Exploring the Island

Photo: Hovolo Beach, looking towards Skiathos.
Φωτογραφία: Χόβολο, Προς Σκιάθο

Friday and Saturday have been a busy couple of days, and we have started to explore the island a little bit now.

On Friday we spent the morning by the pool, and after lunch and a short siesta we made the 2,5km journey in to Σκόπελος/Skopelos, the capital, which gives the island its name.

Mum and Corrie walked and had a 30 minute head start. Dad and I went on the bus (Dad doesn’t do walking but he also can’t speak or read Greek, so can’t be trusted out on his own), and we all arrived in Skopelos town centre at the same time.

The town of Skopelos is more of a village than a capital, quieter than many of the larger towns and cities I’ve become used to in the last 2-3 years. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be on that small forgotten island where traffic isn’t really an issue.

There is a town beach just outside Skopelos, and from there we watched the ferries coming and going. It was entertaining to see them come up close and almost perform the maritime equivalent of a handbrake turn before reversing in to port – followed by another handbrake turn when leaving the port. I know that’s normal for Greek ferries, but the port almost looks too small to accommodate something so large!

We had a quick walk around the town itself but really needed longer – I could have spent hours wandering the narrow streets had we not needed to be making a move! We took a taxi back to the apartment: €6 for 4 of us worked out as cheaper than taking the bus – the busses are often overcrowded at this time of year as tourists and locals flock to the beaches.

For dinner we returned to the Babis restaurant and it was after 11 by the time we returned to the apartment.

Today – Saturday – we ventured further. An early start got us in to Skopelos in time to catch one of the tour busses to Έλιος/Elios, on the other side of the island. From Elios we disembarked the bus, were provided with an umbrella and small beach chairs which we could take with us along to Χόβολο/Hovolo beach, just a few minutes walk away.

Hovolo is a pebbly beach with very clear water and is quieter than many of the other beaches on the island. Looking out from Hovolo we had good views of nearby Σκιάθος/Skiathos, Εύβοια/Evia could also be seen as well as the Πήλιο/Pelio peninsular of the mainland in the far distance.

It was almost 6 by the time we got back to the apartment; A last swim of the day at the pool was now required. For dinner we decided to order a takeaway. I’ve never ordered a takeaway before but it was simple enough: I phoned up and placed my order and 30 minutes later it arrived.

The idea of ordering a takeaway on the Internet hasn’t quite reached Greece yet, so phone was the only option. I’m not used to phoning people I don’t know and speaking Greek – speaking a foreign language over the phone isn’t easy so I normally reserve it for friends / people I know!

Phoning for a takeaway posed no problems for me though. In fact, instead of me asking them to slow down it was the other way round: They were asking me to slow down! The guy on the other end was writing our order down but couldn’t keep up!

I think tomorrow is a “stay local” day. Sunday could well be a busy day with Greeks from the mainland – the city of Volos not being far away by ferry – coming over for the day so there may well be lots of traffic.

It is only a few days before we get the car and I’m looking forward to being able to get out and about and explore at our own pace, rather than rely on busses and taxis.

It’s 23.30 over here, time for me to go to bed. Good night.


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