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24 June 2006

Get Out of Town... to Kea

More island hopping

This very moment I'm on board the ship to the island of Kea. Athens is hot and unpleasant right now, so we took the bus to Lavrio (about 1.5h) and hopped aboard the next ship to Kea.

I'm not really well prepared. All I know about Kea is that it's a beautyful island, a bit rocky, and close to the Attika peninsula. But I'm sure to get to know her well.

Looking forward to a fast trip (only one hour on this ship), going swimming, enjoying a weekend out.

Posted by betabug at 14:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
24 June 2006

Kea - First Impressions

An aftenoon at the seaside

We've spent the afternoon at the beach bar and the beach, swimming, relaxing. The plan was to rent a bike and explore the island. But the rent-a-bike was out of bikes. So much for planning things. I've learnt that the main island town is inland.

Today we've stayed in the village near the harbour. Lots of tourist restaurants and hotels. Still when we left the beach as the sun went down, we noticed that it would be difficult to find a room. Kea is close to Athens, so they have lots of weekend guests - and today is Saturday. Lots of walking around to find a room. Then we had a bit of luck and got the last room in an oldfashioned hotel.

Went out to eat at a tavern behind the football field, the place where the locals seem to go. Now we're back in the 50s charm of our hotel.

Speaking of charm: This part of the island has a rough charm. Rocks and dry land on one side, but from our room we've seen a very green slope of a hill behind the village. We'll try to find a way to see the inland tomorrow.

Posted by betabug at 23:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 June 2006

Ioulida, another carfree city

A visit to the inland of Kea island

Yesterday evening I fell asleep to the sound of the surf on the beach near to our hotel. I woke up late (again, the mosquitoes had woken me up earlier in the morning). We went out for beeakfast and an excursion to see more of the island.

As bus service is sporadic and undocumented, we took a taxi. For 5 Euros, we got up the 5.5km to Ioulida (or Χωρα / chora, as it's sometimes called). The landscape of Kea is mountaineous, terrassed hillsides. Lots of trees, the green gives the eyes someplace to rest. Once you get over a certain level, you see the sea again in the distance, with other islands (Makronissos, Euboae) on the horizon.

Next you see a corner of Ioulida, houses built on a mountainslope. The town covers three summits, as if it was built into the sky. The taxi delivered us onto the bus station and parking lot. There are no cars in the city. The paths are too narrow, so Ioulida on Kea is a carfree town like Hydra.

We walked the streets during the hottest hours of midday, so there was not much "traffic". We went up one slope where we had seen a small church built into a cave. The picture shows a bit of the view, with the city and the sea in the distance.

We continued our walk through the narrow streets of the town and finally went for coffee in a cafe built onto a plattform above the mountainside. There we sat in the shadw and played tavli (backgammon).

We went down again by taxi. From the harbour town we walked to the beach of the next village. This beach is a bit more protected from the north wind that started to blow during the night. It also happens to be a real beauty and the "in" beach of the area. But swimming and sunbathing is ok for lamers like me too. People who sit on the beach and hack blogposts into mobile phones :-)

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 June 2006

Beach Bug

Splish splash!

And while we're at it: I like the beach life! Sun, sea and fun! Καλοκαιρινές διακοπές για πάντα!

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 June 2006

Kea: Church, Rock, Ioulida From Above Panorama

A bit rough, but so was the rock
Panorama view from church in a cave above Ioulida, Kea island

The weekends picture from Ioulida was in fact part of a panorama shot. Here you've got the stitched together version. It's a bit rough (I blame the heat, my brain must have been fried), but the rock above the church was rough too. The little church is in good shape, but does not look like it's being serviced very often (the lock on the door was pretty rusty). To the right of the rocks, one can spot a bit of a sea view. The city in the background is Ioulida (or Ioulis), the capital of the island of Kea, in Greece.

As usual: Click on the image for a bigger version.

Posted by betabug at 21:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 July 2006

Some Pictures from Kea Island

Took only a few pictures with the lame phone camera

Here are some more pictures from last weekends excursion to Kea Island. I took only a few pictures, and since the camera in my phone isn't so great, this is what you get :-) Look inside for the pictures...

