Tag Archives: Amorgos

Greek Islands, Sick, Suicidal or Anti-Social

Greek Hotel Rules

Travel Rules and Regulations…

This year in our hotel room on the island of Amorgos I was amused to find in the guest information folder a helpful copy of the Regulations, Article 8 of the Law 1652/30-10-86 which is a list of rules associated with renting a room.  These made entertaining reading and the following extracts were the pick of the bunch:

Article 1

“The hotelier may refuse the leasing if the clients a) Looks conspicuously ill, b) is under the influence of alcohol or c) has an untidy appearance.”

This seems a bit harsh, whilst I agree that a hotel might not want to let a room to a drunk what if someone who needs a room had suffered from sea sickness on the ferry and was looking a bit green or was just a bet dishevelled at the end of a long day back packing? Who decides what constitutes being untidy I wonder?  My daughter can turn a hotel room into a scene of total devastation and would be obliged to leave after about five minutes or so!

Sifnos Greece

Article 8

“If the room is leased for a fixed time the hotelier has not the right to break the lease unless the client a) transgresses the regulations, b) is taken ill suffering from a contagious disease or any other disease causing inconvenience to other clients, or c) behaves against the commonly accepted moral law.”

This seems a bit unfair on anyone feeling a bit unwell or has a cold with an annoying cough for example and I would be intrigued to know exactly what the commonly accepted moral law is, it sounds as though this could be interpreted as almost anything?

Article 20

“The client on arrival at the hotel must hand over to the hotelier or to the competent director the precious or of considerable value articles and the money that he carries with him, against receipt.”

Can’t help thinking that is going to be a bit inconvenient, especially the money bit, how are you supposed to eat?

Milos Greece Cyclades

Article 21

“In case of illness due to an infectious or contagious or mental disease as well as in the case of death or suicide of a client the hotelier is entitled to compensation by the client for the expenses he underwent as a result of the happening.”

My advice is try not to have any sort of illness that might be messy, such as diarrhoea for example, and if you are going to kill yourself do it in a way that is quick to clear up otherwise your family are going to end up with a large bill.  On the other hand I’m not sure how relevant this illness rule is because under Article 8 a sick client will already have been thrown out on the street and that includes the mental cases who might do themselves in.

Folegandros Chora

My personal favourite just has to be:

Article 23

“It is forbidden a) the preparations of meals or decorations by the clients in the hotel room also the taking of meals in the room with the exception of sick clients, b) the use of petrol engines or electrical appliances, c) the use of electrical current for other purposes than lighting or shaving”.

You will have spotted the inconsistency here because clients aren’t allowed to be sick (see article 8), who in their right mind is going to use a petrol engine in a hotel room and why is it ok to use electricity to shave but presumably not to dry your hair?

Corfu Turtle

It goes on “d) the washing of linen or clothing, e) the placing of luggage in the corridors, f) the changing of position of the rooms furniture and the operating of holes into the walls for hanging photographs, g) the keeping of domestic animals, h) gambling, i) noisy music and songs which might cause inconvenience to others.

This is a pretty comprehensive list of don’ts and I have personally broken at least half of these rules.  I have certainly eaten food in my room, used electrical appliances, washed my dirty underpants out in the sink, played cards for money, kept a turtle in my room, reorganised the furniture on the balcony and put my bag down for a moment or two in the corridor.  On the other hand I haven’t ever used a petrol engine or a Black and Decker drill to make holes in the wall or organised a rave in my room.

Article 24

“If the client violates the provisions of the regulations, continually makes noise and behaves in an improper way he may be considered as undesirable and asked to leave the hotel within twenty-four hours and evacuate his room”

I wonder why, if someone was behaving so badly, they get twenty-four hours notice to leave when a sick person, it would seem, has to vacate immediately – this hardly seems fair!

Have you ever come across any odd rules and regulations when travelling?

Greek Hotel Rules

Postcards From Thassos

Thassos Greece Postcard

I am by no means sure how we managed to choose the island of Thassos for a holiday in 1999.  Not being one of the most popular holiday islands it was not somewhere that I was especially aware of or had any mad desire to go to so I can only assume that it was the end of season bargain price that settled the selection decision.

Thassos Greece Postcard

Thassos Greece

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Koufinisia Greece Ferry Terminal

Greek Ferry Artemis in Paros

Beginning a Journey…

Soon after we arrived at what is euphemistically described as the departure gate our boat, the Anek Lines, Artemis, arrived on time and we made our way with the handful of fellow passengers to the top deck in the sunshine and as soon as everyone was on board it set off and slipped out of port.

