From hot rocks to old rocks

Wednesday is the major change-over day for hotels round here, with charter flights between Kos, Rhodes and Athens (and probably other Greek airports) and the UK.  And so it was for me: Ruth and Tim were going home.

The 07.30 ferry on Wednesday is to Kos Town rather than Kardamena, necessitating a much longer journey to the airport and being a much more complex town to find your way round.  It would be much simpler if the ferry went to Karamena which is only 5 minutes from the airport but hey ho, that’s how it goes.

The staff in the hotel organised us coffee and cake for breakfast at 07.00 and then we legged it down to the harbour and the ferry left right on time for the 2 hour trip.  The time seemed to pass surprisingly quickly, I suppose partly due to the fact that we hadn’t woken up properly. The bustle on the harbour-side in Kos was quite a contrast with the  peace and quiet of Nisyros but we coped.

The bus to the airport continued on to Kardamena so the plan was that we would all catch that, Ruth and Tim getting off at the airport and me continuing to the harbour to catch a ferry back to Nisyros.  For once the timings were brilliant.  There are only 5 buses a day but one left at 13.00 getting Ruth and Tim to the airport in time for check-in and me to the harbour in time for the 14.00 ferry.  Just!

Enfys and I had sussed out the bus terminus in Kos about 5 years ago so I knew roughly where it was, well away from the main hub of the town and the harbourside and up various winding alleys. My memory of it was very hazy but we found it in the end and deposited ourselves in a cafe in the small square and had a bite to eat, juice and coffees. Very pleasant, chilled out place.

We had a fair bit of time to kill so Ruth and I wandered down to the archaeological site of the ancient agora.  Fascinating.  Vast numbers of carved pillars and the like just lying around, all numbered so presumably catalogued somewhere.

We wandered around there for a bit to take photos and that was when I discovered that the battery in my small camera had expired and because I was travelling light I didn’t have the spare.  Ruth’s camera had the same battery so we wandered around sharing it whenever we wanted to take a photo. A little slow and inconvenient but not at all bad. Another advantage to not travelling alone.

Ancient columns lying around

Simple but very effective carved faces, to my mind sculpture at its best

Dating back to the second century BC it is not surprising there is some sign of deterioration.

But the carving on some is still very sharp

… and butterflies flitting around everywhere.

One part of the ancient agora has been restored, giving an indication of the scale of the place.

Then onto the bus, costing the princely sum of €3.20 for the 45 minute journey, a sharp contrast with the €15 for a 5-minute taxi ride from the airport to Kardamena.

Very sorry to say goodbye to Ruth and Tim but it had been great to have them to share Nisyros with for a week.

The ferry back was interesting.  It as not one of the usual ones but a much smaller boat, the main purpose of which is to pick up quarry workers on the ‘Pumice Island’ of Yiali and to deliver supplies of fruit and veg and other foods.  There were 2 of us on the ferry leaving Kardamena but we picked up another dozen or so at Yiali before continuing to Nisyros.

As a minerals officer dealing with planning control of quarries in a former life it was fascinating to see the workings at Yiali close up.  Blog readers will be relieved to know that as the battery in my camera was flat there are no photos to regale.  Essentially the island is being quarried away, the scale of the workings so great that they can be seen from aircraft flying overhead.

Back at Nisyros it wasn’t good being suddenly on my own again so I walked up to the Paleocastro, a special place in the memory, and then down to Hochlaki beach for a swim.

In the evening the internet connections were again very poor, hence the fact that this is the third blog posted in 12 hours in an attempt to catch up.

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