Friday, 7 August 2015

Twenty years later

So, not completely unexpectedly, a lot had changed across my island since last time, and even more, since those 20 years ago when I first arrived. Already on the transfer bus from the airport, I noticed Lefkas town and it's marina being extended, and the whole coast line down to Nidri being littered with new hotels. Understandably, it's an incredibly beautiful island, very lush and green, since it rains a lot on the west coast of Greece during the winter. Why not use all of it?

We had booked to stay at one of the hotels Spies used to collaborate with already back then, so a familiar place to me. The first day we just chilled by the pool (after the two weeks of rotten weather and rainy days we had had in Sweden, relaxing in the sun was heaven!) and enjoyed a few of the things that is Greece to me, 'horiatiki' (=Greek salad) and 'frappe' (=ice coffee).

We also took a walk along the main street, well, THE only street really in Nidri. Or at least it used to be, but now they have built a new, bigger road around the town center, so you actually don't have to drive through it like before, to get to the south of the island. This have made it possible to turn the main street into a pedestrian street in the evenings, which was rather nice!

Many, many new shops, restaurants and gyros places have turned up. Now they even have not one, but TWO fish spas, and not just real shops, but also ones with fake stuff, just like out in Asia! :)

Nidri used to be a rather sleepy, unexploited and authentic place - now it felt like any other tourist trap... at least initially - until I realized all the old familiar faces were still there. 
Like Mr Kalivas and Thomas, who still works at the exchange desk in the Spies office. Like Makis, the busdriver and his wife Swedish Camilla, who still works in a rental car office. Like my friend Stelios, who used to be a waiter at the pizzeria we always went to, but now manages his own café and souvenir place together with his wife:

Only a few of many familiar faces I was going to meet throughout the week. 

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