We are leaving Nisyros. A sporty week is ahead. I will practice windsurfing and my potential husband will cycle around the island. We packed and came to Maria’s café to say goodbye and kiss the whole family. Her husband took us to the port inhaling one cigarette after the other. They never put seat belts on – just turn up the volume of their folk radio and imagine that beeping is not so irritating. The boat was already there and we decided to wait at the café together with sun tanned and tattooed captain. It was kind of worrying – what will touristy Kos have to offer after such perfect week in wonderful island with wild beaches? I’ve booked windsurfing classed and a room in a typical large hotel through Czech agency. All I knew was that hotel had a nice pool and Tigaki, that was my choice because of windsurfing school, had a nice sandy beach.
A young man met us at the port – travel agent Milos promised us free transfer to the hotel. Kos reminded me of Lithuanian resort called Sventoji – a ruin here, some jungle there, in general – not the most romantic landscape. Taxi turned to the hotel. The road was blocked by sheep and goats. Tigaki Star, that charges 50 Euro per room, was located between the lake and the field that was not cut approximately for 100 years. Some unfinished construction was looming nearby. When we got out of the taxi the guy who escorted us to the hotel informed that “we have a problem”. It appeared that free transfer to the hotel is available only if you are coming from the airport, so we have to pay 40 Euro for the taxi. We were not happy with this, because the bus would not cost us even 10… Then he told us about “second problem” – windsurfing instructor is not here yet and it is not clear when he is coming, but – he can give me the board, the sail and tell what to do with those. I said I will think about it. We agreed to pay him for hotel and taxi next day, because we did not have enough cash at the moment.
A young girl, with symptoms of mild depression, has greeted us in the dark reception. Emotionless, she gave us the keys and waved where our room had to be. The room welcomed with the smell of molds and chlorine. It was so small that two suitcases occupied almost all free floor area. The pocked sized bathroom included a shower with a size of a baking dish and our terrace faced an apocalyptic playground and rushes, surrounding the salt lake.
My possibly future husband was obviously not in the mood, but he did not say a word, just asked for some wine (I have dragged this 2,5 litre blister with me all the way from Nisyros). I tried to cheer him up by acting like a character from cheap TV series saying that the pool is not bad and the room will freshen up, but to tell the truth, I was not happy myself. It is his birthday today after all, so are we going to celebrate in this dark, apocalyptic cave? I poured some wine for myself. The closet smelled, so I did not want to unpack. I am absolutely sure that all good comments about this place on TripAdvisor were written by its owners or at least my understanding of “good hotel” is very different from what British consider it to be.
We went out to explore the territory (thanks God, we did not start the fight) and headed around the mutant grass field and goat houses. Suddenly we found ourselves staring through the fence at the nice hotel area with superb pool and joyous bar. Being a decent representative of a brave country, I marched to the bar and asked where the reception is. Receptionist Anna really surprised us by telling that room in this lovely Gaia Village costs only 29 Euro (including breakfast)! This time we were careful and asked her to show us the room. It was spacious, clean and had a pleasant smell. We moved in 15 minutes. Depressed receptionist in the apocalyptic hotel was not surprised.
I called the guy and told him that we will pay for the taxi, but we won’t give him anything for the hotel, because we already live in another place. However when we met next day, he said that his boss Milos wants us to pay 10% for reservation cancellation (that is 30 Euro). This was the moment when all Lithuanian modesty disappeared. My tempered second half was very loud. Usually I would ask him to calm down, but this time I didn’t mind. I told the young man that if his boss wants something, he should call me. He never did.
We went out to celebrate in the evening. I always stick to my rule and ask the locals for recommendations. Anna directed us to the Sunshine tavern. I ate nice meals the whole week, but I don’t remember eating SO WELL in a restaurant. The tavern was close to the hotel, but away from major street (like all good restaurants). Unfortunately we could not finish the Greek plate for two (they could indicate in the menu that it is meant for two big men). The sisters, who served us, kept asking why we won’t finish – the meal was made by their dad! We asked for the bill and got a birthday present instead – a pile of ice cream with fireworks. All the troubles with Czech travel agents were forgotten.
We ate at Sunshine the whole week – we could hardly find anything better anyway. Every evening reminded me of a comedy “My big fat Greek wedding”, because “you have to eat everything!” was what we heard all the time. And when I ordered salad: “only salad?!?”. I told Xena that she is worse than my grandmother. Every time the bill would come with some desert, but every time we were too full for it and so we made a deal with Maria to change it for the shot.
So the morale is – if something goes wrong, don’t start to blame each other, but keep looking for the better and probably you will make sure that the worst turns for the better!