16.07.2008 - 23.07.2008 29 °C
Leaving Turkey we were both a bit sad as we reflected on our time there. We had met a bunch of good people and had enjoyed a wonderful 6 months with our buddies in our Istanbul flat.
First stop on our trans Grecian odessy was a small Island off the coast of Turkey called Samos.
Samos was ok as far as Greek Islands go, but, having tasted the unspoiled nature of Samothraki, on the Northern Turkish border, it proved a little disappointing. So we stayed a night in a cheap (50 Euro – cheap hey?) and decided to make tracks. The beach was ok – rocky bottom so the water was crystal clear.
Samos did have a couple of small towns that really have retain some of the old world charm.
Beach at Samos
Before leaving Samos we were advised (By the guy who arranged our Cheap (50 Euro) hotel that we could indeed travel Samos – Mikonos – Naxos, in one day. This proved to be almost right... almost – except for the bit about being able to get to Naxos from Mikonos on the same day.
We arrived in Mikonos at “the new port” and were immediately advised that the ferry to Naxos leaves from the “Old port”... some 30 mins walk away. Having only 10 minutes to get there we set off at a trot. About 9 and a half minutes after we left the new port area, we turned to see a large super fast ferry leaving... it turns out, that it was headed to Naxos and we had in fact missed it... by minutes and about half a km.
So we headed into Mikonos town – which although being accurately described as beautiful, scenic, picturesque – had a serious lack of Ethnic Charm. It seems that every inch of Mikonos township has been bought, rented, traded or otherwise owner occupied by England... with more money than manners.
Naxos, however, was a real treat. We quickly left the main port area and found a campsite 200m walk from the beach – and when I say beach (Australians) I actually mean beach – we found one... a real one. Naxos was a compromise between the unspoilt nature of Samothraki and the heart throbbing, made up, heavily accented, new money Mikonos. And it was affordable. We camped for 13 Euro a day and spent most of our time on the beach. We did have a small run in with the guy that rented us 2 bikes which turned out to be somewhat less than mechanically sound, but overall Naxos gets the big thumbs up!
Following our time on Naxos we headed up to Athens for the last few days in Greece.
Athens is amazing. It has a bit of a Melbourne feel to it and is in no way as intimidating as we were expecting. It is quite possible to walk around the major sites in a couple of days.
Our last hours in Greece were spent at Athens airport – we had decided to get to the airport early to avoid the need to pay for the final night accommodation. This proved to be quite an adventure. We set up camp pretty much immediately by rolling out our mattresses and getting into our sleeping bags – this takes us about 30 seconds. Shortly afterwards, we noticed that there was a growing number of travel buddies starting to do the same thing. Not really thinking anything of it, we got some quick ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZs. At about 5 am we were woken up by a rude security manager telling everyone that they were not allowed to sleep and that they were to get up immediately. Looking around we had started a sleep in that John and Yoko would have appreciated. The upstairs area that we had found now looked like a refugee camp, with travellers from all over the world rugged up like homeless people waiting for the soup kitchen. Appreciating the early wake up call we packed up our gear (30seconds) and headed off to check in.
The flight from Athens was uneventful and soon we were in Malaga.