Amazing Assos

The rustic little village of Assos is nestled around a horseshoe shaped harboured and surrounded by dramatic coastal scenery.

It’s the next stop on our Kefalonian village tour and we get our first glimpse of it from up high and from afar.

After parking up in the world’s most traumatic (AKA local Greek) carpark – complete with people playing dodgems with actual cars, we take a peek over the wall for our first glimpses of the heavenly warm waters.

It’s hard to believe that this is the last time we will actually see foreign waters for a long time! Little did we know what was heading for us in 2020. I wish I had appreciated it more at the time.

I can almost feel the heat wafting off the screen and feel the salty air tangling my hair. I whinged about it at the time. Stupid woman.

The village itself is a glorious riot of colour tumbling down the hillside to the harbour. I want to break off a piece of that pink house and see if it tastes as sweet as it looks!

Tiny husband is in his element – it’s scorching and he is getting a tan. I meanwhile am drooping like a dehydrated houseplant.

The rich vegetation, full of pines and cypress trees, meets the indigo blue waters of the Ionian Sea, making for an incredible place to while away a few hours.

Tragically my hipster trilby meets a sad end as a violent (yet very welcome) gust of wind propels it into the harbour. It’s rescued by some passing swimmers but has got all soggy and shapeless!

Assos is probably the prettiest village on Kefalonia in my humble opinion. It’s compact and cute but can probably get hellishly crowded in peak season.

Finishing off Fiscardo

A last little look at the pretty fishing town of Fiscardo now between we head on with our Kefalonian jaunt.

I try to go for an Insta worthy pose – feel like rather a tool TBH! Not sure how people have the patience (or the lack of embarrassment) to get their significant others to take what appears to be 100s of posed pics . . .

I would much rather focus on one of my favourite things – painted walls and rusting shutter hinges!!

Horror of horrors – someone offers to take a photo of us both together – hence the rather pained expressions on both our faces (and the appearance of the ‘frilled lizard’ neck flesh)

A last saunter (or languid melt in my case) through the main harbour as we head onwards to our next destination.

Palombaggia beach

Yet more stunning beaches are in our sights today. This time the glorious Palombaggia.

It’s the most famous beach in Corsica. This vast expanse of sand stretches over 1.5 km with extra fine white sand. 

The beach is lined with small dunes and pine trees providing shade in summer. It’s a stunning place.

With its stone pines, white sand, turquoise water and views over the Cerbicales Islands, it is another postcard perfect place to soak up some rays.

Even though the evening is drawing in we can’t help but be tempted into those incredible waters.

As the shadows lengthen I have to be physically prised away from this little piece of paradise!

Palombaggia, by virtue of being one of the most stunning beaches on the island, is naturally a tourist magnet but it is definitely well worth popping on the itinerary.

Kalafatis beach

Beyond Mykonos old town there is very little to do on this tiny Greek island except enjoy the stunning little beaches that are dotted around the place.

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We hire a quad bike in order to zip around on and head to the South East of the island to the beautiful beach of Kalafatis.

It’s a glorious stretch of beach with trees providing much needed natural shade and gently sloping sands into inviting turquoise waters.

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A very faint breeze ruffles the palm frond umbrellas and is a welcome break from the heat.

The beach is a paradise for wind surfing as most days there are strong winds constantly blowing.

Typically for me however the week we arrived heralded one of the rare non-windy weeks!

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However the human heat seeking missile that is the tiny husband is incredibly delighted by the stultifying heat!

Coney island

Our next iconic trip is to the home of cheesy Americana nostalgia – Coney Island!!

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I’ve grown up on US TV shows and films that reference this mythical seaside hot spot and it represents to me the golden heyday of technicolor America – and I am not disappointed!

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Coney Island is actually a series of amusement parks,the largest of which is Luna Park above.

It’s also home of the cyclone – a historic wooden roller coaster that opened in 1927!

The coaster was declared a New York City landmark on July 12, 1988, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991.

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There’s even a real life freak show – albeit renamed and re-badged as a circus side show But it has all the traditional characters advertised in garish, cartoon style.

It’s not open when we arrive so we have to be content to peer through the shutters.

Coney Island is home to the International Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th July. A event that combines American’s twin loves of competition and eating fast food!

I am giddy with all the over the top garish advertisements for all manner of seaside treats.

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Hot dogs, candy floss, buttered corn on the cob. It’s all there for the hungry tourists. Although they manage to take something relatively healthy – the apple- and make it super bad!

Everywhere is a rainbow of signage and consumerism. All shimmering in the June sunshine as the temperature gauge kept on rising.

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Oversized donuts, bumper cars and the famous mermaid parade all combine to the heady atmosphere of Coney Island.

The area started to sink into decline after the second world war with all the original amusement parks being demolished and plans for a casino and luxury apartments all being punted as ideas for the old tourist haunts.