View from the entrance of Ioulida, Kea island, Greece

We start with a little panorama I took from the entrance of the city of Ioulida (the capital of Kea island). Cars only get till here. The picture was taken from the edge of the taxi parking lot. The island is pretty green for an aegean island, though to northern europeans it will appear dry. (Click on the image for a somewhat larger view.)

Streets of Ioulida

This is a street scene in Ioulida. It is so empty, because we were there during noon hours when decent people are either indoors sleeping through their siesta or sit in a cafe. We went to a cafe shortly after this :-)

Streets of Ioulida with view of city on hill

Another city scene, we had met one lady shortly before this and a couple of tourists a little bit afterwards. One can see much of the city on the rise of the hill.

Balcony in Ioulida, Kea Island, Greece

I liked these balconies. The upper one is nice and picturesque, but the lower one is more comfortable to sit outside in the evenings.

Coastline on Kea island, Greece

On the way back from swimming on Sunday, we saw this picturesque coastline. Prospective tourists rest assured, even though it looks all rocky, there are some sandy beaches on Kea.


Posted by betabug at 12:44 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 July 2006

Escape to Hydra

Day trip to the island without cars

As you can see from the pic, the betabug escaped for a short daytrip to Hydra.

Right after arrival we resorted to the cafeteria σπυλια (spylia, cave) to relax and have a drink.

Weather is fine so far - let's hope the weather report is wrong on predicting rain. I'll go for a swim later, promise!

Posted by betabug at 11:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 August 2006

On Board

We've reached the ship in time

Getting to the port in Lavrio was a bit of a nervous number this time. We prepared everything in time, got ready and packed up early. Then we took a taxi to Αμπελοκοιποι (Ambelokoipi), where we waited at the bus stop for the ΚΤΕΛ (KTEL) overland bus. Lot's of busses passed by, but not ours.

Finally we concluded that we should have taken the bus to Sounion, which stops at Lavrion too and had passed by before. Our next bus came one hour later, so we were a bit worried that we would miss the boat - the next one leaves in 2 days.

As if to counteract the information deficit that had caused us so much trouble, the ticket lady in our bus was very informative. She made sure we had the right bus right away. She also proclaimed stations loud. There were not many stops, so we made the ship without further pressure on our nerves.

Now we sit outside abovedecks. We're looking forward to another seagoing night under the stars, as we see the lights of Lavrion blink away ever further off.

Posted by betabug at 22:15 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
14 August 2006

Climbing to the Moon

Up the peak of Samothraki

Samothraki island is full of hippies and kids who came too late for woodstock and try to make it up.

When we went for a swim in the afternoon we even saw a rare nudist (trying to get a sunburn on his balls, likely). We slept under the stars at the municipal camping. Woke up early, packed our things and started walking.

Right now we are about 1 hour up the shoulder of the mountain Φεγγαρι (Fengari - moon). We hope to get to the top (about 1620m) in 2 to 4 more hours.

It's hot, we're sweated through already. The path markings aren't too clear, so we already got lost and had to trackback once. But the spirit is still up, as goes the path!

Posted by betabug at 10:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 August 2006

A Day for our tired Feet in Samothraki

Don't walk!

Yesterday's mountain day wasn't as successfull as we had hoped. We had started a bit too late and were moving too slow, so we didn't make it all up to the top of the mountain. We reached a nice little spring at about 1000m, had a nice break with cool water and started our way back down. The path down was taxing on our limbs and we were very tired when we arrived on sea level - about 10 hours after we had started out...

I think I'll come back for the mountain. Today I've read that it would be a good plan to start in the afternoon, when the mountain slope is in the shade. Then sleep somewhere two thirds the way up and continue to the top early the next morning.

Yesterday evening we moved from the hippy camping place back to the harbor town of Καμαριώτισσα (Kamariotissa), where we were lucky to get a small, but nice and affordable room. Today we relax and nurse our tired limbs. We even cancelled a planned trip to Χώρα (Hora, the main town of the island), we'll do that tomorrow or so.

