What I learned in Ios

As done before here and here I will try to put together a list with things/feelings I took from this vacation.

– It’s totally agreeable to visit an island where there is no sightseeing possible
– Greek meze rock!
– There is only so much I can read while on the beach, sometimes all I want to do is watch the sea
– I actually wrote the above sentence, which must make it true
– Doing nothing gets better every day
– I could watch my girth grow every day
– Healthy food does not mean diet food
– It does seem weird for other people when three single adults travel together, but not all dare to ask how we are connected
– Ios is great for all ages
– Life doesn’t get much better when you travel with your friends!

Yours, Pollybert
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(Pictures thanks to Pat!)

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Leaving Ios – going home

Isn’t going home just the hardest part of a vacation? Especially when it was really great? Knowing that back home temperatures had already dropped and that it felt more like fall than summer? As much as I enjoyed seeing temperatures plummeting into the cellar while I was away, I now dreaded going back to these same weather conditions that I laughed at from afar.
Whatever my feelings concerning the weather at home, this could not be changed or put off. Home we went and no way around it. So I finally took the time to take some pictures of Petros Place, especially of the breakfast area that we frequented every morning. We sat in the exact same nook as the one opposite.IMG_7728IMG_7730
The surfboard at the entrance made me feel welcome as if I had come to the right place. Which turned out correct, it was the right place for us (and I later learned that my younger brother had already stayed here 10 years ago). I still don’t know why it was the board that gave me this feeling. Because I can’t surf. I tried it once years ago in Sri Lanka and could get up probably once or twice that afternoon. My teacher, a young and agile boy, was smiling all afternoon (more likely laughing his head off once I was gone) while I desperately tried to come to terms with the balance on the board. In the end I gave up exhausted but proud. As said before I got up once or twice and probably surfed a couple of meters. So maybe the board reminded me of this experience and the vacation with my family. Whatever it was, it made me feel at home.
After a quick breakfast it was one more time to the beach. Not Mylopotas which was too far for this one hour left to us, but the one right next tot the hotel. Also a great place to say goodbye to the sea for 2014. No dip into the water for me, but just relaxing on the beach, reading my book and getting caressed by the wind and the sun made it the perfect parting place.IMG_7729
And then with just minutes to spare back to the hotel, a quick shower and off to the ferry. See how overcast the sky was when we left Petros Place? Even heaven was sad to see us go!IMG_7731
There was no need to hurry since the ferry as usual turned out to be late. Didn’t we learn anything on this trip?IMG_7732
This time though we only had to wait an extra 30 minutes and then we were already on the way to Santorini. The boat was packed, even the upper deck was full. We needed a plan to get a cab to the airport before everybody else because our schedule was quite tight with not more than an hour to spare.IMG_7733
Turns out C is quite the organizer under stress. He was the first off the boat from our group and managed to snag a cab and hold on to it. Not an easy feat, I swear. Suitcases got loaded and unloaded in this cab but in the end he prevailed and we got it! And off we went into lofty heights with our Georgian driver and I got a good look at this sea monster. Would you want to go on vacation on board of this cruise ship?IMG_7734
Not much more happened, we got to the airport on time, checked in and used the spare hour to grab a last Greek salad before embarking. Upon arrival Vienna treated us well with temperatures in the 20s and sun. Way more than we expected! It’s nice to get surprised in such a way.
And since our trip turned out so well we decided on not calling it a night but went all together for an Austrian dinner at RosnovskyUndCo. After a Wiener Schnitzel I was ready for a greater role. Meet Olivia the youngest addition to our group! Yours, PollybertIMG_7737

Last days of summer

Monday, the start of a new work week and we were still at the beach. What a lovely feeling, knowing that everybody else what at their desks working away while we were leisurely having breakfast. Especially now while I am writing it. We are already back since a week but thinking and writing about the island makes me feel like I am back there.

So what can be better for the last couple of days on vacation than to do the things you enjoy the most? Exactly, nothing! Therefore we took the 11am bus to Mylopotas beach, got off next to our tree and settled down. Again a day full with doing nothing aka swimming, sleeping and playing cards. Lunch was therefore a relaxed affair at Almyra By the Sea. This gorgeous place was right across the street from our tree so we made the conscious effort to actually cross the street. I know this sounds terrible but the longer you don’t do anything the easier it gets going on like this.IMG_7658IMG_7666IMG_7674
If you think you recognize this place, correct! This has also become our favorite sundowner spot!IMG_7676IMG_7679IMG_7682

For dinner we settled on a true and trusted place, Katogi, home of the one and only Cucumber Delight! Again no pictures taken, I really don’t know what happened to me. Maybe I just wanted to enjoy this moment of utter bliss without a camera? On the way home though we met some very affectionate cats and one of them was all over us. It looked super cute but prompted a severe allergic reaction from me, so this was it for the night-cap.

