Limnos May 27 – 30, 2014

May 27, 2014
Another no wind day at sea has finally found us in Myrina on the island of Limnos. Lovely. The entrance to the harbor has a beautiful white Greek Orthodox Church on a promontory on one side and a well-preserved castle on the opposite flanking hilltop. Fellow boaters grabbed our lines as we came in … English couple in their late 70s to our left and a French/Australian couple and their friends to our right. Both groups are pleasant folks who alerted us that electricity and water was available by purchasing a card for the utility box at the café across the street called “The Nautilas”. The owner, Fortis, was happy to arrange the arrival of the diesel fuel oil truck to fill up Pakilar.

Entering the harbor in Limnos
Entering the harbor in Limnos

The quay in Myrina is quite small. This keeps things fairly quiet. The town looked empty when we first arrived around 2pm. Later, we discovered there is a great walking street of shops and tons of things to see and do. The island is quite large actually and we plan to rent a car tomorrow to see the sites. After our 7pm delivery of fuel, we headed off to dinner. We took a break from traditional food and ate at Cavo Del Mare (Cavo del Mare – Restaurant and Studios Tel: 22540 24767 www.cavodelmare.gr email: info@cavodelmare.gr ) . It had some excellent Italian dishes. Cavo is one of a series of restaurants at a bay north of town. It was easy walking distance from our boat. You head up the walking street from the town quay and proceed past “bank square” (lots of banks, hence the name). If you take the first left after bank square, you will see the beach straight ahead. At the beach, take a right. This bay is beautiful and we timed it right for a magnificent sunset that I could not capture on film. This is the Greek experience that you hope for, the one yousee in the movies…setting sun, gentle lap, lap of the water, and a perfect breeze.

We will rent a car tomorrow to see the sights. The island has one of the most ancient of Neolithic settlements and a winery. What a combination!

May 28, 2014   Limnos experienced the earthquake this past Saturday and was closer to the epicenter.  At one point in its history, the entire island was destroyed by earthquake…a geologically precarious place. New moon tonight and rain forecasted for Thursday and Friday, so we have decided to do as much touring as possible in the next two days. We head to our Holiday rental car parked in the parking area near our boat and ferry dock (both a major ferry and airport on the island) and are taking pictures even before we leave the lot. What do we see but an old Volkswagen Beetle that is completely painted with different scenes and slogans and carrying a couple of old bags, skis, on its roof rack. As we travel around the island, we see at least two more small cars (Fiat and ??) which local artists / art lovers have painted as an object d’art. This car is the best and deserving of its place of honor near the quay. The car’s major slogan, written in Italian for some reason, was “The Trip is an expansion of being” …Words of wisdom for this traveler who is “always a tourist”. We hop into our small Hyundai and head out to explore.

"The Trip is the Expansion of the Spirit" caption on these wonderful artist created cars.
“The Trip is the Expansion of the Spirit” caption on these wonderful artist created cars.

Our first stop was Kontias with its windmills. These are the charming “fat” windmills with the very large blades that you see in travel brochures for Greece. These windmills are often converted into apartments now. It is a short stop here with a picture of a second painted car and we head to the residential section of Kontias. Major roads on Limnos take you through the narrow old world towns of many of the villages on the island. Many times we think we are lost and off track but actually we are still on what is considered the major roadway. The streets through Kontias are a perfect example. They are winding and beautiful with stonewalls and walkways. Every third house is an oasis of green, homes of dedicated gardeners creating their own tropical rain forest. We stopped blaming our GPS for our being lost and enjoyed the ride.

Stopped in Nea Koutali to see the maritime museum but it was closed. The Greeks traditionally close at 2pm and open again after 6pm. It was a good time to lunch in Kotsinas at Giannakaros Restaurant Tel: 22540 41744 email: giannakaroslimnos@gmail.com The restaurant is on a small bay that looks more like a salt pond. There are a several other restaurants right on the water. We ate some delicious grilled squid / calamari, sardines and fried zucchini and a few other dishes. All were very good and super-sized…very unusual. We actually took food back to the boat. Apologies to our French friends, who, I believe, are always a bit are a bit turned off by the American doggie bag.

