Sunday on Tinos – Panagia Evangelistria

Tinos is most famous for a blessed icon of the Virgin Mary, which is second to Lourdes in granting miracles. Hundreds of Orthodox crawl the kilometer from Port to the Church of Panagia Evangelista up the stairs to the church to kiss the icon. Miracles are proclaimed and the benefactors give gold or silver offerings representing their miracle.

Panagia Evangelistria
Panagia Evangelistria

The interior of the church is beautiful with icons and many silver representations of the miracles. One miracle was of a ship which had been sinking, the crew all prayed to the Virgin Mary. Suddenly the ship stopped taking on water, when they looked at the hole, a big tuna sized fish had been sucked into the whole, staunching the flow of water, allowing them enough time to reach shore. To thank the Virgin for this miracle, a large silver sailing ship hung with 2/3 of a tuna hanging from the hole. There is a beautiful silver icon of the Virgin and a line of people waiting to say their prayers in front of her. There are silver babies, houses and other ships. We lit candles and were humbled by the faith you could feel in the church.

Here are a few photos of the church and the grounds of Panagria Evangelistria .

a pilgrim crawling to give thanks
a pilgrim crawling to give thanks
From the courtyard looking towards the Port
From the courtyard looking towards the Port
The Priest
A Priest

The meltemi is consistently blowing, gusts up to 50+ knots.  To look outside you would think it is a perfect day, you step outside and you feel like Mary Poppins about to take off.  It literally sweeps you off your feet.  We have had to reef the bimini or we would have been flying with Mercier instead of sailing. The meltemi teaches patience.

We are happy to hear that Rosemary and Stephen made it to Syros and will fly back to Sydney on schedule.  We wish them a safe trip.

A Meltemi in Tinos

Friday’s forecast was for  a wicked southerly in the Aegean and so we did 40 miles in an attempt to make safe harbour at Tinos by Thursday afternoon.

It was warm and hazy, so after we got settled we spoke to a few taxi drivers and checked our reference books to determine which beach was the nicest.

Church at Stravros Beach
Church at Stravros Beach

We selected Stravros Beach imaging a beach with chaise lounges and cocktails. Actually, the beach is in the church yard and was full of families, with small children having a wonderful time. Singing and splashing Grandpa and uncles, swimming or bobbing depending upon ability. What a wonderful church yard. Across the bay is Poseidon’s sanctuary, we could see some ruins in the distance.

When we returned from our swim, we were rinsing off from the stern shower, when the water pump refused to work. Here are four of us, a salty bunch, trying to use the bucket to rinse off, so we could go below to look at the waterpump. The taxi drivers were wide eyed, they were unused to seeing such a sight in the middle of town.

Mercier, Tinos Town Quay
James waving from Mercier, Tinos Town Quay

Friday morning James fixed the water pump with Stephen’s expert advice. There were no fierce winds from the south but it was miserably hot and humid. We went to check in with the port police and on the way back we saw a pelican come dancing into the children’s playground. The little boy’s Mum is telling him to pet the bird for a photograph; the little boy was very hesitant. However, when the Pelican decided to visit Mum, she fled the scene.

Tinos Town Pelican
Tinos Town Pelican, he wanted the little boy to pet him

We had a nice traditional Greek lunch followed by a traditional Greek nap.

We went to the beautiful Symposion Restaurant for dinner, off the town quay and near a beautiful marble fountain for dinner. We talked about what beautiful Greek Islands we had visited and discussed our plans to visit Syros on Saturday morning.  Little did we know that at 5:00 am, we would all be waken by a meltemi and all our plans would change.

Up on the balcony, goodbye dinner for Rosemary and Stephen
Up on the balcony, goodbye dinner for Rosemary and Stephen

With gusts up to 50 knots and spin drift blowing off waves,  Mercier is fixed  to the quay. Rosemary and Stephen chose the wise course and boarded the ferry to Syros so that they could make their flight home on Monday. All the advice was that Sunday would be too windy even for the large ferries. We wished them Bon Voyage and safe passage, while we sit here in the swells of Tinos harbour. Tomorrow, we might go to church.

Happy Birthday Simon, aka Basil!

The Island of Kea

Mercier sailed into Kohissia on Sunday afternoon and it looked small, brown and much less lush than the Ionian Islands.  As with many of the islands and bays, it charms you only after you have stayed for awhile.

Ioulis, Kea Greece
Ioulis, Kea Greece

We moored on the town quay, right in front of Papa Doble Vineria, which serves good coffee and smoothies and offered an wonderful view of  boats trying to anchor stern to in a gusty wind. It was very hard to keep your bow pointed straight as you reverse back into the quay.

