Friday, February 27, 2009
As I sit in this internet cafe in the greek island of Chios and look back over Greece, it certainly brings a smile to my face. From the first hour I arrived till this hour as I await for my ferry to Turkey, its been great. The Greek people were so welcoming and I was surprised by amount of people who could speak English. Athens was crammed with the sights, the museums,the history, but it was through all the little towns and villages that I loved most. The food has been the best of the trip so far. If there was no menu and they were unable to communicate in English what was on offer for the day, they would grab you by the arm and bring you into the kitchen to observe what was cooking in each pot. Then you would be shown what was in the fridge, and the different fish would be pointed out.This happened a few times. I remember I arrived into 1 place at a cross roads. The owner saw the bike and correctly presumed I was hungry. "You like the special??",he asked. I'm sure it was his only sentence of english, but it was the best omelette I ever had.
The traffic has been quite (apart from Athens and the 50kms before Athens). Most of my time in Greece has been spent hugging the coast,so the scenery has been super and finding a special campsite has been easy. Its just a 1 hour ferry ride across the channel to the Turkish town of Ceseme. If Turkey is half as good as greece has been,it will be twice what I expected. And as for Chios;well for an island not much bigger than Achill Island it packs quiet a punch. Its got a World heritage site (a monastery where the Virgin Mary appeared), a monument in recognition to Homer (a poet from the 5th century BC whose enjoyable stories of myths and legends turned out to be based on facts after discoveries from archaeologists in 1870s,-as apposed to the Homer whos on SKY 1 at 7pm every evening). And Chios also claims to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus (some explorer who visited America almost 1000 years after St Brendan left Cahersiveen and headed West). But I think I'll remember Chios best for its mountains. Its just zig-zag roads up and down through cliff-edge. I was lashing on the sun cream in the morning and riding through a hail storm in the afternoon before returning to sea level to camp up for the evening. All in all Greece has been super, But now its time to face into Turkey. I'm not too sure what to expect. Its highest mountains are 5 times the size of anything we have in Ireland and when I look at Turkey on a map of Europe, I see its more than 10 times the size of Ireland so I guess you'll be reading about me eating kebabs for a while.
Good luck,-I've a ferry to catch.