Monday, June 30, 2008

My Big Fat Greek Holiday

For 10 days in early June, Robyn took us on a family holiday on board his friend's boat in Greece. After a 24-hr journey (Cape Town - Dubai - Athens - Rhodes), we finally ended up at our first port of call in Rhodes, aka Rodos.

Dunno about everyone else, but I was expecting a little putt-putt wooden house boat floating merrily along the Mediterranean, but when we rocked up to the harbour, there sat Lady Lilo, a glorious 27-metre Paris Hilton-vibe, lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous Azimut Yacht. PHWOARRRRRR!


This boat was so swish-styling, it even had its name branded on the bath towels and sun beds, and we were all given our own Lady Lilo caps and polo shirts. (the owner had to be in advertizing of course!)


This is the course we took starting off in Rhodes, then we went to Symi, Kalymnos, Arki, Patmos, Mykonos, Paros and ended up in Athens where we took our flight back.


After spending the first night on the boat in Rodos, we set sail for Symi. On the way there, we found a quiet spot and anchored. Captain Said and his deckhands - Bassam & Sherbil sprang into action after mooring the boat... They went diving for sea urchins and found a scorpion fish at the same time! (it looks like a Soon Hock fish)



We heard bells clinking in the distance and thought we were going mad until looking closely at the rocks, we spotted goats grazing.


When we finally got to Symi that evening, we took a stroll down the picture perfect small town. The guy who owned the only leather shop in town showed us a picture he had of Tom Hanks in his shop. Apparently, he's in Symi every summer.



The local rockstars look like this:


The next day, we set sail again for Kalymnos. On the way there, we found a pretty cave/ cove place and moored just before lunch.


We found more local rockstars on Kalymnos:



...and that night, everyone proceeded to get very, very drunk (except for me, the non-alcoholic).






By the time we were done with dinner, these guys were finished. Kelly & Margarita were racing around at 0.5 km/h on Sanrio kiddy rides, and when we got back to the boat someone discovered an Irish jig CD and put it on repeat for a good hour. Everyone started dancing outside on the deck, in full view of passersby at the harbour.




While we were on Kalymnos, we bought a blow-up lobster, lilo and tube ring which came in handy when we set sail again for Arki the next day.


Arki was a rather quiet affair - the only thing this tiny island had were a church and 2 restaurants, so we had dinner with the crew here.



Next stop: Patmos island. It's where Jesus' disciple, John, was exiled from Ephesus. Apparently he came here with his own disciple (I forget his name now) and they claim he wrote the book of Revelations here. There's a monastery on top of the hill dedicated to John, and a little further down closer to town, there's a chapel dedicated to him, in a cave where he allegedly lived.

We took a little walk around the old town, on the way up to the monastery.







The next day, we sailed from Patmos to Mykonos. It was almost touch & go with this as the wind in Mykonos is legendary. People have been stranded on the island because of the strong winds and boats can't actually make it to the island for up to a few days on end. (Lucky thing they have an airport)

Captain Said steered us through EXTREMELY choppy seas - by the end of the 4.5hr boat ride, Kelly made the loo his base as he was up-chucking that morning's breakfast and dinner from the night before too. In contrast, Robyn was chilling on the living room couch, solving Sudoku puzzles with ease.

Mykonos is the picture-perfect postcard of your typical Greek island, filled with white blocks of architecture, and back alleys lined with slate paths.




This is one of the bigger and more beautiful islands, hence it's also the tourist trap. Gay boys come here for their beach parties on Paradise & Super Paradise Beach. And while we were there, we stumbled on a large group of OLD nudists. I mean, they were probably in their 60s and 70s, stark naked, and playing paddle-ball on the beach. It was the most bizarre sight (I just couldn't bring myself to snap any pictures).

The other bizarre thing spotted was the European man's love for Speedos, aka Budgie Smugglers. Old and young, fat and thin - it didn't matter... they were wearing their trunks as tiny as girl's panties. So I had to capture my tribute to the European Man's bad taste in swimwear:

THE BUDGIE SMUGGLER SERIES





We went to some fabulous restaurants on Mykonos, the first being Matsuhisa. It's opened by the same chef as Nobu (yes, those famous NY & London restaurants).


The next day, Robyn's friend and owner of the boat joined us with his wife. From here, it was non-stop EATING!! Next stop, Christo's for lunch. Shirley Valentine was shot here.


Found a kitty-cat sleeping in a jewelery store too (even the cats here live the high life!)


The next day we took the boat out of Mykonos and splashed around again in another bay nearby with Eddie and Lillian (boat owners), and their friends Leeta and Theo.

We finally ended up on the last island on this trip called Paros. This seems like a scaled-down Mykonos. It still has the pretty white-washed houses and little back alleys, but on a much smaller scale.



We finally made it back to Athens the next day (6hr boat ride), with no one throwing up this time. We had such a short time here before we had to leave for the airport, I didn't even get a chance to see the Parthenon. I went to Athens and DIDN'T SEE THE PARTHENON!!!!!

I guess that gives me an excuse to go back to Greece again. Next time, I'll spend a whole month there and get to know the islands a whole lot better.
More pix in the album link here.

2 comments:

  1. WOW, that looks like the most awesome holiday ever. I went to 2 Greek Isalnds years ago and i constantly want to go back..*sigh*

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  2. Tell me about it! I wanna go back and explore the other islands like Santorini, and spend at least a whole month there next time.

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