It is amazing what the shortest of holibobs will do for a traveler's soul after weeks of being COVID19-prevention-confined in the Greek Peloponnese.
|Picturesque Spetses Island|
Holibob is my new word of the week. As I've written before, being an American expat in Greece and living among expats largely from Europe has expanded our vocabulary immensely. Case in point: holibob.
|Greek ferry travel is one of our favorite means of transport|
|Saronic islands - a not to miss experience|
Our holibob was planned to be a four-night getaway to two islands in the Saronic Gulf. But as we've learned in the last few months, life's travel 'plans' are probably better referred to as travel 'hopes'.
|Pine trees Greek style on this mountain pass|
After two nights on Spetses we would head to nearby Hydra (Idra). That was the plan, anyway.
Travel within Greece has been allowed for a couple of weeks with hotels, eateries, tavernas and bars getting the go-ahead to open about the same time as travel restrictions were lifted. Tourists from outside Greece begin arriving this week so we wanted to get in a 'bob' before those from elsewhere begin arriving. Greece is moving from mandatory COVID19 testing of all arrivals to random.
|Hydra island in the distance|
However, relaxing the airport testing -- along with a small spike in cases last week -- has resulted in the national COVID prevention team (scientists and doctors advising the government) being brought back together. The government has begun imposing regional and local lockdowns and will continue to do so, as necessary as Greece continues to reopen.
Much like I wrote in our last post about Gythio, it felt so good. . .so normal. . .to be traveling again. But there is no ignoring the fact that travel is a different animal these days. Packing a packet of disposable surface cleaners, liquid hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes and face masks -- and using them -- does put a different feel on a getaway.
|All passengers must wear masks on the ferry pictured behind me|
Face masks are required to be worn by all staff who serve food and beverages. Far more places we ate and sipped at than not, were complying with the rule. Many servers wore gloves as well. Face masks are required on public transportation like trains, buses and ferries with interior seating. Our open air ferry didn't require masks. . .I might add there were about a dozen walk on passengers on each of our sailings. Self distancing wasn't a problem.
|Hotel Klimis (on the left) walking distance from the ferry dock|
|Our self-distanced deck and views from it|
Hand sanitizer bottles were strategically placed in common areas of the hotel, retail stores and restaurants. It is amazing how many times you touch things with little notice to the act until you've become germophobic as I seem to be these days.
|A sign of the times in Spetses|
There were few tourists about the town - another plus of taking a mid-week jaunt. It had been busy the prior three-day holiday weekend, we were told.
|Serious about prevention in Greece|
Tavernas, bars, restaurants and shops with the exception of a few were open. Rules about entry were new additions to the shop windows.
|Distanced and ready for diners on Spetses|
It wasn't until we attempted to make reservations for two nights on nearby Hydra island that we realized how 'shut down' Greece remains. Hotels there weren't open so we cut the holibob short and headed back to the mainland, with a new plan to spend the night in an old favorite, Nafplio. It is another like Gythio - such a favorite that I really must tell you about it next time!
Until then we hope this finds you and yours safe and well. Add a comment or send an email and let us know how things are in your part of the world.
Linking sometime with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World Wednesday