fact the girls cut up the white pithe of a huge lemon I picked up off the grass and it was as sweet as sweet could be! Lush!! No beach to speak of which was a shame - but not the end of the world.

The area I stayed in was ok. Just ok really. Very, very quiet - I couldn't help feeling it was the recession rather than not just the season started.  Most restaurants had barely a quarter of tables full every single night. I wasn't overly struck on some of the food, but I did enjoy the starters and the ice cream....... However, it was a Greek quiet - if that makes sense. It was somehow still noisy with their way of making themselves heard and the square itself was filled with some remarkable characters that makes people watching the art form it is! This gentleman was some sort of young priest - but I was really taken with his amazing face and a real serenity and kindness about him. 

The weather was a bit hit and miss - with an amazing thunderstorm over another part of the Island one night and huge amounts of rainfall. But when the sun deemed to shine, then it was very warm indeed and yes, I do have quite a tan to show for it. 
The other guests were mainly British, with a huge walking party making up the main bunch and the ever present Northern contingent........ Now that really was the Shirley bit!! A twosome (one of whom the gentleman spoke some basic Greek - but he was quite impressive) and a delightful party of 4. I shared a meal with both lots and it made for a very pleasant change.  Vince and his wife (whose name absolutely escapes me - sorry!!) were there with her Mum & Dad & it was delightful to see a family so caring of each other and so happy to spend time in each others company. Vince was the archetypal story teller and a thoroughly great bloke.  Thanks to him (oh yes it was!!!) I had quite the worst hangover in my history of hangovers. An Ouzo hangover is not one that should be repeated twice!!!  By rights I of course shouldn't have let it happen in the first place - but you know how these things happen................!!

I found somethings to be ridiculously expensive - 2 Satsumas and a very small Banana (see, a little bit of healthiness!) were 1 - yes 1 - Euro!! And as for the airport over there - well, don't get me started!! Oh yes, and the taxi driver (same one both ways) who transferred me from airport to hotel and vice versa - drove virtually one handed nearly all the way whilst making many telephone calls and shouting down the phone!! I closed my eyes and prayed hard (quietly) on several occasions!

Would I go to Greece again? Probably but to an area with a beach ...... although I would like to visit Athens. Did I have a nice time? Yes I certainly did, and I did  (note the past tense) feel rested and relaxed - but real life has caught up with me already! Next stop May Bank holiday. 

Oh yes! As for the earth moving bit??? Well, I was sat by the pool - on my own and we had a tremor (save the jokes about turning over on the lounger or any others - I've heard them all!) A throaty rumble from the earth made me sit up with a sharp intake of breath, followed by my table and the bottle of water on it wobbling all over the place - all of about 5 seconds and the longest, scariest 5 seconds I've ever encountered. Oh that's ok says Gerry - better 1 or 2 small ones than the big one of the 50's that wiped us out!!!!   

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