I realised the other day that I still have seven different trips to post about until I’m all up to date. It’s been a bit of a hectic summer! How is that even possible you ask? I mean you could be forgiven for thinking I don’t have a full time job, although I do. However in May I left one job, six weeks before I was due to start at a new one. I engineered this on purpose of course. Because of my father’s illness I essentially missed summer 2018 completely, so I felt I deserved an especially indulgent summer in 2019, with time off work and plenty of foreign travel. If it hadn’t been for my Japanese lessons, I would have taken off for six weeks and backpacked round Europe. However I’ve never been the kind of person to skive school so I fit in my travelling around my lessons. Let me tell you about the first one…
At the end of May, I went on a trip to Greece with someone I had met in a nightclub less than three weeks before – which may be one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done. He’s called Noah and he’s from Italy. We met, we clicked and we both fancied a holiday. So it just made sense to find a cheap flight somewhere. Three days before we were due to go, we found cheap tickets to the Greek island of Samos. So that’s where we went!
We were visiting Samos a little early in the season, so fortunately we didn’t have much trouble finding accommodation. We initially booked a cute little hotel in a tiny village (just a cluster of houses along the road/coast) named Avlakia. The hotel was lovely and the area super quiet. I think the locals were surprised to see us there actually! We spent time just lazing on the pebble beach and drinking Mythos beer.
One of the hotel staff kindly gave us a lift one evening into Kokkari, a nearby town which was quite picturesque and had a number of restaurants, where we had some great greek food! Actually the food generally was pretty great.
After a couple of nights we relocated back to Pythagoreio as we needed to take a ferry from there early the following morning. While here, we rented a moped (fortunately Noah is an experienced driver so I was permitted to be the passenger the whole time) to explore the island a little bit. We checked out an old tunnel/aqueduct and attempted to find a beautiful sandy beach. We did find a nice beach but unfortunately it was no secret, as a large tacky bar had been built on top of it. Samos was stunning however, and we were treated to some incredible views as we traversed the island.
The next day we got on a ferry to take us to Kos – by this point we had booked our flight back to the UK from there. We stayed in Kos town, which was very touristy unfortunately and much less inviting than the sleepy towns on Samos. I vaguely remembered parts of it from visiting there with my parents… 11 years ago (I think). However because Kos is bigger and there’s more going on, there’s also more to see. We rented another moped to see some of the island. First we explored the ruins in Kos town, then admired the intricate stonework at the island’s mountaintop asclepion and finally watched the sunset from the top of Mt. Zia. The next day we went off to find a nice beach to spend a last afternoon on before flying back to the UK.
It hasn’t been all that long since I’ve visited Greece – but still I was so surprised at how gorgeous the place was! The water is clear, the islands are verdant and many of the villages are immaculate. It really is a delight to visit and explore. It’s good value for money, has great weather and it’s easy to get around. I really feel like I’ve been sleeping on it!
Also, going on holiday with an almost-stranger may have been risky, but things went extremely smoothly! Even Noah admitted that he doesn’t normally get along with people after a week of travelling with them – but naturally I’m the best travel buddy anyone could ever hope for so we didn’t have any problems. And just in case you’re wondering – yes we’re still friends! Till next time Greece 😉