Sunday, 24 July 2011

welcome back smoothie

D left yesterday and I spent most of the day wandering the streets of Athens taking in the sights and smells. There are a lot of people suffering here. Ragged men with wild beards, shopkeepers counting every euro, women begging with babies in their arms. My hotel - the Hotel Acropolis House (which by the way was one of the friendliest I have ever stayed in) told me how low the numbers were. How they wanted me to tell people that Athens is safe: that tourists are welcome. Athens is safe but it is in crisis. I hope this crazy, beautiful city finds its way out. I mean only in Athens could you find a quaint little church crouching under a high rise building.
Now I have returned to Skyros.  I realised that I wasn't looking for an island-hopping booze fest but for a place that brought me tranquil seas, tasty cheese and a plethora of cats and dogs. Skyros ticks all these boxes so I took a flight out of Athens this morning. (I am almost a commuter now.) I even had a Mallory Towers moment in the taxi as it came around the bend and the white icing cake layers of Skyros town first came into view. I could have been Darrell - as head girl of course.  I had a beautiful welcome back too and when I came back from a swim I found a banana smoothie sitting under my hat waiting for me.

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