Headed to Atsiki and the Chatzigeopiou Winery. It closed at 5 and it was 5:20. Bummer. I suspect we will return tomorrow. Drove back to the boat viewing small vineyards, rolling brown hills dotted with a few fruit trees and many spectacular views of the bays that ring the island. Still stuffed from lunch. Ended up watching a wonderful French film directed by Claude Berri called “Jean de Florette” with Yves Montand, Gerard Depardieux, and Daniel Auteuil.

May 29, 2014
Marcelo is staying aboard today (well-deserved break from his crazy American boat owners). He is off to buy new breather hoses for fueling up. Tom and I are headed to Atsiki and the winery. I think someone drew the short straw…wine tasting vs. hose shopping…hhhmmm.

Ava and John, a French / English couple who live in central France near Beaujolais, and an Australian couple from Perth, George and Fran, are planning to come to the winery too. We checked the hours yesterday and are sure to find it open today. Areti and Petros Chatzigeorgiou’s winery is one of five in Lemnos and the largest.

Petri Chatzgeorgiou and Tom in the wine distillery room.
Petri Chatzgeorgiou and Tom in the wine distillery room.
Areti met us in the winery tasting room. Quite nice wines here with a focus on the whites. Their only red wine is fermented using a chilling process that effectively freezes the grapes before the fermentation process. We toured the facility beginning with the arrival of the grapes, culling, creating the mash, fermentation, filtering and bottling. I love plant tours and Areti did an excellent job showing us the whole process. Areti explained that the winery did not grow its own grapes but purchased them from small vineyards all around the island. (Must make it tough for quality control and competition over growers with other wineries.) We purchased a number of wines and a champagne that we liked (fruity, not clear like the Moets, but festive). We told Areti that we would return next year when she hopes to offer us a Grappa that they are working on.

John, Ava, Fran and George arrived at the winery during our tour and we all decided to go to lunch together at a Taverna in the mountains.

Rita, George, Fran, Eva, and John in the winery  tasting room
Rita, George, Fran, Eva, and John in the winery tasting room
Very simple atmosphere but wonderful home cooking at Taverna Man-Tella. Sardes, Lemnos Tel: 22540 61349. Mama cooks and son serves. It is a winner combination. Tom asked the son, our waiter whose name escapes me, if his Mama would like another son. He laughed a “real” laugh. It is so hard to be a restaurateur. You must deal with the public, us, and we think we are very charming and very funny. Our waiter liked Tom. Greek coffee on the veranda and great conversations about life from three corners of the world…Australia, France, and America.

May 30, 2014
Catch up day before we ship off to Thessaloniki. Fist stop is the AB Grocery Store, larger than the one at the roundabout at the east end of the quay. (About 2 blocks after the school on the left). Returned the car to Holiday. Headed to Wind to make sure we are topped off and have an Internet booster antenna. Hope it works.

Had lunch on the boat and booked a massage at the Palace Hotel, a five star hotel outside of Myrina. Tracy O’Grady, a lovely young lady from Colin near Dublin, runs the Temple Spa in the hotel. Good cross-seller and a self-described low-risk adventurer (traveled somewhere where she already had a job. Sounds like a smart adventurer to me.) Charter flights from Gatwick to Limnos come one a week to this huge hotel with an Olympic + sized pool along a lovely beach. The hotel itself is very nice but absent “art”…gaps in design. It caters to families and has lots of family activities.

Came back to the boat and saw our neighbors John and Eva Bird (Boat named “Destiny” and invited them to join us for dinner. Lovely couple. We shared our interests in travel, of course, books and film. John gave me a book of British mysteries that I am looking forward to reading. Eva had some wonderful suggestions on films/movies. We had a very nice meal at Romeo Restaurant at Mypina Ahmnoy Tel: 22540 22622, 25151. They are headed to the Peloponnesian chain of Greek islands this next Sunday and plan to go through the Corinth Canal (One way traffic in this long canal with a stop light at either end and no place to pull over as you move your boat through. We went through a few years ago. I felt like Indiana Jones. Quite fun.) I hope we meet up with Eva and John again.

