Holiday – Part 3

June 21, 2010 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

imageDespite the trials and tribulations of getting to and from the island paradise of Paxos, Greece, C and I had a thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable week there.

Most of our time was spent around the beautiful villa, nestled in the shady olive groves and rosemary bushes in the hills above Lakka, with views over the infinity pool towards the mainland.

Indeed, we ventured out during the daytime just a couple of times. Once to the capital, Gaios, with its beautiful church and bustling narrow streets and squares. And, once to walk from the villa to the beach at Orkos, adjacent to the Juventus Kraal, where we assume that the Italian football team get to take some serious R & R.

Otherwise, we partook of leisurely breakfast – feta cheese with tomato flavoured tomatoes (why can’t we get those back home?), followed by yoghurt and honey, washed down with orange juice and a cup of tea. Please see previous post about sugar and milk dilemmas. While the glorious surroundings, together with the amazing view and wonderful ambient temperature can never quite be replicated back home, C and I did vow to try and bring some of the relaxed attitude back with us.

Having breakfasted we would then get in the zone. We would decamp to our sun loungers together with suntan lotion, sunglasses (for the first time in my life I have three pairs of sunglasses – one, apparently, which I can be seen in and in polite company; a second, which I can wear when walking or when undertaking other such feats of athleticism; and, a pair of vintage 1940s fighter pilot sunglasses with green lenses used for Goodwood Revival fancy dress), hats, and a good book to read. And then we would just lie back and soak in the sun in 30 degree heat and a gentle sea breeze.

C has forced me into relaxing my approach to the sun and sunbathing over the years. Prior to C, who clearly has some non-Arian genes in her family history and becomes “French or Spanish looking” after three seconds on a sunbed, yours truly used to take more of a Vampiristic approach to sunshine. Like Dracula himself, I would shun the sun’s harmful rays. This was in part to a childhood aversion to having cream of any kind rubbed into my skin by an over-vigorous mother. Mind you this was back in the days when suntan lotion was either l like extra virgin olive oil or something akin to what BP has deposited on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico (thank goodness for Clinique mist factor 25!). As a result of my aversion to sun protection I was constantly getting sunburnt which merely added to my reluctance to worship the sun. In latter years, my reluctance to expose my body to the celestial heavens has had more to do with the emergence of love handles, and expanding waistline, the proximity of body-beautiful neighbours (unfortunately I cannot compete with the three times world heavyweight kick-boxing champion when he is in his shorts), and, the onset of rosacea – a skin condition which means that for 6 months of the year my head glows red like a Belisha beacon and emits more radiation than Chernobyl….. As I write, I am single-handedly illuminating a whole carriage of a Virgin train bound for London.

I digress. Around one or two o’clock we would retreat to our shady terrace for a cleansing Mythos or two and a packet of crisps before cooling off in the pool and a siesta before donning our finery for the trip into Lakka for dinner.

Our peace and quiet was disturbed on very few occasions. Once when the maids came to remove the waste bin that shall not be named from our number two loo (see previous post). Once by the pool man who had to reset the timer on the lights following industrial action which meant that we had no electricity or water for four hours on the Sunday. Both of these occasions had C scurrying for her “diaphanous top” with which to hide her boobies. And, once by a pair of fighting pheasant cocks in a turf war. It was quite off-putting watching them peck, claw and leap at each other. The things we men do for girls…….

Lakka is a beautiful fishing village cum marina with beautiful Venetian buildings and  bustle of restaurants and tavernas on the seafront from where you can people watch to your heart’s content. We used to go to a bar in a corner and watch the people coming in from their yachts in their rubber dinghies. Most amusing was when a group of 9 Germans had squeezed into one boat to come ashore. We spotted them a mile off as they were so low in the water and it was unusual for so many people to be in one boat. They were dress a la stag do and seemed to be on a sailing tour of Greece to coincide with the World Cup. Germany were playing Australia in their first game that night. It was the funniest sight to see them drift gently to shore, to be passed by a motor boat that generated a wave, and to see the wave wash over the side of the Germans, drenching them to a man. Many a stifled chuckle could be heard on the quayside.

The best people watching, however, was in the main square – Kennedy Square, so named after Edward Kennedy who would holiday there on his yacht and dance and drink the nights away with the locals. Here we would watch the local “mafioso” strut their stuff around the village. Two old guys, clearly brothers, who would parade up and down with an identical walk and flourish of the worry beads before sitting down in front of the hairdressers for a game of backgammon, a talk with the parrot, and, to survey their empire. This was also where we chose to watch England’s first world cup game against the USA. The company – the staff of the restaurant, the Don, and, his “soldiers” – were far more entertaining than the football!

We feasted on simple but fresh food. Fish, seafood, lamb, peppers, feta, etc. all washed down with lovely local wine. We really enjoyed the food here. Having sated our appetite we would get fresh provisions for the villa and take our Fiat Panda back up the hill to sit on the terrace and watch the ferries and cruise boats pass through our panorama before retiring to bed (maybe post skinny dip) and doing it all again the following day.

I miss it already!

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Germany 0 – Serbia 1 Shattered Dreams!

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