We travel to Leros in Greece
It is a long way to Leros. The plane takes off at 7:10 from Copenhagen. It is an Airbus 320 with uncomfortable seats and little room for legs.
The passengers behind us chat:
"And then I said…"
"But then I said…"
"It was on the 12th, because we were invited to a birthday party, and that was on the..."
Fortunately breakfast brings silence.
We land on Kos at 11:30. Helle's suitcase arrives almost immediately, while I - dying for a smoke - have to wait 45 minutes.
The hydrofoil for Leros leaves at 14:30, so we have plenty of time for a cold beer at a restaurant opposite the pier. We share a table with Vinnie who will be staying at Nikis too.
It is hot in the boat, a "Flying Dolphin", but the seats are much more comfortable than on the plane, and soon most of the passengers are fast asleep despite the dolphin's merry jumping. After 1½ hour we arrive to Leros.
Arrival to Leros and Nikis
The boat moors at Agia Marina, and a bus takes us to the apartment hotel Nikis. The hostess, Maria, is there to greet us, and regulars are kissed on the cheek. Maria speaks fluent English with an Australian accent.
The one-room apartment is spacious and simple. The balcony faces east and we can see the water in Panteli Bay.
The supermarket and the baker are just 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Prices in general are higher than at home, but of course goods need to be transported a long way. However the ouzo is pleasantly cheap.
Welcome to Greece!
Back home we settle on the balcony with ouzo. Welcome to Greece!
It has been a long journey and it is good to relax. The sun is setting, and the light turns soft and golden. The sea view soothes the soul and there is a nice cool breeze.
Evening in the fishing viallage of Panteli
Half past seven we stroll to the small fishing village of Panteli (Pandeli). It is a 150 metres walk. The sun has set. It is the blue hour.
In the bay there's a narrow beach with gravel and small stones. There are small fishing boats painted in bright white and blue colours, and the taverns' tables and chairs are right by the water's edge.
Local suntanned men are drinking coffee or what is stronger. Some are playing backgammon. Many hold a rosary in their left hand. A few tourists are having refreshments. Dogs and cats are walking about hopefully, but it is still too early for people to eat.
We settle at the café with the local men and order ouzo. A small dog lies down by Helle's feet and sighs contentedly. Darkness falls, the sea splashes discretely and backgammon dices rattle.
At the neighbouring restaurant Patimenos we get a table by the water's edge. The air is warm and soft and caresses our legs like an affectionate cat.
We have a very large portion of Greek salad and baked pork. Helle's is good: a local speciality in a thick "sausage" of baking paper. Mine is mostly bones, cartilage and fat - disappointing.
The portions are huge, and Helle shares most of hers with the small cats, who sit by our table with their faces turned upwards. With half a litre of the house red and a big bottle of water the bill says 30.6 euro.
We are tired after a long day. Home to bed.