Baba Kala (Father Castle)

May 26, 2014
On the tip of Turkey as it protrudes into the Edremit Gulf sits the town of Baba Kali (Father Castle). Nice breakwater and not-so-clean harbor here with no marina. Very quiet place. A passing 20-something young man kindly grabbed our lines as we were tying up to stern-to to the quay. No water or electricity here. There is a castle perched on the hill overhead. The walls are fairly intact but there is nothing of note to this non-archaeologist to make a comment upon. As ice cream lovers, Tom and Marcelo did appreciate an ice cream vendor next to the castle. Ice cream is a theatrical event in Turkey. The first time I had it here, it was in Antalya in southern Turkey. The vendor takes a long handled flat spatula and actually gets the ice cream to take shapes and forms you think would be impossible without its actually flying off his paddle. The more entertaining he is, of course, the more ice cream he sells. We walked up into the small harbor town and my very social husband just walks into a non-descript shop to find a knife maker honing some blades. He had a small fireplace area that he heated and hammered the blades and some instruments for carving the metal. He showed us some of the blades that he made, inscribing the owner’s name (good prima facie evidence this ex-attorney thinks). This artisan also made sheathes for these blades, usually lined with wood to absorb the moisture to keep them from rusting. Our new friend seemed to be very happy with our attention and appreciation for his art. Tom’s willingness to investigate without the fear of being rebuffed has allowed us to have some very interesting experiences.

We stopped at the hotel overlooking this small harbor and had lunch…delicious mezzes of cooked octopus, calamari, beets, a type of ochre in yoghurt and a salad. Food takes on a new importance when you are on a boat. I can’t keep myself from describing what we ate. No menu at this hotel/restaurant. It was all show and tell. The sweet-eaters were trying to figure out how to ask for dessert. The word wasn’t in the Turkish/English dictionary that the waiter brought out. Dessert is usually halvah (a very, very sweet sticky paste), baklava or fruit. Once we found the word for sweet, our waiter told us there was only halvah for dessert. The ice cream man saved the day for Tom and Marcelo and I kept my calories to the Efes (good Turkish beer) that I had at lunch.

Back to the boat for a quiet night and a film called “Happiness” with Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Conflict in terms? Knowing his sad history.)

Poroselene Bay

May 25, 2014
Consistently nice people in both Turkey and Greece! Bought a UV blocker shirt at a marina store next to the boatyard this morning and a pair of polarized sunglasses. I am pretty sure that I inadvertently lost them overboard when I was shaking out the cloth from the table. A nice young Turkish couple runs the marine store. He learned to speak English in Germany and has the accompanying accent. They wanted to know how we felt about “Healthcare in the United States”. It is interesting to learn how internal US debates become a topic of conversation in far corners of the world.

Light wind again today. We decided to anchor in Poroselene Bay, in the Northwest corner of Alibey Adasi, Turkey. Third time was the charm on anchoring. There was a ton of vegetation on the bottom. When we pulled up the anchor the first time, I could have planted a truck garden with the soil. We finally found sand to get our “Ultra” anchor to grab hold. Thank goodness for a windlass. Most of the time the Ultra grabs quickly. The anchor is shaped like a diving bird with the tips of its wings at a right angle. Very effective. There are no other boats here, just a few people on the shore from time to time…a family who came for a swim and then a few fishermen.

No Internet through our pocket wifis…neither Turkish nor Greek. Bummer! We read, watched an excellent movie “The Reader” with Kate Winslet , and are planning tomorrow’s adventure. (I am reading a really good book called “Turkey Unveiled”, a history of Turkey by Nicole Pope and Hugh Pope. I recommend it highly. Wonderfully researched and reads beautifully. Had Tom’s fusulia, Arabic for “green beans and lamb” and yogurt, (sans lamb for Marcelo).

May 24, 2014
The long range plan is to go to Thessoliniki. We decided to stop at Ayulik, Turkey on our way up the east side of Lesvos. For those unfamiliar, Greece and Turkey are close neighbors. A view from the shore of one country often looks out to see the other’s coast and the lights in each other’s kitchen windows. Dramatic history between the two countries, including a population exchange in the 1920s…Greeks forced out of Turkey and Turks forced out of Greece.

