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Holidays 2005

Kos, Greece

This year’s trip saw us enjoying a full two weeks of sun on the Greek island of Kos. We stayed at the Nefeli Hotel, the friendliest on the planet! The host Nikos and all the staff there were on hand all the time and could not do enough for us. Niki, who worked on reception as well as the bar and along with Maria, Paris, Francesca & Wilma (from Holland) kept us topped up with cooling drinks throughout the day, Fresh orange, Frappe (not my cup of tea or coffee as the case was) and OK maybe some Mythos beer too.

Nikos was always running BBQ's which was just as well as the place was about 30-40 minutes from the town itself so, unusually for us, we stayed around the hotel a lot of the time. One night we had a half chicken BBQ'd, cooked to perfection it was. Other nights at the hotel introduced us, and the rest of the holiday makers to Souvlaki!! We always had to fight for ours, well sorta, as Jordie and Wilga (the two Dutch girls) always seemed to get the front of the queue first! We were also introduced to the tradition of a global Yam Mas (cheers) celebrated as and when, across the bar area, during the evening by downing a tot (which gives the impression it was small but wasn't!) of sambucca. This happened a good few times during an evening, which after my first day’s hangover, I was able to prepare against!

During our stay we had a couple of Greek nights whilst we were there and met up with Mike n Stella (from Eire, originally from S Africa) although they were leaving that night which was a shame, and Nanda and Jack (from Holland who we became good friends with). We seemed to dance with everyone who was there, in fact forget the beer.. all the staff joined in too!. We became good pals with Jeremie and Rosie from Dublin too (Jeremie originally from France) so a right United Nations it was but we had so much fun learning differing languages (such as the ever useful word stoelendans) , pulling each others legs over our own nations quirks and teaching them all scouse!! In fact probably the best thing about the whole holiday is that we met up with such nice people both working and staying at the Nefeli.

We hired some bikes not that long into the holiday which was a good move as the place itself is fairly flat and enabled us to explore the coast and Tigaki beach, idyllic it is, at a leisurely pace. Lots of nice eateries at Tingaki too although after about 10 KM on a bike a wet Mythos is really well deserved never mind needed! We also made good use of the bikes to seek out the ruins of ancient Greece and saw Simon Templar’s (The Saint) place (although Lisa reckons the castle has got something to do with the Knights of St. John). Got to see where Hippocrates began the NHS (:>) and the ancient Asklepieion as well as other monuments throughout the town. So upshot is at At 10 euros a week the bike is well recommended…

As is a trip to Nissiros, a volcanic island about an hour from Kardemena Although you may not have my wife driving your boat there (yes indeed and we never got lost either) its worth the hour long trip south and the even scarier coach ride from Mandraki harbour round the hairpin climb, up and over 2000M (see Jack, Nanda.. Im using your money here!) into the volcano valley. We spent just over an hour at the site of the volcano crater, which considering the sulphur smell and the underground heat was just as well! The place is actually larger than we thought it would be and does look like a different planet as is advertised. We’d been advised to be aware of puffs of vapour from holes in the crater crust against our legs which were indeed very scalding. After a return trip from the volcano we relaxed in Mandraki for a few hours before the returning boat. We just organised the trip via Theokritos Travel ourselves, rather than the rep to save a good few bob and met Hannah our guide for the day, who looked after us well while we were on Nissiros.

In Kos town itself, and on the Lambi main street leading in, there are restaurants galore. One of the best places we found was the Sunset, which looked rather busy and rushed (ha not Greek at all) but after tasting the food it was easy to see why the place was packed all the time. The best Greek taverna was the Hellas restaurant on Psaron St, just off Amerikis, Owned by the brother of Nikos and husband of Niki, Dimitri, their fare was delicious. The tomato soup I had one night was a meal in itself! There were lots of bars visited to numerous to mention but one cocktail bar, the B52 Lambi St, served up mammoth and very strong cocktails. After heading back to our apartment in the evening we'd often stop at George's garden on Kanari, Lambi as the coffee was fabulous.

3 euros for a neck massage3 euros to get out the country

Despite the fact it was hot in the mid 30's most of the time Bodrum, where we went for a day trip, reached 41 degrees that's 105 in real money (you'll have to ask Jack and Nanda all about real money!). We'd gone on the Hydrofoil, which at max speed of 33 MPH over water is mighty fast, and so are able to add this to our list of different modes of transportation we've ever undertaken. We spent most of the morning in Turkey walking round but by the afternoon we were totally bushed due to the heat and just sat in the shade, so so hot. When we got back to our hotel we spoke to Niki, who said that Bodrum was always 5 degrees hotter as Kos is pretty windy most of the time helping keep down the temperature.

One night Nikos had asked us to go out on his mate Kostos’s speed boat. So, the following day, the fog, which we only saw once while we were there, came down between the islands and Kostos had not got his GPS with him and ended up getting lost!! The island we were heading for was only about 15 minutes away apparently so after 25 minutes everyone was getting a little concerned as we didn’t even know this bloke. Jack and I were thinking the girls were getting taken to Turkey to be sold!! (Always a silver lining I think in these instances) Eventually we hit land but hadn't a clue where we were. Found out we'd turned half circle and arrived back on Kos!! Eventually we got to an island called Pserimos, calmed our nerves with a coffee from the Anna beach bar and then escaped to a secluded cove further round the island, so peaceful, full of starfish and cockles. A great day out and one to remember.

... and some more snaps at: Mikes site (ta for this matey)

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