Samos in a nutshell

While on vacation in Turkey I decided to post a list with things I learned during my time there. Now I would like to share with you my new found wisdom after a week in Samos.

– Flies can actually bite! And no, I am not imagining this; At Pappa Beach I have watched them sitting down on my skin, searching with their nozzle (or however call this thing) for the best place to bite. It definitely stings!

– On Sunday there is no room cleaning service in the hotel.

– It’s possible to ruin a Greek salad with a tasteless dressing.

– Sleeping on a pebble beach is reflexology on the back. Not sure it helps though.

– The Greek are good losers. They didn’t cry foul when they lost in the World Cup.

– Don’t eat fried fish in Greece.

– Samosan wine (not only the sweet one) tastes of summer and is quite quaffable.

– Don’t trust the guide books. Ask the locals for opening times.

– Enjoy the moment. It’s lovely as it is!

Yours, Pollybert

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Back to Pappa

Saturday, finally the weekend. After a long and relaxing vacation week, the weekend. Haha, since everyday felt like a weekend it made no difference to us. But lots of people in the village turned out that day because it was the big day of the church fair! It was ‘Peter and Paul‘ weekend and all the church highnesses were expected to celebrate.371

We decided after a late breakfast to visit Pappa’s Beach again. It is a lovely little place, in a cozy nook. The two pine trees make it homely and quiet. The problem with the bill not withstanding, we wanted to give it another chance. And I am glad we did. We spent a beautiful day at the beach again, definitely worth of a Saturday. And no more problems with the bill, very correct the second time.381 385

In the evening we were facing the same problem again as before. Will we watch the first or the second half? We decided on the first, then rushed to the hotel, shower, hydrating (skin not body, the beer we already had), changing and then back to our bar. In the end there was no need for any haste since the game went into over-time and eventually penalty shooting. What a sad way to end a game, I would have liked Chile to win.

So around 10pm we made our way to the fair, having heard so much about it and seen the procession in all its glory walk around the village.388
Only to realize at the fair after the extremely nerve-racking game that they have not been waiting for us.404
I know the picture is a bit dark but be assured that it was packed. The whole village has turned out. In summer they a respectable number of 600 inhabitants (in winter 350), so I don’t know where all these other people came from. The line-up for the Souvlaki was long and we were not hung up on them anyway, so we decided on the spur of the moment to go back to the place where we had dinner the first night.

The first night we passed it on the way through the village and then on the way back just met a couple coming outside telling us that it’s very good. Which it was, it just had a very typical and basic style and we didn’t realize that it was the most authentic place. Maybe that’s why we tried a lot of different places meanwhile. But Andrea and I had already talked about going back there again. And after our horrible culinary experience the day before we needed great Greek cooking . It might not be imaginative, but in its simplicity it’s magnificent. Fresh ingredients put together make out of a simple meal a great one! Yours, Pollybert405 406

PS: I forgot to take a picture of the name of the place and don’t remember it. But it is the second last restaurant in Ireon direction Pappa Beach, and it shows a seagull in its sign.

a2+b2=c2

On Friday we did more of the same. The day before we had exhausted all of our energies in Vathi therefore Pythagoron had to wait for today. First we had a great breakfast at our Hotel Niki again. Every morning we get something different with our coffee and tea, like ham, an egg or yoghurt with honey. The best part about the whole breakfast though is watching the other guests interacting with the litter of cats. There are seven young ones and they are all super cute. Problem is, the longer we stay at the hotel, they more I get sucked into the same kind of attention to the cats.282 283 284 285 286
Again we took the bus at 10am, this time already like seasoned travelers, knowing it wouldn’t be right on time and left the hotel just a couple of minutes before. Ah, to feel like the locals already after a couple of days, how great is that?

Pythagoreio turned out to be a lot more interesting than Vathi. First of all it has a castle (which Andrea likes to call “Kastl”, makes me laugh just writing it), with a church and a cemetery right next to it and a quaint little harbor. And, drumroll please now we come to the important information, it was the home of the great mathematician Pythagoras. The monument for him looks like a triangle, great choice for a great man!294 295 303 308 310 312 315 320 321 323 328

Check out the seagull on top!