The wind was light today and powering all day is not a desirable past time for sailors. Pulled into another Setur Marina. Nice Migros grocery story and very clean showers here. I am hard to please when it comes to showering ashore. Taking myself and four little ones to various showers when we cruised in Maine was my least favorite part of our adventure. My one condition for any new “old” boat was good showers aboard. I am a diva now when it comes to rating showers ashore. The showers here are a 7 out of 10.

There was some big excitement when we first arrived. Our skipper, Marcelo, went ashore to check in and while waiting in the office there was an earthquake 7.2 on the Richter Scale. Marcelo said that the woman on the office staff ran out of the building yelling something and was in tears later. Turkey has a lot of earthquakes. Perhaps she had a previous traumatic experience. Later we were told that she was yelling “Get out of the building!” but in Turkish. Tom and I felt nothing on the boat, just a gentle rise and fall of the water.

Some exciting finds in the grocery store “Soy milk” and “Tonic Water”. Headed to the showers. Tom and Marcelo went to play tennis at a club’s courts about a 20 minute walk away. We walked into town for dinner stopping at “Café Caramel” initially, but the very kind owner explained that they had a flea market sale all day and they were not going to be open for dinner. We ended up going to “Sehir Kulubu Lokali” Restaurant in 10400 Ayvalik along the waterfront, very near the statue of Ataturk on the harbor. Tel: 0266 312 1519 or 312 36 76. We had some very nice fish…red mullet for me…and a variety of mezes from stuffed peppers and stuffed zucchini flowers. Tom had a shave, beard trim, shampoo,, neck and back massage and a facial mask at a local barber on the way home, all for a cost of 15 turkish lire ($7). They use a straight edge razor here and light a small wand to flick at your ears to burn off remaining small hairs on your face. It is fun to watch.
 

Greece

Island of Samos, Greece Road to Pythagoria
Island of Samos, Greece Road to Pythagoria

what to do before a dating scan Samos (Vathy), Greece at the Samos Marine. rencontres amicales 66 May 15, 2014     Fabulous sail here from on our 57 ft.  Nauta sailboat with 30 knots of wind, a downwind sail on a single tack. Dinner on the boat tonight. Probably pasta and off to my wonderful bunk. Full moon and a cool breeze. Clothes askew but at least the bags are unpacked.

best of site de rencontre May 16, 2014     Walked to the town via a pathway from the Marina to the village of Pythagoria. Rented a car and spent the afternoon sorting it out cell phone “pay as you go chips” at Wind. Had lunch at a fabulous restaurant at Balas Beach called “Stella’s”, a family restaurant set back by a pathway from the sea. Lemon trees, birds chirping, trellised gardens and amazing food. Tom, Marcelo and I had a great time figuring out the mystery ingredients in our shrimp and lamb dishes. Since I am telling the story, I declare myself the winner with my “cardamon” discovery. The mother, Stella, cooks along with her 30 something son. This was a great recommendation from the neighboring boat Eirene and Steve and Pam Anderson from Knoxville, Tennessee. Stella, Cypriot Restaurant, operated by the Antoniou Family. Koumeika, Balos, Samos Island, 83104 GR, Tel: 22730 36461, mob. 6947535325, antonioy@hotmail.com

Tom and Marcelo walking on the path to the village of  Pythagoria in Samos
Tom and Marcelo walking on the path to the village of Pythagoria in Samos

rencontres femmes 89 May 17, 2014    Headed out with the car for high ground to see if the pocket wifi was working, since there was not enough signal in the harbor. We pulled into a scenic overlook and all three of us pulled out our computers and downloaded our emails. Some people drive to scenic overlooks to look at the scenery and others…. Drove to Ambelos, a quaint hillside village on Samos, with small stone paths that wind up the hill. Marcelo keeps saying he would like to live on an island in Greece, so we keep trying to find him a fixer upper (just for fun). We choose houses that have no roofs and are easier for goats to traverse to discourage his “jumping ship”. Next we visited the mountain / hill town of Manolates for a fabulous meals at AAA Restaurant. This is our second visit to the restaurant. Locals always recommend it. The AAA has another reference that I have forgotten…Ambiance, Authentic, ???, per the owner. Good thing that this restaurant is uphill because our goat cheese, anchovies (very different from the ones I remember in the tin), and chicken dish were wonderful. A full litre of white wine made the downhill climb easier. Visited two potters in Manolates. One sells the Pythagorus cup. A mathematician, Pythagorus, must have had friends with spatial relationship issues, drinking issues, or just freeloaders. He invented a cup that you fill to a line and overfilling meant all the wine would drain out the bottom. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts? Or Americans bearing gifts from Greece! If Tom should give you a cup from Greece, you have been warned.

