Tag Archives: Greek islands

Car Hire Misadventures – Rhodes 1998

As usual we hired a red jeep because Rhodes is a big island and there was more to see than just the far north and the main town. We drove along the east coast to the ancient town of Lindos, passing by but not through, the infamous holiday party town and grot spot of Falaraki. Lindos is a picturesque town and an archaeological site on the east coast of the island about fifty-five kilometres south of the town of Rhodes and its big sandy beaches make it a popular tourist and holiday destination.

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Car Hire Misadventures – Kos, 1989

Kos Car Hire 1989

I first went to the Greek island of Kos in 1983 and I liked it so much that I went back again in 1989.  This time I went with my brother and we stayed in the party resort of Kardamena.

We had a budget priced apartment on the edge of the town and we made friends with a single parent family of dad and two sons.  During the course of the week we hired pedalos and bicycles and also a flame red Suzuki Jeep for a day.

We didn’t go far and limited ourselves to driving across the island to the island capital.  The journey was not by the most direct route and took about an hour through all the coastal villages and then through the unexpectedly green plains lying in the shadow of the soaring mountain peaks with the main crops being grapes, almonds, figs, olives, and tomatoes along with wheat and corn and although the harvest was long since past there were still fields of straw like a golden sea of waving champagne next to exhausted black stunted vines and golden melons the size of footballs ripening in the sun.

Kos is much changed now, I last went there in 2012, the seafront was rather shabby, the harbour full of working fishing boats, the civic buildings in need of some repair and the ancient monuments rather run down and decrepit.  We spent an afternoon wandering around the town (it is a city now) and then we made our way back across the interior back to Kardamena.

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Bike Hire Kos 1989Pedalo Hire Kos 1989

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds, Windows (2)

Antiparos Greek Islands

Antiparos, Greek Islands

On the way back we visited the ancient kastro that has a quaint but neglected mix of houses, some inhabited but others abandoned and crying out for refurbishment.  There were some little shops and a folk lore museum that didn’t take long to look around and by mid morning it was time for a first mythos of the day and after that we ambled back to the hotel for a swim in the pool and a drink on the terrace.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone But Not Forgotten – Greek Islands

Kavala Thassos Ferry

“Somewhere… I once found a list of diseases… and among these occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit.  These are people…who somehow find islands irresistible.  A little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with indescribable intoxication.   Lawrence Durrell – ‘Reflections on a Marine Venus’

Greek Ferry Artemis in Paros

“… as you gaze over the rail (of the ferry) you may have a Byronic twinge of nostalgia and decide that one day you might return to settle among those mazy streets and silent dusty squares.”  Lawrence Durrell

Blue Star Paros approaching Athens

The best feeling on leaving an island is the experience of gazing back and knowing one day that you might return!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Greek Ferries

In 2006 I travelled from Naxos to Ios on an old rust bucket called the Panagia Hozoviotisa (named after the monastery on Amorgos) and there was a real sense of adventure. It was two hours late and there was a force seven gale and the boat struggled through the heaving seas but it was an honest hard working boat and the journey was wonderful.  I used it again in 2007 but now it is laid up out of service in Piraeus.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Naxos Terror Vehicle

Terror Drive in Naxos

This morning we had to come to terms with our rash decision of the previous evening and after breakfast on the terrace we set out for a planned full day drive in our hire vehicle.  This wasn’t a regular car or a jeep or even a quad bike but rather a sort of easy-rider roadster dune buggy.

It looked cool and it looked fun but this was to be a full day of terror.

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Postcards From Thassos

Thassos Greece Postcard

I am by no means sure how we managed to choose the island of Thassos for a holiday in 1999.  Not being one of the most popular holiday islands it was not somewhere that I was especially aware of or had any mad desire to go to so I can only assume that it was the end of season bargain price that settled the selection decision.

Thassos Greece Postcard

Thassos Greece

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Santorini Greek Door

“AII I want to do is join the happy crowd behind the green door                         Wish they’d let me in so I could find out what’s behind the green door.”          Bob Davie and Marvin Moore – ‘Green Door’

Rather unusual for the Greek Cyclades Islands – a green rather than a blue door.  This one is from the island of Santorini.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Serifos, Cyclades, Greek Islands

After visiting the redundant and abandoned windmills, now being converted into holiday accommodation, we followed the signs to the Kastro.  On the way we passed through pretty streets where the walls of the buildings squeezed in close to the narrow lanes but then opened out into the delightful main square of St. Athanasios about halfway to the top that was a complete contrast to the agoraphobic streets that led to it from all directions.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

On account of the weather Folegandros was a bit of a disappointment this year but unlike last year at least the ferries were running and there would be problem getting to Ios tomorrow.

The weather was so miserable so that after we had booked our tickets there was little to stay for so we left and walked back and as we did so it started to rain.  Only very gently at first but by the time we arrived back at the hotel it was hard enough to make us shelter in our room.

Then the situation got even worse because the only shop in the port was closed for the afternoon and so was the hotel bar so we were stuck in the room all afternoon without any beer.  It rained for nearly three hours and by four o’clock I swear the temperature dropped somewhere close to zero!  Finally it stopped and it started to brighten but there was still no sign of the sun and there were still dark and scowling clouds advancing from the east but at least we could see Sikinos again as the shroud of mist began to lift.

The rain returned and snuffed out what remained of the day like a candle, which wasn’t a big surprise but at least we had wine now and later we caught the bus for the second time today up to the Chora and on the way we glimpsed a sliver of blue sky but before long the rain came sweeping back in. 

We ate at the same table at the same taverna that was luckily under cover because the main square was a sad place tonight with usually lively tables all empty and getting a thorough soaking.  What is usually a colourful vibrant place was wet and dreary and the rain continued to fall.  Eventually we could no longer justify occupying the table when other people needed food and shelter so we paid and left but there was an hour to kill before the bus was scheduled to return to the port so we found a table inside a local taverna.

On the bus journey back the heavens opened and there was an electrical storm to entertain us.  Back at Karavostassis it was absolutely chucking it down and by the time we got back to the room we were thoroughly soaked.

I had had quite enough of Folegandros for this year and was glad to be leaving the next day.