Lesvos, Chios, and Rhodes

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July 5th 2013
Published: July 5th 2013
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Mytilini's Statue of Liberty on the island of LesvosMytilini's Statue of Liberty on the island of LesvosMytilini's Statue of Liberty on the island of Lesvos

The Mytilini Castle is in the background.
Ahhh, to be back in the Greek Islands! We're doing 6 islands this time. The first 3 were Lesvos, Chios, and Rhodes. Then it was on to Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos.

Lesvos (aka - Lesbos) was a new island for us. As with the majority of Greek Islands it had quaint towns, some nice beaches, and lovely blue water. We were based in the capital city of Mytilini on the south coast. It was a cute little town with its own Statue of Liberty and a Venetian Castle overlooking the town and the harbor. By renting a car we were able to see the rest of the island in a day. There were winding, mountainous roads across the center and interesting towns on the north and west coast. The town of Molyvos, which was once the capital, also had an impressive Venetian Castle overlooking the village. Near the town of Sirgi, there is a true petrified forest. It's one of the few that are outside of Arizona. We had too little time to explore it thoroughly, since it was closing in a half hour. Still, we managed a quick hike to the largest of the petrified rocks and saw the
Mytilini CastleMytilini CastleMytilini Castle

A Venetian fortress built in the mid 1500s to protect the south coast of Lesvos.
rest from a distance as we hiked.

Our ferry to Chios was 5 hours late due to mechanical problems. Not a good omen for our future ferry travel. The main features of Chios are the mastic groves and the geometric designs on the houses in the village of Pirgi. Mastic trees only grow on the island of Chios. It is the primary ingredient in chewing gum, is also used in cosmetics and to make Mastic liquour. There are several towns that have mastic groves, but the main one is Mesta. It is a true medieval walled village built in the 1400s. It was been continuously inhabited since that time.

In the village of Pirgi the house are decorated with intricate geometric patterns. The designs vary from house to house, but all follow a general accepted pattern. The scraped designs are called Xysta. The technique is done by hand with plastering sand that is tinted in black and white.

Our ferry to Rhodes was canceled due to mechanical problems and wouldn't be returning to Chios for several days. This was the same ferry that had left Mytilini 5 hours late. So "Travel Master" Ron got to work!! Within an hour he had booked us a flight to Rhodes, booked a hotel, we packed, checked out of our hotel, and grabbed a cab to the airport. We arrived at the airport 45 minutes prior to departure. It was a wild time!

Rhodes is always a favorite stop. We enjoy the history, the walled Old City, the modern New City, the waterfront, the food and the people. We did our visits to the Palace of the Grand Master, walked the Avenue of the Knights, drank coffee at the kafeions, shopped the stores in the old city, walked the moat, climbed the clock tower, went to the movies, and took the scenic bus ride to the ancient ruins of Lindos. I don't usually write about the food, but we found an awesome restaurant in Rhodes. It was called "Louis", was right next to our hotel, and was outstanding. We had some of the best Greek food ever. It was so good and so convenient that we ate there 4 times. I can't recommend it enough to anyone headed to Rhodes.

We are now in Santorini. Our week in Crete was most interesting and will be covered in the next
Cookware ChandeliersCookware ChandeliersCookware Chandeliers

Greek salad and pizza for dinner. The chandeliers were just too funny.
blog along with Santorini and Mykonos. The ferries are being more user-friendly and getting us where we need to go. And so, the journey continues...........

Yassas, RPM

Additional photos below
Photos: 50, Displayed: 24


Petrified Forest - LesvosPetrified Forest - Lesvos
Petrified Forest - Lesvos

This petrified forest is one of only a few that exist outside of Arizona. It is located near the west coast of Lesvos, near the town of Sirgi. This was the largest piece of petrified wood in the park.
Molyvos Castle, LesvosMolyvos Castle, Lesvos
Molyvos Castle, Lesvos

Another Venetian Castle built to protect the north coast of Lesvos.
Molyvos CastleMolyvos Castle
Molyvos Castle

Mytilini and Molyvos are a bit competitive about their castles. We liked the one at Molyvos best.
Leaving the port of MytiliniLeaving the port of Mytilini
Leaving the port of Mytilini

The ferry to Chios was 5 hours late due to engine problems. This was just the start of our ferry woes. Thank heaven for Olympic Airlines.
Grecian Castle Hotel - ChiosGrecian Castle Hotel - Chios
Grecian Castle Hotel - Chios

The building was built over 100 years ago and was a pasta factory. Now it's a lovely hotel. This was our splurge for my birthday.
Medieval town of Mesta, ChiosMedieval town of Mesta, Chios
Medieval town of Mesta, Chios

Mesta is one of the towns that grows and sells mastic. Mastic only grows on the island of Chios. It is used to make chewing gum and cosmetics. They also ferment it and make a type of liquour.
Alleys of MestaAlleys of Mesta
Alleys of Mesta

This medieval town has been continually inhabited since the 1400s.
Village of Pirgi,ChiosVillage of Pirgi,Chios
Village of Pirgi,Chios

Pirgi is a small, quaint village with a very unique form of geometric designs on the buildings.
Pirgi designsPirgi designs
Pirgi designs

The technique is called Xysta. Plastering sand is applied by hand and then scraped into the geometric motifs.

The village was built with all the doors opening within the city square. This was a form of protection against raids from pirates and the Turks.

The swallow has added her own personal touch to the designs.
Pirgi - town squarePirgi - town square
Pirgi - town square

The defense tower surrounding the town square.

5th July 2013

Love your pics and comments. I think Greece was my most favorite place to see and experience. I remember Jennifer and I met you there. Love that mastica liquor. Enjoying your blog.
7th July 2013

Mindy and I really really want to go there
The photos are beautiful I can't wait to see them someday Mindy's coming here today I'll be sure and show them to her
9th July 2013

Greece in 2014. Look forward to sitting down for a deep Greece talk in Oct. Have fun ! Ed

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