Friendly Locals

I’ve been on Thirasia for another week and I’m finding it a friendly island, all 3.5 square miles of it! I walked to the little shop in the next village and said hello to an old lady that I passed. She made me stop and asked how I liked the island and gave me an orange.

Then on the way back a man with his donkeys very enthusiastically asked how I was! Another day someone stopped and gave me a lift to the ferry, which was helpful.

A Secluded Spot

I booked an Airbnb in basically an abandoned village here. When I visited the island last year, we cycled to look at the cave houses in this village. The island is like Santorini was 50 years ago. The cave houses there have mostly all been refurbished, and many have been made into very expensive luxury hotels.

But here, you can still see how they would have been originally. Apparently, about 800 people used to live in Agrilla but they got scared after (I think) the last big earthquake in the 1950’s and went elsewhere.

So, it was supposed to be lovely and quiet. Just be me and my cats, the cats that live here and the horse at the end of the ancient cobbled street.

More Builders

But the saga of the building work has followed me here. There’s been building work right next door, in the house above and a third property down the path since I arrived. It all got too much this week with the drilling and hammering and builders’ dust.

When they started cutting boulders next door on a circular saw, it pushed me over the edge. Luckily they only had two days left and tomorrow will be the last of the noisy work (so I’m promised). My host is sorting me out a hotel room to work from in the day so I’m grateful for that.

In the picture, you can see bricks made out of pumice stone. Pumice is one of the exports Thirasia is famous for (wine is another). And that type of rock is the reason the caves could be so easily carved out and smoothed over. The pumice is great for bricks because the stone is light but very strong.

Santorini Season Has Started

Although it’s nothing like as busy as it will be in a couple of months, and not everything is up and running, Santorini definitely feels open for business. It was quite nice to wander around a bit and pretend to be a tourist on Saturday.

Hopefully, it’ll just be a couple more weeks before it’s hot enough outside to manage a swim. The water in May is still only around 17 degrees so it takes me a few goes to get in. But if there’s no cold north wind, and the sun is out I can do it.

The beaches here aren’t set up yet with the sun umbrellas, but there’s work being done to clean up and get ready.

Here are some Santorini pics for you because everyone always seems to love them! I don’t know if you know, but along the west side of the island, along the caldera, there isn’t much space or privacy. The (beautiful, luxe with amazing view) hotels are all packed in.

So just walking about the pavements you walk directly in front of people’s hotel room terraces and private hot tubs or the hotel pools. I always find it a bit odd. But there are some tucked away in quieter spots down many steps or at the edge of the villages.

English Books

I managed to pick up some English books this week which I was really pleased about. I need to find somewhere that I can leave the ones I’ve read. Maybe I can find a hotel with a little lending library.

No COVID passes from 1st May

In other news, Greece is scrapping vaccination cards/recovery certificates for accessing places from 1st May. At the moment you need to show those to eat indoors at a restaurant (you can eat outside only with a negative rapid test). You also need them for entry into museums, cinemas, the theatre, gyms etc.

  • From 1st May they’re being scrapped, as are capacity restrictions in shops and restaurants etc
  • From 1st June, masks won’t be required in indoor public spaces.
  • In terms of entering the country, from 2nd May travellers will no longer need to show proof of vaccination and testing requirements at airports will be scrapped, regardless of vaccination status.

This situation will be in place until 31st August when everything will be reviewed. From what the government is saying now, it sounds like these measures will most likely be put back into place in September. But we’ll have to wait and see.

New Posts This Week

New on the blog this week is:

  • Bouldering and Rock Climbing on Tinos Island in case climbing’s your thing and
  • Massage In Mykonos: Review Of The Wonderful Ciel Spa 10/10 would recommend you treat yourself while on the island

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Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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