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June 14th 2008
Published: June 14th 2008
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This "special" photo was left out of the Rhodes blog. We wanted to include it in this blog for our family and friends in Tarpon Springs.
Astyapalea was delightful and Amorgos was as beautiful as ever. We are continuing our travels through the islands and these two stops were especially nice. Both islands are a bit off the beaten path and exhibit a more traditional Greek life style. Astyapalea is shaped like a butterfly and has a fabulous castle ruin above the town of Pera Yialos, where we stayed. We hiked up to the Chora and walked through the ruins several times. The upper area of the Chora is like a ghost town, with doors slamming and hinges creaking as the wind howls through the deserted pathways. The houses surrounding the castle were abandoned in 1953 due to a major earthquake and now are padlocked and slowly decaying. The government is attempting to restore the castle and the surrounding village, but is having a difficult time due to all the structural damage caused by the earthquake.

In Amorgos our main activity was to revisit the monastery that is built right into the face of a sheer cliff overlooking the sea. It's a long hike up to the monastery, but worth every step. The views from the entrance are amazing. From there we hiked the 7 miles back into town, had dinner, and collapsed for the night. Amorgos is a great island for hiking with a 4 hour hike along the spine of the mountain range that runs along the length of the island. We didn't do this hike, but may try it sometime in the future. The town of Katapola is a prime destination for sailers and we watched some beautiful sailboats arrive and depart from our balcony overlooking the harbor.

Next stop was Mykonos with the hope that this time we would be able to get to the island of Delos, just a mere 2K away. The Meltemi winds have cancelled the boats every time we have tried since we were last there in 1984. This time we were sucessfull! It was a rather bumpy ride to and from the island, but not too bad. Delos was the governmental and commercial center of third century BC Greece. Today it is an open air archaeological museum on an island that is 3 miles long and a half mile wide. The ruins, statues, and mosaics are beautiful and plentiful. We spent a full morning roaming this ancient city that once supported 30,000 people. At one time, 250 BC, it was also the center of the Mediterranean slave trade with 10,000 slaves being sold each day.

After Mykonos, we boarded the ferry again and traveled to one of our favorite islands in the world, Santorini. We so enjoy the beautiful scenery of Fira and the caldera and then retreat to our quiet little beach town of Karmari. One of the main priorities while on Santorini is the bus trip to Oia. It is probably our most favorite coastal drive in the world. The winding road hugs the steep volcanic cliffs and the views of the landscape and the sea beloware incredible. On this visit we decided to hike down the 273 stairs to the harbor. We haven't done this is years and it is a beautiful and peaceful way to enjoy the caldera. However, we then had to hike back up the 273 stairs. We will be here until June 17 and then will be heading to Paros.

With the access to free or cheap Internet, the new quick upload format on the travelblog, and all the photos that I wanted to share, I've gone a little crazy with the number of photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Additional photos below
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Our studio apartment on the beach in AstyapaleaOur studio apartment on the beach in Astyapalea
Our studio apartment on the beach in Astyapalea

We are on the top floor on the left side
Maltezana windmillMaltezana windmill
Maltezana windmill

There is a cool echo spot in the center of the courtyard in front of the windmill. We were told that you can sit there and tell all your troubles to the heavens and they will be taken away from you.

15th June 2008

One Day...
I've always have known...and still looking forward to the day that I will see some of the BEAUTIFUL sites you have blessed us with. I will HAVE to show Spyros and Kal these pics you have sent. That will put a little spark to get them motivated to come for at least one last visit, which of course we will impose on, for their benefit of course! I'm sure you are having a great time, and I am so happy for you. THanks for thinking of us. Love, Mindy
18th June 2008

I always enjoy reading your travel blog and seeing the wonderful pictures! What lovely inspiration when tick-tock life gets to be a bit much. Thanks for sharing, as always--Ange
18th June 2008

I had not heard of the Island Astyapalea,although I was on Kos in the late 80's....Looked it up on Google Earth...Your photos have inspired me to give it a whirl.....Thank you Pam.....and Ron

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