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Published: October 19th 2007
It's amazing what a difference a 45 minute boat ride can make! I left Tuesday night for the closest Grecian island to Cesme, which is called Chios. Each time I asked for a map or a guidebook, people could only offer me vague maps of the entire island, so I was really curious what this small town and island might behold! Honestly, I've always wanted to do a Grecian island cruise of some sort, so thought it was a good opportunity to catch a glimpse of one, if only for a few nights!
When I arrived, i was cracking up - here I am again in another country with another currency (back to Euros!) and a completely crazy foreign language! I mean, across Europe, you can usually deduct most signs, or at least read them!!! But in Greece, FAT CHANCE! I was facsinated by the menu displays outside of restaurants because the symbols were all so familiar, yet foreign! Good thing they had pictures! (More meatballs, although this time with tatziki, and let me tell you, i was eating that tatziki by the spoonful!!!) I had made a reservation through the company that sold me the ferry ticket, and luckily
my hotel was just across the harbor! *I would like to note here that about this time, after 6 weeks of cobblestone streets, wandering from train stations, bus stops, and ferry rides, I was thanking all of my brain cells, friends, and lucky stars that i choose a luggage with WHEELS!!!!! WHY o WHY would people choose to wear this thing on their back!?!?!)* As I was walking to my hotel, I was passing cafe after cafe after cafe all full of people my age! Mostly boys, mostly drinking coffee and tea!? Anyways, I was excited to drop off my stuff and get out into this scene! My first night I went out to a great cafe called Metropolitan, but spent about 90 minutes observing the scene and noted a few important things: 1. I was the only one drinking beer. 2. I was surrounded by cute boys. 3. None of them spoke any English. Or if they did, they pretended they didn't so as to avoid being my new friend. WELL THEN! Guess we're not in Turkey anymore!?!?!? HELLO! I'M HERE!! 😊
No worries, I wanted to get a good nights sleep since I only had one full
amazing greek shrines were all along the roads
and they all had a candle lit inside them, yet they were in the middle of nowhere!
day to explore the island! I walked around town in the morning, and saw everything in about 7 minutes, so I decided to stop into the car rental place and just check on prices. Well, it turned out to only be $50 for a day, so i went for it! I mean, they only had maps of the island, not the city of Chios, at the tourist information place too! There must be some good stuff to see! A few people, after balking at the fact that I was only in town for a day, told me I had to see Mesta and Pyrgi. OK! I got in the car....oh great....its a 5-speed! Well, I know how to drive a stick...I'm not great at it, but whatever! go with the flow! I took off and soon noticed that none of the "roads" or "highways?" ... no definitely not highways ... anyways, none had names...not even on the map! Basically just every intersection would have signs pointing in the two directions with names of the tiny towns you would find that way! So, I just started turning wherever I wanted...I mean, how lost can I get on an island? HAHAHAH VERY!
I was laughing out loud almost continuously the entire day! The roads were all barely one and a half lanes and never ever straight - winding back and forth and billions of hairpin turns around blind corners and all with a cliff on one side of you and the vast mountain or sea on the other! About every 15 minutes I would pull into this town teetering on the side of a cliff - maybe 50 people lived there - and the whole town would be hanging out in the street or on porches just drinking tea or - you guessed it - playing backgammon! (I guess THAT made it across the sea!) In one town I almost got run over by a truck and had to do a 35 point turn into a small driveway to allow room for him to pass - I conked out the car *(reverse and first gear are the hardest!) about twice and the 6 men enjoying their afternoon tea were just loving it!
when I pulled into Mesta, i blinked and it was gone! I started laughing, turned around, pulled in again and parked the car! I ended up meeting this great
ceramic artist and spending some time in his shop drinking iced nescafe and chatting about life, art, and the joy of meeting people! that town was so crazy, as everyone was living in these stone fortress things from the 15-17th centuries! Then I got to Pyrgi, and it was just as fascinating....each building had this intricate pattern of geometric shapes or flowers carved into the concrete! It sure makes for an interesting stroll through the neighborhood! I had a blast exploring these two towns, then safely driving back to Chios. I was glad to return the car in one piece! I then went straight to the "billards club" by my hotel, because I had spotted a foos ball table in there that morning! you will never believe this - I asked about 7 different boys if they would play foos ball (well, none spoke english, but I was pointing to the foos table and smiling and pointing at myself and them....sign language at its best!) but NO ONE WOULD PLAY WITH ME!?!! I left crying....
Had an amazing dinner and a few beers and shots with a nice Greek bartender lady - I think she felt sorry for me
because I was glued to by blackberry and no one - not even her - spoke english - and then went to bed early again...which is for the best since I had a 7:30 ferry back to Turkey in the morning!
Yesterday was an insane day of travel - Ferry to Cesme - Bus to Izmir - Taxi to Havas bus stop - Bus to Airport - Plane to Istanbul - Shuttle to Hotel in Instanbul! It took all day, and wouldn't you know, the hotel I choose for one night was just down the street from the crazy carpet salesman me and Bon met! HIDE ME!
Closing up blogging shop here at the airport in Jordan - don't know how much internet access I will have in India, but I will take good notes and I'm sure many many pictures!!! I must sign off on this arabic keyboard:
اثقث ه شة ثىتخغهىل شمم خب فاث قهؤاثس خب فاث صخقمي! ÷ صهسا ثشؤا خب غخع صثقث اثقث صهفا ةث! لإشمن فخ غخع سخخىو شمم خب ةغ مخرثو ًِآ]،ُ
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