summer lovin’

14 09 2010

The white yacht was anchored off the beach again.

For more than a week it had sat there, occasionally disappearing at sunset, only  to reappear the next morning.

And like clockwork, the yacht discharged its British guests to the beach daily, where they crammed in amongst the plump brown Greeks and Italian families on holiday.

But in the same way the British distinguished themselves with their pasty skin and Cockney accents, the yacht and its passengers were never truly a part of this carefree holiday scene.

The yacht’s position off the beach was far enough to deter nosy swimmers and only just within the reach of the most determined locals on pedal boats.

Because even from the beach, it loomed huge.

And the curious holidaymakers couldn’t help but be drawn in by the size, the gleaming white hull, the assumed importance.

“Whose is the yacht? Is it a king? Hollywood?”

Those same wondering locals might like to have imagined the visitors added a degree of glamour to their beach, but truly, the yacht added nothing.

vessels changed to protect the innocent

Staying actively apart from their fellows, the British had meals delivered on gold trays to the beach, even going so far as taking their own drinks ashore. To the beach bar.

Each morning a dinghy would slip ashore and quietly dump another dozen bags of garbage into the roadside bins and every night, when everyone was in bed, clouds of filth would quietly seep out of the yacht into the clear Aegean waters.

Even the cheerful delivery of the Brits to the beach was a lie.

“Have a great time, sir. Enjoy the beach, guys. Byeeeee…”

Smiles hid grim faces as the crew returned from the beach run to set about preparing the yacht for the return of their owners.

Yes, the ‘owners’ effectively held possession of their crew along with the yacht.

Ever cheerful on the outside, each white-clad worker secretly despised their employers for their sense of entitlement, ignorance and neediness.

The reality was that the British had rented themselves 16 friends for the summer, friends who were apparently only too pleased to work 14 hours a day for 90 days straight.

So the British could have a holiday in the sun.

But luckily, summer doesn’t last forever.

Soon the sun would be gone and with it, the British.

the other greece

29 08 2010

No islands for us, mate.

No whitewashed churches, blue-domed roofs, cute islands and all the rest of it.

We’re on the … mainland.

You never really think of mainland Greece. Or at least I never do, unless there’s a report of more riots in Athens.

But it’s there and it’s pretty big. And dry. And dusty.

Jumping off from Keffalonia in the Ionian group, we headed south rather than transiting the Corinth Canal and went around the bottom leg of mainland Greece.

Not much grows down there. Some olives, providing the only shade of green on otherwise barren hills, but that’s about it.

Limoni in the south of Greece

The architecture that hasn’t been leveled by earthquakes is vaguely reminiscent of Egypt or the middle east.

The arid grey-brown landscapes and rocky shores look a little like north-western Australia. (For the record, Oman and the Cape Verdes also look like WA. See: desert meets crystal ocean).

Small remote villages and the odd bigger regional town are scattered along the coasts supporting domestic tourism. God only knows what they do thru the winter.

Sort of interesting, but not something I’d come back to. Which also goes for Greece as a whole.

kind of middle eastern, right?

cute up close, but a long way from anything. Limoni