Monday, October 10, 2005

Transition to Samos

The ferry ride here wasn't too bad. I was prepped for a hellacious night, but I made it through without a hint of sea sickness.

Samos is a complete change. Vathi, the port, is a real city. It's built for the locals, not the tourists, so it feels as if we are finally in a foreign country. My ten words of Greek are finally coming in handy. I can't do much beyond say hello, please, and thank you, and I can order dinner and coffee - it's enough to get by.

Vathi is spread out around a deep bay, and full of narrow streets, hidden plazas, and Orthodox churches. The cafes were full of people by 9am; this is one of those European cities where people seem to hang out more than work.

Our hotel is passable. It's run by a grey-haired woman and her brow-beaten children. I think we could have done better, but I felt bad for her son. He's a full grown adult, at least 30, but he looked so scared when we tried to bargain & he had to call his mom to get permission to drop the rates. I'm useless at bargainning at the best of times; I had no chance with this one.

Dawn and I are renting a car to explore the mountains villages this afternoon. The mountains are covered in old forests, with tiny villages, monasteries, and vineyards hanging onto the slopes. It's beautiful, far more so than Mykonos. It's also much more sane. We can actually sleep and wake up at normal hours. I had a full nights sleep last night for the first time in a week.

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