One of the best things about coming to Greece this year is that I’ve been able to catch up with my old school friends from high school. I’m one of the luckiest people in the world to have gone to Campion School (an English school in Athens) and that our group has been having reunions once every couple of years on the greek islands.
How many high schools do you know that do that?
Of course, living in Australia (and Tasmania no less) I’ve only been able to make it to 2 of the reunions so far. I believe the first was in 2007 on Egina, and its been a different island for each one since. I first found out about the reunions on FB just in time to miss the one on Paros. Bummer.
But I was able to put in my 2 cents worth and the next one was on Naxos where my cousin Zefi (the non-Famelis one) had the Mojito Bar. We had the best time ever. We spent our time on the beach out the front of the bar, or in the bar. I remember one particular night, drinking mojitos and dancing on tables with a bunch of Norwegian guys. Actually, I don’t remember all that much about that night, but I do have photos…
Anyway, when I found out there was a reunion planned on Syros this year, and that I’d be in Greece at the time, it was GREAT! I’m there!
I’d never been to Syros before and I was curious. Syros is a unique island for one of the Cyclades as its half catholic and half greek orthodox. Its also got the most amazing history and architecture in the old city of Ermoupolis as it was settled by the rich who built beautiful venetian style mansions. Ermoupolis is the capital of the Cyclades islands.
Despite that, getting here was a whole lot of trouble. Since I’d booked the hotel well in advance – like 5 or 6 months ago – I figured I could get ferry tickets from Paros to Syros easily. I mean you can see Syros quite clearly from Parikia, how hard can it be!
Well… turns out there are only 3 direct ferries from Paros to Syros a week. Even in summer. And not on the day I needed to travel. Naturally.
Syros is the seat of the local government, where the big hospitals are, where the court is… you get the picture. Yet, if you want to go to Syros from Paros (1 hour trip by ferry) you have to take a ferry to Mykonos or Tinos (the ferries stop at both, its up to you where you want to get off and wait to catch another ferry) and from there to Syros. A one hour trip, which would cost you about 7.5 euros direct, ends up costing a minimum of 32 euros (cause we found the cheapest option) and taking a minimum of 4 hours including your stopover.
Only in Greece.
Maybe. I can’t speak for India, Egypt or Uzbekistan.
Speaking of Uzbekistan… I did an Ancestry DNA test! I was so excited cause I’m convinced that my mother is a decendant of Ghengkis Khan. (I’m not talking about her child rearing methods, mind you, just her ancestry). And I was right! But I’ll tell you more about that in another post…
So, back to the fun in the sun and crazy antics of middle aged high school buddies.
Firstly, I was joined on the reunion by my good friend Inge from the Netherlands. And her daughter. They have now been given honorary Campionite status and are welcome to join in future reunions, which is great cause they really enjoyed it.
The best part of the Syros reunion (apart from seeing friends and all the catching up) was the day we chartered a boat to visit some of the beaches only accessible by boat. We had a floating bar and a BBQ on the beach. What more can you ask for?
The hotel we stayed at was great, really pretty decor, great breakfast buffet and a lovely pool where we spent quite a lot of time.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to explore Ermoupolis due to bad timing and forgetfulness (mine) so I’ll have to visit another day. Quel dommage! (showing off my high school French…)
Oh, and you know how the world is going to hell in a plastic bucket? Its true. There is so much plastic rubbish in the sea that it seems that even on the most pristine beaches, you’ll fish out the odd bit of plastic bag. It really sucks. It makes it so much more obvious that we really need to make an effort to recycle and consider our choices.
One of the bars on Paros is using spaghetti with holes in it instead of plastic straws. What a brilliant idea. You can drink your cocktail through it, then eat it… We bought ourselves a packet and carried it everywhere with us.
We found there’s one minor flaw in our plan. You actually have to remember to order your drink without a straw. Otherwise you may as well just use the plastic one they give you and save your pasta for another time… We’ll get better at it, I’m sure.