Many of the old rides and attractions have gone for good and many vacant lots still exist, Coney Island is a long way from its hey day but in August 2018 it was announced that a boutique hotel was to built and the amusement areas extended, so there may still be life in the old dog yet!

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The Coney Island Art Walls are just one of the attractions hoping to bring back the visitors of old.

The walls feature artwork from renowned local and international artists in many different styles. Many of which are political or satirical in nature.

Stunning sands

Sardinia is a beach lovers paradise with mile after mile of stunning sands and seas.

The North West coast up from Alghero is no exception so come with us as we explore some of the frankly amazing coastlines on this gem of an island.

Driving out of Alghero the first beach we stop off at is the magical Spiaggia Maria Pia.

Climbing up from the road through sand dunes in a lush, fragrant forest you can hear birds chirping and inhale the scent of pine before the beach opens up before you.

This shimmering white sand beach is around 1200 meters long with excellent views of Fertilia, Alghero bay and the tiny Isola della Maddalenetta.

After having a quick paddle we head back into the car to travel further up the road past Fertilia to another little beach – Spiaggia Bombarde.

This beach has a bar and restaurant and it’s here we sit to watch the sun begin to sink.

I love the sunlight of this time of day as it drenches everything in golden syrup light.

Then it’s back in the little pap pap and back to enjoy another sundowner on the glorious Alghero harbour walls.

Wondrous waters

Missed a post! Ooops . .  while in the little village of Portixeddu we take a little trek upwards to enjoy the peaceful view.

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From our vantage point we have a perfect view of the stunning Sardinian coastline.

Rugged outcrops of rock surge out of the crystal clear waters that sparkle in a host of hues from emerald green to turquoise and royal blue.

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it’s a little taster of the incredible seascapes that we’ll encounter as we travel around this lovely island.

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Beautiful Bembridge

We’re headed to the pretty seaside town of Bembridge now with its lifeboat station.

Bembridge is claimed to be the largest village in England, with a population of approximately 4,000 residents.

The new Bembridge Lifeboat station stands offshore and was built in 2010.

The natural timber building is an iconic sight and one of the most photographed structures on the Isle of Wight in recent years.

As we head across the bridge to the lifeboat station we can see lots of cute little beach huts in primary colours on the shore front.

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The shiny Alfred Albert Williams lifeboat takes pride of place in the new lifeboat station.

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While salty sea dog heroes of the past keep a careful watch over the new recruits.

The sea is incredibly clear and a beautiful colour for an English coastline.

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Ventnor Bay

Normal blogging service is resumed after a glorious 10 days in stunning Sardinia (much more of that later!)

We carry on with our micro-tour of the Isle of Wight. Next up is Ventnor, a very traditional little seaside resort and was a famous Victorian health resorts due to its unique micro-climate.

There’s a pretty stretch of sand and shingle beach with all the traditional paraphernalia.

Loving all the little nautical details dotted around the town, including this nod to holding back the tides.

Plus there’s a neat little row of pastel toned beach huts in mouth watering colours.

We enjoy a bracing walk along the golden beach, hair and eyebrows are nearly intact!

There’s a variety of sealife to be found (and avoided too!)

We end our day at the beach at the Spyglass Inn that comes complete with all manner of sea themed curiosities!

Sunny Sandown

We’re continuing with our exploration of the Isle of Wight now with a visit to Sandown.

It’s a quintessentially English seaside resort with a long sandy beach and a huge pier lined with arcades and fairground rides.

It’s a mixture of garish colour and slow decay. With some prime beach front properties boarded up and neglected.

The pier beckons with it’s eye popping, high pitched noisy machines.

The psychedelic toys and rides have me pinning for Japan again! We could almost be back in Osaka

Then we emerge, blinking into the light on the blustery open end of the pier with all it’s traditional seaside delights including teeth rotting treats…

I like the garish, over bright colours that typically advertise traditional treats such as icecream.

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I have a guilty pleasure for these alcoholic sticks of rock with sambuca and prosecco on offer!

The fairground offers some incredibly trippy rides including these eye popping, rainbow bright cars.

Then we stumble on some typical old style saucy postcards that used to be found everywhere at the seaside!

The man looks particularly cute in his little outfit, I think he should dress like this all the time!

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The fairground out of season always has a forlorn, almost post apocalyptic feel to me.

The garish colours contrast with the milky grey sky and the absence of children’s noise makes it feel even more desolate.

Mind you, the addition of people does not always make it less terrifying . . .

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Another thing that I love in British seaside resorts is the plethora of neon plastic items.

Whether buckets and spades, whirlygigs or body boards, any colour combo goes as long as it’s eye watering!

Some more exciting colour combinations can be found on this giddy sandwich board.

Then we stumble across some incredible street art that draws its inspiration from the seas.

It also reflects on the fact that the Isle of Wight apparently is the undisputed dinosaur capital of Great Britain and features in the top six best locations in the world for dinosaur remains.

Next up a completely different side to the island with some lovely thatched cottages.