Alright, no more procrastinating (which is what I’m good at), I am going to write this and the next blog post RIGHT NOW!
So, after that fun-filled Friday, Saturday was very relaxing. We mostly stayed at the hotel, but eventually, in the afternoon, decided to go to a beach called the Lost Paradise beach, which had a free shuttle bus service from the hotel to there. We missed one of the buses, but thankfully we didn’t miss the next one, so we arrived at the beach in the late-ish afternoon. It was quite a windy day, so the sea was choppy. That didn’t deter us, and lots of other people, and we were diving into the waves and doing body-surfing. It got very deep quite quickly, so my shortness stopped me from going too far out. We didn’t stay long at the beach, because we would miss the last shuttle bus of the day. So, overall, Saturday was not very eventful. We wanted it to be that way to prepare for our Greek adventure…
On Sunday we were booked in for a ferry journey to Samos, which, if you look on a map, is so close to Turkey it might as well BE Turkey, not Greece. I’d never been to Greece before, so I was really excited about seeing Greek stuff and going to the hometown of Pythagoras!
So when we got onto the ferry it was obvious that health and safety were not really the main concerns of the crew. There were a LOT more people than there were seats, so many people were sitting on the floor. We managed to get a seat inside, but after the boat began to sail, I could tell sitting here would NOT be comfortable. Firstly, the sea, again, was choppy. VERY unlike the lovely cruise we did on Tuesday (in Part I). Secondly, people were looking a little green, and we were sitting RIGHT next to the toilet. I went in it just before the boat set off, and let me tell you, it was not pleasant. But imagine how it would be as the boat is rocking from side-to-side? Disgusting! So I, alone, went upstairs to the top deck, which was outside. There was not much space to sit, and I don’t actually remember if I sat in a seat or not. Well, anyway, I focused on the horizon and the scenery and almost drifted off. We had to get up pretty early to catch the ferry, and the sea air was making me sleepy.
Eventually my dad and Jada came up, too repulsed by what they saw and heard downstairs. People obviously felt very seasick and needed to visit the toilet. The stench must have been unbearable. And my dad said he heard stuff. That’s not exactly the recipe for a comfortable journey! So we spent the rest of the journey outside, and finally we reached Samos.
(Oh gosh, you can see my fingers and a bit of my phone in there! This was taken out of a car window, and btw my phone case says ‘Now Panic and Freak Out’)
Wanting to at least be able to read some of the signs, I’d saved a picture of the Greek alphabet onto my phone, which I would consult. I picked it up pretty quickly, since many of the letters were like Russian (which I study) and English (which, guess what, I speak). I don’t remember it all now, but there we go. So I was deciphering signs left and right, but then a lot of them were just in English, so my talents were almost wasted.
And get this: in Turkey, texts cost 24p to send. In Greece, they cost 8p, even though Samos and Kuşadasi were really not far apart. In Part I, there is a picture which has Turkey on the left and Samos on the right. They were literally only a few (OK, maybe a bit more than a few, look on a map) miles away from each other. So in Greece was where I sent my texts. I texted Lauryn and Eleni, something to the effect of: HEY, GUESS WHAT, I’M IN GREECE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! They both knew I was in Turkey, so I was hoping to confuse them!
Firstly we rented a car from Hertz (which was sad, because there was a company called Hermes Car Rental, which should have been the obvious choice for Greece!) and got a map of the island. We were in the port city, the name of which I don’t remember, and it was a bit of a drive to where we wanted to go: the hometown of the great Greek maths legend, Pythagoras! The name of the town was spelled differently in just about everything we read: Pythagorion, Pythagorio, Pythagoreio… I like Pythagorio, since the name in Greek (see, using my new-found skillz) sounded like Pythagorio– don’t know where this random letter N came from.
So we drove there, and I was disappointed to see that not everything was in the shape of triangles. Oh well. So we wandered around a bit, seeing a lot of souvenir shops selling a variety of fake goods, and came to a nice seafront with absolutely TONS of restaurants on it. We walked along, looking for a good restaurant, when a man in a Chuck Norris t-shirt accosted us and asked him to eat at his restaurant. For that reason, we HAD to eat there. Also, the restaurant was called Ambrosia, so the food had to be good. This guy’s t-shirt was also worth mentioning: it had a picture of Chuck Norris on it, and the words ‘I don’t need a weapon. I AM ONE.’ Epic or what?
So he handed us menus, and there were a variety of Greek dishes on offer. I decided on a chicken gyros, and we also ordered some ‘feta cheese from the oven’ (as it was called on the menu) for a starter. But even before that, we got a free basket of warm, mouth-watering bread rolls and a dip. We assumed it was a Greek dip, but it was actually their own house dip, and it was so good with the bread. It was cool, a bit yoghurty, but it had paprika in it, so altogether it was yummy. Then the feta arrived. I think I died and went to Elysium, it was SO GOOD. Imagine the best feta ever, then multiply it by a million.
We all ate our main courses (delicious), paid and then left, not before getting a business card, which I still have now! Then we decided to go look around the town, and eventually went into one of those fake goods souvenir shops. Jada bought some ‘Converse’ shorts, and my dad bought a geeky t-shirt with a lot of Pythagoras stuff on it. I didn’t buy anything, for some reason. Then we went into a museum (or was it before the shops?), which had loads of stuff in it about the ancient city of Samos. It cost money for adults to get in, and our dad didn’t have any money! He did get let in though, thankfully. The museum was very impressive, and had loads of ancient things that looked good enough to be in a documentary. There were some very well-preserved Roman statues, and one of this young man in a toga, and YOU COULD STILL SEE THE ORIGINAL PAINT IN SOME OF THE FOLDS!!! That got me so excited, because I love the fact that Classical statues would have been in colour when they were new, but I never thought modern people would ever be able to see evidence of that. But in the folds of the toga, there were little bits of yellow paint, and in some places, blue! (As you can see, I am very easily excited.)
We went, after all that, to a beach called Pythagoras Beach. How could you visit Pythagorio and NOT visit a beach with such a good name? My dad and I got our snorkels and masks out, and we went snorkelling for ages. It was so much fun, since there were so many different types of fish, including those feet-nibbling ones. Even very close to the shore, where you can still stand up, there were hundreds of fish swimming about. Without a mask and snorkel on, I never would have even guessed they were there! I got a bit caught up chasing one and trying to touch it, but I’m not a daughter of Neptune (or Poseidon, whatever) so the fish won. The water was pretty cold, but it was a refreshing temperature compared to the warmth of the air. It was so relaxing.
It came nearer to the time when we had to go back, sadly, so we got changed and got back into the rented car. As we drove back to the port town, we took lots of pictures on Jada’s camera (and some very rubbish ones on my phone) of the beautiful landscape. We had a bit of time until the ferry arrived, so we stopped in an ice cream bar and got some tasty dairy treats. Jada ordered something called a ‘Cookie Tower’ so you can pretty well imagine what that was like.
When we’d finished, the ferry was here, so we took our last look at Samos. I wish we had more time, you could definitely spend more than one day here!
The ferry journey on the way back was a LOT better than on the way there, and I felt like a stowaway sitting on the floor of the top deck. It was so much fun, for some reason! For the last little bit, we sat in some vacant seats, and when we got back to Turkey we were sufficiently tired.
Join me next time for the last instalment of the blog, including HAGGLING! FAKES! And PLANET YUCCA!
Your travelling procrastinator, Jaz