It's a small, small world!

Ios Travel Blog

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From the ferry coming into Ios

'Christine?! Ahhhh!' The last thing I expected was the first thing I heard after stepping into Frencesco's hostel in Ios this morning: someone screaming my name. I turn around and, whadya know, Ashley is standing right behind me with a huge smile on her face. Six weeks ago I had met her in a hostel in Barcelona and hung out with her for several days. If the fact that she's from the same hometown as me isn't small world enough, this just topped the cake, especially as the last time I'd talked to her I thought she was supposed to be home already.

Turns out she'd been all set to leave the little Greek island of Ios twice, literally got to her ferry, then decided she wasn't going home just yet. She'd met a guy there and fell in love with the island all at the same time.

Amazing view from Francesco's Hostel!
'You have to be careful,' she keeps warning me. 'This place is a black hole, I swear.' The guy's name is Ben, and actually turns out to have been the first person I met when I got off the ferry; the one who works at my hostel and was sent down to the port to pick up all of us newcomers. Half the day Ashley is half wreck sad to see him go, and half excited that she can do whatever she wants without him here. When I ask her, she's not sure how long she's been in the islands, but after several conversations we realize that it's been a month. Talk about getting sucked in!

Katey, the girl whom she'd become instant best friends with, keeps calling her "Miss Ios," and I understand why as we walk around the island and she knows absolutely everyone, and all the guys keep referring to Ben as her husband and making jokes about them buying a summer home together.

It wasn't long before I realized just how small this island town is, and how much 'politics' play a part in what you do, especially in off season. You can't do anything, kiss anyone, go to a certain club without everyone knowing about it and talking. Club owners and bartenders can't say where they're going out to eat or drink for fear that it will look like they're favoring one establishment over another.

After a nice afternoon of laying on the beach (wrapped in my fleece as the wind made it cold) we headed to Far Out Village for some cocktails, and are amused at the two men sipping Smirnoff Ice, a drink that any straight man, or girl for that matter, wouldn't be caught dead drinking back home. During dinner at Lord Byron's, an 'I absolutely love your hair,' answers our question and soon enough we are chatting it up the with two coolest gay men on the island, Dru and David.

Both of them work in fashion back in London, David, a captivating almost 40 Canadian with beautiful skin who moved there with a mere 200 pounds to his name nearly 19 years ago, and Dru, a sarcastic and witty 'pretty boy' from Australia who shares a striking resemblence in both looks and character to my good friend Brett, whom I studied in London with two years ago.

Over dinner cocktails then dancing at Slammer's and Flame, we all got to know each other better and made arrangements to hang out the following two days, David and Ashley both celebrating their birthdays on Saturday night. The highlight of the bars was the infamous 'slammer shot' I'd been hearing about the entire day. A helmet was put on my head, a shot of tequila and sprite thrown back, then a fire extinguisher smashed into my helmet and everyone grabbing me from all angles to shake me. It felt like the tequila man from Mexico all over again, this time with a helmet. Oh Greece.

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From the ferry coming into Ios
From the ferry coming into Ios
Amazing view from Francescos Host…
Amazing view from Francesco's Hos…
Did you know theres 365 churches …
Did you know there's 365 churches…
photo by: catherineb