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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Wednesday, 23rd May:

Well, I had visited the northern half of the island now, so I decided to venture south from the hotel. I decided to try to visit a couple of the outlying towns and villages located nearby. After starting my journey, I passed by “Karterados”, and then decided to take a slight detour and visit another Eastern-most beach location, I didn’t realise it but the area I found myself called “Monolithos”, was actually next to the airport. Hmmm the airport looked much further on the map than in reality. Anyway, least I knew the time it would take to arrive at the airport for my return flight “home” to Athens. I had a couple of Frappas on one of the Taverna’s located on the beach-front, and decided to stay for a Greek Salad too – after all, it was just coming to midday!

Having relaxed for about an hour or so, I decided to continue my trek, this time heading to “Messaria” (the town I missed after my slight “beach-detour”. It took another hour or so, then I visited another Bar / Café and had another Frappa.

Anyway, one of the places I visited in Fira, recommended to visit “Pyrgos” as it was meant to have Panoramic views of the whole island – it certainly seemed to be located quite high-up and was seemingly in the middle of the island. Since I was so close to it, I decided to give it ago. Another 20-30mins or so I arrived, and I started to notice that it certainly, at first-glance, had a good vantage point, I could see the east and west coastline already. There was another pathway upwards (steps again) to the older part of the town, and once I reached the “summit”, I looked around, and one could only gasp at the views. You could see the north, east, south and west of the Island – wow! I say again, “WOW”!! But don’t just take my word for it, I will shortly post the photographs to help you visualise what I saw. It was breathtaking. I also decided to take a photo with one of the donkey’s, well I had too, I couldn’t come this far in the holiday and not ride one (well okay maybe not literally, but it was a “photo moment”!!).

I then headed back along the main road towards Fira. The sign-post had 3km, gosh I was starting to feel this now. Anyway, I arrived back about 45 minutes later and returned to the hotel to freshen up. I then had dinner back at the friendly “Kinos” place again. Went back to the hotel to relax for a couple of hours, to prepare for the big footie match – yep the Champions League Final between AC Milan and Liverpool – boy was I hoping Milan was going to make it, and kick Liverpool in the mouth for the way Milan got defeated by the same match two years back (remember the penalty shootout, grrr – that was a shocking defeat!).

I decided to go to the Irish Bar (Murphy’s) to watch it, and have a few bevvies at the same time. Game was amazing entertainment, neither team played extremely well, but Italy did appear to have the upper hand at times. Then again, Liverpool were attacking aggressively, and it just needed for one of these shots to be on target or deflect into the goal, so Milan had to beware. Towards the end of the first half, it looked like it was going to be even score, but Milan out of no-where attached hard and a shot to nothing deflected by Inzaghi, went straight into the back of the Liverpool net. Yes, we had ended the half on a real high >> 1-0 to Milan at half time. I was estactic, at the expense to the large Aussie, Yank and English supported based within the bar (whoops – apparently, I was immensely outnumbered, but I couldn’t help myself!). At least, a couple of the bar staff were on my side, I got a free pint in any case – hehe!

I must say thought that there was a northern couple behind me where the guy obviously had a few drinks already and was talking to another couple from New Zealand, and was showing off about his impersonating of the New Zealand Haka – with an English and Aussie version of the verse line. It was actually pretty pitiful, and a poor attempt of humour. In short, he was talking the piss! And I could tell that several people around him weren’t that amused about his “loud” antics (god knows what the New Zealand couple thought - probably laughing at  "him" rather than with him). The wife seemed to be more down-to-earth, but just him get on with it. Hmmm

Anyway, the game returned as the second half started, and the atmosphere was pretty tense. The goal-line remained with the advantage to Milan, until about 35mins into the second half, Italy managed to get a clear-run at goal, and Inzaghi finished it over nicely – for this second goal in what had been a tightly thought match. But Milan couldn’t lie on their laurels like 2 years back when Liverpool came from 3-0 to equalise during the latter part of the game. So although Milan remained strong at the back, Liverpool managed to have a good chance shot which was headed into the Milan net. Oh dear, was this going to be a repeat. We only had about 5 minutes left on the clock plus stoppage time. Milan held Liverpool and you could see the anguish starting to appear on the Liverpool teams’ supporters. The Ref’s final whistle went and Milan had done it, they had taught Liverpool an invaluable lesson, you can hit at Milan once, but Milan will fight back stronger. Yes well done chaps; 2-1 final score. Close but no cigar Liverpool, not this year at least.

Just a shame I couldn’t get tickets and a room for the night for the actual game in Athens – would have been a fantastic (but very crowded) atmosphere!

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