Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Dream Down a Backstreet

As is our habit, we ended up strolling the streets of Gennadi, just 4km fro our house, the other day. I've posted a few photos of the village before, but here are some more...

As you can see, very crowded...

This and the photo below is the terrace at Effie's Dreams. More about this in the text after the photos.

You could be forgiven for thinking the place is a ghost town at around 11.30am

Time here to throw one's arms in the air and admit, we've lived here all these years and once or twice gazed upon Effie's Dreams from a distance, but never actually gone there. TBH, the main reason was because we'd always heard that it was a bit of a hangout for ex-pat Brits and (sorry to offend anyone here) we dont' "do" the ex-pat fraternity thing.

Anyway, last Saturday we'd walked Gennadi for a while, dropping by to see a few local folk we knew just briefly, when we decided it was high time we partook of a frappé. So, almost by accident we turned the corner and there was Effie's Dreams. It didn't, however, look the same. It looked far more traditional than we remembered and, dare I say, quite inviting, even though it's not a place for people-watching as it's tucked away down a narrow lane that leads out of the village through some olive groves.

As I understand it, Effie herself is paraplegic and can only get around using a motorised wheelchair. You can see her in the second of those photos above. We actually thought it would be nice to have a talk with her, but she had company, so it would have to wait for another time. The family has been touched by tragedy, as her brother (we think, but we'll ask when it's an appropriate moment so time) was killed in a road accident and it was he who used to support her the most in practical ways. Nevertheless, the place looked good and so we sat down and waited to be served. I deduce that the woman is very capable and independent and I take my hat off to her.

I know I've gone on about this before, but this is what's so civilised about Mediterranean countries. You sit down and someone comes to your table to serve you. In a place as tucked away as this one could have easily expected to have to go inside and order but, no, here was a very likeable young bearded fellow arriving at the table, pencil and pad in hand. We ordered our frappés and off he went.

I know, I'm getting long in the tooth and perhaps I'm losing my memory regarding how when you're young you try really hard to fit in, even if it involves following fashions or trends that are simply ridiculous. I still remember vividly though (how could I forget?) wearing loon pants with flairs that were so wide that I actually tripped myself up whilst running to catch a bus in Southdown Road, Bath when I must have been around sixteen or seventeen. I hit the pavement (sidewalk, guys) really hard and was fortunate not to knock a tooth out or break an arm or possibly my neck (some would wish...), but was able to get up, limp to the bus and get on, whilst thirty or so other passengers all looked on with glee. Great eh? I'm sure that such experiences are what have scarred me for life. I can't talk about it any more OK?

Going back to what sparked this off. Trends and young folk. It was while watching the Six Nations Rugby a year ago last February-March that I first noticed this growing trend for young fellas to sport great bushy beards. At first I thought that members of the Amish had perhaps been born in Wales and were thus eligible to play for the national side. Or maybe since the fishing industry is on the wane, eh? 

Anyway, then we were in Naxos in April 2014 and it was as though the whole island was crawling with orthodox priests! Sitting in a café you could have whipped out your pruning shears and shaved enough hair to stuff a showroom full of sofas. It's just me OK? But I hate 'em. Not the blokes behind them of course, but they do all look like sheep to me. Plus I wouldn't want to buy shares in Gillette right now, it's all I'm saying.

So, as kind of expected, our "waiter" sported his regulation bushy beard, thus placing him in the under 30 age-group. Plus he was far too good looking (that part of him you could actually see of course) for his own good and it's at times like these when I wish my wife looked her age. See, my insecurities again. Goes back to my teenage years. Curse whoever invented loon pants.

Here she is on an evening stroll just last week...

Stop it, woman, for goodness sake.
So, as our waiter deposited the coffees on the table we asked him a question or two about Effie's Dreams. Why did it look different, for example? Was it just us? No, he told us, they'd recently refurbished the place and made it look much more inviting and traditional and by the time we'd concluded the chat we not only liked the young chap very much, but we were going to return and take a meal there very soon.

So, if you've checked out the links in the text above, you'll have discovered that the place has a very nice website, which shows that they have some exceedingly well-maintained and tastefully decorated studios, plus there is a gallery showing photos of the taverna and the area around the building. Click this link for the history of the place.

In short, I'll say without fear of contraception (Brits of a certain age will remember dear old Hilda Baker when I say that. It WAS an intentional slip by the way!), that if you're looking for an out-of-the-way place for a really "Greek" holiday, you could do a lot worse than stay at Effie's Dreams. Y'know, as we walked away from the place I almost wished I didn't live here so I could come and have a holiday at Effie's Dreams!

We shall imminently be eating there, so I'll most definitely report on the experience.

As a final word about Gennadi. There was a time a few years ago when it was a popular holiday destination for those looking for the "real" Greece. It still is and I'd thoroughly recommend you check it out next time you're planning a visit. Do it yourself, it's rewarding and life-enhancing.

Phew, got a bit lyrical there. Sorry.


  1. Spent two fantastic relaxing weeks at Gennadi in 2013. We stayed in a small studio apartment with 2 huge balconies just to the South of the village. A half minute stroll through the beautiful garden led onto the beach which as you know extends several kilometres in each direction. The 'busiest' day we encountered down there had 2 people in one direction and 3 in the other, all a considerable distance away.

    1. Positively overcrowded, eh George! I hope you were wearing your cozzie!