The trusty Blue Star Patmos brings us into Tilos before 9am. From the deck I can already see that Livadia looks very different to how it was 17 years ago. At the time, work on the pier extension was in mid flow.
We were surprised to see a man at the port holding a sign up for our accommodation – Sevas Studios. We didn’t expect this for our budget accommodation. Me, my trustee band of three and a lovely French lady called Christine are guided up the steep, steep hill to Sevas Studios. It looked a short walk on Google maps – and it is – but uphill!
We were prepared to leave our bags at reception (a little out-building next to the studios) until our rooms were ready but it appeared that our rooms were ready – or rather some rooms were ready. The man that had escorted us up the hill handed us over to Sevas who’s English was very limited. After standing by the little out- building for 20 minutes, Sevas signalled for us to follow her around to the back of the studios. She showed us one room that she had clearly been in the process of cleaning. I explained to her that we had booked two sea view studios – but she didn’t understand. Luckily another guest sitting on his terrace translated for us – I showed her the booking confirmation but she shrugged he shoulders. This kind of conversation went on for some time until my sister relented and accepted a small room on the top floor without the facilities we’d requested. Eventually my husband and I were given the front view studio that we had booked.
Sevas indicated for us to bring in our suitcases. She would be back to clean the room later. The large, shared terrace was roasting hot as the heat reflected off the ceramic tiles outside. Although our studio didn’t have a parasol, I’d brought my rather flimsy one from Kassos. At least it provided us with a little shade whilst we waited. It appeared that Sevas is a one woman band when it comes to cleaning the rooms – an awful lot of work for one person. Whilst Sevas changed the bedding, my husband grabbed the mop and did the floors for her which caused her some hilarity. In her broken English she told him “Next year – you work here!”
We spent the rest of the morning getting ourselves sorted. Our studio had a washing machine – a real luxury so we took advantage of it and got several loads of washing done – and dried – thanks to the heat on the terrace.
In the afternoon we take a walk down to the port and the beach.
Tilos has changed. I remember that a road ran along the back of the beach but now in its place is a row of beach front tavernas and café’s which makes for a much quieter lay on the beach! Whereas visitors to Tilos used to be predominantly Italian, as I stroll along the front it is the British accent that I can mainly hear – from the North and the South and the East and the West! Maybe the modernisation and commercialism of Tilos no longer suits the Italians. I must say that it probably no longer suits me.
That evening we eat in Blue Sky Taverna. From our vantage point overlooking the port, I could see a commemoration of the completion of the harbour extension laid out in a panel of ‘hohlakia’ on the harbour floor. It is dated 2002. This confirms that I was here last in 2001 – though time does play tricks on the mind! I also know it was 2001 when I came here first because at the time I wrote a diary – my partner writing one day and I the other.
My diary from 2001 tells a story of an encounter with a local man that my partner met whilst walking up in Microchorio. Through an incident where my partner rescued a goat, we ended up being invited to his little taverna. This is a funny story that has a very sad and tragic ending but during this trip I feel compelled to find the little taverna to see if it matches my memory of it and also to get my bearings a little. Tomorrow the mission begins!
We received great hospitality at Blue Sky Taverna and great food!
We have 5 nights on Tilos so we grab an early night to enable us to get an early start in the morning where we plan to catch the bus to Microchorio.