Rural Wanderings Around Perdika Greece
So this is one major belated blog post, a year to be exact, my sailing trip around Greece last year July. It comes with one hell of a story too…
The Brexit results were released the day before our flight to Greece and the majority of London was in mourning, we were just glad to be leaving the city for our Summer vacation the following day. I booked us a ridiculously early flight to Greece with us leaving the house at 2am in the morning with about an hours sleep. (No problem, always time to sleep on the plane right?)
We arrived at Heathrow airport to a major shut down. EVERY single BA flight was cancelled and there were thousands of angry, anxious and stressed out people about. To call it a disaster would be putting it mildly. We queued for hours on end all while being put on standby for the next flight out only for that flight to then be cancelled and so a vicious cycle begin.
My nerves were an absolute wreck as we needed to be in Athens Greece by a specific time to meet our skipper as our boat departed the harbour at 1pm. (Remember time differences needed to be factored in too.)
Four hours later I was informed (much to my relief) that I would be on the next flight out! I was also informed that the rest of my party had to still wait on standby. It started to feel like one of those situations where you take one step forward and two steps back.
A decision had to be made whether I should go ahead by myself or wait with the rest of the group – everyone decided it would be best for me to go ahead and inform the skipper of our situation and thus I boarded my flight alone and annoyed.
When I finally landed in Athens I had exactly 65min to get off the plane, make my way through immigration, find an ATM to draw some euros, get a taxi and make my way to the marina (which is a 45min drive) in order to make it to the yacht in time for departure.
Friendly piece of advice, never tell a Greek taxi driver to hurry! Unless adrenaline is your thing. My driver wore top gun aviators and drove 170km/h while smoking cigarettes, downing Coke a Cola and occasionally turning around to offer me a smoke or start up a conversation. All I could think was “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD MATE!”
I made it to the marina with 5min to spare and collapsed on the floor of the yacht out of pure exhaustion. I’d made it!
My next obstacle was now finding a way to communicate with the rest of my group stuck in London (that’s if they still were in London) as I had no working phone.
We set sail from Athens to Perdika, our first island stop of the trip. I decided to take a moment to breath and relax and repeat a mantra to myself “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” (Thanks John Lennon). Word finally arrived that the rest of my group would be meeting up with me the following day once we arrived in Ermioni. The relief washed over me and I was finally able relax and have a good time.
Perdika is an interesting island. There’s nothing sexy or glam about it, it’s not photogenic in the sense of perfect island Pinterest images but it definitely has it’s own uniqueness. It’s an old fishing village and has a population of 1613! Its has a simple charm and is set in a pretty little bay. The traditional fish tavernas, cafés & bars are situated on a raised terrace above the small harbour. The old town has the characterictics of the Aegean Sea-style of white square houses and narrow streets.
I spent the afternoon walking around the whole island by myself with my disposable camera (my Cannon was stuck in London with Justin) exploring all it’s little nooks and crannies. I hiked up to an old military fortress that was built before the second World War to provide protection for Piraeus.
The views were spectacular, almost Jurassic Parkish, and totally isolated. Not the usual white sands and clear blue waters I was expecting. I spent some time reading my book on the cliff before I ventured to the Camera Obscura. (Pictured in the last image below.)
The Camera Obscura is pretty amazing it was installed in 2003 as a part of the Light and Image Exhibition. It is a cylindric house, 7 meters in diameter with 12 openings in all hemispherical directions. Through these 12 holes light will enter the dark room, and thus produce an image of the 360° panorama of the outside world, split up into 12 individual images, upside down and reversed, on a circular, semi-transparent screen, hanging down from the ceiling. It is the only Camera Obscura worldwide with a 360° panorama.
Dinner was a buffet of food for €14 including wine! After a very long day filled with stress and an hours sleep there was no better feeling in the world to sit down to some of the best Greek food I’ve ever eaten while watching the sunset.
The next morning I woke up early to watch the sunrise (a habit I formed while traveling around Greece) and went on a mission to find a bakery, which isn’t too difficult when there’s a population of 1600 people.
I had just enough time to take a quick dip in the ocean and feed the stray cats my leftover bread before boarding the yacht to our next destination, Ermioni, where I would finally be meeting up with the rest of my group. (Hopefully!)
… story to be continued in the next blog post…
All photos taken by me on my disposable camera.
*Side note, apparently all the flights were cancelled due to bad weather in London yet the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and all the other airlines were operating smoothly… needless to say I’m still slightly suspicious to this day.