Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Final Split Photos

Final Split Photos

I could go on all month about our wonderful holiday to Croatia, but I know you’re keen to get back to my day-to-day Symi news. So, today, I will just mention a few more highlights and then put up a selection of photos for you to browse over the weekend. Then, come Monday, we should be back to Symi news – as I see it. I must get out and about with the camera, as all my recent photos have been shots from the window. But that’s for Monday…

Split, Croatia

Krka National Park for my birthday

I promised to tell you the ‘gravedigger’ story, so here it is in a nutshell. We called into an off-license a couple of times and, as with everywhere, found the two staff there young, helpful and friendly. As we didn’t have a corkscrew at our hotel (and didn’t like to disturb the receptionist for one because we are British), we asked the young chap in the wine shop to open the bottle, which he did. On our third visit, he was busy in the back room, and the young lady served us. We asked her if she could open it for us, but she only had one of those ‘impossible to use unless you are a wine waiter’ things that I’ve never got the hang of. Neither could she, so she called to her colleague in the stockroom. You don’t need to understand Croat or any language to get a gist in a situation like this, so when she called, ‘Hej, Grobber, dođite i otvorite ovu bocu!’* we knew what she was saying. Neil, picking up on his name, and because we had all bonded over the days, added jokily, ‘Ella, Grobber! Give us a hand,’ or something.

Split, Croatia

The Olive Tree of Split

The poor girl behind the counter practically fell into her Merlot rack and had to grip the counter she was laughing so much. We were slightly mystified but instantly knew we’d said something wrong. The young chap appeared from the stock room and wondered what the laughter was about. She repeated what Neil had said, and we had two hysterical assistants on our hands. When the laughter calmed, we were able to learn that ‘Grobber’ (as we heard it) is a colloquial word used much in the same way as ‘malaka’ in Greek. Fine with your mates, ‘Hello me old *ucker!’ But not so good with people you don’t know, ‘Hey, *ucker, come and open this bottle,’ was fine for her, but they weren’t expecting Neil to use the word so fluently. No-one was offended, we all had a good laugh, and the word ‘Grobber’ has entered our vocabulary. Apparently, it means ‘gravedigger’ or something that comes from the root ‘Grob’, the Croat word for grave.

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View from the hill

Our holiday continued with several more treats: a walk up Marjan Hill, a day out for my birthday to the Krka National Park (waterfalls and lakes), a visit to Trogir, walks in the sun, many a good meal, a private guided tour of some Game Of Thrones locations in Split, and generally enjoying the town and doing as little as possible. There was a surprise on my birthday. The hotel, having noted my date of birth when I checked in, and realising it was a special day, made me a surprise birthday cake for breakfast, complete with firework candle. Now, how special was that? I know a few places around here that could do with upping their customer care in this kind of subtle but meaningful way. (And I know several that already do.)

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Split

The journey back was an interesting one. Lazy morning, smart taxi to the airport, easy check-in… All a bit overshadowed by the 45 minutes we had to change planes in Munich. The transfer had started off as one hour when I booked, plenty of time as it was all with Lufthansa. Over time, the flight times changed slightly, and we were down to 45 minutes. Still just enough time. Then the plane from Split was 20 minutes late taking off – giving us 20 minutes. ‘Should be long enough, it’s a connecting flight, the planes won’t be far from each other…’ We landed as our next flight was boarding over at terminal K 33, or somewhere we hoped was close. ‘Where’s Gate K 33, please?’ ‘Down there, right to the end, downstairs, get on the train, across the other side, up and right down to the end…’ We were running before he’d finished his description. Along, left, down, onto a train, off a train, up, along and we arrived at our gate two minutes before it was due to close, only to find it was delayed by thirty minutes. Good exercise though.

Krka National Park for my birthday

Birthday cake and candle surprise from our hotel

We made it back to Athens, spent another night in the airport hotel and then, the next day, took the bus to Piraeus. Now that’s a journey you might want to know about – how to get from Athens airport to the Blue Star Patmos and on to Symi, but I will save that for next week. I’ve gone on long enough now, and all that remains is to thank everyone who gave us the gift of a honeymoon and to leave you with some random images from the 900 we took while we are away. Back on Monday with, I hope, blogs about Symi!

Krka National Park for my birthday

Bearnapped by Roman guards

*(Btw, for those of you who read Croat, that translation was from Google so may only be 0.5% accurate.)

Krka National Park for my birthday

Protecting Paddington

Krka National Park for my birthday

Holiday bear

Split, Croatia

Krka National Park for my birthday

Split, Croatia

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A Croatian starter

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Granddad and bear waiting for a show

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Hotel Murum

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Just so you know

Split, Croatia

Paddington has his own seat from Split to Munich