Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7







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Saved on Sifnos

Part 7: A room with a view

Next morning, we trekked back to Apostolos's little hotel to claim our promised room. He showed us to Room 5 which was furnished in Greek beat-up basic. The doors stuck, the cupboards didn't shut, the taps dripped, the furniture wobbled and the drains blocked up regularly, but it was homey, and comfortable as an old shoe. We loved it. A tiny balcony overlooked a view to die for. The entire valley was laid out below us like a spread sheet, the white houses of Apollonia spilling down the slopes like sugar cubes, caught in patches of brilliant sunshine which suffused them with yellow and pink. Terraces of vines and olives and well tended vegetable gardens layered the hillsides. It was magic.

We sat on the terrace again for dinner that night in the warm, balmy air, our rickety table propped level with a bit of folded cardboard under one leg. Apostolos served us fried vegetable balls, stuffed eggplants with cheese topping and veal in the pot - a feast. He threw in a carafe of homemade wine from his family's tiny terraced vineyard.

He grinned at us. "I said 'Don't worry', didn't I."

The scent of jasmine was particularly sweet that night. I remember how it hung in the warm air - the very fragrance of Greek summer. Later, too tired for bed, we sat on our balcony and contemplated the great blackness of the heavens sprinkled with stars, while the valley below talked to itself, cats played in the rolled bales of hay beneath us, and a tinkle of goat bells came from the top of the hill.

We've returned on many occasions to Apostolos and his hotel. We always have Room 5. The furniture hasn't changed, although the bathroom's had a face lift and we now have TV, air-con and a safe. The view from the balcony hasn't changed either, picture perfect as ever. And we never travel through Greece in the middle of August without booking first.

HE, 2003, Australia

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