Tag Archives: Amorgos

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Koufinisia Greece Ferry Terminal

Greek Ferry Artemis in Paros

Beginning a Journey…

Soon after we arrived at what is euphemistically described as the departure gate our boat, the Anek Lines, Artemis, arrived on time and we made our way with the handful of fellow passengers to the top deck in the sunshine and as soon as everyone was on board it set off and slipped out of port.

The Artemis, named after the Greek Goddess of the wilderness, the hunt, wild animals and fertility (so quite a spread of responsibility), is a slow boat with a reassuring rhythmic throb of a reliable old engine and we sat in the middle of the boat and took comfort from that.

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Sunset Playtime on Greek Island of Amorgos

As the sun begins to set, light must travel farther through the atmosphere before it gets to us and more of the light is reflected and scattered.  As less reaches us directly, the sun appears less bright and the colour of the sun appears to change, first to orange and then to red and this is because even more of the short wavelength blues and greens are now scattered and only the longer wavelengths are left in the direct beam that we can see.

What makes it even more dramatic is that the sky around the setting sun takes on a lot of different colours and the most spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or water because these particles reflect light in all directions and then as some of the light heads towards us, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colours are scattered out and we get to see the longer wavelengths and the sky appears red, pink or orange.

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

Sunset Playtime on Greek Island of Amorgos

As the sun begins to set, light must travel farther through the atmosphere before it gets to us and more of the light is reflected and scattered.  As less reaches us directly, the sun appears less bright and the colour of the sun appears to change, first to orange and then to red and this is because even more of the short wavelength blues and greens are now scattered and only the longer wavelengths are left in the direct beam that we can see.

What makes it even more dramatic is that the sky around the setting sun takes on a lot of different colours and the most spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or water because these particles reflect light in all directions and then as some of the light heads towards us, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colours are scattered out and we get to see the longer wavelengths and the sky appears red, pink or orange.

Read the full story…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

DIY Holiday Souvenir

It was a pleasant beach with warm sea, golden sand and a gentle breeze which kept the temperature comfortable.  In the shops earlier we had seen some souvenir boats made of drift wood and this gave me an idea.  It would be impossible to take one home given the restrictions on hand luggage so I decided that I would collect the bits of wood and sticks off the beach, take them home and, in an Airfix sort of way, make my own so I set immediately about beachcombing and starting my collection.

Read the full story:

My Personal Greek A to Ω – X (Chi) is for Χώρα or Chora

On holiday on the island of Amorgos we went early one day to the Chora and when the bus arrived in the port it immediately turned round and struggled back up the hill to the top.

The Chora cannot be seen from the sea or from the harbour and this is where, in the past, Amorgans lived, safe from the sea and from hostile attack.  From the outside it doesn’t look especially promising but once inside the walls of the town it is a different matter altogether.  The town turns in on itself in an introspective sort of way and inside there were narrow shady streets and lots of traditional cafés and tavernas.  It was a lazy place where time goes by only very slowly and no one is in a particular hurry about anything.  If this was Naxos or Ios the Chora would have been teeming with shops and fast food places but this was a local town for local people and completely unspoilt by the retinue of tourist shops that can be found on more popular islands.

We explored the streets and climbed to the very top to the redundant windmills that overlook the town and the Venetian castle that is built on top of a rocky outcrop that soars above it and its mass of dazzling white buildings.  There was a good view over most of the island and it was revealed as dusty, barren and devoid of vegetation with a desolate landscape that had been beaten relentlessly into total submission by the scorching summer sun.

Descending through the mazy streets and alleys there was time for a beer with tasty canapés and after that we ambled through the corkscrew streets returning several times to exactly the same place passing by several churches, the castle, blue doors, blue sky, shady vines and friendly cafés and I knew that this was my kind of town.  In and around the tavernas there were lazy cats, which in between trying to look cute for diners with leftovers were concentrating on looking for a shady spot and simply snoozing the day away.

Through the Chora we passed by a charming collection of houses, some old, some new and most with dazzling blue doors.  Some of the older houses had precarious balconies that I wouldn’t trust and it seemed to be sensible to pass by quickly lest they fall at that very moment.  The crooked alleys took us around in circles past kittens playing in a garden and stone walls that looked as though they had been carelessly assembled but had a most pleasing appearance and everywhere vivid red geraniums growing in ad hoc containers of various sizes and descriptions in stoic defiance of the heat and the neglect.

