Porto Heli Day One

4 October

After we checked out of Pension Dafni, we walked to the waterfront to take the water taxi to visit the Bourtzi Castle, the little fortress that sits in the harbor. It was built by the Venetians in the 15th century to protect the city from pirates and invaders froom the sea. The Greeks regained in from the Turks in 1822, and it served as a fortress unil 1865. It was then turned into a residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palimidi. From 1930 to 1970 it was a hotel; since then, it is mainly a tourist attraction. Struck me as being kinda small to have been all of these things.

After a huge lunch in Syntagma Square — the biggest crepe I’ve ever had, I thought the French owned this delicacy but the Greeks certainly do a good job of preparation — we got on a bus for the 2.5 hour ride to Porto Heli, our next port of call.

We were told we would have to change buses in Kranidi, so when we got there we retrieved our luggage. About 15 minutes later, that same bus changed its destination sign, and everyone re-boarded so we put our luggage back in and followed suit. Strange.

When we got off the bus, we had no idea how to find Poseidon Sports, our accommodations for the next five days. There seemed to be no cabs around, and the lady we asked had never heard of it! So we called them and one of the owners came to pick up us — on his motorbike! Poseidon was just up the road, he said, so we opted to walk rather than take a cab. That worked out fine.

Chris (aka Biff) and Amy are a young British couple who bought a guest house five years ago, after working as sailing instructors in Porto Heli for some years. They are energetic and do what they can to please, including offering to sit by the bus stop with us to assure we didn’t get on the wrong one, and setting up a cab ride and car rental through some of his friends.

Poseidon Studio is a very funky but endearing place. It is, unfortunately, on a busy side street but only two blocks from the and within walking distance of everything a guest could desire. There are four studios on the ground floor, and they live on the second floor. Our studio was named Aphrodite after the goddess of love. The room had a double bed (unusual in Greece where most are twins set next to each other), and was in decorated in red with heart paintings on the walls — too cute!

Chris and Amy also own Poseidon Sports located on the beach about 15 minutes away, and rent out Hobie Cat sailboats and kayaks.

After checking in, we took a walk along the harbor/beach, and found a modern supermarket–the first and only during the whole trip. Because we had a studio complete with kitchenette, we bought provisions and settled in. (The only thing we didn’t buy was a citronelle candle or mosquito repellant, something we learned the hard way that we needed!)

We had dinner that night at Alexandra’s Estiatorio at Chris’ recommendation. Like most of our meals in Greece, the food was fabulous — enjoyed along with (you guessed it) local rose wine.

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