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Greece (Skopelos)

A tour of our studio apartment in Greece

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Here’s what €40-80 will get you on Skopelos Island, depending on time of year

I thought it might be interesting to write a post about our lodging here in Skopelos Town, sometimes called the Chora, on Skopelos Island in Greece.

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Here’s our front door.

We’re staying in a room that sleeps three people at Mayorka Studios, which is located just a three-minute walk down the hill from Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (Skopart). This is the arts center where my husband Mitch is pursuing a three-week artist’s residency.

The studio we’re staying in runs €40-80 night, depending on the time of year. July and August are the most expensive times; it varies greatly after that. In addition, if you come to the island to participate in a Skopart artist residency, your rates may be lower.

Mayorka Studios comprises twelve units perched high on the hill that overlooks Skopelos Town below. In fact, if you look in the picture below, you can see the apartments in the extreme upper left corner. They are not white, but instead are painted a light coral color and have red tile roofs.

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You can see Mayorka Studios in the very top left of this picture, right along the edge.

Our room has a king-size bed and a twin. It also has a limited kitchen with a few pots and pans, an ice cold fridge, double sink, a small two-burner stove, …

and a kettle that boils water in no time flat.

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The entrance. You can park on the lot there by the scooter, but no one here right now has a car.

The kitchen has the main appliances we need, but not a microwave or oven; however, I don’t think that microwaves are as popular here as they are in the U.S. As for the oven, yes, I would like to have one of those–even more so than a microwave, actually– but oh, well. My daughter’s apartment during her first internship in Venice didn’t have an “oh-ven” either.

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Rather plain Jane, but perfectly adequate.

The kitchen also contains the basic utensils needed, but we did have to go buy a sharp serrated knife for slicing tomatoes. (We have Greek salads with nearly every meal to make sure we get our daily allowance of feta cheese.)

The bathroom has a small shower and a hand-held shower head that hangs over the faucet. The shower at our AirBnb in Athens featured this same type of shower setup, so it must be common here. It’s a little awkward to get used to… you’re never just standing under flowing water. You have to hold the shower head. Kind of a pain. Man, am I a whiner or what?!

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And now for the other angle.

The toilet functions, except for “the rule.”

That would be the “never flush paper” rule, which was also awkward to get used to. Flush NO paper, not even the dirtiest paper? Nope. Apparently, it clogs up the pipes. So, instead of tossing your paper into the toilet, you just toss it into the lidded trashcan. I noticed this same rule at a hillside restaurant near the Acropolis in Athens. That place had a large lidded basket for the used paper. IMG_9411

Our king-size bed is very comfortable and firm. There are plenty of good pillows also. The place is spotless thanks to the housekeeper who drops in every morning around 10.

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Yep, that’s a bathroom. Notice “washing machine” next to toilet.

The TV (an old tube version) doesn’t seem to work. I suspect that the batteries in one of the remote controls are dead; however, I still can’t seem to get the little black box that sits on top of the TV to be friends with the actual TV.

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Shower with hand-held faucet. This was a new one for me.

But it doesn’t really matter, since the one night I was able to get something to watch, it was a soccer game with a Greek-speaking commentator (duh). So it was no great loss, but still. I get a kick out of watching TV when I’m in another country. I think it’s fun to learn what people in different countries are interested in,  their perspectives and priorities.

As for laundry, we wash it by hand.

Yes, you read that right. In fact, there’s a lime green plastic washtub wedged between the toilet and the wall specifically for the purpose. We take the tub, put it on the floor of the shower, turn on the water, sprinkle in some powdered Tide for handwashing and get to washing.

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The housekeeper dries the sheets in the breeze.

Then we rinse (sometimes in the tub, sometimes just in running water) and hang the wet duds on the clothesline on our balcony just like everyone else.

 

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Outside our door

It works really pretty well, and yes, saves a lot of energy. I can handle not having a dryer, but a washer really would be nice. Our place in Athens had one, and even though we were there for only two nights, we washed a load of laundry. (And honestly, I do think it might be a little unusual to not have one in our unit.)

So even though we handwash our own clothes, can’t flush toilet paper, and the TV doesn’t work, this place is still the bomb. And that’s because…

it’s all about the balcony.

The view is absolutely incredible. In fact, who needs a TV when you have a front row seat to the best show in town all day and all night?

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View from the balcony

Watching the ferries, tour cruises, and boats of all shapes and sizes sail in, unload, and sail back out will probably be one of my best memories from this entire trip. We can also see people way down there walking up and down the harbor front street. And late at night, when the balcony doors are open (and they usually are, because it’s quiet and safe up here), you can hear live Greek folk music rising on the breeze from the Paganitsa Tower taverna. It’s heavenly.

I guess you could argue that the balcony is our only sitting area, however. You’d be right. There is no indoor dining area, for example, or an easy chair to sit in.

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If you stand along the railing on the balcony, this is the view of the town to the right of the port.

Last Saturday night, during the second night of the music and dance festival, when students were showcasing their modern dance routines, someone must have been performing to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Those crazy-good chords floated up from the performance at the City School down below…

another nice memory.

So, except when we’re in the kitchen fixing meals, if we’re in the apartment, then we’re on the balcony sitting in the two wicker rattan love seats, looking out at the Aegean Sea, and maybe sipping a glass of wine. There’s a glass-topped table there and that’s where we have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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This just shows the top of the apartments. Notice the solar water heater on the top unit. Each unit has one of these. Hottest water ever!

We’ve dined out only twice in the week and a half that we’ve been here. We head to the grocery store downtown (or catch a ride with friends from Skopart) whenever we need to pick up a few things. I know we’ll eat out a few more times eventually, but I’m perfectly fine with eating in, shopping at the little market, and buying just what we really need for that day.

That seems to be the way they do things here.

 

 

 

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Mitch walking down to our apartment. 
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Right outside our door. Almost to the killer stairs… see next photo.
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A shot of the studios from down below on the stairs that descend all the way into Skopelos Chora. These stairs are killers. Wear good shoes. Walk slowly so your knees aren’t jarred with every step. You’ll get very fit just walking around Skopelos on a daily basis.

 


Thanks for reading! I thought it would be interesting to show our digs while we’re on Skopelos Island in Greece. The rates for lodging are highest in July-August; however, Greece is still relatively inexpensive compared to other locales. Click “like” if you found this interesting and feel free to leave a comment.  If you’ve stayed in Greece before, what was your experience like? 

By marilynyung

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

4 replies on “A tour of our studio apartment in Greece”

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