exemple de premier message site de rencontre May 18, 2014 Off to Lesvos. Fourteen or fifteen hours (120 miles) predicted for this trip sailing / motoring. Wind is usually from the north in this part of the Dodecanese so we are taking advantage of the change in wind direction to travel to the farther northern islands and then heading south as the wind changes in the week or two ahead. Pasta with artichokes for lunch with LOTS of garlic and pepperoncino! Reached Lesvos around 7:30pm last night. We anchored off the southern side of the island at Tarti (Ormos Tarti). Good shelter and a single Taverna on shore. Since we always try to come into a new harbor reasonably early / before nightfall, it was wise to anchor in this small bay. We decided to eat aboard, enjoying a frittata I made. I bemoan not having a small freezer. Still, we always seem to come up with something good to eat. It always tastes better on the boat. Perhaps, it is the wine! http://pierreduquoc.fr/?krempay=blog-rencontre-sexe-bretagne&a42=b3  

dating service for those over 50 May 19, 2014    Spent this early morning tooling along the southern coast of the island, small tour up the Kalloni Bay, and out and down around Plomarion (Plomara) and up to the city of Mythilini (“Mitilini” per the Greek Waters Pilot).   We decided on the Setur Marina, stern to, “of course” on the dock. It is a clean marina with adequate showers and very nice staff. (Hats off to Anastasia, in the office, and the staff on the docks.) You can dock closer to town and it even has electric hook-ups but being right “in” town with lots of people and traffic going by can be a negative for a lot of reasons. Safer in the marina and it is a very short walk to town. Rented a car through Best Rent A Car through the marina and then drove a good hour to beautiful Skala Sykaminas, a harbor town on the north side of the island. It is an absolutely charming place with several small restaurants a few shops and a lovely small round church right on the water. As we drove down the hill the sun was setting. It was a burst of red dispersed by a few low hanging clouds! This small harbor town reminds me of Vento Tenne, an island off the Italian coast that sports an ancient Roman Bay.   “Kids do you remember Benito and the Amberjack (swordfish like fish) he used to cook on the grill and sing opera…very drunk of, course.” We chose the Aveuoeooa Restaurant. Phone number 2253055360. We had lots of tapas, mezas including octopus  (Marcelo’s favorites) and tuna, stuffed zucchini flowers and cheese pie. It was delicious.   It was a long slow drive back to the boat. How wonderful to slip into a bunk, safely returning from an adventure on island.

discover this info here May 20, 2014     It is our second full day on Lesvos and Marcelo has decided to stay aboard to repair the generator (fuse issue he discovered that was messing up the transducer or is that a line from “Back to the Future” and I think it was the same problem with the boat?? I have to google so many things lately or I get it confused.). He wanted to catch up on some emailing, downloading and phone calls. Good internet at Setur Marina. We can finally do the updates to various programs on our computers. Tom and I head to see the Teriade Museum that has Miros, Matisses and Chagalls, etc. It was closed for construction that is taking longer than they thought. Next time, hopefully! Then we headed to the west side of Lesvos to visit a monastery called Moni Ypsilou. We stop in Andissa, a hillside town, near the monastery. Half a dozen massive trees wind their limbs above the courtyard to provide pleasant coolnees. A woman is pushing a huge / full lane sized hand cart down the street selling closes. She stops near the tree nearest us and soon a white van pulls up. Within five minutes the cart is folded and hung on the back of the van, the clothes are packed and they are off to their next destination. What a team! We eat in the town square at a restaurant that seems to have no name but advertises that they “Wir Sprechen Deutche”. The mother/cook/ proprieter speaks German as our only alternative to English. No menus, just a verbal list in German. Actually, the fleisch that I order is an excellent lamb chop. Most other items like the dolmades were alright but “nothing to write home about” or put in this blog.  Tom went in to pay the bill when the mother pulls him aside to show him a honey cake she has made. Tom agrees quickly to add that to our meal and gives her a kiss on the cheek. The old lady is in love now. The piece of cake looked very big.

