Tag Archives: Skiathos

Skópelos, Alónnisos and a Trip to Athens

 

Two weeks is a long time in the same place and I can quickly become restless and bored and Richard is twice as bad as me but luckily there was quite a lot to do.  The town was always busy and although there were far too many shops for my liking it was pleasant to walk through the narrow streets and explore the back alleyways and paths.  In the centre of the town at the top of a long climb was the dazzling white church and it was worth the effort to get there because there were great views from the top of the red tiled houses, the mazy streets and the busy harbour with hydrofoils and glitzy yachts tied up at their moorings.

On a couple of days we took the local bus  which ran from the north to the south of the island down the east coast main road dropping people off and picking others up at the several pretty little beaches all the way down the coast.  The bus was crowded every time and just like the taxis there seemed to be no limit to the amount of passengers that the driver could pack on board.  The journey to Koukanaries beach only took about twenty minutes but it wasn’t especially comfortable crammed in together in a hot dusty bus without space or air but Koukanaries and the nearby, unfortunately named, Banana beach were worth the discomfort however because they were the best on the island and probably among the finest in Greece.

One day all of the boys went on an afternoon snorkeling trip on a boat to a deserted part of the island but it was a bit of a worry when we found ourselves swimming with men fishing with harpoon guns that looked dangerous and potentially lethal.  The girls went to a Greek party night but we sat that one out and on one day Deanna and I went to Athens on a full day excursion.  This was my first visit to Athens and we visited the Acropolis and the Parthenon, had lunch in Syntagma and a stroll through Monastaraki.  It was a good trip but far too much for one day but I have been back four times and seen most of what I need to see now.

The best excursion of the holiday was in the middle of week two when we went on a boat trip to the nearby green wooded islands of Skópelos and Alónnisos, two more of the Sporadic islands and both quite different from Skiathos.  First we stopped at Patitíri, the main port town of Alónnisos, which seemed strangely quiet compared to the frenetic activity in Skiathos town where we wandered around the dusty streets and had refreshments at a quiet little taverna that had lashings of time to spare as they served leisurely drinks and snacks.

We didn’t stay long on Alónnisos however and soon left and set off to neighbouring Skópelos, which turned out to be one of the best islands that I have ever been to and I have always promised myself a return visit one day.

Skópelos is best known now as the island where they filmed the ABBA musical Mama Mia and that might have made a difference I suppose but on this visit it was practically perfect.  The main town was busy but not hectic with pebbled streets meandering between red roofed houses with fish scaled tiles up to the ruined Venetian castle at the top where the views over the wide bay with its little boats and transparent sparkling water under the full glare of the mid afternoon sun was practically perfect.  Skópelos was more picturesque and less touristy than Skiathos and we enjoyed a late afternoon meal down at the edge of the harbour before rejoining the little boat for the return trip home.

I liked Skiathos but not enough to want to return.  The green pine wooded Sporades with their fertile soils and picturesque fields full of crops were a complete contrast to the barren and rugged Cyclades that have now established themselves as my favourites but one day I will go back and visit friendly Skópelos as I promised.

Redundancy Money Well Spent

I have to say straight away that Skiathos is not among my favourite Greek islands that I have visited.  After redundancy and in between jobs I went to this little island in the Sporades in the summer of 2000 for a two week holiday with my brother Richard and his family and found it noisy, cramped and with just too many people around.

Skiathos is an airport island and therefore a package holiday destination, which brings in the football shirts and late night clubbers and I generally try to avoid these islands now.  It was lively and mad and these days I prefer laid back and languid.

Our hotel was called the Pounta and was close to Skiathos town about six kilometres away from the centre and when we arrived this seemed a perfect location, close enough to visit the town but far enough away to avoid the late night noise but we discovered on our first night that unfortunately this was not the case.

The hotel was in an elevated position overlooking the bay and the town and although at night there was a picturesque view of the shore line tavernas and bars with their pretty twinkling lights the noise came straight across the water seemingly increasing in volume as it passed over the bay, echoing around the hills and filling our hotel complex with booming disco beat that went on until well beyond the early hours of the morning.

The hotel was nice enough with gardens and a large terrace, breakfast room and bar and two swimming pools but the rooms were cramped and faced south so became unbearably overheated during the hot July days and without air conditioning were especially stuffy and uncomfortable at night when we couldn’t open the windows because of the noise.  I shared a room with Richard and some nights it was just too hot to sleep so we had some very late drinking on the balcony listening to the hedonistic activity across the way.

Reviews-Pounta_Hotel-Skiathos_Sporades

It didn’t really matter about the hotel because this was one of the most sociable holidays that I have ever been on with an exceptionally friendly group of people choosing to holiday on Skiathos at this hotel at the same time and we spent some lively days around the pool and some lovely evenings in the town enjoying great Greek cuisine.

Our favourite fellow guests were Pete and Julie in the room next door.  They always had a far fetched tale to tell including my personal favourite about drifting out to sea on a Lilo bed and nearly being run down by a passenger ferry.  They were good company and not just because Julie had a most impressive  and obvious surgically enhanced bust that she struggled to keep contained within her tiny bikini top.

