Greek spontaneity, i.e. in 4 to Lefkada
After returning home after an exceptionally cold day, I dreamed of a hot bath. When I poured a few drops of olive oil into the bathtub, I remembered my September trip to Greece. It leaves me a bottle of excellent oil and a lot of memories of the blue of the water so amazing that you smile at the very thought of bathing there.
My memory went back to the moment I got out of my car at a gas station in Macedonia and went straight into the wall of hot air. It was only then that I felt that I was really on vacation. We've felt it before, taking as much as possible through Slovakia (but with common sense, being aware of what amounts they write on the tickets there). We also felt in Hungary, which always terrified me that I did not understand a single word on the billboards I passed. But I actually realized it right there, at a Macedonian gas station.
For a meeting with an adventure
First things first. We arrived in the Serbian capital in the evening, after a day filled with pleasures like "If you don't stop, I'll pee!" alternating with "We'll make a stop in an hour", consumption of sandwiches with increasingly fanciful shapes (because it's hot) and skirmishes about the type of music played. By the way, I will discover America by saying that you can see the difference between vacationers traveling by PKP and those with their own car. Taught with the experience of many years of wandering by trains, half of the team packed into a medium-sized bag on wheels, a backpack and a handbag, while the other - into a giga-suitcase, taking up most of the trunk. Lest it were, no one put socks next to the bed, no one washed clothes in the river, no flies flew behind anyone.
After finding the hostel and refreshing ourselves, we went out into the city to fill our stomachs. Today I know that the lazy pays double and I will repeat to everyone: remember to change the currency! The natives ripped us off happily, converting denarii into euros so that it physically hurt. But at least the drunk one bought on the Knez Mihailova promenade was delicious - everyone ate until their ears were shaking. Funny, the taste of Greek Belgrade pita could not be matched by any Greek pita from Greece afterwards. This one, bought late at night on a street lined with old trams, was the best.
Belgrade did not impress me. Maybe because I was tired and dreamed of a dream, or maybe because of ... a stench. The main streets smelled of junk food, and all you had to do was turn into a side street to find an open container. We were especially surprised by the sight of one at the cathedral of St. Sawy. A beautifully illuminated, huge white building with a golden dome, and right next to it - a container.
I will remember a night walk around the Serbian capital as a mixture of surprise that after 10 pm the park is still full of young people (including max 12-year-old heads) and fascination with the city, where the eyes wander from the ruins of bombed buildings to glass buildings, and right next to quieter, darker Its nooks and crannies are teeming with life, vibrate with neon lights, ring with mugs. Our hostel was located near the center, but on the way to it you could get lost 10 times (which we did). The streets were quiet, narrow (I was wondering how they got out of there) and terribly dark.
I am aware that Belgrade has many faces and I only saw a fraction. But this is how I will remember it - with a slight hint of decay hovering above the garbage cans, with the buzzing of the fans visible at the windows, with the stuffiness. The rickety bus also stuck in my mind, and I watched anxiously, pondering when its fender, chassis, or door fell off.
I wrote that I was wondering how the people of Belgrade leave the narrow streets? At the time, I did not know what awaited us in Greece. We would have reached the hostel in Lefkada much faster, if not for the windiness of the streets. Another piece of advice: don't blindly believe navigation! Ours tried to drive us astray several times, and once she almost succeeded. Throughout our stay, we found out over and over again that the street can be even more winding, even steeper, even more narrow. And how much fun was evasive! There is a wall on one side and a chasm on the other - no coffee needed. I recommend it to lovers of strong sensations, especially those in large cars.
With these breaknecks on the road, Lefkada is demanding, and it must be honestly admitted that not everyone suits it. When we traveled around the island, I was simply afraid that we would not make it when we passed. You had to go back several times to let the car in the opposite direction pass. But the Greek beauty was able to repay the stress behind the wheel. We could stand at the top of the stairs to Porto Katsiki , see Egremni from a bird's eye view and choke on its blue. The other beaches were beautiful too, but these two completely overshadowed the later views. And it didn't matter that long, murderous stairs led to both.
Our vacation in Lefkada was pure joy of sunbathing, a celebration of the amazing azure water and its delightful temperature. In the meantime, there were also trips to the city (especially to Lefkada) and getting to know the attractions of Vasiliki, where we stayed. However, everyone was mainly focused on what the island had the most beautiful - the beaches. We made sure that you come to relax and catch a tan.
The charms of Vasiliki
Despite the off-season, the promenade in Vasiliki was difficult to walk, especially in the evenings. You had to wait for a table in the most popular restaurants, which could be irritating for extremely hungry people. As for the food itself, I fell in love with Greek yogurt (but with honey, not fruit), which is divinely cooling - especially after a day at the beach. However, nectarines were the undisputed number 1 . Delicious, juicy, soft, fragrant so that the knees soften. If I could, I would have unpacked the entire trunk with them. The disappointment of the trip was ... Greek salad. As for me, these are chopped vegetables placed on one plate, but not forming a coherent whole. Plus a feta square like a star at the top of a Christmas tree. It didn't buy me.
I liked the atmosphere in the town. It seemed that nobody in Vasiliki was in a hurry and everyone was friendly. The staff of the cafe did not push to the tables intrusively, and when you chose a specific place, the service was pleasant, but not too slow. It was a pleasure to sip wine, enjoy dinner by the shore, listen to the splash of water and watch the cats gracefully dash between the tables. I smile at this memory ...
The week had passed painfully fast and it was time to go back. We said goodbye to the beaches of Lefkada, to cats with elongated mouths, to a toilet where you had to watch out for toilet paper (don't throw it into the shell!) And nectarines. We got into the car, threw ourselves into the whirlwind of road serpentines and returned to the mainland.
Where is the fuel cheapest?
By the way. As a passenger, I did not attach much importance to the prices at gas stations - I was mainly interested in whether there were queues for toilets in them. In order to know where we spent the least on fuel, I had to turn to the source, the driver, for help. In technical matters, I am a stereotypical woman ("What kind of car would you like?", "Nice"), so the sentence "I have a diesel with 1.9 TDI engine" tells me absolutely nothing. Who knows, will know what's going on.
The examples show the best, so let me just write where we refueled. The first feeding of the vehicle took place in Chyżne. Full refueling plus vignettes (Slovak and Hungarian) amounted to less than PLN 434. Later, in Boshino Selo in Macedonia, we paid 70 euros (then 1 euro = 4.25 zlotys) and it was the most advantageous price. There was enough fuel for all planned trips plus an additional, spontaneous one to Meteora. We were already returning to the country, and to see Meteora, we drove an additional 70 km (previously we planned the way back differently). We refueled several dozen kilometers behind them, unfortunately I did not note how much. The last time we filled the tank in Serbia, near the border with Hungary - and it was the most expensive there (approx. 73 euro).
With these meticulous calculations, I end the story of an island where you have to climb narrow roads to reach the beaches. Where Greek yoghurt melts in your mouth, creating a filling dessert with honey, perfect for the heat. I recommend Lefkada to everyone who loves nectarines. And the cats.
A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)