The restaurant sign I spotted in Athens yesterday sums up how I feel about Greece.
In fairness, my morning after my night at Hotel Jason starts ok. I manage to locate the ferry to Skiathos (the island made famous by the movie Mamma Mia) and the lady at the cafe gives me a free apple and banana with my coffee.
The ferry docks two-and-a-half hours later, in what looks like a cute little island, and I optimistically set off to find my hotel.
Problem is where it says it is on the map and where it actually is are two different things.
It takes me an hour in midday heat to find it and when I do there’s no signs of life – it’s locked.
I sit on their porch, hoping they’ve just gone for lunch.
An hour later my stomach gets the better of me. I walk back into town, order the biggest beer I can find and a gyros (where the meat appears to be pure pork crackling) and drown my sorrows in alcohol and pig fat – then a nutella crape.
Technically check-in is at two so I wait it out and return around 2.30.
Still no-one there.
I sit on their porch for another hour before asking for help at a bakery down the road. Calls are made and then some woman called Olga comes and retrieves me.
She’s a friend of the hotel owner and informs me that he’s away from the island for a few days. Helpful considering I’ve already booked and paid to stay there.
She takes me to her hotel instead.
I’m exhausted. All I can handle doing is crawling into the fetal position, toe spooning my own ankle, and having a nap.
I wake up three hours later, go for a stroll around the promenade and are staggered with how quiet it is.
I get that it’s the beginning of the season but some places look almost abandoned.
I eat my feelings at a little taverna and then spend the rest of the evening trying to decipher the wifi password from a Greek woman who speaks no English. I crack it an hour later but the signal’s so piss weak I mise well have not bothered.
The next day I wake up on the right side of the bed, go for a run, fix myself some skippy cornflakes for breakfast and sit on the balcony watching the world go by.
I then bus to Little Banana Beach for the day where I was intending to tick off another one of my best friend’s OE challenges for me – sunbath nude.
Conditions are perfect.
I have the beach to myself.
But as I’m about to strip off two five-year-old girls arrive with their mums.
I can’t bring myself to do it, even though it doesn’t seem to bother the two nude prunes who arrive a couple of hours later.
On the bus home I decide I’m going to get the first ferry out of Skiathos tomorrow as I’m beginning to feel like Tom Hanks in Survivor here (iPad would be my Wilson).
But when I get to the ferry booking office I learn the first ferry is at 6.45 – PM that is.
I know it’s spring but seriously.
I refuse to spend another night here or in Volos so I opt to get the 6.45pm ferry and then the 1.30am bus back to Athens.
But when I get to the Volos bus station the guy behind the counter seems to take pleasure in telling me there’s no 1.30am bus, the first bus is at 4.45am – despite what it says on their timetable.
I decide to wait it out at the bus station – that is until they lock the inside part of the station and it’s just me and an old homeless looking man left outside.
He just stares at me and I get the sense if I fall asleep I’m gonna wake up with nothing but the clothes on my back.
So I walk back into town and check into – yep you guessed it:
Despite the fact I’m only in the room for four hours the lady won’t budge on 30 Euro.
Greece throw me a a frickin’ bone here.