Greece: more high speed island hopping

Now that inter-island travel is both more rapid and more reliable it’s a viable option to  hop from island to island for brief visits and sometimes when moving on it’s possible to make connexions without an overnight stay where there are no direct links

During the month I was on Nisyros I took time out to visit friends on Kalymnos where I spent a very enjoyable Greek Easter in early May.  High speed catamaran to Kos and a frappé later a hydrofoil to Kalymnos.

On Kalymnos I took the opportunity of having got accustomed to the heat of a Greek summer, by the end of August past its most intense anyway, to tackle a long and challenging walk circumscribed by a very limited bus timetable. The 09.20 bus from Emborios at the northern tip of the island got me to Chora with its crusader castle by 10.15, then trek to the top of Profitis Ilias the highest mountain on the island, long drop down to the Vathy Valley on the other side, trek along the valley floor and then one of the best kalderimia in the Aegean, the Italian Path, back over the ridge to Pothia, the main town.  Made satisfyingly good time so able to enjoy a beer and a WiFix on the harbourside before the 17.00 bus to Emborios.  Great evening with friends and then bus and two cats back to Nisyros the next day.

Passing beneath the crag topped by the crusader castle

Passing beneath the crag topped by the crusader castle

... and looking back to it as I climb higher

… and looking back to it as I climb higher

The last section up to the monastery on the summit

The last section up to the monastery on the summit

Looking down the flank of the ,mountain towards the distant fjord-like bay

Looking down the flank of the ,mountain towards the distant fjord-like bay

The path starts to wind its way down, clear in this section but not everywhere

The path starts to wind its way down, clear in this section but not everywhere

The top of the stone-paved Italian Path heading towards Pothia

The top of the stone-paved Italian Path heading towards Pothia

A little longer between cats this time.  Kos town isn’t my kind of place, too busy and noisy, but there are extensive archaeological excavations which offer a very interesting diversion for a couple of hours, and all entirely free.  I wandered around the extensive and constantly changing Old Agora excavation, right in the middle of the town with, among other features, many finely carved marbles.

One of the impressive carved marble figures

One of the impressive carved marble figures

... found in several parts of the site

… found in several parts of the site

Two remaining columns

Two remaining columns

Ancient floor mosaic of the now much persecuted rock partridge

Ancient floor mosaic of the now much persecuted rock partridge

At the end of my stay on Nisyros I moved on to Symi but as there was no direct link at a civilised hour (the 05.30 Big Ship connexion on Friday’s doesn’t appeal)  again it was a matter of high speed cat to Kos and then another high speed cat to Symi.  Once more a couple of hours to explore yet another archaeological site, this time the Western Excavation alongside the inner ring road, less than 15 minutes walk from the harbour and 5 from the bus station  All very civilised and for someone with a very low boredom threshold like me, a real life-saver.

Mini-ret on the way to the Western Excavation

Mini-ret on the way to the Western Excavation

More extensive floor mosaics here

More extensive floor mosaics here

Large arch with some of the remaining columns beyond

Large arch with some of the remaining columns beyond

Framed

Framed

Arrival on Symi is always nostalgic.  Not only is it the first Greek island we visited and which hooked us irrevocably on Greece but it’s also where I rented a house for the summer of 2010.  So I know the island fairly well.  An opportunity to revisit favourite walks and exhilarating new ones.

 

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