Tag Archives: Milos

Thursday Doors, The Greek Island of Kimolos

Kimolos 05

Narrow cobbled streets, whitewashed houses with paintwork cracked and splintered by the sun.  With less than a thousand residents across the entire island there isn’t a great deal of local activity to observe. In the tight, sinuous streets paving stones have been edged in white and decorated with flowers, hearts, sailboats and slogans: “My Kimolos, my paradise”. Lovely.

At the top the tall cathedral seemed somehow too grand and too big and completely out of scale with the tiny streets and boxy houses. The streets are ramshackle and without order or planning as they wound their way to the centre and the sixteenth century Kastro, much of which isdilapidated and in ruins with heaps of rubble from collapsed and mostly abandoned houses.

Inside, some people were clinging on to occupation of houses with only very basic facilities that would certainly be declared unfit in the United Kingdom.

The Kastro is an important historical monument and there are plans to restore the buildings and some early work has begun but it is likely to take a very long time because current funding from the Greek Government and the European Union is totally inadequate which leaves the project financially beyond restorative reach.

As surely as a sunflower drops its head and dies if anyone wants to see these old doors they had better go soon because they will soon be replaced with plastic and will have gone the way of the old Greek ferries, the unreliable bus services and the dusty corner shops that sell things people no longer need.

Kimolos 04Kimolos 01Kimolos 02Kimolos 03

Travelling – Gladiator Sandals

Gladiator Sandals Naxos Greece

I had what I called my gladiator sandals since 1999 when I went to Rhodes and they  accompanied me abroad on every single subsequent holiday. By 2006 they were showing signs of wear and were not expected to see through a Greek island hopping adventure. I  made it my mission to see how long I could keep make them last.

The Gladiators made it through the island travels and surprisingly lasted another two years when an important part of the shoe infrastructure failed (one of the straps snapped).

After Rhodes, they had been to the Greek islands of Skiathos, Cephalonia (twice), Santorini (twice), Crete, Thassos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios (twice), Sikinos, Amorgos, Milos and Sifnos.  I finally had to accept that they were irreparable whilst on the island of Folegandros so I thought that this was a suitable place to say goodbye and I  left them there to become part of the Greek earth in whatever landfill site they ended up in.

I really loved those sandals!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

Priest on a mobile phone

Like all island towns Plaka on Milos was predominantly white with blue doors, external staircases, playful kittens and discreet little shops, most of which were closed on account of this being siesta time.  There must have been some sort of priest’s convention in town today because there were dozens of black robed ministers everywhere, in the bakery having morning coffee and later in the taverna having lunch and what we thought was really strange was that they were almost constantly on their mobile phones.

Priest with mobile phone Milos Greece

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh Air

Nefeli Sunset Apartments

We had a simple white room with cornflower blue doors and windows and a balcony with a stunning view over a wild and restless sea on the exposed side of the village.  It was a perfect setting and we sat for a while and watched huge waves crashing in and breaking over black rocky outcrops in the sea as the waves clawed at the beach below our balcony.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Priest on a mobile phone

Two Bad Habits!

Like all island towns Plaka on Milos was predominantly white with blue doors, external staircases, playful kittens and discreet little shops, most of which were closed on account of this being siesta time.  There must have been some sort of priest’s convention in town today because there were dozens of black robed ministers everywhere, in the bakery having morning coffee and later in the taverna having lunch and what we thought was really strange was that they were almost constantly on their mobile phones.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Greek Priest Island of Milos

Greek Monk Wearing his Habit!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

Table Sculpture – Milos, Greece

With the weather improving we walked into the little village to do important things like check the bus and ferry time-tables, see where we might like to eat later tonight and find a little bar for an afternoon mythos.  All along the harbour side there were tavernas and bars and in the late afternoon they weren’t too busy and we attracted the unwanted attention of waiters who were anxious for business and we explained to them all that we weren’t eating right now but if they left us alone then we might come back later.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Priest with mobile phone Milos Greece

Priest with a Mobile Phone

There must have been some sort of priest’s convention in town today because there were dozens of black robed ministers everywhere, in the bakery having morning coffee and later in the taverna having lunch and what we thought was really strange was that they were almost constantly on their mobile phones so I concluded that this is the way they stay close to God!