Interior of Church
Interior of Church
Bell tower and steps to balcony overlooking surrounding towns.
Bell tower and steps to balcony overlooking surrounding towns.

After lunch, we were off to the monastery that is located about 5 kilometers away on a pinnacle on top of a very large hill. The one way traffic going up offers great views but the single lane and no guard rail gave me that giddy weakness in the legs when you feel falling is likely, even probable. Upon our arrival, Tom and I had the only car in the parking lot. We walked the last 500 meters to the entrance and saw a monk/priest loading his van and backing up. ‘Oh no, this is closed too’, I thought.   Still, the monastery door was open so we walked in. This Greek Orthodox Church is lovely. It is even more ornate than usual. After taking pictures, I wandered into the small but pleasant courtyard to the right of the church. Whom should I see but a priest striding across who looked shocked to see me. “Kalimera” / “Good Morning”, I said. He looked a bit upset. I turned back and found Tom upstairs in the museum who told me the priest motioned that he could not speak, honoring a vow of silence, but encouraged us with hand signals to come into the museum containing religious vestments, etc, from the 11th century onward. There was a spectacular view from the top of the monastery wall and worth seeing. Stopped at the petrified forest afterwards but really not worth the effort. It had lots of walking trails with very few pieces of the wood. Somehow, we missed the museum, supposedly nearby and ended up in Spirigi, a seacoast town. Instead of taking a right to the town, we took a left to the beach road. The next 14 kilometers was over dirt road too small to even turn around with few shoulders. If we had had a flat, we would still be there. Luckily we had gas and made it to the secondary road and then onto the highway to head back to Mythili. We headed out with Marcelo for pizza on our return and shared our adventures. like this  

read this article May 21, 2014      The grocery store was the first stop for Tom, Marcelo and I this morning. At the entrance, about a half dozen gypsy children surrounded us begging for money. They could not have been dirtier if they had rolled in the dirt. Still, they kept referencing their mother who was holding a baby and she and the baby were very clean. Very strange. Everyone here tells us that begging is a way of life, a business for them. I have heard this before. I hope it is true. Then there would be a less people for me to worry about. I have seen and been warned about gypsies many times in the past. I am curious how the culture is developed and what really makes a difference. I guess I will read more about it. Our goal was to go to the thermal springs on the east side of the island but decided to Agiasos for the wood carvings in olivewood. The village is known for it, so we went there first. The village looks like a very old European style town with narrow streets with a jumble of shops, and courtyards and tavernas. The tour buses do come there a lot but now it is early in the season. We visited the Church in the center of town…very nice…and then headed to see the carvers. The woods were very nice (looked at a backgammon set that interested us…one more set to add to the collection) but the artistry was not in the pieces we saw. We stopped at the local bakery and then at an herb sellers for spices for the boat.

Tom and Bakery Owner.  (Note the empty shells after our purchase.)
Tom and Bakery Owner. (Note the empty shells after our purchase.)

As we left Agiasos, all three of us raided the macaroon and biscotti-style cookie treats. It was a sign to stop for lunch. About 20 kilometers later (always seems long when you are hungry), we stopped in the seaside town of Plomari. We parked the car near the town’s small central square, and got out to look for a restaurant near the quay. We noticed a boat called “Loose Change” tied alongside the dock. It had an American flag. The name seemed familiar but we couldn’t place it. Then we saw a man and a woman carrying an LL Bean / Lands End style boat bag on the other side of the street. We ended up speaking and discovered that Carla and Dean Nichols (hence, the reference to loose change as the boat name) are from Seattle. I asked them if they knew our dear friends the Brothertons and they did. They had children at the same school. We all decided to have lunch together at the Taverna nearby. During lunch, we discovered that we had all met once before very briefly in Croatia at the AIC yacht club about 5 or 6 years ago. They were tied up to the dock and were about to leave on a trip with two of their three sons. One of their sons went to Colby like Tom and our son Jake. What does everyone say “What are the odds?” They have been sailing in the Med for the past 11 years…coming for 6 or 7 weeks twice a year. They are coming to Mytilini tomorrow. We may see them again tomorrow. Dinner on the boat tonight of salad and the cheese that we bought in Agiasos along with some good Greek wine. Watched a couple of the episodes from the last season of Breaking Bad with Marcelo.   He hasn’t seen the ending and keeps asking questions that we don’t want to answer so as not to spoil the ending.   It makes it fun to watch it again. Marcelo asks very good questions.

