After my stopover in Barcelona, I took a plane to Vienna, just to spend a night there before my morning flight to Zakynthos. I had a good night sleep and left Vienna on time. It was a pleasant flight. At the end, I was rewarded with beautiful views of the island. My plan was to get to my hotel first and then explore the area around it. It turned out quite opposite. I actually did a lot of sightseeing before I arrived. Not intentionally, I might add! I thought I came prepared to conquer navigating Zakynthos. I had a preloaded map in my phone which supposed to be working without using my mobile data. It did not! Probably because my phone was already dying. (At the time of this post, it is officially pronounced dead!) It was only a few miles to my destination, so I was sure I could easily manage without GPS. I used maps before!
Well, it is a different game here in Zakynthos. Roads have no numbers, direction signs are random and often in Greek (different alphabet!). In town, streets are very narrow and short and meet at different angles. For the most part, navigation needs to be done by intuition and asking for directions (not many local people speak English). It took me at least an hour and half until I found my first accommodation.
I chose Hotel Varres for its low rates- $50 per night, breakfast included! I really like this place. It is very clean, breakfast is good, and I even have a distant view of the sea from my private balcony. There are some interesting features about this hotel, which are new to me but apparently common in Europe. Electricity needs to be activated by your room keychain. It means every time you leave the room, power goes off, except for the fridge. Not only that, in order for air conditioning to kick in a balcony door has to be locked. Taking a shower is a workout. There is no way to mount it on the wall so you need to hold in one hand. It is very uncomfortable and annoying, but forces you get out quickly! What a clever way of saving water!
I spent my first evening up at the mountain in Bochali village. There are some nice restaurants there, each offering fantastic views of Zakynthos town below. I had a traditional rabbit dish for dinner. It was delicious!