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