We are in Greece. Unbelievable. We have both been to Greece several times, but we haven't seen much more than a hotel complex. Beni is really looking forward to his beloved gyros, a pita bread filled with meat, chips, tomatoes and tzatziki. And with the gyros we also learn right away how it works here with touristy and less touristy regions. The price for a gyros in a small village is 2.50 euros, in a tourist town it is 1o euros for the same menu... Welcome to beautiful and touristy Greece!
We start our trip to Greece with a Corona quick test at the Greek border. Despite vaccination, everyone is tested there when entering from Albania. The trust in the neighbouring country does not seem to be very high in this respect. It is the first, but probably not the last test on our trip and, as expected, both tests turn out negative.
For once, we have a very clearly defined destination in Greece in terms of time and place. The Hotel Aldemar and the "Ferien am Meer" are calling. We have been there many times before, as guests and as staff. Many familiar faces and our parents are waiting for us there. The joy of seeing them again motivates us and gives us wings, or at least strong thighs.
Before that, we decide to make a detour via the island of Kefalonia. To reach it, we have to cross an underwater tunnel, but unfortunately this is forbidden for cyclists and pedestrians. We knew this from blogs and also that it is easily doable with hitchhiking. All beginnings are difficult and we have to overcome ourselves a bit to stick out our thumbs, especially because we have quite a lot of luggage with us. It takes about 30 minutes until a car with a trailer and an Austrian number stops. We gratefully accept and learn on the way that he is on his way to a garden center and therefore had an empty trailer. We pass through the tunnel and the driver takes us a little further. In retrospect, we are grateful, because we would have had to take a bigger diversions because of a road works. We say thank you and cycle on towards the harbour, where the ferry takes us to Kefalonia.
We spend our first evening on the island in a beautiful little bay near the village. We ask at the beach bar if it is okay to camp here overnight. The answer is no problem. The next day we cross the island. The interior is a bit hilly with small villages, then on the coast there is the most beautiful view of the sea, whose turquoise colour is the most intense we have seen so far. We enjoy the winding road and stop here and there to take in the stunning sight. While doing so, we discover a futuristic oversized yacht. It attracts everyone's attention and one wonders which celebrity has treated himself to a little pleasure here... On the other side of the island we stay on a camping site for a few days. Here we are not the only ones with bikes. We meet a total of 3 other couples or people who are also on the road with two-wheelers. It is fun to have a chat with like-minded people.
Back on the mainland, almost nothing can stop us, not even the strong headwind. Our destination is a beach only a few kilometres away from the Hotel Aldemar. We want to spend the night there and then show up early at the hotel the next morning. A closed beach bar is the meeting place for the villagers. We wait until it gets dark and when the last people disappear, we set up camp for the night directly in front of the bar on the deck chairs. All is well until the owner of the bar shows up. Of course we ask whether it is permitted for us to spend the night here and once again the answer is yes. He had already heard that we were here and had just forgotten to switch on the light. Then he brings us schnapps and crisps so that we can have a cosy evening, unbelievable! So we sleep under the open sky directly in front of a beach bar, which fortunately shields us from the bright light.
The next morning we pack our stuff in a hurry. We look forward to seeing family and friends again, the hotel room, the buffet, the shower, doing nothing. The last few metres are quickly covered and we reach the familiar Hotel Aldemar. The doorman is a little taken aback, but lets us in with a grin after finding us on the list. Not everyone travels to a 4-star hotel with a fully packed bicycle. It feels a bit like coming home. We know the facility, the programme and many people who are there. There's a warm welcome and we are a bit overwhelmed by the many familiar faces.
We enjoy 5 days in pure luxury for ourselves. No pitching and taking down the tent, eating from a big buffet, no worrying about water supplies, a bed and lots of time for beach volley, chatting etc. At first we are almost overwhelmed with all the time, the last times here at the Aldemar we were always there as staff and therefore fully occupied. But we play a lot of beach volley, spikeball, attend the church services, enjoy the time with our parents and chat with many people. We can fully recharge during these days and are ready for further adventures with our steel steeds.