Thursday, September 15, 2011


Sikinos Harbour

[Kyle]We awoke in our unexpected new home after our night of adventure to find a beautiful bustling harbor of local fishermen. We took the 10:30am bus up to the main town (Chora) and fell in love all over again with Greece. It was a marvelous, quiet, little town with flowers and pretty views, and occasionally dotted with an eclectic mix of cafes and populated with friendly cats. We had a light lunch (cake and coffee) to fuel ourselves up for the hike up the hill to the monastery where we were fortunate to arrive as the caretaker opened up the site for a special private tour of his own; he was kind enough to welcome us in to explore at our leisure. From there we had views of almost the entire island and spotted our next goal – a ubiquitous hilltop church on the facing summit.

More Sikinos...

As we wandered from site to site about the town we bumped into the same two other tourists we’d seen on the bus. There seemed to be a total of 4 tourists exploring the town to add to the smattering of locals; we really felt like we had the town to ourselves. We were clearly outside of the main tourist season. Humans were outnumbered by cute cats and playful kittens.

Beautiful Sikinos

The climb required us to go through the older, quieter, residential part of the chora filled with dream home after dream home with the occasional fixer upper that became more common as we climbed the hill from the town. This is understandable as the only means of transporting anything from the main road is via handcart or donkey. We managed to resist continuing on to yet the next hill and reversed our course to the main road where we picked up the bus home.

Once back in the harbor we had to select from the handful of restaurants and chose the highest for the best views and sat at a table waiting for it to open as passengers lined the quay ready for the arriving Ferry. We had television with several channels: one was a cruiser being told off by the port police for anchoring in the (undocumented) ferry maneuvering area; another was a macho man with a giant powerboat trying to string a line clear across the harbor and blocking in the entire fishing fleet and causing uproar; and finally among the awaiting ferry passengers a class of art students showing and applauding each other’s work at the end of the course.

As the ferry arrived at full speed we finally understood why the port captain was so adamant about the need for the anchored boat to move. The giant ship came in at what must have been 20kt and headed directly at the anchored boat. He came within 100m or so before finally going into reverse and swinging away so that he could dock. Had I been on that little boat and seen such a ship heading for me at that speed, I would have probably jumped overboard for safety at about the time the ferry started making the turn.

The restaurant opened at 7pm and we ordered our meal along with a carafe of wine and sat contentedly watching the light drain from the day. The restaurant was colorfully decorated with splashes of art and ornaments, relaxing seating, bookshelves and board games, and a great selection of music to add to the ambiance. As we watched the quiet little town go to sleep we could not help but think that it would have been difficult to be more content. It was a really nice night to top a great day.

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