There was a welcoming bar in a little square with rattan cane tables and chairs under leafy trees with books and backgammon available for customers to sit and enjoy and idle some of the day away.  As we were getting accustomed to this pace of life we drank beer and ordered baklava and stayed a while until it was time to go back.  Amorgos is a dreamy timeless sort of place in a sort of 1960s time warp and all around there were lots of aging beardy hippies with ponytails, wearing white linen and flip-flops and carrying sketchpads.  All that was missing was the joss sticks and the candles, the flowers and the guitars.

Before we took the bus back to the village we found a dusty mini-market because we wanted to buy some wine.  It was surprisingly expensive and the information on the labels hard to interpret but at the back of the shop a French couple were passing judgement on a home-made red poured from a plastic bottle.  They declared it to be acceptable so we agreed that if it was good enough for them then it would be perfect for us so we purchased a bottle and took it back to the room and sat on the balcony for a couple of hours and like the island cats wasted the rest of the day away.

Amorgos cat

My Favourite Pictures of the Greek Islands – 11

Catch the Sun and take some Home!

If, like me, you have ever wondered why the sky is blue this is the reason.  Light travels through space in a straight line for as long as nothing disturbs it and as it moves through the atmosphere it continues on its journey until it collides with a bit of dust or a gas molecule and then what happens to the light depends on its wavelength and the size of the thing it crashes into. 

Dust particles and water droplets are much larger than the wavelength of visible light and when light hits these large particles, it gets reflected in different directions. Gas molecules however are smaller than the wavelength of visible light and when light hits them, some of it gets absorbed and then the molecule radiates the light in a different direction.  The colour that is radiated is the same colour that was absorbed but the different colours are affected differently because blues are absorbed more easily than reds.

This process is called Rayleigh scattering and is named after Lord John Rayleigh, an English physicist, who first explained it a hundred and thirty years ago.  The blue colour of the sky occurs because the absorbed blue light is radiated in different directions and gets scattered all around the sky and since we see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.  It’s as simple as that!

Sunsets?  Well, as the sun begins to set, the light must travel farther through the atmosphere before it gets to us and more of the light is reflected and scattered.  As less reaches us directly, the sun appears less bright and the colour of the sun appears to change, first to orange and then to red and this is because even more of the short wavelength blues and greens are now scattered and only the longer wavelengths are left in the direct beam that we can see.  What makes it even more dramatic is that the sky around the setting sun takes on a lot of different colours and the most spectacular shows occur when the air contains many small particles of dust or water because these particles reflect light in all directions and then as some of the light heads towards us, different amounts of the shorter wavelength colours are scattered out and we get to see the longer wavelengths and the sky appears red, pink or orange.

My Favourite Pictures of the Greek Islands – 1

Windmill and Church on Amorgos

High on a windy ridge above the Hora where inhospitable thistles cling to the weathered sun-baked rocks stand the redundant windmills of Amorgos.  We explored the narrow mazy streets and climbed to the very top to the derelict buildings that overlook the town and the Venetian castle built on top of a rocky outcrop that soars above the houses and the blue domed churches and its mass of dazzling white buildings. 

Read the full story…

Greece 2011, Amorgos to Koufonisia

The Corner Taverna Amorgos Greece

After breakfast I walked again to the ferry booking office but there was still no real news about the Express Skopelitis so we reprised our debate about the itinerary.  We could skip Koufinisia altogether and go directly to Ios or we could spend an extra night on the small island, reschedule our dates at Homer’s Inn and reduce the stay in Antiparos from three nights to two.  We went through the various combinations but it became too difficult and in an indecisive way confirmed that we would just go to Koufonissia as planned.

Read the full story…

Greece 2011, The Express Skopelitis and Greek Ferries

Amorgos Taverna Table Decoration

After the visit to the monastery and the gentle walk around the Chora we planned a lazy sort of afternoon doing nothing at all so after a drink in the main square we took the bus back down to Katapola where we stopped first at the mini-market for drinks and snack food.

Read the full story…

Greece 2011, Katapola and the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa

Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa

The plan today was to visit the Byzantine monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa on the other side of the island which we had almost visited on our previous stay in Katapola.  I say almost because although we made the bus ride and climbed a mountain of steps to get there we fell foul of the strict dress code and weren’t allowed in on account of the fact that we were wearing shorts.  This time we were taking no chances so packed extra long sleeved shirts, shawls and trousers and after breakfast on the terrace set off for the bus stop.

Read the full story…