Richard and I used to chat with them for hours at a time!

Onyx UK and Redundancy

The first time that I was made redundant was on 30th June 2000 after ten years working in the waste management business.  A year or two earlier the company appointed a new boss and I’m not sure why but he took an instant dislike to me and he immediately started to make my life a misery.  He picked on me constantly, offered no support when I needed it and could barely disguise his hostility.

To be fair I didn’t care for him either, he was a twat, so it was completely unlikely that we would ever get on with each other.  He had a shrill high pitched voice, fierce halitosis that could strip paint and a hawk like face permanently etched with spite and nastiness and he barely had a civil word for me, or anyone else for that matter.  It is completely impossible to capture the unpleasantness of this man in just a couple of sentences but, take it from me, he was hateful and contemptible.

By 2000 he wanted rid of me and would go to any lengths to achieve it so in June while I was away on holiday in Cephalonia in Greece, he gathered together a bunch of ‘yes people’ – conspirators from amongst the Regional Managers and announced that due to poor performance (his own mainly) and the need to make efficiencies (to cover up for his incompetence) there would be some job cuts and one of us would have to go.  Of course it had already been decided by the back-stabbers that it would be me but he was obliged to apply the company redundancy policy and he was having some difficulty in squeezing my name to the top of the list because of the complicated points system that worked in my favour.

This wasn’t a surprise of course because there was some real dead wood in there especially his favourite who was the obvious candidate based on his appalling sickness record and his abysmal academic achievements (not even a cycling proficiency badge).   But I had decided that it was time to go anyway because what was the point in staying where you weren’t wanted so I waited until the last moment, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he was so relieved he agreed to a generous pay off including the use of the expensive Vauxhall Omega company car for six months (with all my fuel provided, which was an unexpected bonus) and that was the end of my time in waste management in the private sector and I have never missed it for even a fleeting second.

I left the company at the end of June and for the first time in my life didn’t have a job so with with an unexpected lump of cash in the bank did the most sensible thing I could think of and rather than getting on looking for a new job went on holiday to Skiathos instead.

The list of back stabbers is:

Tom Riall

Colin Whitehead

Peter Clint

Elizabeth Pullen

Nick Patterson

Ray ? (HR Director)

Bob ? (Finance Director)

And Percy Powell (who gave his agreement and approval)

I know this is true because John Wheatley, who was at the meeting but excluded from the process, told me so!

A Life in a Year – 9th July, Skópelos, Alónnisos and a Trip to Athens

Two weeks is a long time in the same place and I can quickly become restless and bored and Richard is twice as bad but luckily there was quite a lot to do.  The town was always busy and although there were far too many shops for my liking it was pleasant to walk through the narrow streets and explore the back alleyways and paths.  In the centre of the town at the top of a long climb was the dazzling white church and it was worth the effort to get there because there were great views from the top of the red tiled houses, the mazy streets and the busy harbour with hydrofoils and yachts tied up at their moorings.

On a couple of days we took the local bus  which ran from the north to the south of the island down the east coast main road dropping people off and picking others up at the several pretty little beaches all the way down the coast.  The bus was crowded every time and just like the taxis there seemed to be no limit to the amount of passengers that the driver could pack on board.  The journey to Koukanaries beach only took about twenty minutes but it wasn’t especially comfortable crammed in together in a hot dusty bus without space or air but Koukanaries and the nearby, unfortunately named, Banana beach were worth the discomfort however because they were the best on the island and probably among the finest in Greece.

 

One day all of the boys went on an afternoon snorkeling trip on a boat to a deserted part of the island but it was a bit of a worry when we found ourselves swimming with men fishing with harpoon guns that looked dangerous and potentially lethal.  The girls went to a Greek party night but we sat that one out and on one day Deanna and I went to Athens on a full day excursion.  This was my first visit to Athens and we visited the Acropolis and the Parthenon, had lunch in Syntagma and a stroll through Monastaraki.  It was a good trip but far too much for one day but I have been back three times and seen most of what I need to see now.

The best excursion of the holiday was in the middle of week two when we went on a boat trip to the nearby green wooded islands of Skópelos and Alónnisos, two more of the Sporadic islands and both quite different from Skiathos.  First we stopped at Patitíri, the main port town of Alónnisos, which seemed strangely quiet compared to the frenetic activity in Skiathos town where we wandered around the dusty streets and had refreshments at a quiet little taverna that had lashings of time to spare as they served leisurely drinks and snacks. 

 We didn’t stay long on Alónnisos however and soon left and set off to neighbouring Skópelos, which turned out to be one of the best islands that I have ever been to and I have always promised myself a return visit one day.  Skópelos is best known now as the island where they filmed the ABBA musical Mama Mia and that might have made a difference I suppose but on this visit it was practically perfect.  The main town was busy but not hectic with pebbled streets meandering between red roofed houses with fish scaled tiles up to the ruined Venetian castle at the top where the views over the wide bay with its little boats and transparent sparkling water under the full glare of the mid afternoon sun was practically perfect.  Skópelos was more picturesque and less touristy than Skiathos and we enjoyed a late afternoon meal down at the edge of the harbour before rejoining the little boat for the return trip home.

