Driving around Samos

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June 14th 2011
Published: June 14th 2011
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Heraion SamosHeraion SamosHeraion Samos

The sacred way
Monday 13th June 2011 cont'd

5.30 pm
We had decided to hire a car for a day to see a few places around the island and made enquiries at the hotel reception.

We had said that we would like the car for one day tomorrow - Tuesday. It turned out that we could have the car from now if we wanted until tomorrow evening as it would cost no extra. We said yes. The hire car was from Mirto and turned up a short while later. The forms were filled in and a quick tour of the controls and that was us.

Because we had the car now we hopped in for a quick drive and headed West to the corner of the Island and got as far as Paleochoria.

The main road skirted the coast but several miles inland and the roads to the coast were more like tracks so we didn't bother.

We headed back and took a detour towards Pythagorus' cave but again the road got worse and worse as we went up the mountain so we gave up and headed back to the hotel.

After showering and getting ready we left
Heraion SamosHeraion SamosHeraion Samos

The Temple of Hera
the room at eight and ate at the restaurant next door. We had a Greek salad and both went for Chicken cooked on a spit. We had Greek coffees and were given a free dessert, with a half litre carafe of house wine, water and a coke the bill was €25.00. A pleasant meal and we got chatting to an English couple here on holiday, so the meal passed very quickly.

Tuesday 14th June, 2011

We set the alarm for eight o'clock as we had the hire car today and wanted to make the most of it. We went down for a quick breakfast then back and readied ourselves for the day leaving the hotel at nine thirty.

Pat drove and we headed east for Heraion archaeological site. We went via the main road - I use the term loosely as the roads are not the best but we found our way. On the way we went through an area where there was wild broom in flower and the perfume was filling the air. We also saw in the distance the airport which we had heard had a short runway and sharp braking practices, which I can now understand.

The Temple to Hera which is what the Heraion is all about was massive and one of the greats in it's day. The entrance fee was €3 each and the signs are better than some places but you don't get much of a feel for the place. By visiting the museum in Vathi we had seen some of the original statues that are copied at the site.

There was excavation work going on in several locations around, which added to our interest.

We spent just under an hour there then headed off to Pithagorio. The plan was to arrange the next leg of our journey while we were there and so needed a ferry ticket office.

By the time we had parked and had a drink at the harbour it was after 12 and nearer to 1 o'clock. Our next task was to find out if we could get from Samos - leaving from any of the three ports - to Rhodes. We had been unable to verify that it could be done searching the internet, but Greek ferry information online is highly unreliable and this didn't mean it couldn't necessarily be done. So

Pythagoras statue
off we went to the ticket offices and all of the three that we found were shut for the afternoon until 1730 or 1800 hrs.

We decided initially to fill the time and hang around until later. So we went back to the harbour and wandered around for some time and did from one end to the other.

Then up to the early Christian church and the castle overlooking the port.

After a further drink at the harbour paying €5 for two cokes it was still only three o'clock and we had really done Pithagorio.

I am used to the afternoon closing of offices and shops as I have lived in Cyprus for some time, but this lengthy shut down in the afternoon was totally frustrating me. So we reviewed our options and made the decision to take a run up to Vathi and see if we could find any offices open up there and if not we had plenty of time to come back to Pithagorio.

So a quick drive in the car up to Vathi and parked up by the port area, there seemed to be offices open. We went in to an

Looking down on the village where we are staying
office and we asked the question - can we get a ferry Samos to Rhodes. She looked up on her system and the answer was "No, not directly" we would have to go via somewhere else like Patmos then on, or she suggested we could fly which we hadn't thought of but wasn't an option we wanted.

We were kind of aware about the Patmos alternative and had already discussed that if this was the case we would spend a couple of days and see the place anyway before moving on.

So we said that we would like to book two from Pithagorio, Samos to Patmos for Friday, at which point she advised she was unable to - and Pat thought she was going to say we had to book in Pithagorio but she continued to then say - as they weren't an agent for the particular ferry line, but that another office a short distance along the road could. We thanked her profusely for all her help and information and went down the road.

The office was open and we explained what we wanted and booked on the A. N. E. Kalimnos Sea lines ferry called Nissos Kalimnos 1410 hrs from Pithagorio to Patmos, Friday 17th June, 2011 cost was €8.50 each.

So the time was 4.30 and we had managed to do what we wanted well before the offices opened in Pithagorio.

We decided there was nothing specifically we wanted to do, but the only main road on the island we now had not driven was through then centre so that's where we headed.

Eventually we found our way back to our corner of the island and decided on something to eat in Votsalakia as we needed to go there to pay for the hire car anyway.

We saw the Italian restaurant Green Island which had parking. They were open so we sat and ordered. We had a pleasant meal of mixed salad, tagliatelle with cream and mushrooms and Pasta in tomato and bacon sauce, with drinks and coffee's was €27.50.

Then up to Mirto's to pay for the hire car which was €30 for the day and we took the guy with us from the hire car company to take it straight back from the hotel.

Up to the room arriving at quarter past seven.

It was at times a frustrating day and we didn't leave the room after returning as we were both worn out.

One of the things we have observed driving around the island is the number of military installations and vehicles on the road. I suppose this has a lot to do with the fact that at it's closest Turkey is only 0.99 miles away by sea.


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