As you can hopefully see from the video above, I had an idea while laying in bed last night that it’d be cool to make a night lapse video of the sun rising from my hotel balcony. I jumped up and got to work, grabbing my GoPro, tripod and battery pack. Getting the camera set up at the right angle proved rather difficult: I wanted to frame the images to capture the maximum amount of sky without getting any balcony in the foreground. This resulted in my camera being mounted on my small tripod, on top of a wooden footstool from my room, on top of a plastic chair! It must have looked strange had anyone seen it, but the hotel was so quiet I doubt it was noticed. I plugged in my portable USB charger to ensure the battery didn’t die overnight and made the necessary calculations to configure the time-lapse. I wanted to end up with roughly 2 minute’s worth of footage, covering the rest of the night until around 8 am, when the sun should be up.
The result was quite pleasing, although, as you’ll see towards the end, quite a bit of broken cloud was blocking the sun, so it wasn’t as impressive as it might have been. I hope you enjoy it, though.
Anyway, on to my last full day [slightly sad face]. I considered leaving the hotel, perhaps walking into Malia to see the old town and possibly going towards the beach. However, inertia got the better of me, combined with the not-very-enticing prospect of the steep walk back to the hotel in the full sun, so I took the easy option and spent the morning sunbathing and floating around the pool instead. There were a few more people around today, but it’s a large area and never got close to being crowded.
This was another pool bar lunch – pizza and a beer – then back to the pool again.
Laying on my sun lounger, I thought back over my trip and reflected on what I’d done, the people I had met and the places and things I’d seen. It’s been a great holiday: excitement in the months leading up to the trip gradually turned into nerves as the departure date loomed. Concerns such as how well I would cope if something went wrong – like a cancelled ferry – and whether spending 13 days of my trip without a companion would be lonely. Ultimately, these proved unfounded: all my ferries turned up (and nearly all on time, despite the Greeks’ famously relaxed attitude to everything), and I was fortunate to make friends as soon as I left Ed behind on Mykonos and then again on Ios where I was most keen to socialise. It proves that travelling alone is easier than you think, and most people who visit the less mainstream islands are friendly and generous with their time. Had I had the opportunity to make the trip over again, there wouldn’t be much I would change. Mykonos was perhaps the most disappointing, but it’s probably something you have to experience to know whether it’s your kind of place. I don’t regret going, but to me, it didn’t feel very Greek at all: the island is too over-developed and crowded; the roads are too narrow; everything is way too expensive; and it only seems interested in catering for the wealthy jet-set types who have money, time and their expensively-bronzed skin to burn. It would be hard to pick a favourite part of the holiday as it was all so different: hiking with Ed in Andros was a real experience, and I’ve never tasted a better or more well-earned beer than when we finally stopped in Katakoilos; Ios was an unexpected gem, mainly because I had no idea what to expect and was so lucky to meet great people on my first try; Naxos and Paros have a very Greek feel and I’m sure I will go back to explore them further, especially after being ill on Naxos this time around.
Back to the present, though, I left the pool area late afternoon and headed back to my room. This time, after showering, I began re-packing my case for the final time, throwing things in rather haphazardly and with little enthusiasm. On the way to dinner, I stopped by reception to enquire about a transfer to the airport for the next day. A private transfer would cost me 55€, which I thought was a bit steep. Still, it’s a reasonable journey, and a taxi probably wouldn’t be much cheaper, so I went ahead and booked it up – why not have one last bit of luxury before the reality of going home gets too entrenched?
I finally remembered the free appetisers at dinner, so I skipped a starter and had creamy chicken with penne pasta for the main course. It was nice, but sadly, not a patch on the similar dish I had in Oia, watching the Santorini sunset. After food was consumed, it was back to the room and straight to bed.