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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Saturday, 23 June 2007

Saturday, 23rd June:

Early wake-up, plus quick breakfast, before we made our way to Piraeus Port for a 07.30 – again, another rushed journey.  I learnt my lesson from last time – but instead of leaving with an hour to go, we still left quite late.  We left at 06.50, and we got there at 07.15 – I though this was plenty of time, but the taxi driver indicated that the ferry leaves very promptly, and actually we should still leave a minimum of an hour before the departure time - not sure of the reason for his concern – but at least he put his foot down! :o)

Arrived at the first island, we dropped off, but then when we were asking for the taxi, we were told it was the next Island, so we had to jump quickly back on the boat and pretend we knew what we were doing.  I thought I heard the name “Sifnos” mentioned on the loud speaker – but obviously, it was not (subsequently learnt it was "Serifos" - close? Okay, maybe not!!!  What is it with me recently!?!?  Grrr!!!  Can I blame the heat or stress from work?

We arrived 11.15, a really long journey, seemed a lot longer than the one I took to Syros or Santorini, even though I know it was shorter – must be a psychological thing!  I noticed that our return ticket was time-stamped for the 18:30 ferry, but I had requested AXP Travel to book me on the 12:45 one, as I had to be in Athens for a 21:30 dinner.  Must be a slight mis-communication or mis-understanding.  Anyway, visited the Hellenic Seaways ticket office and managed (luckily) to change our return ticket to the earlier Flying Dolphin (the 12.45 one). 

We went back to the Taxi rank and asked for a lift to the Apartment, for some reason the taxi opted not to take us, recommending us to catch the bus.  Hmmm .very confusing, I’ve never seen a taxi turn away business before.  But alas, we obliged and waited for the bus.  It was another 20mins away, so we just had to wait patiently in the warm sunshine – and boy was is it warm – definitely into the 40oC’s again! 

Having caught the bus, we arrived in Apollonia, the capital of the Island.  Our first impressions was that it was a very quaint and sedated place.  We went to tourist office – asked directions to the Studio Apartment, very helpful indeed – also gave us recommendations for Tavernas and the main areas of the town and locations of the bus stops for trips around the island.  Maybe we should have hired a car, but the buses seemed to be frequent and an easy way to get around, not to mention cheap; €1.20 per person, per journey.

We were quite hungry by this point, coming onto midday, so we decided to visit one of the Taverna’s that were open.  Several others were closed up – probably as there weren’t a lot of people (tourists and locals alike) around.  We had two coffees (yes Frappe’s again!) and a nice Greek salad to share – we found this ot be very expensive – €10 for 2x Frappe plus €5 for a Greek Salad (inc cover charge) – doesn’t make sense.  We think we were conned here!!  We will explain the reasons later on!

We then relaxed back in the Apartment, napped, and enjoyed the sunshine (aka sunbathing) – very warm indeed – probably into the mid 40oC’s by now, we then ventured out later for dinner.  The Tourist Office provided us two recommendations, “Adi Exodo” and “Tou Apostoli”.  We located the first and decided to eat here for dinner, a very quiet and away from main hustle and bustle (sits back from street) but quiet a little oasis – it seemed to be a family-run place – with the son and daughter working hard, as the father running around too.  It wasn’t too expensive either. 

We then strolled back to the main street, and decided to go to one of the bars there for our evening Frappes.  Very friendly folks, and we just drank, relaxed, talked and watched the world go by – two Frappe’s €6.  Now you see why I felt we were conned the first place we visited!!  How annoying, hey!?

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