On our first day we ate our cheese, egg and tomato breakfast rolls, drunk the odd tasting tea and took the SRH courtesy bus down to Molyvos. It’s a small coastal town built against a towering rock with castle atop. The roads are thin, cobbled up’n’down affairs, navigated by the locals on their mopeds and bikes. The central streets are lined with small but cute touristy shops, restaurants with balconies and expensive clothes shops - each of which Sam has thoroughly explored. At the bottom lies the small port and all the highly rated places to eat, with their freshly caught wild fish. There are also cats - everywhere! We met two northern English couples here fishing with a small line they had bought, using bread to catch small fish and octopi.
Between 1pm and 5pm the heat is unbearable and most shops shut for their siesta. We headed back to the hotel on the 3pm courtesy bus (at 3:45, it doesn’t turn up unless you go into the BEST car rental/bar next to the stop and ask for the bus to come - the place is run by the same family). In waiting we met a lovely family that tipped us off about a nice little pizzeria round the corner from SRH, “Fantastico”. Escaping the confines of our hotel foods we enjoyed Pizza and intoxicating house wines down towards Eftalou Hotel at the aforementioned. A nice cherry brandy on the house tipped Sam over the tipsy boat before we staggered home.
Saturday took us on a 40 min walk towards Eftalou’s hot water springs via pebbly beaches, hot unshaded roads, poppies and lizards basking. Too sun burnt for the springs we dabbled our feet in the cold sea and made games with the rocks.
After cooling down in the pool, now a common practice, we walked into Molyvos (20-40mins) for a meal at The Captain’s Table, a place run by English speaking Melinda and family. We’d read that their Mezes and Fish were particularly tasty and everyone has spoken very highly of them. Here I sampled the cloudy white Ouzo, spicy aubergines, Tabouleh (a cracked wheat dish), salted Anchovies (perfect with Ouzo), salted uncooked swordfish, “Grandma’s Cheese Pie”, grilled octopus, home-made chips and lettuce salad ~€43. We plan to return for some fresh fish. We stopped for some cocktails at Molly’s bar (another recommended place), drawn in by the awful sounds of the Eurovision song contest. A black russian, pina colada, strawberry daquiris and weird green thing with ice cream later and the room was buzzing with international cheers and boos as songs played and the votes came in. Not the same without Wogan but the zealous laughter and insults more than made up.
Everyone here on Lesbos is very open, talkative and friendly. You can go and speak to anyone and they’ll be happy to engage with you. Everything is incredibly welcoming - there’s banter between tables at restaurants and friendly chatter everywhere between strangers. It’s very easy to make friends and feel like part of something bigger - whether its the Greek native or the holiday atmosphere, this place brings out the best.
Needless to say, we got home at 2am, thoroughly sloshed. Sunday became a tiring shopping trip with a quest for sun-block, hats and shoes. We ate at Betty’s for lunch, sharing a pork Kleftiko with some giant white beans. Sam also discovered a taste for iced tea, I drank one of only four beers available on the island - Amstel. A charming place on the hill with overlooking balcony.
After a nap under a tree near the Olive Press, and a dip in the pool, it was back to Fantastico for a shared Pizza and cheap night out.
Monday brought the start of the local bus service from Eftalou through to Anaxos for only €1.40. With this we headed to Petra, the beachy tourist trap - I haggled for a hat and Sam for some olive decorated pottery. In the heat we climbed the central rock and the church at the top. After coming back down, we walked through the back streets of the town, heading back to the centre via a beach-side walk, hilariously ending with Sam’s shoes falling unceremoniously into the Sea right as we decided to head back to the road. For lunch we had fresh bread, salami and cinammon doughnuts. There’s not a lot to do in Petra, other than sunbathe and shop for post cards, and maybe ride a pedalo. So we took the bus back to Molyvos for the evening - despite Sam’s desire to go to an obscure “Greek night” which offered a set meal, somewhere on the edge of Petra.
Sam’s printed restaurant review pack took us in search of The Galley which was famed for its Moussaka - inquiring at Molly’s it seems like it no longer exists - so they recommended “Le Grand Bleu”. Here we went for stuffed Zucchini flowers and two portions of Moussaka, with a litre of house wine as refreshment. We stumbled happily home. There’s a peculiar feeling to an out door restaurant with a small road running through it - with mopeds, cats and dogs alike.
Today is Tuesday, our day off by the pool, which started with a sweaty stroll around the hill we sit atop of, with more pebbly beaches, humming bird hawk moths, unfinished houses, the odd lush villa and the hot hot sun. With Sam’s kiss it’s time to wrap this up for now - not a cloud above us.