Baklava and bouzouki
The Solos group had now established a routine. We met at breakfast then some of us flopped around the pool working hard on that tan. Others went off in search of the true island experience. The nice thing was that you might be wandering about and then bump into someone from the group.
With “Hello fellow, well met” gestures you could choose to lunch together at a beachside taverna for a light lunch or just have a beer together. It really worked very well.
I talked to as many locals as I could, to find out how the economy on the island was shaping up. They told me that generally things felt better. Most of the businesses on the island were family owned but the work was seasonal and in recent years the market had changed from British, German, French visitors to Russian. The season had shortened as the Russians did not travel May to September as we did but only came June and July. If a young man had a job, he worked 7 days a week during the season. They said work was not easy at all to find on the mainland and things were very difficult for them there.
Some of us were thinking of gift buying and found some very nice gift packs in the supermarkets. For example, a small box containing two small bottles, one of ouzo and the other olive oil. In the middle were six sachets of spices all labelled for use with mousaka, tzatziki, beef stifado, lamb or Greek salad. A nice present for any cooks in the family. There were small and large boxes of baklava as well, and all reasonably priced. Olive oil soap plus aloe and tea tree creams.
The week was drawing to an end and we decided we would like to go out one evening as a group. The Alexandra Beach Hotel does not swap dinner for lunch or offer picnics, so if you are on a half board basis and want to go out, you just forgo that meal.
Earlier in the week Gary had taken some of us on a walk through Tsilivi harbour which is very pretty and along the beach. We had identified a restaurant we wanted to try. The meal was excellent, the staff very friendly and the wine good.
The owner of the restaurant had learnt to play the bouzouki and so proud was he of his skills that he amplified it. It made conversation difficult, and I would always suggest a table a goodly distance away from enthusiastic musicians. There was no plate throwing or dancing but he did play Zorba the Greek, so I was not disappointed.
After dinner we were encouraged to sample one of the bars on the ‘strip’ for a nightcap. This was a very lively place and had a karaoke machine. Gary did his thing to applause, one of our group who had obviously been practising all week, took his place and again we applauded with enthusiasm and then horror of horrors the ladies were called up.
Well what can I say, a first for yours truly, we did our best and won a bottle of wine! Dancing Queen was still buzzing through my head next morning as we left for the airport and our return flight.
12 people who had not met before, were now good friends who had made happy memories together. Would I recommend Solo Holidays to single travellers? Definitely.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Solos Holidays