We checked out at 10. Farewelled Yiannis and drove up to Hora to look for Elisabeth, and Andreas to say farewell. Hardly anyone about - a few men sitting with coffees and fags, gossiping. J went to go into the Council office to get some free publications - locked. Chink! (Sound of a penny dropping) public holiday - religious day of the cross so many people were in church. The bishop was here too.
We walked around and found a particular souvenir shop being run by a young lady - J asked her if her name was Stathis and it was. She was Eleni Stathis - daughter of J’s 2nd cousin Manolis. We talked a bit and she was pleased to meet us.She is a trained teacher unable to get a job, so she is doing more study to specialise. High unemployment here particularly for people under 40.
We found a cafe and had a coffee and watched passers by. After a while people started walking past so we figured the service was over. We walked down and saw the Bishop leave, but no sign of E and A.
We walked up to the car, nearly being blown over by the strong wind. We did one more lap of the Platia but decided we would need to leave. We got some fuel, and drove on towards Dokana. Near here J had spied some rusty old vehicles, one of which was a 1920s vintage bus, so we stopped for photos. Then on to a small cafe Grigoria where we had some cheese pie and coffee with a thick veil of cigarette smoke wafting over us. The food was good. The cafe is right on a corner on the main road so we had a good view of everyone passing. Some came in to the cafe, and one lady was dressed to the 9’s - probably having just been to church. C forced J to share a Portokali (orange ) pie!
Then we went to the airport and dropped the car off. We had only just arrived , when K2 and V arrived to farewell us. Panagiotis (rental cars) came in and chatted. His father was great friends with Kosmas, father of Andreas. We are all best buddies now, and J got a reasonable discount off the bill, a promise of special deals next time, and a Kytherian print suitable for framing!
We sat and chatted as we were quite early. J was talking to V when suddenly there was a huge explosion (sounded like one!). I think there may have been an expletive as well - not sure. Anyway C sat with water splashed all over her! J had refilled the water bottle with fizzy water ( and had warned her, he said!). There were two police officers on duty, but they did not appear. Must be a normal occurrence here!
K2 and V waved us off and we were soon in the air. Quite a good flight, but windy and as we approached ATHENS the plane pitched and yawed. A few white knuckles. Close to touchdown the plane was moving all over the place in the wind but the landing was as smooth as. Nevertheless the passengers gave a spontaneous round of applause!
Soon we had luggage and went looking for the shuttle. An official asked us what we wanted and told us to wait. Next thing a taxi arrived. He was obviously a tout and wasn’t best pleased when we walked away. Another traveller pointed towards a bus park and when we went there, the shuttle was waiting. There were 4 American ladies travelling together and us. Off we went. Next thing J felt someone caressing his knee, and the lady in front said “am I touching your knee?” Yes he said. then he said “ now you are fiddling with my bag!” She apologised to C !
20 mins later we arrived at the hotel at Rafina. Still windy, and the sea was covered in whitecaps. Three ferries in port. A sign in the hotel said all ferries cancelled today!
We got our room and settled in for a rest before tea.
We ate in the hotel - quite a nice meal but as usual we over ordered! The salad was enough on its own! But we struggled through it - J and C doing the heavy lifting.
Tomorrow we shuttle back to the airport to fly to Malta
And it’s still windy......