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Published: June 14th 2008
Tarpon Springs Street on Rhodes
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.
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