Posted by betabug at 17:58 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
16 August 2006

All Around the Island

Taking a boat tour

We're aboard the excursion boat "Samothraki", going around the island.

The sea is a bit messy. We have about 4-5 beaufort wind, so our little boat is rolling often. Still it's a lot of fun and we get shown all the nice places of the island (comments in greek of course).

The tour will make a big stop at a beach, so we have time to go for a swim. Most of the greek tourists have bags of stuff, parasols, swimming gear, and food with them.

No hippies on board though, maybe departure at 11AM was too early for them.

Posted by betabug at 12:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)


Stopp am Strand, zum Schwimmen und Essen

Unser Ausflugsboot hat hier am Strand Παχιά Αμουδιά (Pachia Amoudia, "fetter Sand") angelegt. Das Boot baut auf einem "Kaïki"-Rumpf auf, so dass es der Käptn einfach auf den Strand setzen kann.

Da sind wir dann erstmal schwimmen gegangen, danach in die Sonne. Sonne aber nur kurz, denn es brät ganz schön runter.

Was auch gut brät ist unsere Bestellung auf dem Grill (Wurst und Steak). Die christliche Seefahrt macht ganz schön hungrig. Da kommt es gut, dass der Ausflugsdampfer einen Grill mitführt.

Posted by betabug at 14:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 August 2006

Schaukelpartie und Weiterfahrt

Abschied von Samothraki - über Kavala nach Thessaloniki

Der gestrige Ausflug wurde doch noch ganz interessant. Am Strand sollten wir abwarten, dass sich das Wetter und die See wieder beruhigen. Doch so kam's nicht und das zweite Anlegen am abgelegenen Strand Βάτο (Vato) musste zur Sicherheit von Boot und Passagieren abgesagt werden. Bei heftigem Seegang und Geschaukele gings weiter. Wir sahen uns spektakuläre Felsformationen und einen Wasserfall an. Die letzte Stunde war den Passagieren das Geschaukele doch zu viel, einigen gings wohl nicht mehr so gut. Mir hat die Achterbahnfahrt Spass gemacht.

Am Abend waren wir dann geschafft und haben es ruhig genommen. Packen mussten wir ja auch noch. Heute morgen dann Zimmer abgeben, frühstücken und nochmal Tavli (Backgammon) spielen... und dann kam auch schon unser Schiff. Mit einem "Peace!"-Hippygruss verabschiedeten wir uns von Samothraki. Jetzt sitzen wir an Deck und lassen uns nach Kavala fahren, mit bedeutend weniger Gewackele.

Posted by betabug at 16:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 August 2006

Sightseeing Thessaloniki

Hello White Tower

From Kavala (where the ferry boat delivered us) we arrived by KTEL bus in Thessaloniki. MacYannis of HelMUG fame picked us up at the round bus terminal. This morning he took is for a sightseeing walk all through the center of Thessaloniki. We passed by the roman agora, the Agios Dimitrios Church, the "Rotonda" church, Aristotelous square, the place where the cinema festival is held, the "white tower" (symbol of Thessaloniki) and many other places. I've been to Thessaloniki before, but back then we were busy to reinstall the HelMUG server with some other HelMUG people. One nice thing about this city is that the center offers all these historical places in walking distance.

Posted by betabug at 17:37 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
19 August 2006

Back Home By Night Train

Sleep, lots of sleep

Yesterday evening we boarded the night train from Thessaloniki to Athens. We had booked beds and hoped for a bit of sleep on the train, which was scheduled to leave at 23:45. When we boarded the train it was hot like a furnace, people crowded around the windows. We were quite late, so we hoped for a short wait and then some cooling down due to the driving wind...

But it got later and later and finally word got around that we would have 40 minutes delay to leave. After a while the air condition in the train was started. It took some while to develop some chill, but then we could lay down and wait more relaxed for the departure. But about a quarter of an hour after it got comfortable, the air condition stopped again. The train's locomotive was getting changed, so without power no air conditioning. It got hotter and hotter in our compartment. It started to get to the point where it wasn't bearable any more, when finally the replacement locomotive was hooked up and a bit later power returned. We left Thessaloniki and things cooled down considerably.