May 22, 2014    The items on the agenda today…the thermal springs and a visit to the Castle in Mythilini with a side trip to the archaeological museums both old and new. We took the rental car and drove to the east side of the harbor where the castle is located. As you drive uphill the castle is on your right. It is a simple rock driveway shared with a local school.   There is a small fee to enter the castle but worth it. EU funds have helped renovate this castle, so be sure to go INSIDE the buildings in the castle area. You would never know how refurbished they are from the outside…very surprising.  Interesting history for this castle with a beginning in the 6th century Greek culture, being used as a reward and dowry in the 8th(?) century to the Genovese Family for reinstating the Greek Emperor, and invaded by the Turks around 1452 with a Muslim seminary being built inside the castle walls. Ownership reverted to the Greeks in 1912. I hope I got that right.

Rita trudging up to path inside the Mythilini Castle walls
Rita trudging up to path inside the Mythilini Castle walls

Ate lunch at the OXYZEPIA Taverna about 150 meters to the left of the castle. It is located on the water in a cluster of other restaurants that also look good. We picked it because we saw a Greek family enjoying a meal with a Greek Orthodox priest as their guest. We thought that they would probably take him somewhere good…or maybe it was just their cousin’s place!IMG_2629

Drove to Therma Geova, near Keramia on the north coast of the Gulf of Geras. The thermal spring is really a large pool with separate sections for men and women. There are lounge chairs on the beach for relaxing afterwards. It is very, very simple and very cheap 3 euros. We actually decided to head to a hotel on the coast and have a massage instead…lots of time in the car. The hotel was called “Lesvos Inn”, Pyrgi Thermis, Midilli www.lesvosinn.gr Tel: 0030 22510 71 781-4 Email: info@lesvosinn.gr The staff was gracious and helpful and we were able to arrange a massage for Tom and I. The hotel looks nice with an ocean view and claims 5 stars.

Returned to the boat, deciding to spend one more day in Lesvos. Carla and Dean Nichols, whom we met in Plomari, arrived in Mythillini with their boat. They came over for drinks on our boat and we had a wonderful evening talking about our travels, kids, and the importance of such wonderful books as Nigel Calder’s “Boat Owner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual”. Who would ever guess that we would all appreciate a book with such a title. Thank you Mr. Calder.

May 23, 2014    We had a fabulous experience today visiting the town of Molivos. It was the nicest town so far, even nicer than Skala Sikaminias.  Actually, it is in the neighboring bay next to Skala Sikaminias in the north.  The Greek name for this town is Mithimna Eftalou but it is referred to as Molivos.  It had charming shops, more unique, picturesque and clean, and great food at Betty’s.  We found a recommendation in Trip Advisor for a restaurant called “Betty”s  www.molivos.net/agora/bettys/htm  Tel:  2253071441.  Park on the road that rings the waterfront and go up the street by the large newsstand that says, “To Market Center”.  Betty’s is upstairs. It was the best food that we have had in a week and we have had some very good meals.  The view is lovely from the restaurant and all along the shore. I guess we saved the best for last.   You will see some pictures of the restaurant and Betty, the owner, in the gallery photos on this site.

Tom and Rita Enjoying Lunch at "Betty's" restaurant in Molivos.
Tom and Rita Enjoying Lunch at “Betty’s” restaurant in Molivos.

The marina arranged our car here.  We picked it up and dropped it off here.  They used “Best Rent A Car”   Tel: +30 2251037337  Mob: +306947046464  www.best-rentacar.com   email:  snrise@otenet.gr

Returned to the boat at Setur Marina. It has been a really good experience. We met Kostos, the manager, and Can Polat, from Sales & Marketing. They went out of the way to make us feel welcome. Setur Marine can be reached on channel 71.

Lentils and salad for dinner on the boat tonight and a nice bottle of Greek wine. Checking the wind to see where we go tomorrow.