25 June 2010

Holiday 2010

My beloved and I have just had two wonderful weeks in Kefalonia, Greece, in the resort of Skala.  After our last excursion to Greece (see Stranded in Skiathos, this blog), you would think we would be somewhat reluctant to go there again.  Not so.  We were reluctant however to go with a tin-pot tour operator so we shelled out a bit more cash (i.e., credit) and went with First Choice.

Even though we had read the brochure and our accommodation looked good, having been to Greek islands many times and stayed in self-catering studios of usually less-than-good standards, we still held some trepidation as to what we might end up with.  Still, we had the usual fun of spending money and waiting about in the departure lounge, then waiting about in the boarding lounge, then waiting about on the plane.

Once airborne, and on the basis that it must be 6 o'clock somewhere, we indulged in an aperitif before our in-flight cuisine was served and a glass of wine while we ate it.  Chicken with roast potatoes and veg.  Not bad.  Airline food has definitely improved.  My beloved spilt some of her wine and I, soft touch that I am, shared mine with her so that she would not be deprived.

We arrived on the island at dusk and were directed to our transfer coach by the 'Holiday Adviser' — Thompson's new name for 'Holiday Rep'.  Darkness fell as we travelled along the narrow, winding roads plagued by Greek drivers, considerately hiding the vertiginous drops beside the road as we negotiated hair-pin bends.  Each time the coach stopped to let off fellow tourists, we looked out of the window at their destinations, thankful that we were not staying there.  This served only to intensify our only moderate anxiety.

Eventually, we reached Skala and the coach set off into the darkness behind the village.  Our destination was achieved, and the coach reversed down a steep driveway alongside the place that was to be our home for two weeks.

It looked fantastic.

We got off the coach and recovered our luggage, which was packed as usual to within a microgramme of our baggage allowance, and dragged them towards reception.  The owner met us and immediately impressed us with his friendliness and the personal touch of escorting us to our room.  He opened the door and led us in.

It looked fantastic and it was fantastic.  There was a proper bathroom with a shower curtain to keep the bog-roll dry (normal Greek accommodation has a wet room with no curtain, guaranteeing that everything in the room gets wet, and some things out of the room too).  Not only that, the shower was over a bath!  A bath in a Greek self-catering apartment?  Yes.

A balcony with a sea view.  Air-conditioning.  TV.  A microwave, a kettle, a fridge (with bottled water in it), tea and coffee, and a toaster!

The owner cooked a meal for us at 11pm!  Unbelievable!

We soon settled in to spending our days reading on the balcony, reading by the pool, reading on the beach, reading in bed, swimming in the sea, swimming in the pool, eating in the local tavernas or at our pool bar (where the food was excellent value and the wine easily palatable in large quantities at low cost).  I got so relaxed that I actually had a whole day in which I did nothing but eat, drink, and lie on a sunbed listening to the music in my head.

Since we went during school term, there were only two children in the complex.  One, about four years old, was a quiet lad.  His sister, approaching two, had a voice that could break glass.

We hired a car and drove on the wrong side of the road (i.e., the right side) for a couple of days (unlike Greek drivers, who seem to drive in the middle).  Kefalonia is a beautiful island and well worth a visit.  We think Skala is the best resort and our accommodation the best we saw.

My beloved and I fully intend to return (economic crisis permitting).  We cannot recommend our accommodation to you enough.  However, I am not going to tell you the name of it because you will book in and make it unavailable to us.

Now we are back at work and feeling in need of a holiday...