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Taking the bus

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We have travelled across the island to Skala Eressos in taxis, with friends, in hire cars and by bus. For entertainment value I recommend the bus.

It begins in Mytilini where you buy your ticket before you get on. You will have a seat number but someone else will be sitting in yours. Sit somewhere else and try not to look panic stricken when anyone gets on. If someone looks like they might ask you to move stare straight ahead or slightly tilt your head and gaze out of the window. 

Even though the island is mountainous the journey isn’t scary; I have never felt like we were about to slither downwards off road to lower ground.

Greek bus drivers are multi-taskers of the highest order. Once, on the island of Syros the driver was chatting with a passenger who was standing on the steps, eating, texting and driving.  We were safe because, despite all this, as Edward Enfield (Harry’s father) writes in Greece on my Wheels, “Greek bus drivers can see around corners and through granite.” 

The bus will stop in random places. Sometimes people get off and new passengers get on or some get off just for a little while and then back on. If it stops somewhere in amongst other buses pay attention because you might be changing. This can seem a spur of the moment idea from the driver but is probably part of the grand plan.

On one of our bus journeys we travelled from Skala Eressos to Sigri. The bus stopped on the junction before the road sweeps down around the mountain. The driver told us to wait and he went for a lie down in the baggage hold with side doors open to let the breeze though. After about 20 minutes a bus arrived from (we think) Mytilini and 2 Greeks plus a tourist got off and alighted ours. The drivers had a chat and then off we set off once more.

On a journey Mick took alone from Skala to Mytilini the driver stopped the bus in the countryside near to Vatoussa and got off to pick a bunch of blossom. No-one batted an eyelid because this is normal. 

The bus takes about 2 hours to cross the island and you will see amazing views all the way. The last part is along the straight road down into Skala and the bus will trundle into the car park, which is its final destination. As the air brakes breathe out and you hear the sea calling you know you have arrived.

 

It's a lot of fun for not much money.