Thassos Island and Keramoti on the Greek mainland were to be the inspiration for a disturbing incident in my novel THE VANISHING OF RUTH
|Ferry to Thassos Island|
FRIDAY 15TH OCTOBER, 1976
“Got the ferry across to Thassos Island – half hour trip (calmer than Skye crossing). Fairly cloudly over island. Landed at small town. Wandered around streets with Neva and Sally – headed straight for cake shop. Worked our way through apples, bicuits, pastries too!
Various ruins in town – bits of pillar lying around. Walked out along front, began to clear. Saw men sorting their fishing nets and further along there was a timber yard with 3 boats being made – just the skeletons so far. Lovely smell of freshly treated wood. Also passed a shed with boy scout emblems on the walls – they get everywhere! (Boy scouts not walls).
Nosed round small crafty shops, selling clothes, pottery, belts, jewellery etc. Walked along past ferry landing, sat by the sea. Met 2 English blokes who had been on Island for 2 or 3 weeks – we were quite an event as most tourists had left by now. The really fat one said there were no jellies today – I nearly split myself when I saw his flabby belly – a bit incongruous! They directed us in the direction (good English) of a nearby beach; so we stocked up on more food (a real piggy day!) – bread, toast, honey, cheese, yoghurt – Neva had another cake!
|Neva and Sally on Thassos Island|
We walked out of the village, up a lovely wooded hill road – great forests covering all the mountains. Lovely leafy, sunny walk, very quiet and deserted. Came down to a group of chalets, passed various open air dance floors and bars – everything closed down, so didn’t have to pay, but made our way down to the private beach. Fantastic breakers, so dashed straight in, whole beach to ourselves (only 1 little man in the distance). Picturesque island just off the headland – Neva said looked like the Whitsun Islands. Ate picnic and I snoozed in the sun.
Walking back, a taxi suddenly appeared and a man offered to take us in to the harbour – so got a free lift and reached the ferry in good time. Met us with Bill and Shirley, Adrian, Chris and Hans.
Coming into Keramoti again – looked like South American swampy village, very flat. Sally and I wandered around Keramoti – lots of hens and rather shabby plots, though houses were quite gayly painted.
|Keramoti beach bar|
Most people had a meal out at the nearby bar – took ages to come. I had 3 small fishes, tomato salad, chips and bread – washed down with plenty Domestica! Bar filled up with Greeks – eventually we were all dancing. I went and sat with some Greeks – 2 really dishy. The Thessalonican medical student was a bit persistent, suggested a swim – eventually escaped saying my husband was waiting for me! Hid in the bus. Felt a bit down again – Mark cheered me up.
New girl finally caught up with bus – Mary (New Zealand).”