Everyone keeps asking me how things are in Greece. I was visiting the UK last week so haven’t been able to give an up to date answer until now. I arrived back yesterday – on the day Greece was due to pay the IMF and didn’t …
Today there are rumours and counter-rumours flying about. Will there be a referendum on Sunday or not? Will the banks re-open tomorrow or not? Has Tsipras capitulated or not?
By the time you read this things may be clearer … or there may just be another fudge and the can will have been kicked further down the road.
Anyway, what I can tell you is that here on Aegina everything seems perfectly normal, or at least as normal as it has been for the past few years of ‘crisis‘. Like everyone with a Greek bank account we’re restricted to 60€ per day from ATMs but there are no long queues at the ATMs here or anywhere we passed when driving from the airport yesterday. (There were apparently a couple of people swearing at one of the ATMs this morning as it had run out of 20€ notes so they could only withdraw 50€ instead of the maximum 60€!)
There’s plenty of fuel, plenty of food, although a few people have been stocking up. The BBC news team have been on Aegina filming:
Should You Worry About Travelling to Greece Just Now?
If you’ve booked with us, or are thinking of booking, it’s natural to be a little nervous about what’s happening in Greece, and to wonder how it will affect you. The situation is very fluid and may have changed by the time I post this. I’ll keep you informed but the main points so far as these:
1. it would be prudent to bring some extra euros in cash. If you’re on one of our normal courses, the only money you’ll need is to get here, and about 15-20 euro per person per night for an evening meal, plus any spending money.
2. As tourists are carrying more cash than normal, pickpockets are likely to be more active than normal. Split your cash between members of your party, or carry it in different places if you’re travelling alone. Take care and be alert for anything suspicious on public transport – people bumping into you for instance.
3. make sure you are adequately covered by travel insurance. I understand some companies are increasing the amount of cash they will cover if you are travelling to Greece.
4. there are no restrictions on how much you can withdraw from an ATM if you have a foreign card, apart from any that your card issuer imposes. At present there is plenty of cash but I’ll let you know if that changes.
5. we can pay all our suppliers through our bank account’s e-banking so don’t anticipate any difficulties with supplies of any sort
6. all clients’ money is being held in our UK Offshore accounts and just transferred here as needed, so you don’t need to worry that your deposit will suddenly devalue or be in another currency.
On the positive side, the exchange rate for sterling and US dollars is at a 7 year high so you’ll get much more for your money if you are travelling from the UK or US.
So – if you haven’t booked yet, what options are there? Here is what we still have available for the next few weeks:
5 July – 1 cabin available at last-minute offer price – CONTACT ME if you want it! (could also join a theory course over 4-5 July)
12 July – 1 cabin available at last-minute offer price – CONTACT ME if you want it!
19 & 26 July – all yachts fully booked
2 August – 1 cabin available at normal price.
I hope to see you in Greece soon!