The Artemis, named after the Greek Goddess of the wilderness, the hunt, wild animals and fertility (so quite a spread of responsibility), is a slow boat with a reassuring rhythmic throb of a reliable old engine and we sat in the middle of the boat and took comfort from that.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Sunset Playtime on Greek Island of Amorgos

As the sun begins to set, light must travel farther through the atmosphere before it gets to us and more of the light is reflected and scattered.  As less reaches us directly, the sun appears less bright and the colour of the sun appears to change, first to orange and then to red and this is because even more of the short wavelength blues and greens are now scattered and only the longer wavelengths are left in the direct beam that we can see.

What makes it even more dramatic is that the sky around the setting sun takes on a lot of different colours and the most spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or water because these particles reflect light in all directions and then as some of the light heads towards us, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colours are scattered out and we get to see the longer wavelengths and the sky appears red, pink or orange.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

Sunset Playtime on Greek Island of Amorgos

As the sun begins to set, light must travel farther through the atmosphere before it gets to us and more of the light is reflected and scattered.  As less reaches us directly, the sun appears less bright and the colour of the sun appears to change, first to orange and then to red and this is because even more of the short wavelength blues and greens are now scattered and only the longer wavelengths are left in the direct beam that we can see.

What makes it even more dramatic is that the sky around the setting sun takes on a lot of different colours and the most spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or water because these particles reflect light in all directions and then as some of the light heads towards us, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colours are scattered out and we get to see the longer wavelengths and the sky appears red, pink or orange.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

Driftwood Boat

DIY Holiday Souvenir

It was a pleasant beach with warm sea, golden sand and a gentle breeze which kept the temperature comfortable.  In the shops earlier we had seen some souvenir boats made of drift wood and this gave me an idea.  It would be impossible to take one home given the restrictions on hand luggage so I decided that I would collect the bits of wood and sticks off the beach, take them home and, in an Airfix sort of way, make my own so I set immediately about beachcombing and starting my collection.

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My Personal Greek A to Ω – X (Chi) is for Χώρα or Chora

On holiday on the island of Amorgos we went early one day to the Chora and when the bus arrived in the port it immediately turned round and struggled back up the hill to the top.

The Chora cannot be seen from the sea or from the harbour and this is where, in the past, Amorgans lived, safe from the sea and from hostile attack.  From the outside it doesn’t look especially promising but once inside the walls of the town it is a different matter altogether.  The town turns in on itself in an introspective sort of way and inside there were narrow shady streets and lots of traditional cafés and tavernas.  It was a lazy place where time goes by only very slowly and no one is in a particular hurry about anything.  If this was Naxos or Ios the Chora would have been teeming with shops and fast food places but this was a local town for local people and completely unspoilt by the retinue of tourist shops that can be found on more popular islands.

We explored the streets and climbed to the very top to the redundant windmills that overlook the town and the Venetian castle that is built on top of a rocky outcrop that soars above it and its mass of dazzling white buildings.  There was a good view over most of the island and it was revealed as dusty, barren and devoid of vegetation with a desolate landscape that had been beaten relentlessly into total submission by the scorching summer sun.

Descending through the mazy streets and alleys there was time for a beer with tasty canapés and after that we ambled through the corkscrew streets returning several times to exactly the same place passing by several churches, the castle, blue doors, blue sky, shady vines and friendly cafés and I knew that this was my kind of town.  In and around the tavernas there were lazy cats, which in between trying to look cute for diners with leftovers were concentrating on looking for a shady spot and simply snoozing the day away.

Through the Chora we passed by a charming collection of houses, some old, some new and most with dazzling blue doors.  Some of the older houses had precarious balconies that I wouldn’t trust and it seemed to be sensible to pass by quickly lest they fall at that very moment.  The crooked alleys took us around in circles past kittens playing in a garden and stone walls that looked as though they had been carelessly assembled but had a most pleasing appearance and everywhere vivid red geraniums growing in ad hoc containers of various sizes and descriptions in stoic defiance of the heat and the neglect.

There was a welcoming bar in a little square with rattan cane tables and chairs under leafy trees with books and backgammon available for customers to sit and enjoy and idle some of the day away.  As we were getting accustomed to this pace of life we drank beer and ordered baklava and stayed a while until it was time to go back.  Amorgos is a dreamy timeless sort of place in a sort of 1960s time warp and all around there were lots of aging beardy hippies with ponytails, wearing white linen and flip-flops and carrying sketchpads.  All that was missing was the joss sticks and the candles, the flowers and the guitars.

Before we took the bus back to the village we found a dusty mini-market because we wanted to buy some wine.  It was surprisingly expensive and the information on the labels hard to interpret but at the back of the shop a French couple were passing judgement on a home-made red poured from a plastic bottle.  They declared it to be acceptable so we agreed that if it was good enough for them then it would be perfect for us so we purchased a bottle and took it back to the room and sat on the balcony for a couple of hours and like the island cats wasted the rest of the day away.

Amorgos cat