Amorgos- life is beautiful in cool blue waters!
Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
93Trip End Oct 19, 2007
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Today was my favorite day of the whole cruise-life just got better and better as the day went on! Sarah and l started the late morning sharing cinnamon toast pancakes on the deck with a frappe in one hand in a smile in the other a great day had already begun! After taking awhile to wake up from the nights activities in Ios the previous night we decided to catch the bus to Chora (the capital of the island). Walking to the bus stop we passed our first windmill for the day before making the hour hour spectacular and rather windy drive up along the coastal road into the mountains, passing stretches of white sand and islands shimmering in the sea below whilst numerous mountain goats crossed the road. This drive is well worth the 1.20 Euro!!
With our eyes literally popping out of our heads the entire way l felt myself starting to feel a familiar emotion l had felt a couple of times before in the last nine months of traveling. I can pinpoint the exact moment when its happened before- viewing Abu Simbel in Egypt as l rounded the corner and saw it before my eyes, standing in flooded St Marks square in Venice watching the suns rays break through and the mosaics surrounding me suddenly come to life, standing on top of the Georges Pompodou center terrace in Paris and watching the Eiffel tower begin to sparkle before my very eyes, swimming in the coastal villages of Italy surrounded by colorful fishing homes and orange groves, hot flamenco nights in Madrid, swinging in a hammock watching the sunset in Tuscany and now driving through Amorgos in the Greek islands. Moments and memories that nobody can every fully comprehend or take away from me- they were all moments where l left a piece of my heart behind in a country, in a moment that had captured me for eternity. This day was one of those moments and the familiar feeling and emotion l was feeling was yet another piece of my heart breaking and falling forever into the Aegean sea below me.
We arrived at Amargo's beautiful Chora which Sarz and l managed to explore to our hearts content for the over two hours we were there- we literally had a field day with our camera's! This village was idyllic and as postcard perfect as you could find and we felt like the only tourists sightseeing around its narrow alleyways awash with bougainvilleas and blue and aqua door and shutters. Luckily there was a heavy wind making the over 45 degree heat bearable as we climbed to a small monastery located in the center of CHora, passing donkeys laden with goods on the way
We caught the next bus to the famous and highly recommended Monastery of "Panagia of Hozoviotissa," and the beach below it. We were unable to see the monastery from the bus and wondered if it did indeed exist beyond the neighboring cliff face, but we were to hot to go walking and find out. So we climbed down the stairs, ringing the bell at a white washed chapel along the way and settled our orange towels onto the smooth pebbles. You couldn't have stopped me if you tried getting into the water at this beach! It was the deepest most incredible blue colour, it felt like l was swimming in transparent blue rich paint, and felt like the color should stick to my skin yet of course when l emerged it didn't! While l swam across the next cove and out beyond the other swimmers l was so caught up in looking at the beautiful fish swimming between my legs below me that when l looked up l saw the white monastery above my head emerging beyond the cliff. I could only see a tiny part of it and swam as fast as l could to try and see the remaining section. With each lap another past of the beautifully located church appeared before my eyes
Returning to the beach, l collapses on my towel letting the suns hot rays dry the "blue paint" from my body and began to relax and let the pebbles mold into my body. Almost asleep l awoke from my dream state to hear my name being called, and l opened my eyes to see George and the rest of the boys above me asking if it was OK for them to sit with us and how on earth we had managed to get to the beach! Each day we had some how always managed to bump into them and they were always amazed how we got to these remote locations and find out about the best spots on the island that none of the other people of the cruise knew about. Them being Greek and traveling to the islands all the time knew the best spots and hired mini vans or took taxis to get to them and were constantly amazed how we managed to get around the islands. I told them that we simply asked the locals there opinions on their favorite spots and we just always found a bus somehow that was going there. I made a joke that they would have to be real men and rough it on the pebbles as there were no sunbeds for hire on the small cove. So they settled down and l went out for another swim watching the two Nick's cliff jumping- but taking ages to finally make the jump! Coming back from my swim from the cove Nick called me to the beach and asked if we would like to go to another famous beach with them- they had two spare seats in their mini van
I sat in one of the caves and started singing on of the songs l have been hearing constantly in Greece and Nick and Nick came into the cove and looked a little surprised to see that l had beaten them- they asked me if l had flown in! I splashed around and swam into several of the caves before returning to the beach and soaking up the last rays of the day. As the sun disappeared behind the cliff hovering above us, we ventured back up the mountain to the taverna at the top and settled into some deck chairs while some the boys played backgammon (huge national game over here) and the rest of us drank frappes and chattered some more amongst Nicks funny jokes. We were then invited out to dinner that evening which of course how could we resist again! Sarz was a little apprehensive too accept as she didn't wait to miss the Greek dancing lessons and music on board the ship that evening- but l prefer authentic Greek experiences, cuisine and music like we experienced that magical evening!
We caught the mini van back to the port and we all hanged on for dear life as George drove crazily around the coastal road in true Emily style on the Great ocean road
We all me up on deck before venturing off in the mini van back up yet another coastal road to the sparkling lights beckoning us form the village overhanging out boat. We couldn't find a park, so the boys moved aside a motorbike to fit the van in much to the disapproving look of an onlooker- definitely not something l will try at home! We then climbed the village steps passed numerous Church's and bustling tavern's until we came to our own taverna with its blue painted porch and veranda and we settled ourselves onto the wicked chairs as the sons of the owner prepared the paper table cloth used on all the tavern's on the islands. The own ere came up to us beaming a huge smile which l didn't see removed from his ago old face the entire night! He was not only the owner but the singer and stand-up comedian for the night! Of course Sarz and l had no idea what jokes he was telling throughout the next couple of hours but l couldn't help but join in laughing as the entire restaurant would holler in their seats- his smile alone made me laugh all night long inside
We all sang traditional Greek songs as we walked through the village on the way back to the mini van and l thought the night was over, but soon discovered in too Greek fashion it was just beginning
But it was all worth it- the day had been paradise on earth! At first l had looked at this island and wondered to myself what on earth possessed people to settle on their rocky, harsh and unfertile looking soil. But as l have traveled more of its roads and through its mountains l began to wonder who on earth wouldn't want to live here.