As we landed in Greece and got our throats whipped our vacation of 2020 could officially start. Once it was well established we all tested negative for COVID the fun could begin with some COVID-19 restrictions.
Restrictions that made our stay in Greece a bit more complicated but so much more memorable.
Thessaloniki region we visited is famous for its spectacular parties similar to the ones at Ibiza. Not that that’s what I’m into, my introverted ass could not process the fact I’m going on a holiday with 6 other people.
Needless to say, no clubs were open thanks to corona. But the people didn’t seem to mind that as they freely danced in overcrowded bars anyway.
The bars that were open till midnight only, cuz everyone knows corona strikes at midnight.
It’s the half-assed restrictions like this, tied to a time schedule that made people lost respect to all precautions. It’s literally go hard or go home. You can’t do half now.
We went to the bar just once on our stay in Nea Kallikratia and when you start at around 10 pm then the 2 hours is just not enough.
Once you’re entering the bar you have your face mask on and you have it on when you leave at midnight. Other than that no one wears one. And trust me the place was overflowing with people we barely got a table.
The music played at the bar was incredible thought.
We all got one drink and left. That one was the only drink I had for my whole stay in Greece and the only reason for it was the drinks name: Marilyn Monroe. It came in 2 separate cups. One filled with cotton candy that’s supposed to be decent with the other one filled with vodka and strawberry sauce.
It cost a ridiculous 10 euros, tasted horrible but looked amazing.
Face masks are mandatory in all of the interiors in Greece. A fine for violating the restriction is 150 euros. I ain’t got 150 euros to spend on shit like that so the choice was very easy. Besides, wearing a mask is like a second nature nowadays.
Funnily enough, even if you wanted to use a beach toilet you had to wear a face mask as it’s a technically and indoors place.
Bikini and a face mask. Summer look 2020.
While we were staying in Nak Kallikratia we got an alert message about increased COVID cases in our region and a reminder to keep wearing face masks and keep our distance.
Keeping distance was quite easy as all of the beaches were barely half full. Usually, only the first two rows of beach chairs were occupied by people and the rest were vacant.
Beach chairs belonged to different restaurants and you could sit there in exchange for drinks or food from said restaurant. As usual. What was typical for this year only was that all of the staff workers wore a mask. Whole day at the beach in a mask.
Imagine that, Karen.
Keeping distance in stores was also quite easy as there were restrictions for the number of people in a store. We could enter by 2 for example, or a higher number based on the store’s size.
You had to disinfect your hands in order to enter, otherwise the security would turn you back. You’ll also get a card, something like a safety pass you’ll return upon your exit. If they ran out of cards it meant that there are simply too many people inside and you need to wait a bit. Simple yet efficient solution.
Even some outdoor activities required face masks.
There is a weekly local markets in Nea Kallikratia every Tuesday across the main street, selling everything from food, spices, clothes or jewelry. My friends were too drunk to attend it so I went alone.
Even though it’s an outdoor activity, everyone wore face masks on their own accord because of the high density of older people visiting. The common decency and consideration of those people are marvelous.
Other indicators of something going on in the world were mostly empty restaurants. Bars were full but restaurants always had a table for us.
Every local person we engaged with told us about how tough the whole corona situation has been for the city. The gratitude they showed us for visiting their restaurant or shop was unbelievable.
From time to time we could almost forget the pandemic is happening.
If it weren’t for some small restrictions, lack of people and cheap prices it would be like nothing changed at all.