First time on the small Greek Island of Agistri
As I dredge up memories of sunshine and good food while in the midst of extremely inglorious London weather, it is only fair I set out the context of my first time on the small Greek island of Agistri.
I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, the cultural capital of the country.
Lagos is renowned within it’s national boundaries for good food, great nightlife, and its extremely dodgy police force.
Years of subpar leadership in Nigeria has produced a citizenry well-versed in hopeful pessimism.
This is why I spent my formative years perfecting the art of trying to succeed while simultaneously pricing in disappointment.
This mantra had driven my approach to life, and probably still does.
Everything is taken with a pinch of salt. Expectations are made to be dashed, smashed, and destroyed.
So imagine, to my utter dismay, having my expectations exceeded? Life-shattering.
First time on the Greek island
It started with a short trip, to an island just an hour away from Athens. I had seen the pictures and was ready to have my heart broken. High expectations, below par delivery.
Our transportation (aptly nicknamed the Dolphin) arrived later than scheduled, which was perfectly fine with me. (not a big deal for this Nigerian)
I would have been perfectly happy to arrive at our destination, have a few miserly pints of lager, and retreat indoors.
No stress, no worries.
The view of the sea
Standing on the balcony, breathing in clean air, and staring at clear blue skies, I felt a wave of relaxation and optimism wash through me.
“Maybe I was going to have a decent time off after all”.
I still wanted my pint of trusty ol’ lager.
“Can’t go wrong with that”, I thought to myself.
Lager was the furthest thing on my mind when I arrived at the beach side bar though.
An overwhelming selection of cocktails was run by me and I (quite predictably) selected the tamest option on offer.
It was fabulous. Spending the day there and enjoying exotic cocktails while staring at actual turquoise blue seas, under a 24-degree sun.
Just loving life.
The hunt for lunch and dinner.
Since I was hoping to run through the number of cocktails I had in mind without inducing a coma, it was only prudent to have meal breaks in between.
Hence, we went off searching for something delicious on the Island.
I am happy to report that it was not hard work as there are lots of options available.
The local souvlaki dive. I made light work of 2 wraps of the biggest souvlaki known to man.
The taste of juicy meat, tasty tomatoes, tzatziki, and potato chips wrapped in freshly baked pita bread nearly left me shedding tears of joy.
And although the souvlaki was the greatest, it would be an injustice not to mention the seafood on the island.
You can enjoy some of the best seafood here, accompanied by great wine and a lovely view.
One would expect to part with a tiny ransom as payment. Not the case, the pricing was another treat.
Quality for non-extortionate prices is a movement we can all get behind.
Breakfast: Squeeze yours.
The icing on the cake? The breakfast buffet at the Oasis Beach hotel.
When booking this hotel (through a popular platform) it mentioned ”Exceptional breakfast’‘ instead of the usual ‘‘Breakfast included’‘. To be honest, I did not think too much about it initially.
Well, ladies and gents, when I arrived at the buffet, it all made sense.
The breakfast selection almost felt infinite. There was everything you can imagine and a bit more.
Traditional, continental, wholesome, or american style options where offered and everything was freshly prepared.
After filling myself to the brim, squeezing yet another glassful of fresh orange juice, and rounding off with Greek coffee, I was off for a swim and another day of my island decandence.
Regrets. What regrets?
There was nothing I did not like.
A short trip from Athens, only one hour by boat from Piraeus port. Everything within walking distance, friendly locals, and fantastic food. Bliss.
I left the island with a smile on my face and all expectations surpassed.
Occasionally in life, expectations are blown out of the water.
My trip to Agistri was one of those times, and it’s one I can heartily recommend to anyone seeking a short getaway.
Kingsley Odogwu is a guest contributor.
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