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Our last full day was Tuesday and I hadn’t done any sight-seeing all vacation long. Since this goes against my basest instincts I had to change that. Hence Tuesday morning Pat and I were on the way to Skarkos Hill, a prehistoric settlement. No wonder we kept it for the last day, there was nothing to see and it fitted neatly into our do nothing program of the holidays.IMG_7688IMG_7690IMG_7691IMG_7692IMG_7697 For a place where there was nothing to see I have quite a few pictures, no? I think my sense of achievement (we actually walked the 15 minutes to this settlement) got the better of me and I needed these pictures as proof of having seen “something worthy”.

The last day was spent in the same fashion as the previous days, with nothing. And it felt really good. Lunch was a club sandwich at Almyra and also the sundowner was taken there again. You just can’t beat this view.IMG_7707IMG_7710IMG_7711

IMG_7717For dinner we went to our agreed best restaurant on the island, Polydoros. Besides lovely home-made food we also met our hotel owners Poppi and Petros from Petros Place who were responsible for our going there in the first place. It was really nice to see that they also frequent the places that they recommend. If you ever make your way to Ios you really have to come here for dinner. Absolutely best place on the island!

When we left the restaurant on the way to Ios town Pat was in the mood for Sirtaki. That’s what the island is doing to you!IMG_7720IMG_7723
We shared our last evening with people we met at Almyra at Click and later at Pegasus. Both places were empty except for our group. It didn’t dampen our spirit to dance the night away (ok I did, while C looked on). But all good things must come to an end and so did this night as well. Yours, Pollybert

A bus ride to Manganari

For Sunday we decided on doing something completely different. After two days at the beach we needed a change, therefore we wanted to take the boat again to Manganari beach. The boat unfortunately had other plans so we had to switch to the bus. The change of scenery was necessary for all of us, beach fever is possible. On the way to Manganari we finally saw the windmills which grace this island.
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Even though the bus ride was not to our taste, it brought us to this lovely, super sandy beach. Once we arrived we settled on sun chairs and did pretty much the same as on the other beach. Probably even less, traveling by bus was tiring after all. For lunch we went again to AntonIos, this time though I could take some pictures. The food by the way was excellent, we settled on the daily special and some salads.IMG_7639

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Not everything on the menu was available which for me is a reason in its favor. The tourist season as you can see on the following picture was ending, so no need to have a full selection available.IMG_7644
The afternoon was spent in reclining position or swimming in turquoise water which gave us enough energy for the way back. The bus ride was long, making a detour via Mylopotas beach as well. After trying the boat and the bus, the boat is by far the preferable transportation mode to Manganari. The pictures from the bus look nice though.IMG_7647
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We met at the bar that evening, not sure where to head for dinner. Dimitris, the owner’s son, recommended Koumpara and this is where we ended up. Besides being a stylish place while still comfortable, we met a real-life Adonis there. Sorry no picture of Adonis, he was for our eyes only!IMG_7655

Since Koumpara is directly next to the beach and was recommended for its seafood we tried some fried fish (great taste) and a typical fish soup (ok but bland) from the island and again some appetizers. I managed to take pictures of the stuffed zucchini flowers and the octopus salad. I know I had a field day with the food pics that Sunday. Yours, Pollybert

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The beach and nothing but the beach

Do you know this phenomenon that once you start doing nothing you keep on doing nothing? After three days in Ios this was exactly what happened. The boat tour and the night before had left us exhausted and we started the next day late and lazy as the days before.
Breakfast was followed by taking the bus to Mylopotas. Remember? It’s this beach:IMG_7572.JPG
Swimming, sleeping, reading and playing cards started to dominate our day. Probably not in this order, but one has to stay flexible. A late lunch with some beer helped to increase the sleeping rate.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped in the village and had a good look around. On top of the hill are three chapels from which you have a gorgeous view over the port and the neighbouring bay.IMG_7579 IMG_7581 IMG_7584 IMG_7589 IMG_7608 IMG_7621
For dinner this night we tried another recommendation directly in the port. Meze Meze definitely had the weirdest Greek Salad of the trip. Each and every salad was a bit different while basically the same, but this one had pepperoni and pickled carrots. Weird might actually understating it. The rest was ok though just not memorable. We all agreed that we won’t go back to this place.

Saturday morning was another beautiful day with a late breakfast and more Mylopotas beach. By now we had found our rhythm and perfected the ability of doing nothing. The sun downers took longer and longer and for dinner this time we had the misfortune to miss the bus to the village. Woe and behold C had to take the stairs otherwise we would not have made it to dinner before 11pm. It was actually the only time in all of 9 days that we walked up the stairs. We quite often took them on the way down to the hotel, but going up was not for us. By Saturday of course we had already gained a bit from all the local delicacies.
Dinner that night took us to Nest, again on recommendation. The food was good but the place had the charm of a train station.IMG_7626Just in case you are wondering, we were not bored! We really enjoyed this new-found laziness. Saturday marked also the end of the first week and we started to really get into the rest and recreation mode.
Yours, Pollybert