From the port we walked back up the road to the bus station again. Pythagoreion really hasn’t that much to offer to stay for more than two hours during the day. It’s probably livelier in the evening.
A bit shopping on the way up and then we were on the way back to Ireon.

Our dinner on Friday was at Vuros Fish Tavern, the last restaurant at the end of the village. Right where it belongs at the end of the village, because it was definitely not good. Even the obligatory Greek salad was not tasting anything, so unbelievable. Really an achievement we hadn’t thought possible. When the waiter took away the plates I had to tell him what I thought. An urge I can’t seem to quell. But why would he ask in the first place when he sees a lot of stuff going back?
Yours, Pollybert374 375 376 377

The desert we got with a shot of sweet wine as an apology for the dinner. It was the best part of the meal.379

A lovely young man

After two and half days doing next to nothing – although I find “doing nothing” might be up for discussion. I really find that we did a lot. We had to decide which beach to grace with our presence (here we are the eye candy), to discover the village, decide every evening which half of the game to watch (aka go for a beer right after the beach or have a beer on the balcony of the hotel while getting ready for the evening and chose a restaurant for dinner. All of this can be very exhausting, so glad we are on vacation to relax from these exertions – it was time to explore the island.

We took the bus up north to Samos City or Vathi. The view from above was quite impressive, the windows of the bus to dirty though to take any pictures. Vathi is known for its old part, which we didn’t see. Honestly it was hot and humid, and there were better things to do like shopping. True enough, but we also went to see the church “Agios Spyridonas” and the archeological museum. Ha, I am sure you wouldn’t have guessed that. The museum has quite a few impressive pieces, some of which were found at the Heraion. For example this “Kouros” which means young man. I wonder what Hera did with him?258 260 261 262 266 270 356

Later on the way to the shopping area we passed through a small park, quite an oasis in the otherwise bare city. Thinking about it now, I have no idea why there are no other trees in villages.
Since Greece’s economy is in the cellar we tried to support them to the best of our abilities. Am taking home some lovely things.

The rest of the day was spent in the usual fashion, first a drink at our bar to hydrate again, then on the beach practicing for my future as a fakir and with an extremely late and large lunch. The small fish fried with onion might not look like much on the picture but was one of the best things we had so far.276 280 281

Since lunch was really super late at 5pm we didn’t make it to dinner that evening. Just had drinks at our favorite bar, the mezze they serve with them don’t count of course.
Yours, Pollybert

Beach days

There is no stopping the laziness which only gets bigger the less one does. Andrea and I are big believers in doing exactly nothing while on vacation.
We started our program on Tuesday with a sleep-in and then a full day on Pappa Beach which is 900m after Ireon.219 220

The 900m are of course measured from the other end of the village. Never mind we are young and still strong to walk the 1500m in scorching heat. Ok, that might be a lie, I was glad once we arrived to go swimming right away. Pure bliss!222 223 227

It’s a beautiful and idyllic place, like small laguna. In the afternoon we went for Greek salad and ice coffee to the restaurant at the beach. We got over-charged by one drink (which we noticed) but later heard that this is a regular occurrence. So if you come here, check your bill. And this even though the place is blessed!

The evening program consisted again of football and dinner. We already found a bar where we are spending our pre- and after-dinner time. These pictures though are from the first evening when we didn’t know any better and just selected the hang-out place by the view.206 207 208

Wednesday was spent at the beach right in front of our hotel. We are lucky by having a beach with a large tree, therefore it’s not necessary to get a sun bed and an umbrella. Also I prefer to lie a little on the side instead in a row with all the other tourists. Always an elitist, I know. Plus I already got used to sleeping on a pebble beach last year and feel like a fakir this year.

In the late afternoon we decided on a cultural visit to the Hera temple. The temple is around 1km from the village, this time though from our end. We followed our instinct and the directions from the guide book because the island does not find it necessary to put up any signs. After 15 min of walking in sweltering heat we reached the Heraion and found it closed. Contrary to the guide book it doesn’t stay open until 7pm but only until noon. Also when you look at the pictures the whole area makes quite an abandoned impression. It’s not according to our hotel lady.233 235 236

On the way back to Ireon we stopped and admired to local flora and fauna. The goat especially got a bit nosy. Could stop him just in time before he made any further inquiries.
Yours, Pollybert243 244 248