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My Favourite Pictures of the Greek Islands – 15

Fishermen’s Houses on Milos

First we stopped at the seafront village of Klima, a little fishing community with gaily-painted boat garages cut directly into the rocks.  The season was finished now and the village was strangely quiet but I imagine this place would be busy in summer with lots of activity, busy bars and cafés and the aromatic smell of fish cooking on the grills at the sides of the streets.

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My Personal Greek A to Ω – M (Mu) is for Μῆλος or Milos

To lose a work of art is unfortunate but to lose three is careless and the island of Milos has the distinction of being famous for just that.  The statue of the Greek God Asclepius has been taken away to the British Museum (not by Lord Elgin this time), Poseidon is in Athens but the most famous of all is the statue of Aphrodite, or the Venus de Milo, which has been taken away to the Louvre in Paris.  All over the island archaeologists continue to search for the missing arms but even if they exist it is unlikely that they will ever be found.

We woke early because we had plans for a very full day and we thought we might hire a bike and join the search for the missing appendages.   After breakfast on the terrace with a persistent black cat that seemed to think I was his temporary Merlin and the wind still rushing in and agitating the sea we walked to Pollonia to catch the ten o’clock bus to Adamas.

Our first job was to find a bike shop where we hired a death machine (quadbike) from a man who had clearly forgotten to take his early morning happy pill.  He wasn’t very talkative and saved what conversation he had to give instructions on not to drive to the forbidden zone on the west of the island.  He made it sound almost supernatural but the simple truth is that this is a National Park called Natura 2000 where there are a lot of wildlife experiments that could easily be spoilt by the careless use of a quad bike.

After leaving the port we  arrived at the main town of Plaka, which overlooks the port of Adamas below and we parked the bike and walked into the little streets of the busy town.  We walked around the town and couldn’t help noticing that there were three distinctive smells.  Proctor and Gamble Tide detergent (no longer popular in the United Kingdom) which clung to the fresh linen hanging on the washing lines outside the houses,  incense, leaking out under the doors of the churches and the divine aroma of fresh moussaka and other Greek specialities being prepared for lunchtime in the tavernas.   As it happened, it was lunchtime now so we stopped and had a leisurely lunch of salad and moussaka (what else), wine and beer and then we reluctantly moved on.

First we stopped at the seafront village of Klima, a little fishing community with gaily-painted boat garages cut directly into the rocks.  The season was finished now and the village was strangely quiet but I imagine this place would be busy in summer with lots of activity, busy bars and cafés and the aromatic smell of fish cooking on the grills at the sides of the streets.

We drove east back towards Pollonia and on the way stopped at Sarakiniko beach, which is one of the famous picture postcard sites on Milos.  The island, like Santorini, is volcanic in origin but there the similarity ends because it is completely different in character and in appearance and here the cliffs are so brilliant white that from a distance they seem to be covered in snow and there are great swirling formations of sea chiselled rocks in the most spectacular and attractive formations.

The Aegean was rough this afternoon with a stiff north breeze and the wind was whipping up the sea into waves, uncharacteristic of the Mediterranean, and they were crashing with some considerable force over the rocks.  Milos is rich in minerals and is the main source of the island’s wealth to the extent that tourism hasn’t always been very important here and at the back of the beach there was an extensive labyrinth of old abandoned mines that penetrated deep into the pumice cliffs where once people mined for sulphur.  This was one of the most interesting and spectacular beaches that I have ever visited but because it was overcast and cloudy we decided we would leave now and return tomorrow.

In the late afternoon we arrived back at the Nefeli Sunset Apartments and we sat on the balcony with a beer and wondered if there would be a sunset.  This had been an unusual day of weather contrasts, quite unlike anything we had experienced in Greece before – high winds, blue sky, grey sky, black clouds and even rain and as we waited for the sunset we crossed our fingers and hoped it would improve tomorrow.

As the sun began to drop over the horizon there was a raging wind and a wild sky, black, orange and angry in a biblical fire and brimstone sort of way so we prepared for a second evening out with two layers of clothes and walked once again back to the village where we had a good meal at a harbour side taverna.

Later we sat on the balcony with a glass of ouzo and were encouraged to see the clouds clearing away and the stars beginning to appear.  Only shyly at first but by the time we called it a day there was a clear velvet mantle encouragingly punctuated with the distinctive pin pricks of night sky activity as one by one the stars became more confident and began to shine ever more brightly.

Klima Fishing Village