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SENSUOUS SAMOS

Sailing to Samos

 

After a quick passage, mostly under sail, from Kusadasi we arrived in Samos on June 30th.  The first night was spent in a little cove at the northern end of the Samos Straits called Posidonion, where we met friends Bill and Bunny on U.S. flag boat, Onset.  Bill and Bunny have been cruising the Med for 10 out of the 17 years they have been living aboard Onset and are a wealth of information.  We first met them at Marmaris Yacht Marina where they have wintered for several years. 

The next morning we went to the town quay at Pithagorion and officially checked into Greece.  We were glad we arrived early because the town quay was filled to overflowing by late afternoon and many boats anchored out.  The waterfront is lined with cafes and restaurants, and unlike some vacation destinations, the quay is reasonably quiet at night when it becomes a pedestrian only street. 

One of the best things about being in Greece is the food.  Turkish food is OK, but we really miss pork products and most Turkish bakeries do not have a clue how to make a croissant   Also, Turkish ice cream has a texture like gum—not at all the creamy delight we are used to in the States.  In Greece, however, the have real ice cream and it is displayed so succulently that it is near impossible to pass by a shop without indulging. 

On Saturday we rented a car with Bill and Bunny and traveled across the island to Vathi to set up our internet connections.  

Vathi waterfront

 

From there we traveled along the coast into the mountains.  When you are accustomed to seeing a country at sea level, it is sometimes shocking to see how much you miss.  The sweeping views of the island and sea from high up were spectacular. 

Mountaintop view of Samos

 

We stopped at a little taverna in the mountains that had been recommended.  The single car wide road makes a sharp left turn, and suddenly you have arrived in the parking lot.  In typical Cylades fashion, the buildings are brilliant white with bright blue accents. 

Lunch at a mountain taverna. . .

 

with distant waterview.

 

Whats for lunch?

 

Traveling further west along the north coast of Samos we saw several beaches of various sizes, some tucked into little coves.  Our destination was the waterfalls near Karlovasi. 

A footpath leads from the heavily traveled beach road gradually uphill along a small river bed to the entrance to the falls.  

A sun dappled path. . .

 

past gnarled tree trunks. . .

 

along timber walkways. . .

 

and a hint of what is to come. . .

 

until we finally reach the entrance to the falls.

 

Getting to the falls requires swimming upstream and then some climbing, I am told.  Kent stripped down to his skivvies, while Jolie and I opted to stay dry and take pictures instead.  Bill and Bunny came prepared with swim suits. 

Kent's cute butt!

 

Jolie rests from her hike

 

On the way back to the car, we passed a Byzantine Church hidden in the trees with soaring ceiling and ancient chandelier. 

Chapel among the trees

 

The next day we explored the town of Pythiagorion on foot.  There is a very well done Archeological Museum adjacent to some unimpressive ruins just steps from the quay. 

Archeological Museum

 

A famous attraction in Pithagorion is the underground aqueduct which is considered the Eighth Wonder of the ancient world.  The Efpalinio tunnel was completed in 524 B.C. and provided water to the town of Pithagorion during attacks.  It is believed that 1,000 slaves took fifteen years to complete its construction and it was used as an aqueduct for more than 1,000 years. 

The entrance to the tunnel. . .

 

opens on what appears to be more crevase than tunnel. . .this is looking down the steps.

 

Entering the tunnel, 1,000 feet of which can be viewed, is not for the faint of heart, or anyone the least bit claustrophobic. 

This is a tight squeeze for broad shoulders. . .

 

not so broad shoulders.

 

We decided to stay in Samos through the July 4th holiday, since it would be nice to spend it with fellow Americans.  Destiny and Onset both “dressed ship” in honor of Independence Day. 

Destiny and Onset, July 4, 2011, Pithagorion

 

Kent and I spent the holiday strolling through the town.  Pythagorion also has a Byzantine fortress or castle facing the harbor.  

The church and fortress sit along the shore. . .

 

and from near the church clock tower, you can see the harbor in the distance.

 

Inside the Greek Orthodox church is very ornate. . .

 

as are the graves in the adjacent cemetery.

 

The door was open and there was someone sitting at the desk inside, but we were informed that the “kastro” is closed on Monday—as tourists ready to pay to get in milled around—only in Greece. 

We celebrated July 4th with  hot dogs and homemade potato salad on Destiny, followed by homemade apple pie and watermelon on Onset.  Aussie friends, Corinne and Philip on S/V Fabuloso joined our celebration. 

Recipe for a perfect July 4th holiday. . .hot dogs, homemade potato salad and good friends to share it with.

 

Our original plan was to leave Samos for Patmos on July 5th, but that morning the wind said better to head east rather than south, so we went to Fournoi about 23 NM from Samos.  Next stop, Mykonos where we plan to anchor in a small bay on the south shore that we visited on Kent’s 60th birthday cruise. 

More Greek islands to follow, and many will have the same sensuous allure as Samos—clear sunny days, followed by cooler, breezy evenings; dark star studded skies, and succulent food. 

Life is good.
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