A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Greece - Part 2

(Luckily I had most of this drafted last week!)

Day 4 - Thursday

On Thursday morning I woke with a bit of a foggy head but nothing that rendedered me incapable of moving ahead with the day. I probably should have had the hangover from hell, but that's mostly my problem with drink I think - I never get good and hungover - even when I mix my drinks. Go figure.

We'd decided on a boat trip out of Argistoli Harbour the previous evening and I was pretty excited for this as I'd been told that the chances of once again seeing dolphins was pretty high. Friends we'd met earlier in the week had informed us that the dolphins actually chase along side the boat.

We decided to get to Argistoli early on and have breakfast.
We ended up in a little place on the main drag. They took a bit longer than we would have liked to bring us our breakfast but I was well entertained by the cutest little beagle mix dog. Andy kept telling me not to fuss it, due to it being a dog outside of Britain, however I couldn't help myself... he was way too cute, besides I know enough to wash my hands thoroughly after 'fussing' a strange dog. Besides, as you can see for yourself, my husband couldn't resist him after a few forlorn looks.

After a hastily consumed breakfast I quickly made my way back to the boat and Andy... he had gotten a little anxious and went on ahead to ensure our spot on board. After I had finished eating I waved good-bye to the two old gents sitting nearby and smiling, and with a 'kalamera' (goodmorning) made my way back to the boat.

The gal working the 'bar' was a woman from Doncaster who had been living and working in Greece for three years. I can't say I blamed her for giving up life in the rat race to go live on such a peaceful gorgeous island.

We slowly made our way out of port and it was just as we were reaching a bouy in the harbour (not even a mile out from shore) that Andy spotted some dolphin fins! Next thing you know, there is an enormously loud siren going off and the captain is at the front of the boat with us yelling at us to clap and shout. All of a sudden there they were, swimming right along side the boat, every now and then turning to look up at us! Amazing - absolutely amazing. The captain kept telling us to shout 'Come up' 'Come up' as they sometimes break the water - but only if encouraged enough. Unfortunately that day was a day when the crowd weren't encouraging enough, but hey, seeing them race along beside the boat just beneath the ssurface was reward enough!

After messing about with the dolphins for a half our or so the boat finally made its way out of the harbour and the captain proceeded to show off the many gorgeous sites of the island. We eventually docked at a little island where most people opted to snorkel around. It was pretty fun to just jump of the boat and go for it. After 45 minutes or so we piled back on board and made our way back to Argistoli Harbour. As you can see from this photo Andy opted to stay on board!

After docking back at port we went for some lunch and shopped around for souviers, etc. Again that night we found ourselves back in yet another taverna eating and drinking!

Day 5 - Friday

It was a bit cloudy out again the morning so instead of heading for the beach we decided to make use of our jeep and head into the mountains, something we had been planning on doing, we just weren't sure when.

The mountains rose up behind our villa and we had a lovely view of them face on whenever we drove along the coastline, however once we made the turn that would take us up into them, and down into the valleys, it was like we were on another island.

The first thing we noticed was that when we passed as sign that signalled falling rocks, it meant just that. We could actually see pieces of the mountain crumbling as we approached certain areas. We were pleasantly surprised when we came across a heard of mountain goats in the road. The were actually coming down off a very steep part of the mountain, thus causing even more rock slides. I scrabbled for my camera but of course as we had to keep moving (due to falling rocks) the pictures didn't turn out that great.

We headed down into a valley that had a gorgeous winery smack dab in the middle. Shame we had so much to see or we could have stopped in for a sample. As Andy isn't a big wine conossier I decided to leave it - plus it was only about 10 in the morning! We decided to drive East through the mountains and ended up near Skala to visit two very amazing caves.

I didn't know what to expect when we reached Drograti Cave. We had to go through a little shop to purchase our tickets at the ridiculously low price of 3 Euro and continued on down a very long, twisting flight of stairs built into the mountainous walls. We had to stop a number of times to let the group of people ascending pass by. I've never heard so many out of breath people in one area! I was worried about how far down we had to go... turns out it wasn't that bad and boy were we meet with an amazing sight. A huge cavern with thousands of staligmites. Apparently this cave is a popular one for holding music concerts in!

Although it wasn't overly large, it took us about 15 minutes to walk round, it was such an amazing sight - I kept thinking that my old high school geology teacher Mr. Spidell, would have been in heaven. We made our ascent without half the aggro of the previous group and after purchasing a drink in the shop we were ready to move on to the next cave.

(I also couldn't help buy buy this cute little kerchief that a lot of the locals wear...)

We just made it to the next cave Melissini as a large coach trip was leaving. The entry into the cave was much the same, except this time we had to walk down a long ramp into the mouth of the cave. I was very eager to see this cave as its an underground lake with 50 foot deep water. The ceiling of the cave has collapsed in one area allowing the sun and nature to be let in.

Once we reached the bottom of the ramp we were sorted into groups of approximately 10 each and herded into a gondola avec driver. He then proceeded to tell us about the 'lake' as well as kindly take photos of the couples in the boat. It was amazing to watch the birds sweep down into the cave and I was very excited when I realized that we would be taken into the cave where the roof hadn't collapsed. It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my travels to date.

After visiting the caves we decided to drive on to a little town called Agia Efimia -it just so happens that this picturesqe village was where most of the filming of Captain Correlli's Mandolin was filmed.

We stopped and ate at Captain Correlli's Taverna before heading back into the mountains to cross over to the West coast to visit a beach Andy had heard was one of the most beautiful on the island.

We crossed some pretty curvy roads and a few small villages before reaching the west side of the island. I couldn't get a close up glimpse of the water at this point and was very curious to see how 'amazing' this beach really was. It was then that we ended up on the most narrow and winding road we had been on to date. We had to practically crawl down this 'road' because if we encountered another car at any speed, it would have spelt disaster. It wasn't until we'd gone around 7 bends that the most breathtaking scenery came into sight. I could not believe my eyes and that we were actually on our way down to the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen - Myrtos Beach.

Nestled between the mountains was this fantastic cove with white sand and pebbled beach. We had to stop for a few photo ops and thankfully there were a few layby's nearer the bottom... as overjoyed as I was to be in this picture, believe it or not I was quite 'anxious' to be standing this close to the cliff's edge!

The beach itself was fantastic and we spent quite awhile messing around taking pictures in the caves before settling down to sun ourselves - the sun had finally come out and it was scorching. Every 20 minutes or so we were up and diving into those gloriously cool waves.

It was with reluctance that we left that evening and we vowed that it was indeed the most beautiful place we'd been to on the lsland.

It is at this point that I'm ending my travel blog to Greece. Luckily enough I had drafted most of this on Thursday (yes accident day) so I just had to add the last paragraph or so. The rest of our trip was spent on the beach, soaking up as much sun as we could get. Saturday night was Andy's turn to get drunk but I won't tell you what he dared shout out loud to me in the taverna as I don't want you to think my husband is a pervert, lol.

Honestly, it was a brilliant Honeymoon and now even more so I am grateful for the lovely memories we have. Thanks for bearing with me throughout this long entry!

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