I’m back! My annual holiday to Greece is, unfortunately, over for another year. I now have to get used to living in the UK again – clouds and rain instead of Sun; no more early morning runs to the bakery to practice my Greek; and no more eating out. Until next year.
This year we returned to the small village of Σύβοτα (Sivota). This is the third time that we have visited Sivota; we first went in 2005, returning for the second time in 2008. We passed through the area briefly last year, on the boat from Corfu. Travelling with Olympic Holidays, we were staying in the Mourtemeno Hotel; our first time in this particular hotel.
We were very busy – trying to get done in one week what we’d normally do in two. We’ve rented a little motor boat – a ‘βάρκα’ – for a day, spent lazy days on the beach, visited the Acheron river, the ancient site of Kassopi, and, of course, we’ve been eaten out in the local tavernas in the evenings.
But, before the holiday could start properly, we had to actually get there…
Drama At the Airport
We flew out there last Thursday, after a 4 hour delay at Gatwick. When we were told it was ‘weather related’, we assumed that it was the thunderstorms in Preveza which we’d seen on the forecast. In fact, it was fog in Manchester. The plane stays in Greece on Wednesday nights and is the first flight in to Manchester on a Thursday morning. Last week, however, the fog meant that it got diverted to Liverpool – and all the passengers and the new crew had to be bussed to Liverpool before they could get on the plane.
From there, the plane left for Preveza and arrived 4 hours late. It then comes in to Gatwick – and arrived 4 hours late. Our 15:05 flight ended up taking off at 19:45 last Thursday evening. We landed at 01:00 (Greek time) on Friday morning, 26c outside, and finally arrived in our hotel just after 3am.
This 4 hour delay turned out to be nothing compared to the delay the people on the final flight of the day – Preveza to Manchester – suffered. After we landed, they opened the doors. I heard Greek voices: people shouting. Something to do with the door not working. They then asked everyone to disembark from the back of the aircraft, and as we walked across the tarmac to the terminal building we could see that the door was only half open, engineers crowded round it, and I’m sure it looked like the emergency slide had partially deployed accidentally.
About an hour later on the coach, our rep, Avis, came over the tannoy to announce that the time of our welcome meetings would have to be changed. ‘They’ve done something to the plane. And now it can’t leave. And that means I’ve got to go back to the Airport‘. This was because of the problem with the door.
Mum was sat behind Avis on the coach, and heard all her phone calls – apparently they would either have to wait for another plane to come out from Gatwick, or wait for the engineers to come out. In the mean time, the passengers and crew were having to be sent to hotels for the night. Bearing in mind this is 2am, and the coaches were in use – we were on them.
They finally left for Manchester at 14:20 on Friday afternoon – 14 hours after we had landed (on top of the original 4 hour delay)! I heard a couple of days later that they’d already started boarding before it was decided that they couldn’t leave.
And all because some crew member was a little too heavy-handed opening the door!
Here’s an interactive map showing where Sivota is in relation to Preveza Airport; zoom in and out to see where in Greece they are.
View Sivota 2012 – Σύβοτα 2012 in a larger map
More About Sivota
Over the next few days I’ll be posting more stuff about Sivota – about the things we did and the places we’ve been to. Keep checking back! I’ll also be posting a few photos as well.
If you want to know more about the area (perhaps you’re going to the area soon and want a bit of travel advice), feel free to e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.