Wednesday, 7th September 2022
Budget Breakfast and Early Ferry
We woke to a 6:30 a.m. alarm before our 8 a.m. ferry to Sifnos. A quick shower and we were heading downstairs to breakfast with our luggage in tow, all ready to go as soon as we’d eaten. The hotel breakfast at Lilia Hotel was underwhelming, but some bread, juice and coffee were enough to get me going.
The walk to gate E9 at Piraeus took us just under 15 minutes, arriving at 7:30 a.m. I was surprised to see so many people queuing to board already – perhaps I should know better by now how popular this route is, and the morning ferries are usually the busiest. Using my initiative and knowledge of how Greek ferry boarding tends to work (i.e. it’s chaos), we slipped around the side of the throng of people jostling to get onto the gangway and managed to get our suitcase stowed and ticket scanned in no time.
I’d been forced to buy expensive business class tickets yesterday, as they were the only available ones. The plus side was that we had some lovely large leather seats in a small cabin near the upper rear corner of the ferry.
Unfortunately, the sea was a bit choppy once we cleared the tip of mainland Greece and hit open water. Marion had been sleeping, but upon waking, she felt pretty ill and became sick in the toilets. We’d both taken travel sickness tablets, but mine seemed to work better, and I felt surprisingly good. The waves calmed down fairly quickly, and the rest of the journey passed without incident.
When Kamares Harbour came into view, my excitement grew at spending more time on my favourite island. We docked just before 11 a.m. and were soon wheeling our luggage down the small main street.
Snack, Hotel, Beach
It was a bit early to check into our hotel, so we stopped at Cafe Stavros (my favourite breakfast spot from my first visit to Sifnos in 2020) for a drink and a snack. We both had chocolate crepes while I had a beer, and Marion went for a Fanta Lemon.
Having learnt the hard way that ferry tickets were getting booked quickly, I went to the travel office to buy our return tickets for Sunday. I was concerned as the FerryHopper website reported that they were sold out, but we had no trouble getting them for the regular price, not business class!
At midday, we walked across to Hotel Boulis and managed to get checked in early. It was my third time staying there, and the owner, Lyn, warmly welcomed us. We quickly changed into beach gear and unpacked a few essentials, then headed out to relax on my favourite beach in Greece!
Choosing sunbeds at Kyma Cafe, we relaxed for a while. Unfortunately, the day was partly cloudy and not as warm as I was used to, but we made the best of it. After a dip in the lovely calm waters of Kamares Bay, we moved to a table for a late lunch. I had a burger while Marion chose a club sandwich. The food wasn’t great, though, and I remembered that the previous year, my parents and I had determined that the place next door, To Kohyli, had the better food, so I made a note to go there tomorrow instead.
Apollonia Bus Trip
The unexpected cloudy weather resulted in an impromptu bus trip to Apollonia, as we both agreed it wasn’t worth staying at the beach. So, after a quick shower back at the hotel, we walked to the bus stop and caught the 3:30 p.m. bus to the island’s capital.
Apollonia is pretty quiet during the daytime, but it was nice to stroll along the narrow, painted streets and do some window shopping. Marion especially enjoyed some of the boutique jewellery shops! Sadly, most of the shops were closed for siesta time, so we were back at the bus stop within an hour, waiting for the next return service to Kamares. When we discovered this wasn’t until 6 p.m., I suggested we take a taxi instead to avoid hanging around. It cost €12, which wasn’t terrible, though it’s barely a 10-minute ride.
Nap Time and Belated Birthday Dinner
We both napped back at the hotel, tired from our early start and travelling – for some reason, I find moving islands exhausting even when it’s just a short ferry crossing. For dinner, I’d booked a table at the hotel’s restaurant, Kafenes, which has a good reputation on the island. I’d eaten there before and loved it.
As it was Marion’s birthday yesterday, but we didn’t have a chance to celebrate properly in Piraeus, I’d asked Lyn if she could put stuffed tomatoes on the menu as it’s Marion’s favourite Greek dish. Sure enough, it was there when we sat down and checked the menu. We had a fantastic meal: I had an excellent moussaka and shared some homemade bread and tzatziki.
Despite the weather, it had been a great day, and we were both looking forward to my parents’ arrival tomorrow.