Useful Notes: Youth Hostel Plakias
YHP, or Youth Hostel Plakias is a hostel in south Crete, Greece that proclaims to be "the most southerly youth hostel in Europe." While initially created as somewhere for budget travellers to lay their weary heads and hang out, the place has developed something of a "magical" reputation since it opened in 1996.
The legend that is YHP
Best described as a mixture of Narnia
meets American Pie
, the place has generated a huge fandom and returnees over the years which can be witnessed by this collection of videos
. It has also developed something of a mythical status amongst travellers and has apparently been voted the 2nd most popular Youth Hostel in the world (with the 1st being in New York).
It has tropes such as:
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us- Welcome to Youth Hostel Plakias!
- And I Must Scream- A hangover, a black eye, bad sunburn, dehydration and vomiting. Welcome to raki.
- A Valley Without Wind- Inverted and then some.
- Awesome Aussie- Many, but of particular note:
- Elise Chapman, Jim Charlton, Ozzy John.
- Badass Beard- Big Andy.
- Badass Grandpa- Iron Mike.
- Badass In Charge- Joe at Nufaro bar. Lefteris at Jalos bar/restaurant. Yannis in Ostraco bar.
- Badass Israeli- Offer Dado.
- Badass Long Coat- Mike Manley
- Badass Mustache- Most Greek men in Plakias over the age of 40.
- Balcony Speech- The former manager Old Chris used to welcome newbies with a speech in the air conditioned luxury of reception.
- Barbarian Long Hair- Lance Manley, Iron Mike's son.
- Not sure if this counts, he comes across this way in the Plakias You Tube videos but then he made 95% of them.
- Berserk Button- Don't step into the YHP workshop without Chris's permission.
- Or go anywhere near Room 1 if you're a guy.
- Blatant Lies- Known as The Plakias Lies. Include "I'm only staying one night"; "I'm only having one drink"; and "I love you".
- Brotherhood of Evil- The Hostel Banned club
- Cave Mouth- The smugglers' tunnel on Damnoni beach. The underwater tunnel linking Pig Bay to One Rock Beach.
- Drunken Master- Way too many too mention.
- Establishing Character Moment- Many but:
- Old Chris's welcome speeches.
- Iron Mike being challenged to a drinking competition.
- Bus inspectors' reactions to lads trying to board without their t-shirts on.
- Eureka Moment- Usually happens around 10am where the locations of cameras, wallets or underwear are remembered.
- Flip Personality- Usually experienced by young female backpackers (with a long term boyfriend back home) who wake naked up on the beach at 7am with the mother of all hangovers and the realisation that they spent most of the night shagging the unknown guy next to them.
- Hey, It's That Guy!- Vin Diesel apparently did the spoken intro to THIS video while scouting for locations for Riddick 3.
- Hideous Hangover Cure- Pretty much anything taken orally the day after a skin full of raki.
- In Vino Veritas- This includes but is not limited to: temporary realignment of sexuality, proposals of marriage, acceptance of proposals of marriage and games of Never Have I Ever.
- It's All Upstairs from Here- The leap of faith/ bastard step, leading from the short cut up to the stream bridge on the way back to YHP. Also, the stairs from the outskirts of the village to the road above. The former has proved impossible for some people to climb when drunk, even though it's just ONE step.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold- In no particular order:
- Scottish Brian, Brad Maher, Lance Manley, Seb Schwarz, Bill Herschell, Jewellery Bob.
- Lamarck Was Right- Iron Mike's sons. Joe from Joe's bar's son Dino.
- Lesbian Vampire- Summer 2012. Naming no names but Christ! What a feast of Girl-on-Girl Is Hot, raki induced, summer romance conversion.
- Lineage Comes from the Father- Again, Iron Mike's sons. Neither have his drinking ability but one was a cop and the other holds black belts in TWO martial arts.
- Worth noting that if these two were in the Avengers then one would be a hopped-up Hulk and the other a bisexual Thor.
- Meaningful Name- A woman staying at the hostel some years ago who banged about 6 guys was called Donna Workman.
- Naked People Are Funny- Especially if they are shagging on the hostel lawn at 3am, drunk off their faces on raki.
- No More for Me- Usually said with utter sincerity.
- Phlebotinum Induced Stupidity- Raki.
- Plummet Perspective- The view down to the sea at One Rock beach, at the spots used for cliff jumping.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge- An Ozzy barmaid was mugged near the hostel in 2008. Her boss and two of his mates found the person they thought had done it and beat him up the following night.
- It later turned out the dude was innocent. Only comment this apparently got from his assailants was "oh well, he owed people money."
- Rooftop Confrontation- The hostel roof is the only bit of privacy in the whole place. The mattress up there isn't just for sleeping on!
- Room 101- Actually room 7, the hostel roof. Not necessarily a place of horrors...until you think about how many other people have used THAT mattress you are both lying on.
- Scenery Porn- All of Plakias and also Crete.
- Secret Underground Passage- Kind of. The underwater tunnel from One Rock beach to Pig Bay.
- Superpowered Alter Ego- Anyone who stays at YHP longer than a week will find this trope self-activating.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The old manager Chris and err...the new manager Chris.
- Swiss Cheese Security
- Unfair as the system is based on trust and there has been very little theft in the hostel since it opened.
- The Reveal- In 2013 a YHP reunion was held in The Boleyn pub in London. It ended in a brawl. Only later was it discovered that it was a West Ham (soccer team) fans' pub and formerly home to hooligan gang the Inter City Firm (ICF). They apparently took objection to strangers singing in their boozer.
- Title Theme Tune- Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Usually sung at deafening levels in Joe's Bar at around 3am.
- Took a Level in Badass- One of the Greek ticket inspectors on the Rethymno to Plakias bus. In 2010, when faced with about 8 Greek teenagers annoying 2 English female backpackers on their way to YHP...he proceeded to repeatedly punch one kid in the face. No trouble after that.
- Legend has it he got on the same bus the following day and said to the same kids "κανένα πρόβλημα από εσάς ηλίθιοι και θα κλωτσήσει τα δόντια σας". No trouble then either.
- Underestimating Badassery- Any drunk who has ever taken a swing at Joe.
- And anyone who has tried to out drink Iron Mike who also has the nickname Raki Mike.
- What Did I Do Last Night??- And HOW!!!