I liked Skiathos but not enough to want to return.  The green pine wooded Sporades with their fertile soils and picturesque fields full of crops were a complete contrast to the barren and rugged Cyclades that have now established themselves as my favourites but one day I will go back and visit friendly Skópelos as I promised.

A Life in a Year – 8th July, Redundancy Money Well Spent

I have to say straight away that Skiathos is not among my favourite Greek islands that I have visited.  After redundancy and in between jobs I went to this little island in the Sporades in the summer of 2000 for a two week holiday with my brother Richard and his family and found it noisy, cramped and with just too many people around.  Skiathos is an airport island and therefore a package holiday destination, which brings in the football shirts and late night clubbers and I generally try to avoid these islands now.  It was lively and mad and these days I prefer laid back and languid.

Our hotel was called the Pounta and was close to Skiathos town about six kilometres away from the centre and when we arrived this seemed a perfect location, close enough to visit the town but far enough away to avoid the late night noise but we discovered on our first night that unfortunately this was not the case.  The hotel was in an elevated position overlooking the bay and the town and although at night there was a picturesque view of the shore line tavernas and bars with their pretty twinkling lights the noise came straight across the water seemingly increasing in volume as it passed over the bay, echoing around the hills and filling our hotel complex with booming disco beat that went on until well beyond the early hours of the morning.

The hotel was nice enough with gardens and a large terrace, breakfast room and bar and two swimming pools but the rooms were cramped and faced south so became unbearably overheated during the hot July days and without air conditioning were especially stuffy and uncomfortable at night when we couldn’t open the windows because of the noise.  I shared a room with Richard and some nights it was just too hot to sleep so we had some very late drinking on the balcony listening to the hedonistic activity across the way.

Reviews-Pounta_Hotel-Skiathos_Sporades

It didn’t really matter about the hotel because this was one of the most sociable holidays that I have ever been on with an exceptionally friendly group of people choosing to holiday on Skiathos at this hotel at the same time and we spent some lively days around the pool and some lovely evenings in the town enjoying great Greek cuisine.  Our favourite fellow holidaymakers were Pete and Julie in the room next door.  They always had a far fetched tale to tell including my personal favourite about drifting out to sea on a Lillo bed and nearly being run down by a passenger ferry.  They were good company and not just because Julie had a most impressive surgically enhanced bust that she struggled to keep contained within her tiny bikini top.  Richard and I used to chat with them for hours at a time!

A Life in a Year – 30th June, Onyx UK and Redundancy

The first time that I was made redundant was on 30th June 2000 after ten years working in the waste management business.  A year or two earlier the company appointed a new boss and I’m not sure why but he took an instant dislike to me and he immediately started to make my life a misery.  He picked on me constantly, offered no support when I needed it and could barely disguise his hostility.  To be fair I didn’t care for him either, he was a twat, so it was completely unlikely that we would ever get on with each other.  He had a shrill high pitched voice, fierce halitosis that could strip paint and a hawk like face permanently etched with spite and nastiness and he barely had a civil word for me, or anyone else for that matter.  It is completely impossible to capture the unpleasantness of this man in just a couple of sentences but, take it from me, he was hateful and contemptible.

By 2000 he wanted rid of me and would go to any lengths to achieve it so in June while I was away on holiday in Cephalonia in Greece, he gathered together a bunch of ‘yes people’ – conspirators from amongst the Regional Managers and announced that due to poor performance (his own mainly) and the need to make efficiencies (to cover up for his incompetence) there would be some job cuts and one of us would have to go.  Of course it had already been decided by the back-stabbers that it would be me but he was obliged to apply the company redundancy policy and he was having some difficulty in squeezing my name to the top of the list because of the complicated points system that worked in my favour. 

This wasn’t a surprise of course because there was some real dead wood in there especially his favourite who was the obvious candidate based on his appalling sickness record and his abysmal academic achievements (not even a cycling proficiency badge).   But I had decided that it was time to go anyway because what was the point in staying where you weren’t wanted so I waited until the last moment, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he was so relieved he agreed to a generous pay off including the use of the expensive Vauxhall Omega company car for six months (with all my fuel provided, which was an unexpected bonus) and that was the end of my time in waste management in the private sector and I have never missed it for even a fleeting second.

I left the company at the end of June and for the first time in my life didn’t have a job so with £24,000 in the bank did the most sensible thing I could think of and rather than getting on looking for a new job went on holiday to Skiathos instead.

The list of back stabbers is:

Tom Riall

Colin Whitehead

Peter Clint

Elizabeth Pullen

Nick Patterson

Mike Butler

Ray ? (HR Director)

Bob ? (Finance Director)

And Percy Powell (who gave his agreement and approval)

I know this is true because John Wheatley, who was at the meeting but excluded from the process, told me so!