Four hours on a budget airline is quite a long distance to endure! At least we could go from Gatwick!
This is the second time we have been on a Mark Warner Holiday, and we weren’t disappointed! A slight mix up with dates meant that Chris and Mark joined us after our first week, and stayed on a week after we had left.
Unfortunately I was somewhat ill on the first week with a stomach upset. It’s funny – you don’t mention it to anyone, only to find out that quite a number of guests had also had the same, but they didn’t say anything either. This along with a sore back, meant that I wasn’t much company for Donna for the week we had on our own. We managed a cycle ride into town, but decided not to do any other activities until Chris and Mark arrived. The local town has an attractive bay, with many fishing boats, and dogs asleep everywhere. However, the much anticipated Greek Amphitheatre was a bit of a let down – it was really just a rubbish dump!
As it turned out, the weather the second week wasn’t so good, and when the sun shined we opted to stay by the pool.
Donna was very occupied in preparing for a conference presentation in Canada two weeks after the holiday, and hadn’t done much work for it, so we spent quite a number of hours discussing and writing down ideas. This proved to be not only profitable but something we both found engaging. Donna says I should become her research assistant after she finishes her PhD! Not a bad idea!
Although we hadn’t booked any activities like the sailing and diving courses we did in Kos, Donna thoroughly enjoyed her ‘zoomba’ classes, dancing, and spin. For myself, I booked a Turkish bath and a series of massages. The Turkish bath was amazing. The massage exhausting! You definitely have to dispense with your modesty when you have a Turkish bath. Although they wrap a cloth around your waist, it soon gets sodden and falls off! However, the experience of having someone scrub you all over and pour soap suds on you, is really wonderful. A Turkish bath or ‘hamam’ is similar to a Scandinavian sauna but is closer to a Roman bath. It is based on the same principles as the steam bath but the focus is on water rather than steam. The ‘hamam’ is a gently heated, tiled room with a heated marble slab in the centre. Visitors lie on the stone slab and are scrubbed for exfoliation, then massaged with oils and finally washed clean with hot water. Since there are no windows, and the walls are marbled or tiled, everything echoes. The young man who washed me, sung in Arabic all the time, which sounded like a choir. I wasn’t sure if the singing was part of the ritual that he performed before slaying the infidel!
During the week we also made friends with the young waiters and waitresses, who were very attentive, but we also made a particular friendship with Umit, the proprietor of the carpet shop located within the hotel. He also doubled as the local weather forecaster! Naturally we bought a carpet!
As always with these type of beach holidays, the main attraction is sitting at the beach bar, watching the sun go down. The sunsets were truly stunning.
What was very spectacular was the thunderstorm on our last night. Donna had stayed up dancing at the beach bar, whilst I had gone to bed. All of a sudden there was an incredible storm, and we were right in the middle of it. The rain came down so fast and furious, that Donna got marooned at the Beach Bar. (!) Since the bar is about a foot above sea level and only yards away from the shore, it is incredible that the rain came down faster than it could reach the sea! Our hotel room was below the pool, and in a bit of a recess, so it took no time at all for the rainwater to run off the concrete surrounding the pool and land outside our door! Within minutes it was leaking under the glass door to the room, and after fifteen to twenty minutes the water was two inches deep in the room. However, the truly alarming thing was that I could see through the glass door that the water outside was at least four or five inches above the ground. When Donna did make it back to the room (after falling in a ditch because all the paths were completely underwater and she couldn’t see), I faced the dilemma of opening the door and letting the water flood into the room!
We abandoned the room with the sheets and blankets swirling around the water on the floor, and the hotel found us another room for the night. In the morning the water was nowhere to be seen and the hotel staff had rescued all our belongings and put them neatly on the bed!