Sleeping under Olive Trees on a Greek Island

As soon as we crossed the border into Greece, everyone looked Greek. Tanned and hairy would be the best description. They look like they’ve spent everyday of their lives basking in the sun and eating fresh food. Oh, and there are olive trees and cats everywhere.

Greece was never really on our planned route, I don’t know why, maybe because I presumed you had to drive really far south and then take really long and expensive ferries to see the dreamy islands. Or maybe because I read they’re awful drivers and have something like the highest accident rate in Europe! But heck, we were so close from Bulgaria that we decided to detour south to Greeks most northerly island, Thassos. We picked it because it was the closest island and only a 35 minute ferry ride away. When I read a little about the island it actually sounded perfect for us. The least tourism developed island, great for nature lovers, relaxed and quite, crystal clear waters and sandy beaches…Let’s go!

The highest point of the island is 1127m, I sort of expected a ring road around the island with beaches and a perfect pyramid mountain in the middle. Of course it wasn’t like that, it was all mountainous. Forested slopes, rocky peaks and lots of layered hills. The roads are hilly and windy with sea views around every bend.

We headed straight out of the main Thassos Town to the Eastern coastline. Priorities in Greece – food! Before we even saw a beach, we stopped at Panagia, a rustic white-washed mountain village. We found an eatery heaving with locals so we joined them and ordered two handles of Mythos beer, ‘we’re on holiday!’. We got carried away on the food front and ordered olives, tzatziki, bread, Greek salad, moussaka and something I don’t know the name of. The Greek salad was actually an anti-climax, it lacked flavour. The olives were scrumptious till i got to about the 5th one and the flavour was too overpowering and made my face screw up like I’d eaten a sour sweet. Craig wasn’t fond of his aubergine moussaka, it was neither good nor bad. But, less about the bad, as the rest of our table of food was delicious! I could live off tzatziki, it’s so thick and scattered with cucumber cubes. The unknown dish was also a pleasant surprise; baked feta with tomatoes, pepper, olive oil and oregano. To be honest, it looked revolting, like scrambled egg vomit. But it sure was tasty if you avoided eye contact with it.

We ate too much. Both of us walked with arched backs as we carried our food babies back to Pablo and down to Golden Beach. It’s the longest beach on the island and we burnt off the calories walking along it. The weather had clouded over, and it was a bit windy so I certainly wasn’t tempted for a swim. Most of the beach bars had closed up for the season and it made the beach seem a bit like a ghost town.

After the beach we followed a road for 1km to a cave. The sign should of said ‘this roads a fucking joke – good luck!’ It was single lane, ridged concrete and unbelievably steep. One section was so steep that it was like the road was a cliff face dead ahead. I told Craig that I didn’t think we should go up, he went up. We quickly rolled back down. He must of realised I was right and changed his mind. ‘Yeah, we won’t make it up there….’ he said, ‘our wheels totally skidded and we rolled down…and the breaks didn’t really work’. We hastily turned around in a driveway (yes, people lived up there along the roller-coaster track!) and got the hell out of there. I don’t even like caves anyway.

The next day was really cloudy, so much for our island holiday. We decided to just chill at a beach. We found a beach all to ourselves, and it stayed that way all day and night. It was wonderful and peaceful, we painted and caught up on our books. I painted little rocks with Greece written on them. Craig painted a penis shaped rock like a, you guessed it, a penis. We camped by the beach, under an olive tree for two nights, listening to goats bells dinging in the distance, waves crashing and crickets in the bushes. It reminded me of family holidays when I was younger, sitting with Pablo’s door open, as if it was a villa balcony.

We woke to more cloud on day three. We couldn’t sit around for another day, but the weather was warmer at least so we drove to Aliki Beach. It was a beautiful beach; a calm bay with crystal clear water. It had a slim, fine sandy beach with deck chairs and a few tavernas. We decided to pitch up for the day, and hope for sunshine.

And sunshine, we got!! When the sun peaked from behind the clouds it was scorching hot, and it was only 24 degrees, it gets to about 40 degrees here in the summer. The sea was cool and so clear, the visibility was amazing. I didn’t expect an island so close to the mainland to be so nice.

There was a dog on the beach though. He was about 6 inches high, trimmed body, bushy legs and face, penis far too big for his size – and he knew it. The little runt was dressed in a stupid outfit and barked at everyone. He was horrible, I’ve never wanted to kick a dog more in my life. He was such a spoilt brat, with his tacky outfit and annoying yapping. I should of stolen him and placed him with the friendly stray dogs, who make their own clothes from matted fur and scavenge for food, that’d teach him a lesson.

We spent about 8 hours at the beach. I’m a lobster on day número dos! It was a lovely, relaxing day though, the weather was perfect and hardly any people were there, off season at its best!

We enjoyed another new Greek dish at lunch too; vine wrapped rice, similar to risotto, it was covered with soft leaves and looked like a sushi dish. It was really tasty. Craig was lucky enough to try a local delicacy; as we sat outside, small bees visited us (everyone on the island seems to be a bee keeper). I joined him after a swim and Craig pointed out that the little brown blobs on the table, that looked like chocolate, were infact, not chocolate, but bee poo. He knew this because he mistook it for a crumb of chocolate that he’d previously eaten, and licked it off his finger. There’s not enough Ouzo in Greece to take that taste away.




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