Boarding the plane with our matching, inappropriate-joke riddled T-Shirts (‘Zante 2k14 with the Laaadz’ and so on), I was nervous. What if I couldn’t handle it? What if I was so hungover the day after night one that I drowned in the pool? What if- my thoughts were quickly and violently shoved aside as my friend rammed a mini bottle of Prosecco into my hand and I popped the cork.
Upon landing, the Greek island of Zakinthos (Zante to us Brits that CBA with the extra syllable) was stunning. The heat enveloped us as we walked to the airport to collect our luggage. A bus ride later, we arrived at our hotel (the name escapes me, I apologise) and took it all in: white brick, modern and overflowing with British tourists. I shared a room with my best friend that had only one bed, air conditioning that didn’t work and a balcony daring you to fall off it when drunk. We went all inclusive, meaning that before our first night, we were swimming through mounds of roast potatoes, pizza, olives, feta cheese and vodka and lemonades that tasted like paint stripper. To my surprise, nobody even bothered to venture out of the hotel until about 2:00am, making our pre-drinks session the longest of any of our lives. Our first destination was charmingly called ‘Foreplay’ (repulsive, I know) and proudly offered drinks called ‘Head F**kers’ that were slime green and contained no less than 10 shots of assorted spirits. The barman actually boasted that they were created to ‘make you sick’, so most of us consumed three sips, recoiled and called it a day. Afterwards, we hit the strip (do I sound like my dad)?
We couldn’t hear ourselves think as we strolled, slightly terrified, amongst the heaving clubs to select one that we all liked. Every bar contained a sign saying ‘tits out, free shot’ which was nice. Despite this, they were incredible, packed so tight with sweat-soaked teenagers that you couldn’t move. At 6:00am, we crawled back to our new home.
I will always regard the day that followed as the worst of my entire life. I actually had to go down to the breakfast buffet to retrieve a fried egg, that I placed on the sink and sniffed, to make myself heave. Twelve hours of frying like lard-covered bacon later, we headed to the much anticipated ‘paint party’, where the flyers contained beautiful people covered in brightly coloured liquid. This is, sadly, not the reality we faced. Upon entry, we were handed a bag of brown chalk. Confused, we looked around, and were immediately pelted in the face, mouth and eyes with said powdery substance. As we reached for our own chalk (it was chalk, there was no paint to be found) I distinctly remember thinking ‘I must look hot, exactly like those girls on the flyer, just a little bit of paint on the end of the nose’. How wrong I was: I resembled a pork pie with an angry rash.
The next day, we sacked up and actually did something with our lives: turtle watching. Swimming in the crystal-blue waters, with the occasional sighting of this beautiful animal, was enough to cure my paint-drenched hangover from Satan. The following night consisted of my friend being punched in the face by a shop-keeper, watching a DJ set by Vernon Kay (why) and a beach party with buckets of cocktails. The cocktails were about ten euros, but thankfully left unattended. We danced in the sand, occasionally the sea, and eventually had to endure the horror of a drinking game that involved two of my childhood friends sharing a repulsed and reluctant kiss for a shot of Sambuca.
On our last night, morale was running dangerously low. To perk up the troops, someone, some maniac, suggested getting a tattoo. Nervously, three of us selected a small turtle design (half price if it was missing a leg) and attempted to become Tattoo Fixers fodder. Thankfully, there is a God, and we were turned away within minutes.
I apologise if this review deters anybody from visiting this amazing island because, despite having a reputation as somewhere that only has disgusting drinks and even more disgusting hangovers to offer, there are so many incredible sights to see and activities to experience. Also, Vernon Kay? Why he’s there, we’ll never know, but I don’t have the heart to question it.
Current Location: Herefordshire, England