Laziness abounds in England and Greece!
Despite what you may be thinking after so many weeks of silence, Pete and I are still alive and kicking. We have not fallen off the face of the Earth, been marooned on a desert island, or abducted by aliens. What we have been is monumentally lazy!
This marathon Slob-A-Thon was well earned, I reckon, 'cos escaping Asia was much more dramatic than expected. We mentioned in our last post that we missed our original flights out of Kuala Lumpur ‘cos we messed up with the visas, so had to spend a couple of days nipping backwards and forwards between the Indian Embassy and Indian Visa Centre (annoyingly these buildings were a taxi-ride apart!) They eventually agreed to give us three-day transit visas, so we were able to make our flights to New Delhi the following Wednesday.
Now the plan was, we arrived in Delhi late on Wednesday, left for Bahrain early on Thursday morning, and caught a same-day connection from Bahrain through to Athens. We would stay overnight in the city, then take the ferry to the island of Poros on Friday morning. Never works the way you hope, though, does it? We got to Delhi as expected, survived the manic taxi ride to our hotel and managed not to be mugged by the extremely dodgy taxi driver and his two mates who stood around menacingly demanding tips. We also survived a less-manic taxi ride back to the airport the next morning. We knew the timing for this next part of the journey was going to be tight: we had only 50 minutes to make our connection in Bahrain. Unfortunately the flight from Delhi was delayed by an hour and a half for some unknown reason. We made enquiries, and the stewardess promised to find out. She returned some time later to assure us that our connecting flight would be held.
Would have been nice, had it been true.
We rushed through the terminal at Bahrain only to be told that the plane had already left, and would we please make our way to the We Are A Bunch Of Lying Toads desk to reschedule our flight. To be honest, we weren’t best pleased. I mean, we know flights are delayed for a variety of reasons, and we would have accepted our missed connection without complaint. What we objected to most was the fact that the stewardess on our first flight was obviously telling us what we wanted to hear just to stop us making a fuss. (They actually admitted as much at the Lying Toads desk later!) They then told us that we would be booked onto an alternative flight that would add eight hours to the journey and involve another change in Cyprus. Now we were really annoyed. We’d already had two flights in two days and didn’t particularly want a third and a fourth, so we turned down their offer and told ‘em to think again. Poor bloke; looking back I feel kind of sorry for him. Listening to moaning customers all day can’t be a lot of fun. Still, he was very obliging, agreeing to put us up in a hotel for the night and giving us good seats on a direct flight to Athens the next morning.
The hotel turned out to be 4-star, much to our surprise. We thought we’d be stuck in the nearest grotty flea-bag motel and left to fend for ourselves. They provided free transfers to and from the airport, and free food – which, it must be said, was fantastic! The only downside was they happened to be holding a Bahraini Noisy Twit Contest in the hotel; either that or they were conducting a large-scale experiment in sleep deprivation. This place was loud. Anyway, I’m glad we weren’t the ones footing the bill.
Happily everything went smoothly after that. The upgraded flights were heavenly: we had a row to ourselves and plenty of legroom, plus as it was an adult-only flight it was blissfully quiet. (The one from Greece to London was peaceful, too. If there is such a thing as Flight Karma, we are due a couple of hellish flights to make up for it!)
So, by the time we finally got to Poros we didn’t really want to do much of anything. We did very little that could be considered touristy, and instead spent a great deal of time reading, mooching on the Internet and working on personal projects.
I found myself getting all excited about the most mundane things. This, for example:
Your common-or-garden variety wardrobe takes on a new level of excitement when you’ve been living out of backpacks for three months. I was absolutely delighted by the fact that I was able to hang up my clothes!
This was the first interconnecting door I’d seen in three months that actually lead to a second room (excluding bathrooms, of course). I also got way too excited about having minimalist cooking facilities, but I’ll spare you the pictures of the cooker.
And, of course, no trip of ours would be complete without many hours indulging in this wonderful stuff:
At some point during the second week we did feel that we ought to suspend our inspection of every single bar and restaurant between our apartment and Poros Town and at least make an effort to see the island, so we hired a quad bike for the day.
Poros is a small island (31 square kilometers or 12 square miles, according to Wikipedia), so it didn’t take long to ride round. It is a very pretty place - it felt as though there was a spectacular viewpoint round every other corner - so we thought we’d take some photographs of things that weren’t in our apartment.
There aren't many visitor's attractions on Poros: the first picture shows Pete at the ruins of Poseidon's Temple, which is currently being excavated; the other building is the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi.
And that's about as energetic as things got got for us recently. The last two weeks have been spent in the UK, catching up with family and celebrating Pete’s dad’s 70th birthday. We fly out to Norway tomorrow, and we intend to spend a month or two exploring Europe while the weather’s still warm. I guess we’ll be making our way further south as winter draws near, partly because we don't much like cold weather, and partly because we don't have any winter clothing with us!
I will update again from Oslo once I get an Internet connection. If the place is anything like Kings Lynn in Norfolk (where Pete's family lives), this could take a while!
'Bye for now...