I've slept sweet and well cooled during the night. In fact I had to turn down the a/c a bit at some point, because it was getting way too cool again. We were woken up around 6:30 in the morning, right on time to pack up and get out at Athens "Σταθμός Λαρίσης" - "Larissa Train Station". The metro and bus system brought us and our heavy bags back home. I took a short shower and went back to sleep, a short but interesting vacation has come to an end, I'm back home.

Posted by betabug at 13:57 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 September 2006

Akropolis am Abend, Aegina am Sonntag

...und weitere Abenteuer mit Onkel Heinz

Letztes Wochenende war bekanntlich mein Onkel hier zu Besuch mit seinen Freunden. Am Samstag abend waren wir mit ihnen auf der Akropolis, wo ich einige Aufnahmen gemacht habe, von denen ich eine zu einem netten Panorama zusammengesetzt habe. Parthenon im Abendlicht. Am Sonntag standen wir früh auf, nahmen den "Ilektriko" (den "Elektrischen", von den Athenern auch einfach als "den Zug" bezeichnet, gemeint ist die alte U-Bahnlinie von Kifisia nach Piräus). Von Piräus aus gings per guter alter Fähre weiter auf die Insel Aegina...

Acropolis, Parthenon im Abendlicht

Als Alternative hätte es noch ein Tragflügelboot gegeben. Doch das ist nicht nur teuerer, es geht auch schneller und man kann das Meer nicht wirklich geniessen. Wenn man nur auf einem Tagesausflug ist, dann ist es schön, wenn man die eine Stunde auf dem Schiff als Reise geniessen kann. In der Sonne sitzen, auf die Wellen schauen, mit etwas Glück sieht man Delphine. Nie war der Ausspruch "Der Weg ist das Ziel" wahrer.

Tempel der Aphaia auf Aegina

In Aegina angekommen machten wir uns auf die Suche. Zuerst mal suchten wir nach dem Bus nach Agia Marina (auf der anderen Seite der Insel gelegen) und dann, weil der Bus schon voll war und wir auf den nächsten warteten, nach etwas zu essen. Wir fanden eine Bäckerei und unsere Gäste hatten die Wahl zwische Tiropita, Spanakopita, Peïnirli, Bougatsa, ... (Käsekuchen, Spinatkuchen, einer Art Pizzabrot, Blätterteigkuchen mit Crèmefüllung). Versehen mit solchen Backwaren und Getränken machten wir am Strand ein Picknick.

Strandcafe in Agia Marina, Aegina

Der Bus fuhr uns quer durch die Insel, vorbei am Tempel der Aphaia. Dort stiegen wir nicht aus, denn der nächste Bus wäre erst zwei Stunden später weiter gefahren. Aber vom Fensterplatz aus sah der Tempel auch ganz nett aus. Die Insel allgemein ist im Innneren sehr schön, mit vielen Oliven- und Pistazien-Bäumen. Agia Marina ist ein touristischer Ort, aber zumindest Anfang September ertragbar. Wir quartierten uns in einer Ouzerie/Café am Strand ein. Erstmal Café trinken (griechisches "Frappé" ausprobieren), danach gingen wir jungen auch noch Baden. Das Wasser war herrlich klar, aber der Wind kühlte uns aus. Also besser im Wasser bleiben!

Abends ging es den ganzen Weg gemütlich zurück. Wieder in Aegina gaben wir uns einen kleinen Ouzo mit Häppchen bis unser Schiff kam. Unsere Gäste sahen sich auf dem Schiff den Sonnenuntergang an und bis wir in Piräus ankamen war es ganz dunkel. Mit einem kleinen Umtrunk im Hotel verabschiedeten wir uns von unsern Gästen. Alles in allem ein schönes Wochenend-Programm!

Posted by betabug at 19:19 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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