Luckily, a very nice Athenian gentleman took our lines and chatted to us for awhile .  He was going back to Athens, about an hour away in his powerboat. We decided, as the wind was getting gustier, that we would have another coffee at Papa Dobles to keep an eye on Mercier. Stephen and James and other yachties would help take the lines of the new arrivals.  Plenty of advice was offered.  There was a motor boat next to us and we watched aghast as a yacht was blown down onto the boat.  No damage done but it was a cringe worthy event.

The ferries came in and went out pretty quickly and efficiently and we saw buses and helicopters loaded. Our neighbours at Papa Dobles, had broad American accents and sat and chatted and chatted – the ferry departed and suddenly we heard “Oh my God, OMG,OMG (x15) the ferry has left us.”

On Monday morning, we went for walks and then we decided to go up to the village of Ioulis and walked through the village to see The Lion of Kea, a sculpture carved circa 600 BC from granite.

James at the Lion of Kea
James at the Lion of Kea

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The lion almost looks like he is smiling. The walk is fairly easy and scenic thru the village. The views as you look back to Ioulis are spectacular and out to the other islands in the deep blue water worth the effort.

cousins Stephen and James
cousins Stephen and James

When we returned our neighbouring yachts had left.  We looked up to see the Squadron burgee and waved Howzat in beside us.

RSYS Yachts Howzat and Mercier on Kea Island Greece
RSYS Yachts Howzat and Mercier on Kea Island Greece

We had a wonderful dinner overlooking the harbour and thought we could spend another day here. Lovely beaches, very nice people, especially our Athenian friend and Maria Helena, who walked me to find a laundry a half a kilometer away.  There are also some nice burros on Kea, here’s one of our favorites.

HeeHaw, a very vocal fellow
HeeHaw, a very vocal fellow

 

 

Athens Back Streets

Athens is vibrant bordering on frenetic. There are so many people wandering the streets, but if you stay away from Cruise ship tours, travel the intricate back streets, you will enjoy it.

Anafiotika is near the north side of Acropolis hill and looks like it was pinched from the Cycladic island of Anafi and perched there on a steep site. There were workers who came to Athens in the early 19th century, they became homesick, so built there minute houses to remind them of Anafi.

Anafiotikan church
Anafiotikan church
Anafiotika
Anafiotika – see the Acropolis at the top

You often see small children and grandparents on the Happy Train, as we were walking out of Anafiotika, you can see that a badly parked car meant the happy train couldn’t turn the corner. We came upon them pulling the happy train apart car by car and taking each car around the corner. Does the happy train blow its whistle and helpers come running?

Athens Happy Train
Athens’ Happy Train had to be pulled apart and manhandled to get around this corner

We wandered past the Tower of the Winds, which was a water clock on the inside and a sun dial on the outside. It has carvings of the eight winds on each of its eight sides.

Hellenistic Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora
Hellenistic Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora

We visited the wonderful National Archaeological Museum with Leanne and Cam, but on Sunday we visited the Acropolis Archaeological museum. This captivating museum is just five years old and definitely a must see. The architecture is light and open with use made of the subterranean spaces. You walk over glass and view three stories of excavations or a minuscule fragment of tea cups or amphora.

Wikipedia says: The design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the fourth competition. Tschumi’s design revolves around three concepts: light, movement, and a tectonic and programmatic element. Together these characteristics “turn the constraints of the site into an architectural opportunity, offering a simple and precise museum” with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greekbuildings.

James at the Acropolis Archaeological Museum
James at the Acropolis Archaeological Museum

Happy Happy Birthday, darling Rene. Hope you are spoiled all happy day long.

Acropolis, Agora and a fond farewell to Leanne and Cam

“Across the distance, the Acropolis museum cradled within its protective walls its legendary treasures, lulling them to a peaceful sleep under the eerie light from the heavens. Yet, through the large window, the five Caryatids stood alert on their strong platform. The ageless maidens with the long braided hair down their backs remained awake even at this hour gazing across to the Acropolis, full of nostalgia for their sacred home. Inside their marble chests, they nurtured as always, precious hope for the return of their long lost sister.” 
 Effrosyni MoschoudiThe Necklace of Goddess Athena

We have been crossing items off our bucket list.  We were so happy to have company for Lepanto, Zante, the Corinth Canal, Meteora and Delphi.  We made the Corinth Canal a day early, so we were able to have a splendid day at the Acropolis. We thought we would share the photos.

Climbing up to the Acropolis
Climbing up to the Acropolis
James, Cameron and Leanne
James, Cameron and Leanne
Theatre of Dionysus
Theatre of Dionysus
Leanne and Gaila in front of the Caryatids, it was exceptionally windy
Leanne and Gaila in front of the Caryatids, it was exceptionally windy
The Parthenon
The Parthenon
The Agora
The Agora