As much fun as it was to be sailing through Greek islands on a yacht, we were all equally happy to have arrived on terra firma…and even more happy not to be leaving it for another 4 days. The high seas adventure on our last day at sea was enough to put us off boats for a year.
After making our way to the hotel and checking in, we spent the day recuperating in our hotel room and by the swimming pool. We finally emerged once the sun had set when we wandered into town for dinner and the start of the bachelor and bachelorette parties.
In Greek tradition, both sides get on with their separate parties, mostly involving lots and lots of drinking and dancing. Both groups then meet later on in the night, when we all start partying as one. (Have you seen Mamma Mia and the dancing scene of the night before the wedding? That’s pretty true to real life!) Mostly everyone’s sloshed by this point but the Greeks sure can drink and cocktails continue making the rounds. I finally left the party at about 3.30am with some of the other ladies, and I think the rest followed suit about an hour later.
And then, it was the big day! As it’s far too hot to do anything during a summer’s day in Greece, festivities only begin as the sun begins to go down…probably a good thing too, as everyone spent the morning and early afternoon recovering from the previous night’s debacles.
We were all ready in time as the sun started setting. In line with traditional island wedding custom, the bride walked arm in arm with her father, serenaded by local musicians, from the hotel down to a taverna by the harbour where we were due to have dinner. The bride’s side forms a procession walking behind the bride, and the idea is that villagers hear the music, and come out to watch the bride and give their well-wishes.
The guests were seated on tables in the local square, surrounded by other diners from adjoining restaurants. It was a rather nice setting as it did really seem as if the whole village was down by the harbour celebrating with us, listening to the speeches and clapping along to the live musicians.
A big part of Greek culture is sharing food. This even extends to wedding menus when dish after dish of starters appeared, all to be shared amongst the table. There were so many starters that I was practically full by the time our mains came around, but the fresh fish of the day looked too delicious to pass on.
Interspersed between the dishes were healthy doses of Greek dancing. It started with some overly enthusiastic neighbouring diners who had been raring for a good Greek shuffle since hearing the live musicians arrive with the bridal procession. It wasn’t long before they picked up the bride and kicked off the dancing.
No Greek wedding would’ve been complete without a conga line as some point during the night…
…and why not throw in a bit of table top dancing while we’re at it.
The night ended with the group adjourning to a bar nearby to carry on with the drinking and dancing – basically a continuation of the previous night’s celebrations. It was 4.30am by the time I staggered home that night and I was absolutely shattered. A week of 4-5 hours of sleep a night in a yacht and two nights of overly late night partying had taken its toll on me. I was now looking forward to just relaxing and doing nothing for the next day and a half that I had left in Greece…